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Embracing the Complexity of Peace

"Just imagine for once if we led the world in funding peace and not wars."

Just imagine! The words are those of Robert Weissman, president of the organization Public Citizen, in response to the legislative efforts of Reps. Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, who are the co-chairs of—glory hallelujah!—the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus. They recently introduced legislation that would cut Pentagon spending by $100 billion and divert the money to programs that actually helped the country . . . e.g., universal health care, ending child poverty, saving the environment.

Yeah, just imagine. One can also quickly, unavoidably imagine the cynicism that rushes in whenever someone tosses out the word "peace." Then it's all pushed to the margins, both political and social, as America continues its business as usual, which is all about protecting itself from enemies (most of whom it creates). The sales pitch is fear. The motive, hidden in the shadows, is extraordinary profit for some.