Today, she was reinventing the Department of Peace that Mark Udall co sponsored at the urging of some high school students. The Longmont Times-Call reports:
Udall campaign spokeswoman Taylor West said in a Thursday interview that [ Mark ] Udall initially supported that bill “because there was a severe lack on the part of the Bush administration of using the tools of diplomacy ... as part of our overall foreign policy.”
Misuse of the "tools of diplomacy" sounds like a serious charge, a serious purpose for a Department of Peace. We looked back to see what Dennis Kucinich staffers were telling the Summit Daily News about the Department of Peace when he was pushing it and Mark Udall was still a co sponsor. Look closely to see if the proposal even mentioned diplomacy or foreign policy:
We have lived with war, violence and abuse for far too long," said Kucinich spokeswoman Denise Hughes. "By establishing a Cabinet level Department of Peace, we have the unique opportunity to confront the root cause of these evils and the ability as a society to build a safer world."
Methods would include mediation, nonviolent intervention and encouraging communities, religious groups and nongovernmental organizations to develop initiatives.
The department would be responsible for developing policies that address domestic violence, child abuse and mistreatment of the elderly, create new policies to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, protect animals from violence, develop new approaches to deal with gun-related violence and develop programs that address school violence, gangs and racial violence and violence against gays and lesbians.
Additionally, the department would take under its wing civil rights, labor law, community-based violence prevention and racial tolerance programs.
At the international level, the department would work with the U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Secretary of State to reduce international conflict, train those who work to reconstruct war-torn societies, sponsor countrywide and regional conflict prevention and dispute resolution initiatives and encourage international sister city programs to exchange artistic, cultural, economic, educational and faith-based values.
The department also would submit recommendations to the president regarding how the sales of arms from the United States affect peace and develop strategies for the sustainability and distribution of international funds.
The secretary of the Department of Peace also would develop a peace education curriculum to include the civil rights movement in the United States, how peace agreements have worked to stop conflict and to work with teachers to help students work on peace through reflection and conflict resolutions.
A highlight of that would be a Peace Academy, which would provide a four-year course of instruction in peace education, after which graduates would be required to serve five years in public service in domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution programs.
It looks to us as though a Mark Udall staffer Taylor West was telling another whopper. But as a now famous unofficial Udall spokesman recently opined, "a lie is just a campaign tactic that someone doesn't like," or something to that effect. (Yes, we are laughing because blogging is so much fun.)
Added: The article quoted extensively above was originally published on Tuesday, April 8, 2003 by the Summit Daily News (Vail, Colorado). Its title was "Udall Backs Creating Department of Peace."