All I’m saying is give peace a chance

By By Libby Bailey and By Libby Bailey

By Libby Bailey

The majority of today’s newspapers, television and practically every other form of popular news media seems to be centered on foreign policy issues, international affairs and the ins and outs of Brad and Angelina’s Namibian love child.

Whatever topic, love child or not, all media coverage appears to emphasize what is happening “out there” and leaves little room for exploration into domestic issues and policies.

These prevalent topics illustrate an important point: Perhaps the American public should shift its sights toward its own country and work toward bettering its own culture and community before attempting to change, or “aide,” another’s.

Although this article begins something like a typical college student’s liberal Op-Ed piece in the school newspaper that complains about a social issue and, like the Democratic Party itself, ultimately ends up offering no solution, I aim to transcend the limits of my political partisan affiliation and actually support something.

My support takes shape in an organization called The Peace Alliance, a campaign that strives to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.

Now, I’m a glass half-full type of gal, and, therefore, when the question was posed to me, “Why does the United States have a war department and no peace department?” I was perplexed. So perplexed that I would assume this to be a universal befuddlement-so universal, I should not have to explain the obvious rationale to the highly educated Chronicle readers.

Yet, having recollected some absurdly conservative Chronicle letters to the editor, I realized that I just might have to.

The U.S. Department of Peace would attempt to patch up the holes in domestic affairs that our present government has neglected since prioritizing foreign policy over domestic policy. The Department of Peace would provide much-needed assistance to city and state governments to advance existing social programs and develop new ones. These new programs might include effectively treating and dismantling gangs or truly rehabilitating the prison population, for instance.

Regardless of its cause, it would remain localized and the effects would benefit Americans directly.

Perhaps I will be called selfish and criticized for my lack of humanity toward the rest of the world, but how can we set an example when we’re in shambles ourselves? Trying to take care of national problems, in my mind, should outweigh the importance of international ventures.

I know, I’m crazy.

Let us, then, assume that the peace department does successfully attain its goals for “Americans aiding Americans” and America slowly descends from the brink of shambles-the peace department would then propose another phase of its plan.

A U.S. Peace Academy would be installed for educating the military on approaches to peace building. It would be a sister organization to the Military Academy, with an emphasis on eliminating the sort of repulsive behavior that occurred at Abu Ghraib.

With a majority of the federal budget being allocated to the U.S. Military, we come off looking like a warmongering nation.

An institution that strives to wage peace internationally will surely have better odds at actually helping other countries and will escape the persistent criticisms of hypocrisy.

Supporting the U.S. peace department through House Resolution 3760 and Senate 1756 will ultimately force the government to re-evaluate its over-emphasis on the politics of other countries and focus on its own in a way that promotes peace and pro-active politics. I urge people to look into the cause and perhaps offer their time and commitment to what should obviously be a central facet of the United States government.

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