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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/4/10

A Peace Vision

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Message Peter Cohen

The whole peace movement needs to be far more active, visible and vocal, while reaching out to the unemployed, to all who are being cut back, threatened and laid off as a result of this huge military boondoggle. We must work far more diligently to form coalitions that enhance our clout and our partners.


I Imagine a peace movement that is as influential as AIPAC or the NRA. A movement that can remove the hawks from Congress and prune the military budget down to a basic defense budget.


I imagine a peace movement that works in every community to reshape the Congress to better serve the American people and their needs, not corporate greed -- a transformation that is absolutely essential for the preservation of democracy.


I imagine a peace movement that is regarded as an essential partner of the environmental movement, because in addition to depleted uranium and other extensive military pollution, we urgently need the money that is now being lavished on missile defense, weapons and foreign conquests to be invested in greater energy efficiency, a smart grid and alternative sources of clean energy to bring our atmosphere below 350 parts per million of CO2.


A peace movement that is a friend of labor because we must invest in jobs, in our people and their education, our roads and bridges, our water supply and the future of our industry. The rising cost of fossil fuels will make the transportation of foreign manufacturing too costly and risky for future needs. Our future security lies in being as self-reliant as possible for our needs.


A peace movement that encourages the development and effectiveness of the United Nations. Recently the U.S. has relied upon NATO to support its international activities. The expansion of NATO is a shortcut to legitimize questionable operations and increase our arms sales, while avoiding the censorship of the far broader United Nations. As the GDP of the European NATO nations now exceeds that of the U.S., it is irrational for the U.S. to continue to be the main support of European security.

A peace movement whose actions are not limited to the East Coast, but can organize a Peace Day Strike across the nation, when the issue deserves such action.


How to Build the Peace Movement

The key to building the peace movement is for everyone to focus on the top priority of ending the war and pruning the Pentagon budget. What is required to accomplish this goal? Local social- activist organizations, peace clubs that encourage their members, develop strategies and whose members support the best available candidates. We believe that supporters and volunteers will respond to an ambitious, active, well-reasoned program. The slow advance of the Congress to 114 anti war votes is encouraging, but no substitute for a movement that reaches out to the public with a renewed sense of vigor and possibilities.

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Peter G Cohen, artist, activist, writer, was born and lived in New York City till the age of 10, when his family moved to upper Bucks County PA. There he attended one room school and came ot know the sorrounding, largely Polish, farm community. He (more...)
 
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