Department of Peace proposal not getting coverage that war initiative is
In this time of war, a bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace. This department would be “dedicated to peacemaking and the study of conditions that are conducive to both domestic and international peace.”
It would have international responsibilities in areas that the federal government already assumes – protection of human rights, de-escalation of international conflict, reconstruction and demobilization in war-torn societies and elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
It also would take on tasks of sponsoring country and regional conflict resolution initiatives, addressing the root sources of conflict in troubled areas, training of civilian peacekeepers and other international efforts that are either now being handled by non-governmental organizations or not being done at all.
This is a far cry from the little-noticed strategic initiative promulgated by the Bush administration last September which asserts that the U.S. will preserve its military dominance in the world.
On the domestic front, the Department of Peace would develop policies to assist state and local governments to deal with domestic violence, rehabilitation of criminals, gun-related violence and other matters.
It would promote racial and ethnic tolerance. It would make policy recommendations to the attorney general regarding civil rights and labor law.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio is the author of the bill. It is co-sponsored by our own Rep. Mark Udall and 43 other representatives.
Mr. Kucinich is a former mayor of Cleveland and a four-term congressman. He is candidate in the Democratic presidential primary. It would be good to get him to come to Colorado during the campaign to hear what else he has to say.
Meanwhile, some future president may enjoy the benefits of a Department of Peace in his or her cabinet.
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