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Kucinich Prepares for Peace
an article by Joe

I never thought I would find myself giving a standing ovation to a politician. But that is exactly what I did after hearing Dennis Kucinich at the Boston Social Forum in July. A democrat and a presidential candidate who calls for a shift in the "structure" of our everyday lives towards a culture of peace and nonviolence? It sounds almost too good to be true.

Kucinich is perhaps best known for introducing House Resolution 2459 - to create a federal "Department of Peace." According to his web site, the Department of Peace would make nonviolence "an organizing principle at home and abroad." The department would confront domestic issues such as spousal abuse and gang violence by promoting education and challenging the view that violence and war are "inevitable." It would encourage more equitable "resource distribution" and basic "human and economic rights." And it would play a coordinating role in the national transition from a culture of fear and war towards a culture of unity and peace.

Thanks to the work of Rep. Kucinich and his grassroots advocates, the democratic party platforms from Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Hawaii, Alaska, Iowa and - believe it! - Texas, all now include a call for a Department of Peace.

In his speech at the Social Forum, Kucinich pointed out that our nation spends most of its time preparing for war. The Department of Defense spends over $400 billion each year to this end. And this skewed approach has only made a violent way of life more inevitable. Rather, he concluded, we must "prepare for peace."

At the end of his speech, a mass of people swarmed around Kucinich; they offered him words of encouragement and thanks; people lined up to hug and kiss him. I didn’t go that far. But who knows? Thanks to the increasing strength of the global movement for peace and justice, one day I might find myself hugging a politician!

Click here to watch Kucinich’s speech at the BSF.


Question(s) related to this article:

Is a U.S. Department of Peace a realistic political goal?,

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Latest reader comment:

I have had the honor of participating three times in the production of a play called "Let Slip the Dogs of War" by a friend of mine, David Rothauser.  (He just had a film on Sacco and Vanzetti on PBS.)  This particular play focuses on the parts that the government has played in leading up to wars including the Second World War, Korea, Viet Nam, and now Iraq.  It then goes on and includes a mock discussion between Bush and Kucinich regarding the formation of a Department of Peace.  It is performed as a radio play so it is easy to produce.  If anyone is interested in it, please contact me.

This report was posted on August 2, 2004.