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A Department of Peacebuilding

Dennis Kucinich has left the U.S. Capitol and is now a professional punching bag over at the Fox News TV channel, but one of his legislative quests continues – the effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace. The name of the proposed cabinet department has changed in the legislation introduced yesterday, however. H.R. 808, if passed into law, would establish a Department of Peacebuilding.

Barbara Lee, the primary sponsor of the legislation, explained her motivation for writing the bill, saying, “This culture of violence that we live in is unacceptable. On our streets and across the globe, the pervasive presence of violence has infected the lives of millions, and it is far past time we address it as a nation. We invest hundreds of billions each year in the Pentagon, in war colleges, military academies, and our national defense universities all to develop war tactics and strategies. Now we need that kind of investment in peace and nonviolence here at home.”

Cosponsors of the bill are John Conyers, Janice Hahn, Jared Polis, Yvette Clarke, Chellie Pingree, Rob Andrews, James McGovern, and Gwen Moore.

3 comments to A Department of Peacebuilding

  • Dave

    I don’t think I have ever heard Kucinich explain what a Dept of Peace would actually do. The concept is kind of weird without some ‘splainin. Why not a Dept of Satisfaction? Dept of Happiness? Bureau of Getting Along Together? Not mocking the concept here, just not able to imagine much that a Dept of this type would be able to force people to do that wouldn’t start trouble.

    • How is it more abstract than a Department of the Interior, or a Department of State? One important task that the Secretary of Peacebuilding would have: Simply speaking up as a voice of peace in the U.S. Cabinet, proposing nonviolent alternatives to conflict resolution, and creating programs that actually create community resources through government spending, rather than just buying a huge number of weapons that can do nothing but explode.

      • Dave

        A good point there about abstract department names. I cracked a smile when I thought about the Sec/Peace seated next to the Sec/War, engaged in a conversation at least worth having.

        As to gov’t spending, though, it is not often understood that much military spending is people and community oriented. Literally millions of Americans are employed, educated, housed, fed, daycared, healthcared, etc. by the armed forces. The real problem any President and Congress has in scaling back military spending is that redirecting the money to employment, housing, education, all of the above mentioned, would only accomplish the same thing, minus the national defense and disaster readiness that the country gets out of it to boot.

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