Thursday, February 25, 2010
Council for Peace!
Last weekend Voters for Peace sponsored a unique event in anti-war movement history. They brought together people from across the political spectrum who oppose war, militarism, and American Empire.
The purpose of the meeting of about 40 people was to determine whether it was possible for people who disagree on a wide range of issues but oppose militarism can work together to end war. The signs are very positive that such a working relationship is possible and desirable. They are now exploring next steps which they will announce.
But let me give you some sense of the event through excerpts from the biographies of some of the people present: a Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance; a Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan; the founder of the New Left Journal; the author of the Encyclopedia of the American Left; the President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society; a writer who covers national security for Rolling Stone; the President of Veterans for Peace; an editor of Black Agenda Report; a national affairs correspondent for The Nation; an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School; an executive editor of The American Conservative; a communications coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign; press secretary for Nader for President; a legislative aide for the armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr.; a military advisor to Senator Gary Hart; a former chairman of the Rockford Institute; an editor of Progressive Review; an editor of The Nation; the managing editor of Reason; a member of Students for Democratic Society at University of Maryland at College Park; a member of Young Americans for Liberty; and the chairperson of Boston Area Physicians for Social Responsibility.
As you can see, it was a politically diverse group. They had one thing in common - opposition to the bloated U.S. military and American Empire. Those who represent red or blue congressional districts need to know that they have constituents from across the political spectrum who vote and who oppose U.S. militarism. Conservatives who question the current wars and the overly generous military budget need to know they are not alone and there is a long history of anti-war conservatism. Liberals remember the Gene McCarthy liberal anti-war campaign of the Presidential primary season of 1968, and the George McGovern anti-war campaign of 1972. Why can't we be friends. The pro-war left and the pro-war right are united in funding the current wars, whether with Democratic or Republican votes. Hal Rogers voted to "stay the course" on the current wars during the Republican majority. It is time to stop funding both wars. Congress controls the purse strings and can stop both wars now, by snapping shut the purse of taxpayers' money used to fund the current wars.
"This week the U.S. had its 1,000th service member die in Afghanistan. Earlier in the week, two dozen more civilians were killed when the U.S. ordered aerial bombardment of three busses. The devastation caused by American militarism is shown in these stark realities. The issues of weapons and war are so serious that we need to put aside other differences and create a broad-based coalition that pulls in Americans from across the political spectrum.
We seek to create anti-war advocacy that reflects America - its wide range of political views and its widespread opposition to war. Currently, those views are excluded from the political discussion. We aim to change that: http://votersforpeace.us/press/index.php?itemid=4048 "
Kenneth Stepp, a Democrat for Peace, Candidate for U.S. House KY-05.