Five Fold Today No Revival Without Repentance - Iraq War Is a Betrayal of American Democracy - Seek My Face - Choose You This Day - Faith and War - El Salvador's Patriot Act

November 21, 2007

No Revival Without Repentance
-by Terry Somerville

There have been many prophecies about a coming move of God that will eclipse all previous ones. Most discussions revolve around the glory and presence of God moving in the land. The desire for revival is at an all time high.

Though much is being said and done, it seems to be mostly prophetic activity. The one basic ingredient that is lacking, and seldom spoken of, is true repentance. This requires a total breaking down of the heart, otherwise we naturally go along in "Christian selfishness", with all our activity oriented to ourself.

I'm more burdened than ever before over sin in the Body of Christ. In ministry times I find most Christians seem to be seeking a blessing in the meetings. The prayers revolve around their needs and not God's hearts desire. They experience the power and presence of God, yet leave with unyielded lives. Many Christians know there are issues between them and the Lord and are willing to leave them unchanged. Sometimes if I bring up the state of their heart during ministry they will say "God will change my heart". In the midst of all the Christian activity there's no sense of God's desire for true righteousness.

Out in the community as I work I encounter people who are warm to Jesus, but see the church as irrelevant, or worse.... Today's church seems to be very much like Isaiah described.

"Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as (if they were) a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near unto God...........yet on the day of their fasting, they do as they please" (Isaiah 58:2-3)

Here are some of the issues I see standing between us and revival.

1. Power Without Repentance

The church has confused experiencing the presence of God vs a heart being right with God. It is possible for the heart to be unyielded yet still experience the anointing on the natural man! Yet most think if the Holy Spirit comes on them with His power their hearts must be right. The love of God has come with such power over the last number of years and yet I saw many entering in who remained in sin. I asked God about it and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. "I'm sending my love because I want to capture their hearts." Has it worked?

Jesus warned those who have anointing but work iniquity. How many there are in the church today!

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." -Matt 7:22,23

2. A Back to front Gospel - a problem we have created!

The gospel most Christians believe goes like this.
a) believe in Jesus
b) ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your life
c) He will change you.

The gospel the Bible teaches is

a) repent and believe first (change your life)
b) God will forgive your sin and come into your life
c) Walk with Him in newness of life

The gospel has a clear condition of turning from sin first, and genuinely entering into a righteous life. It seems most of the church is missing this. NO this is not salvation by works, this is repentance! We are forgiven and saved from sin because of the cross. Our righteousness cannot save us. But it is required! From Genesis to Revelation! Look at the gospel the church preached.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;

3. Confession is Not repentance

Here is another common error. Being sorry at the altar and asking God to forgive is NOT repentance. It is confessing sin. We have mixed this up. To confess our sins is simply to acknowledge the truth about our condition and ask God to forgive us. Repentance is a genuine turning from the heart which "bears fruit befitting repentance".

4. Genuine Conversion Results in A Holy Life

Away with this garbage of continuing in sin but saying we are "immune" because of Christ. Sin's power to reign is actually gone from us because of the cross. (Romans 6) Because of this we are warned not to live in sin. We choose!

Can we imagine the judgment day, and on this side is one who sinned not knowing Christ, and on the other is a Christian who continues in the same sin as the first man. Will the Lord be unjust? Will the cross be a mockery? Or does the Lord expect real righteousness to be the reward of His suffering?

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life." Galatians 6:7,8

5. The Changed Heart is Man's Responsibility, But God's Activity

Most Christians are waiting for the Lord to change their hearts. God is waiting for us to "rend our hearts" and to "make for ourself a new heart"

Joel 2:12- "Yet even now, saith Jehovah, turn ye unto me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Jehovah your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."

"Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 18:31

This is the same Ezekiel who says the Lord will give a new heart and a new spirit. How is it possible? Does the new heart come from God or us? It is both. Here is an example:

There is a man with sickness unto death. He goes to the doctor who gives him medicine. He takes it and is well. What made him well? The man did because he went to the doctor, the doctor did because he treated the man, and the medicine did as well because it killed the disease. The new heart is our responsibility, but we have left out that part out of the gospel. It must be returned for revival preaching to work.

