He looked at the draft for a Department of War lying before him. "No, " he said, "First we need a Department of Peace. If we are going to develop expertise only in War, that is what we will have. " But the Congress of 1776 had a new nation to set up. The DOP, although resurrected occasionally, has largely rested in the shadows for 300 years.
Instead, we have fought war following on the heels of wars. We have "improved" on horrible weapons, napalm, poison gas, the cancer producing DU nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, declared illegal and immoral by our own courts, and are using allot destroy a civilization with the utmost brutality in the horror war of horrors.
But in September 2005, at the Department of Peace Convention, Congressman Dennis Kucinich will lay HB1673, requesting a Department of Peace before Congress.
He is asking for 2 per cent of the military budget. Under it, our Peace Academy will offer four years of education. Graduates will be sent to work with
communities here and abroad with the focus on rooting out causes of violence.
At home, The Academy also intends to pioneer teaching alternatives to hitting Johnnie over the head with a pencil box starting in pre-school.
The DOP can provide the leaders to organize hands and hearts to save our planet.
Last week Air America, radio A. M. 1090 floated a question: "How many U. S. citizens still believe that Iraq had a part in 911." I didn't wait for the answer, but my guess is that for 99 per cent an image of Iraq flitted into mind.
Yet, every alive citizen knows that we invaded this tiny helpless country on a lie.
Son of Polish immigrants, born on "the wrong side of tracks," probably in a junked car in a dump, Kucinich went to work at age 10 to help his struggling parents support 6 little sisters. Before he was 17. Dennis had enrolled in 21 schools. That 17th year he walked into a library and fell in love with books.
Two and a half years later he gradated from City University, earning his degree in literature and philosophy while holding down a full-time job in the steel mills.
But, one of the images etched indelibly into Dennis 's memory is of his parents at the kitchen table counting pennies to pay the heat bill. The week he gained his 23rd birthday, the minimum age required, he beat the Republican nominee for a seat on Cleveland City Council. Now he concentrated on building a clean, affordable city power plant, heat for the poor. It is still the most inexpensive heat in the State. That done, at age 31, Dennis became the youngest Mayor of a major city in recorded history on the promise to clean up a city hall wallowing in corruption.
His second day in office a coalition of bankers demanded that he give them the city power plant. As he pushed them out, they discussed his need for a bullet-proof vest and threatened to bankrupt the city; which they did, and as they did it, they whispered the thief's name: "Kucinich. "
The bankers' whispers followed him. He couldn 't find a job. He couldn 't support his family. In desperation and heavy hear he sent his wife and baby home.
Fifteen years passed. Then The City of Cleveland learned the truth. The Council begged forgiveness, begged him to come home.
He returned as the community hero, to annual Kucinich Weeks, Kucinich picnics, Kucinich fairs: Cleveland voters had learned their lesson: --for eleven years in the Republican of Ohio, the voters have voted him in, by as many as 78 percent.