Dare to Reject War, Embrace Peace
Patriotic Peace Power
Here are excerpts from a recent speech by Dennis Kucinich, the best member of the U.S. Congress.
This selection was made available via the Share International news service.
On the fourth anniversary of the war against Iraq, the Peoples' Assembly in London heard an inspiring speech by US Congressman and Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
Participants in the People's Assembly came from all over the UK representing 175 organizations. Tony Benn, president of the coalition, told delegates: “This assembly represents the opinions of the people far more than those in the Houses of Parliament.” He reminded the audience that the historic hall was the venue which hosted the inaugural General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946.
As sunshine flooded into the room from the huge windows, Tony Benn introduced the first speaker, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, candidate for U.S. President in 2008. His inspiring, passionate speech drew enthusiastic applause and set the tone for the day.
“We come together because we understand that the world is truly one. That the world is interconnected, it is interdependent … We understand that human unity is in fact an imperative. All those things in our life which serve to unite us and to confirm the transcendent purpose of human unity are things that need to be celebrated – such as the United Nations, such as the UN Charter, which was written with the anticipation and the hope of ending war for all time….
“… if peace on earth is truly to be accomplished, we must be exemplars of peace. We have to take that challenge into our own everyday lives…. When you realize that every day we can be architects of peace in our lives, in our communities, with everyone with whom we come in contact, we realise the transformative power we really have in our hands. That’s why what you represent as members of the Stop the War Coalition is not simply some kind of a passing response to the failure of government to respond to this impulse for peace, you represent something much deeper: not simply rejection of this war, it is the rejection of war as an instrument of policy. It is to take a stand together as people of the world to say that war itself must be made obsolete. It is not acceptable any more to use war and aggression to solve differences between people and between nations. We are at that moment in human history where we are called upon consciously to choose … I submit to you that the choice that we can make right now is a choice for human unity …
“We have proposed to create a Ministry of Peace which looks at the issues of domestic violence, child abuse, violence in schools, and creates a structure where we teach our children principles of peace giving, peace sharing, mutuality, looking at the other person as an aspect of oneself. We have the power to create structures of peace in our own communities, in our own homes, in our own lives. When you think about that then peace in the microcosm becomes peace in the macrocosm. Then nations who take up arms against nations will realize that you do not have the legitimacy which only comes from support of the government.
“… we can link parliamentarians all round the world for peace, parliamentarians for peace and prosperity, because peace and prosperity are twins. They go together. War and poverty also go together. When a nation makes a choice for war that means [less] for housing health and education. We can’t let that happen any more. We have a right as human beings to security and we have a right for housing and healthcare and education. We have to insist that our governments take the direction that affirms those rights and stop spending money on wars that destroy the hopes of people everywhere …
“There is a hunger for peace; there is an essential understanding that we must take a stand to save the world. We are at a turning point in human history where we will either decide to act on our impulse within the human heart to create peace, or we will be drawn along by impulses of aggression and destruction and that’s basically the choice we have been given. How empowering is it to know that we can make our choice as individuals for peace? How empowering is it to know that we have in our hands the chance to change the world, not just to end war against Iraq, not just to stop an attack on Iran, not just to create peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but to make peace a chance for future generations?
“The poet Tennyson once wrote: ‘Come my friends, it is not too late to seek a newer world.’ By your presence here today, you are acting on that passion which you have to not just see a newer world but to be a part of it, of a newer world, a world which rejects war, a world which votes to eliminate all nuclear weapons, a world which affirms the biological weapons convention, the chemical weapons convention, the small arms treaty, the landmine treaty, where all nations participate in the international criminal court. A world which affirms the primacy of the United Nations as a vehicle for resolving conflicts between nations. We can build on that impulse … there is this worldwide movement that is burgeoning right now. We have to grab it, we have to ride it, we have to strengthen it, we have to encourage it, and propel it because we are the way for the future. The way for the future is peace. Peace is inevitable. We reject war. We affirm the purpose of human unity, and we will create a new world.”
For further information: http://kucinich.us/
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