New Heart Ingredients

a) Conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment by the Holy Spirit. Only this will break into the deep levels needed for repentance. This requires praying Christians and righteous preaching. Surely if the Lord is anointing us with power for healing He will bring this clear promise of the Spirit.

"He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment" John 16:8

b) The true condition of the selfish motives of our life are seen, and wrestled down. As Finney said "the fountains of sin must be broken up". If believing the gospel is only head knowledge about Christ, it is doubtful conversion ever took place! It must be a matter of the heart. For out of the heart springs all the issues of life!

c) The Holy Spirit enters in and God pours His own love into our heart!This is the point! The Love of God Himself is put into our heart. The same love that motivated Jesus becomes the motivation of our hearts. (John 17:26 Rom. 5:5) Check it out. When the revivalists broke through they had a radical filling with Gods love!

Here are Finney's own words:

"No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. The waves came over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, 'I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.' I said, 'Lord, I cannot bear any more;' yet I had no fear of death."


Yes, we need a mighty revival. As I check out the old time revivals and go right back to the preaching of the bible I see a common denominator. The preaching of the righteous demands of a Holy God, accompanied by mighty convictions of the Holy Spirit. This produces deep conversions and holy, power filled living. This, and ONLY this, impacts and changes the community with the Kingdom of God.

Right now we are living in a time of theories. "Revival this, Kingdom that, Prophetic this, Apostolic whatever."  The world is longing for the revival we need!

~Source: ""

Iraq War Is a Betrayal of American Democracy

By Matt Howard

Editor's note: Matt Howard gave this statement at a recent protest at the Statehouse.

11/14/07 "Rutland Herald" -- - -In 2003 I illegally invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq with 1st Tank battalion 1st Marine Division. My commander in chief unleashed the world's fiercest fighting force upon the country and people of Iraq, and now those of us used and betrayed by him are demanding justice.

Four and a half years after our opening "shock and awe" Bush's lies are known throughout the world, and yet he continues to act with impunity. Four and a half years later the Bush regime has unleashed a hell upon the country of Iraq that only those who have been there can truly understand.

As a two-tour combat veteran of this brutal war, I have a responsibility to speak honestly and openly about what has been done and what continues to be done in our name. We veterans know that this war is not the one being sanitized on the nightly news. It has nothing to do with the liberation of the people of Iraq; instead it has everything to do with the subjugation and domination of these people in the name of U.S. imperial economic and strategic interests.

We did not go to war with the country of Iraq, we went to war with the people of Iraq. During the initial invasion we killed women. We killed children. We senselessly killed farm animals. We were the United States Marine Corps, not the Peace Corps, and we left a swath of death and destruction in our wake all the way to Baghdad.

Let me say again so that there is no misunderstanding. I stand here today as a former U.S. Marine saying we are killing women and children in Iraq. This is the true nature of war. War lends itself to atrocities. Don't think you can use an organization designed to kill other human beings for anything humanitarian. That has never been our mission. That was crystal clear from the moment I was forced to bury the crate of humanitarian food given to me in Kuwait.

Four and a half years later we as soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are done. We are done being told under threat of court martial to run over children that get in the way of our speeding convoys.

We are done raiding and destroying the homes of innocent Iraqis on a nightly basis.

We are done abusing and torturing prisoners.

We are done being hired thugs for the 160,000 contractors and U.S. corporate interests in Iraq.

We are done being poisoned by depleted uranium, the unspoken Agent Orange of this war.

We are done coming home broken, from two, three, four tours of duty – only to find our commander in chief has actually tried to CUT funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs. To find our doctors being told to diagnose us with pre-existing personality disorders instead of post traumatic stress syndrome.

We are done killing for lies.

So Iraq Veterans Against the War is taking back our history – the history that has been robbed from us. We are dispelling the myth that the Vietnam war ended when the Democrats started voting against it. Instead we are spreading the truth about how the American War in Vietnam ended.

The Vietnam War ended when soldiers put down their weapons and refused to fight; when pilots dropped their bombs in the ocean.

