Workshop Led by Rev. Bob Moore at July 18-20, 2008 This hourlong workshop was framed around positives: limiting the war budget to 4 percent of our GDP, canceling the military’s “credit card,” dismantling the empire psychology and cutting down to fifty military bases worldwide; Congress should pass demilitarized budgets; between now and November efforts should focus on disseminating peace-voter information and materials; and above all preemptive . . . peace spending.
50th Annual Peace Action Congress
July 18-20, 2008
This hourlong workshop was framed around positives: limiting the war budget to 4 percent of our GDP, canceling the military’s “credit card,” dismantling the empire psychology and cutting down to fifty military bases worldwide; Congress should pass demilitarized budgets; between now and November efforts should focus on disseminating peace-voter information and materials; and above all preemptive . . . peace spending.
No spending on nuclear weaponry should be emphasized as a goal; “build bridges, not walls” should replace the apartheid mindset; replace military spending with green energy funding.
We should stress to the public that we’re really not that “unsafe” and eliminate the fear that dominates our mentality—more a function of the Bushocracy than reality.
Twenty-six schools can be built for the price of one cruise missile.
Mention was made of Al Gore’s recent challenge to achieve 100 percent renewable energy in ten years;
In short, the conclusion may be summed up as money for the people, not for war and oil.
Plenty more were offered: Fifty million more people are impoverished than previously counted. For the $720 million spent daily on war, we could build eight-four hospitals or provide fifty thousand college scholarships.
In Vermont one goal is to legalize the use of industrial gray hemp as a source of alternative energy: for fabric, paper, and oil that burns more cleanly than carbon-based fuels; switchgrass and sugarcane can also power cars cleanly; using corn for fuel interferes with the food supply.
The example of “build schools, not bombs” to combat terrorism was exemplified by the project of Greg Mortenson which began in Pakistan and has spread to Afghanistan—not only by information provided by Nicholas Kristof (coincidentally less than a week after Marta Steele published a review of Three Cups of Tea [an autobiography of Mortenson] at opednews.com). Mortenson is building schools for the neglected people in out-of-the-way settlements who are educationally deprived and a prime target for terrorist brainwashing.
Instead such people learn that there is at least one good American in the world and that education opens doors to new worlds and new global perspectives that lead toward peace and civilization rather than destructive violence. His specific focus is girls because he believes that his all-Muslim targeted populations are most heavily influenced by their women despite their supposed inferior status. Stories like this can build hope and spur action.
We need a new slogan to replace AFSC’s “War is not the answer.” No ideas were immediately forthcoming, but an additional positive challenge was presented.
Our is the power, more than others’, to make the world safer.
We are in the deepest economic crisis since the days of Herbert Hoover’s presidency. It is imperative that we trade in our status as King of WMDs and Nukes when we rank 47th in the world in longevity and 26th in infant mortality.
A peace economy is the positive to combat these shameful numbers, and the way back to our status as exemplifer rather than pariah in the global context. How about “Make Peace Not War,” as the new slogan, harkening back to the sixties and all the positives emphasized and accomplished then, that remain to perpetuate?