Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorial Day Salute

This Memorial Day, I'm choosing to honor those who died for our country by considering what we should be doing to make sure no one else need to die for our country ever again. A couple of things that come to mind:
  • Outlaw the concept of "Preemptive War"
  • Embrace the concept of "Preemptive Peace"
We need to stop funneling billions and billions of dollars year after year expanding our national capacity to create and then destroy our enemies while creating thousands upon thousands of Memorial Day honorees in the process. Instead, we should be using our financial and human resources, along with our communal creative energies, to identify those who would seek to harm us and work with them to proactively address their grievances and work to turn them into allies.

I know this may sound Utopian, but we do already possess the necessary technologies to make this work. Experts in international affairs know from experience what factors will create levels of desperation that will ultimately result in violent conflict - high infant mortality, lack of access to free markets, absence of democratic processes, for example. If we make investments in these situations to address the root causes and create lasting solutions to these problems, we will not have to send in the troops later as peacekeepers or invaders. I think we should give it a try, don't you?

This promising approach is not going to happen if we don't change the way our federal government is organized. We need a new structure that includes a Department of Peace that will work with the State and Defense departments to establish conditions that foster allies, not just project our national interests and exploit international relationships to our benefit. There is currently legislation in the House - H.R. 808 - to create a Department of Peace. If you are interested in getting involved in the national grassroots campaign to make this happen, contact the Peace Alliance at www.thepeacealliance.org.

Let's not let the sacrifices of those brave servicemen and women be for nothing. Let's put our hard-won freedoms to work and create a better way for all.



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