We are re-educating the public to let them know that the power ultimately lies with the people. Just take a look at the thousands of pages of internal documents from the Department of Defense explicitly detailing how at the end of the Vietnam war the military had collapsed. It was literally in a state of mutiny. And that movement is slowly starting again. Because ultimately in every war waged throughout human history, those forced to fight quickly realize they have much more in common with those they are being told to kill than with those telling them to do the killing.

And we are re-educating the public about the true nature of sectarian violence. No, the middle east is NOT inherently violent. In fact, in the 1,400-year schism between Sunnis and Shias – there has NEVER been a civil war fought. They have always lived in the same neighborhoods and even intermarried. The United States has caused this civil war using the classic colonial techniques of divide and conquer.

George Bush is a war criminal who has violated international law, the Geneva convention and the Nuremburg standards and needs to tried accordingly for crimes against humanity.

I ask every red-blooded American today: What would you do if your homeland was savagely invaded and occupied by another country? The Iraqis will continue to resist and fight until the last American has left their homeland. Period. End the violence in Iraq? End the occupation.

We veterans are speaking out to stop the violence being perpetrated in our name. When we voted in the Democrats on an anti-war mandate, the Bush regime expanded the war. As we are marching against further occupation, the Bush regime is making threats against Iran.

And we will not continue to be silenced by the mainstream media. Top generals and bottom privates are all speaking in unison now. We know the truth about the slaughter of upwards of one million Iraqis. Why is no one listening? We will not stand by as this regime tricks the country into thinking that if you oppose the war you do not support the troops. We ARE the troops and we have never felt support from this administration. Stop mindlessly supporting the troops. Start demanding that we come home – and maybe think about apologizing to us when we get back.

Matt Howard attained the rank of corporal in the United States Marine Corps. He is head of the Vermont chapter for Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Seek My Face

Jim Donovan

My warriors come before Me daily, seek My face.
Draw nigh unto Me I hear the cries of My saints.
Yield to My spirit, cry out to Me I am the answer.
Wherever you go or look there is doom and gloom.
Many tragedies, many needs, many hurting sheep.
I am the God that calms the storms of this world.

There is much opposition and darkness and trials.
In our daily walk, but seek My face, seek My face.
Run into your closets cry out to Daddy.
I am the answer to every need and situation.
As you come to Me you shall see a mighty break through.
As you humble yourselves and pray I shall heal your land.
You shall see a mighty outpouring of My spirit.
A great influx of souls saved and following Me.

You shall see signs and wonders on this earth.
My spirit is calling seek My face, seek My face.
No more excuses but get on your knees.
I shall hear your cries as you be faithful.
And harken to My voice and seek My face.
I shall bring deliverance and healing.
To your families to your cities, to your nations.

Stand in the gap, I am calling My warriors.
To fight the good fight and cry out to the heavens.
Then you shall see lives change, situations change.
Walls and barriers and hindrances shall fall.
And My spirit shall sweep and touch every area.
So seek My face, I am the Lord that HEALETH AND RESTORES.

I am expelling the darkness and bringing forth my marvelous light.
So be obedient and press in and pray without ceasing faithful one.
Yes there is much terror and tragedies in this world I am the answer.
I am the alpha and the omega, I am a big God,
All things are possible with Me, so trust me spend time with Me.
I hear and answer your petitions.

In Him Jim Donovan

Choose You This Day

By Olufunso Joseph Omidiran

Joshua 24:14-16
24:14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 24:15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 24:16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
We all need to be acquainted with God´s way or principles of living. He created us all with the inherent ability to choose; he wants us to make decisions as rational creation. This is so that we might be responsible and accountable before Him. Actually it is a great honour bestowed on mankind, such as is not found in any other creature. In His infinite mercy and love, He gives us the grace to not only choose but to choose the right way in life. For this reason, He does not leave us desolate or bereft of His eternal counsel. He lays His Word bare and open to everyone, being mindful of His desire to save all men. Nonetheless His salvation is not automatic; it must be received willingly and duly appropriated by men. God is ever conscious that we cannot prosper without Him; by going our own way, we will only end up in perdition, therefore He sends His Word time and time again as the needed signpost and blueprint for true success.

