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posted: 7/3/2013 4:40 AM

Peace movement comes to Oak Brook

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Peace movement comes to Oak Brook

On Aug. 27 peacemakers worldwide will celebrate, but most Americans might not have a clue about all the fuss.

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In 1928, the basic rules for settling disputes between nations changed with the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Each of the participating countries followed through by ratifying this treaty, making it part of their constitutions. In 1929 after the U.S. Senate voted to accept the treaty (by a vote of 85 to 1) we officially made war a crime and prohibited even a threat of war to resolve conflict. President Coolidge officially declared this to be the supreme law of the land. So how come hardly anyone knows this?

It's tempting to suggest that the military-industrial complex is behind this conspiracy of silence, especially since so much of our economy depends on the "defense industry" and so much of our foreign policy is based on a projection of power with missile bases, war ships, land mines, drone attacks, fighter jets, and now an all-encompassing intelligence network.

Sen. Dick Durbin and his staff assure me the government is fully aware that we are bound by the Kellogg-Briand Pact. However, there's a giant loophole. We reserve the right to defend ourselves no matter how provocative our projection of power is to other nations.

This explanation does not sit well with people who genuinely seek peace and believe that all international disputes should be resolved nonviolently. We believe an informed electorate -- assuming someone in the media has the guts to inform the electorate -- will demand accountability and adherence to the Pact.

The media must inform the public on international efforts to make Aug. 27 a Day of Reflection, and cover local events like the Peace Luncheon sponsored by the West suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition (www.faithpeace.org) on Aug. 27, the 85th anniversary of Kellogg-Briand, at Reza's in Oak Brook.

Frank Goetz

Wheaton

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