I am not sure whether its good news or bad. Seventy-year-old Warren Weinstein one of the people most responsible for tuning me into a political geek has been held by the al-Qaeda terrorists since mid-August. Today they released a video, where he asks President Obama to give in to the terrorist demands otherwise he will be killed.
We know that he was still alive when the video was made, but we don't know when it was made and whether or not he is still alive. (if you cannot see video below-please click here)
Warren Weinstein is a man with a good heart, who does not deserve to be kidnapped, held hostage and threatened by al Qaeda (not that anyone deserves that).
My first year and a half in college was spent at the State University of NY at Oswego. I was a political science major and Dr. Weinstein was one of my favorite professors, my major adviser and I as president of the Hillel (officially called the Jewish Student Union) I worked closely with Dr Weinstein our faculty adviser.
It was Dr, Weinstein who first taught me what liberalism did to City University. He talked of studying with Hans J. Morgenthau at Brooklyn College when it was known as the "Poor Man's Harvard." Once NY City decided College was a God-given right, and everyone was allowed into the school no matter what their grades were, Dr. Weinstein said the school quickly became a sub-standard school.
I remember how Dr. Weinstein gave me advice when a Palestinian colleague, Dr Faiz Abu-Jabbar verbally attacked me in class when I didn't accept his anti-Israel rhetoric as truth. And Warren Weinstein was the guy who would invite students over to his house when they were stuck in Oswego for the Jewish holidays.
Armed men took Warren Weinstein from his house in the eastern city of Lahore on Aug. 13.
In August, the CS Monitor spoke with several Pakistanis who had worked with Weinstein to enhance Pakistan’s dairy and gem trades.
“I am really shocked to hear” of his kidnapping, said Ehtesham Ullah Khan, a gemologist who knew Weinstein. “He was a very nice person and, to me, he made many friends as compared to no enemies.
Mr. Khan explained how Weinstein helped him set up scholarships for Pakistanis living in tribal areas to study the gem trade. Twenty students received US scholarships and now have jobs or have started their own businesses, he said.
Weinstein's work also included importing dairy chillers to boost the productivity of Pakistan’s milk industry. His company boasted that the dairy development work resulting in $63 million in new investment to Pakistan, at least 2,150 new jobs, and a 25 percent boost in producer productivity.
“He helped the university in the establishment of dairy facilities, negotiating with colleagues in the Netherlands,” said Dr. Muhammad Abdullah, chair of livestock at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore. “We had quite a professional interaction with him.”
To most people who read the reports of Warren Weinstein's capture, he is an anonymous aid worker kidnapped by the bad guys. For me, he is a good man who helped to spark my interest in politics which continues through today. He helped to teach me to think and to ask the right questions, and he helped me to get through a year and a half of college life in an school that was not very friendly to Jewish students.
Those of you who believe that the War on Terror is over, please watch this video and take it to heart. This is the scum we are fighting, a group that will kidnap a 70-year-old man with a good heart, who was only in Pakistan to help people become more successful. He wasn't a soldier (I don't think he was ever in the military) Warren Weinstein was just someone who would go anywhere in the world to help people. His captors would go anywhere in the world to hurt people.
Please join me in praying for Warren Weinstein's good health and for his quick release back into the loving arms of his family.