Joshua the servant of God was at the very end of his days on earth and he saw fit to call nearer the children of Israel to warn them of the need to make a choice for their destiny. Why do we have to choose whom to serve?  This is because, service should be by choice and not by force, so that man will not blame God for whatever happens thereafter- we should not claim that we are in trouble because God forced us to serve Him. We must serve Him willingly and happily, never having any regret for choosing to follow Him. Meanwhile, choosing comes before service because our service must involve our free will. If not, it may not be rewarded or blessed. Man must choose where he will hinge his destiny and should be ready to face the consequence.
It is however unfortunate that a lot of people have chosen the wrong path in life; they are content with a kind of service that suits their ego. Due to complete lack of understanding, they stray from the true worship, leaving out the true God.  Again modern man is doing everything possible to pretend as if God does not exist. This is self delusion, nay, and self-extinction!

Any choice for another object of worship apart from God is a wrong choice, no matter how popular or rational it may seem. Your god is your object of trust or stay, your object of highest value or esteem. It is your object of veneration or total devotion. Your first and foremost concern in life will be a pointer to whom your god is. Who or what is your god? Well, before we can go further, we must realize that your god is the one you choose. In other words, man has the power to choose his own God or gods, even though the power has been grossly abused over the ages. The power to choose lies with us, we must choose well.
Today, many have chosen their own gods and some others chose to worship God in their own terms, not wanting to follow His way. Can a man really serve God without following His way? Can a man claim to love God while disobeying Him? How can we be worshipping God with our mouths when our hearts are far away from Him?

2Kings 17:32-34
17:32So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 17:33They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. 17:34Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
No wonder, people can now determine the kind of teachings or preaching they want to hear, they look for those who can give them what they want and they can reject what they consider odious, even though it is the true word of God. We are indeed in a free world of religious amalgamation, spiritual mixture and charismatic recklessness in the Church. Beware!

It is noteworthy that in the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue) given by God to the children of Israel, the first two commandments have to do with making God the Almighty the only absolute object of worship.
The first commandment is to have no other god before Him (Monotheism). This presupposes the possibility of serving God as well as some other additional gods; it reveals that men can be following God halfway, without making Him their absolute Salvation. We can see such a trend today, whereby men are only ‘Christians´ when they are in Church and something else when they are somewhere else. Dual lifestyle is characteristic of hypocrites and they are almost everywhere! It is highly possible to have many other gods when we claim to be children of God
The second commandment is to make no graven image, molten image or pictures for worship. This is a direct prohibition of idolatry. God does not want us to have idols, not to bow down to them, fear them or serve them. Nobody is worthy to take the place of God in our hearts.
Strange gods or idols could be in form of military strength or might (Psa. 20:7,8) or riches that can fail at any time. Some have turned their material possessions or money to their gods. Whatever may be the god of any man is what he has chosen. Men keep choosing different gods, but it is better safer and blessed to choose the eternal Almighty. He is the true Rock of Salvation.

Psa. 16:4-8
16:4Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
16:5The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
 16:6The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
 16:7I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
16:8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
King David the Psalmist exemplifies what our choice in life should be. Going after other gods will lead to multiplied sorrows, therefore he would not dare to do that. He would rather choose the Lord. Having chosen the Lord, the Lord becomes whatever we choose Him to be. In his own case, David says ‘He is the portion of my inheritance´. In other words eh sees God as all he possesses and again he says ‘I have set the Lord ALWAYS before me´. It is a choice; he chooses to place the Lord always before him, so that he does not see anyone else but the Lord. Whom do you choose to always look up to or see? If we don´t choose to see Him as our all-in-all, we will not really enjoy Him. Choosing the Lord in spite of all odds is characteristic of those who are sold out to Him. In such a godless world as ours, it is only those who will take their identity in God that will be approved by Him.

It is high time we rose against all forces that want to erode the reality of God´s work and power in every fabric of our society. God is looking for those who will be on His side. We can truly choose to be on the Lord´s side and make the difference in this world.  You can choose to go to heaven or hell, all things are yours. This is the right and the best time to be Christians indeed. This too is a matter of choice. Shalom.

Faith and War

by Cindy Sheehan

A friend of mine, who is Chair of the Economics Department, invited me to speak to the students and faculty at the University of Dallas (where the Veterans for Peace convention was that I spoke at the day before I went to Crawford on August 6th, 2005), which is a small, non-culturally or non-racially diverse, Catholic college.

Surprisingly, my friend Sam, received little protest over inviting me, but there was a “Support the Troops’ rally in the room next to where I spoke. Some Camp Casey friends accidentally went into that room and only heard the speaker call me names like “scum’ and he called the rest of the people at my event “peace fairies.’

I was heartened to find the first three rows of my speech were filled with young people who were smiling and vigorously nodding their heads at everything I said. Most of the audience clapped or laughed in the right places so I was feeling pretty good. However, I was a little sad when there were some snide snickers when I had the unmitigated gall to call Iraqis “human beings.’

During the “Q and A’ part, the first question I received amazed me. Now, I was raised Protestant and received an excellent training in the Christian scriptures and I know after being a Catholic for 25 years and a Catholic youth minister for nine of those years, that the average Catholic does not know a great deal about the Bible as most of their religious training is in the tenets of the Catholic faith. Here´s how many Catholics quote scripture: “It´s somewhere in the Bible,’ when, in my experience, many times they are actually quoting: “Poor Richard´s Almanac.’

An emphasis on the biblical support for the teachings of the church was never used as long as I taught in the church using the approved teaching materials of the church, but the depth of ignorance of Jesus of Nazareth exhibited in the first question still had the ability to astonish me.

The question printed neatly on a 3 by 5 index card was: “How do you reconcile your progressive ideals with your faith?’ I answered the question that Jesus cared about the poor. He admonished us to “feed the hungry,’ “clothe the naked,’ “heal the sick,’ and “visit those imprisoned.’ Jesus performed a stunning feat of civil disobedience by over-turning the tables of the moneychangers in the temple and was subsequently executed by the Empire of his time. Jesus was the ultimate progressive radical. Jesus´ name is exploited by our materialistic society at Christmas time when he changes from the right-wing Christian warmonger to the “Prince of Peace.’

Jesus welcomed the “least of these’ to his table. He didn´t exclude sinners, lepers or prostitutes who were the pariahs of his day. Today, I am convinced that if Jesus returned he would welcome gays and non-white people (even “illegal’ immigrants) to commune with him. The only people I ever heard Jesus speak badly about were the “brood of vipers’ (Mt 3:7) that were the Sadduccees (Democrats?) and Pharisees (Republicans?) who in the parable, with hypocritical piety, walked right by the man who had been beaten, robbed and left by the side of the road to die without helping him and they turned his “Father´s’ house (the Temple) into a “den of thieves.’ (Mt. 21:12).

My question for the questioner was: “How do you reconcile your faith with supporting war and killing?’

If Jesus came back today and was a politician, I know, because of my faith in the inherent goodness of the Universe, that he would not be a “politician’ but a public servant. Jesus would be in favor of single-payer health care, solar and wind energy, unions, free post-secondary education, Social Security, fair trade, free speech, civil rights, and human rights. Jesus would be against the death penalty, torture, extremist religions that exploit His Name for profit, extremist states that exploit His Name to kill innocent people, and the ultimate crime against humanity: war.

Whether one is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or like me now- nothing, Jesus of Nazareth and his story is still worth studying and emulating. At the risk of sounding judgemental, I have a feeling that these reactionary Christian extremists are going to be shocked when they go to meet their maker and find out that Jesus wasn´t kidding when he said “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God’ (Mt 5:9). The converse of that saying is: “Cursed are the warmakers for they are not the children of God.’ There is a very relevant saying of Jesus in the Bible that these self-proclaimed “Christians’ should also pay closer attention to:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.´ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43)

Wise words for everybody to strive to live up to: From presidents to college students and everyone in between.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother´s Child and Dear President Bush.

El Salvador´s Patriot Act

By Jacob Wheeler

On July 2, Salvadoran police arrested 14 rural activists who were protesting water privatization in Suchitoto, a colonial town in the middle of the country. The government plans to try them on Feb. 8 under the country's new anti-terrorism laws, which could make them the first political prisoners in the nation's post-war era.

In recent years, the Salvadoran government has faced increasing community resistance to the privatization of healthcare and water. Citizens have also protested against Pacific Rim, a multinational corporation that plans to develop the El Dorado mine in Cabañas province and pollute the local water supply.

In response, in October 2006 the government adopted a Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism, which gives police and judges leeway to clear the streets of demonstrators and imposes mandatory sentences of 60 years for what was once considered a freedom of expression. Intentionally vague, the law defines terrorism as crimes that by their form of execution, or means and methods employed, evidence the intention to provoke a state of alarm, fear or terror in the population, by putting in imminent danger or affecting peoples' life or physical or mental integrity, or their valuable material goods, or the democratic system or security of the State, or international peace. According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the Salvadoran government modeled the new anti-terrorism law after the U.S. Patriot Act.

A small international outcry by those organizations followed the July arrests, and the government released the activists after nearly a month of imprisonment (though they still face trial in February). But instead of loosening their grip, in August, President Antonio Saca and his ultra-right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) Party pushed through penal code reforms by a one-vote margin that changed disorderly conduct from a misdemeanor to a felony. Three weeks later, the government arrested eight leaders of a nurses trade union for striking against the privatization of healthcare services and lack of medicine. If convicted, the union leaders could face eight years in prison under El Salvador's new Patriot Act.

The objective of these anti-terrorist laws isn't to fight terrorism, because there haven't been acts of terrorism here in many years, says Pedro Juan Hernandez, a professor of economics at the University of El Salvador and an activist. He recently traveled to the United States with members of U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities to bring attention to the Salvadoran social movement. What happened in New York and in Madrid were acts of terrorism, says Hernandez. But it's not an act of terrorism to peacefully mobilize or concentrate a group of people demanding their rights, including what's written in the constitution. He says the new law's objective is to criminalize the social movement and imprison community leaders.

In July, 60 U.S.-based organizations signed an open letter to Saca that appeared in the Salvadoran press. While the Salvadoran government has the task of ensuring public security, charging demonstrators under an anti-terrorism law & does not appear to be the measured response of a government seeking to maintain order while observing basic civil rights, such as the right to freedom of association and the right to protest, the letter stated. A month later, 41 members of the U.S. Congress also signed and sent Saca a letter that expressed concern about the arrests of the 14 activists under the new anti-terrorism laws. Predictably, the White House and the U.S. Embassy in the capital city o have remained silent.

That silence might stem from El Salvador being a member of the coalition of the willing that has supported the United States in its invasion of Iraq. Saca has contributed as many as 380 soldiers at any given time to the war effort.

Meanwhile, $461 million goes to El Salvador through the Millennium Challenge Account, an aid program that President Bush announced at the Inter-American Development Bank in 2002. This money goes to the Central American nation despite the challenge account's criteria that countries adhere to the rule of law, political rights, civil liberties and voice and accountability.

Sixteen years ago, the government of El Salvador signed the Peace Accords with anti-government FMLN guerrillas, ending 12 years of a brutal civil war that killed approximately 80,000 people. The accords were established to create the necessary conditions to improve the quality of life of the population, especially of those living in extreme poverty.

But more than a decade-and-a-half later, the countrys poor remain choked by desperation. Almost 50 percent of the rural population lives below the poverty line and 61 percent have no access to water in their homes, according to USAID. The average Salvadoran child attends only 3.4 years of school. Remittances from the 2 million Salvadorans working in the United States account for approximately 17 percent of El Salvador's economy, according to the U.S. State Department. This is greater than the money generated by any other export.

The signing of the Peace Accords created the opportunity for reconciliation and to change the causes that led to the armed conflict, says Hernandez. But we've missed out on that opportunity. In the last 16 years, the government has implemented neoliberal economics, privatized services and signed free trade agreements that haven't solved the economic problems but have made them more profound.

The Salvadoran social activists fighting for water access, healthcare and education, and now the right to protest, have seen enough war, says Hernandez. But the origins of the violence are in the politics, the unemployment and the government's policies against the population, he explains. We are back to the level we were when the armed conflict began.

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