Lewis Diuguid: Ice Cream for Breakfast and a Unicorn in Every Garage

Kansas City Star columnist Lewis Diuguid is, I am forced to believe, completely addicted to some sort of hallucinogenic drug. What else could explain Diuguid’s serious echoing of the unserious proposal of a federal “department of peace” offered by that well known UFO enthusiast from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich?

Oddly, Diuguid seems to think that this absurdist “department of peace” could have stopped the murderous Muslim Nidal Hasan’s rampage at Fort Hood, Texas last month. Just listen to this gauzy, marshmallow world Diuguid lives in:

That Cabinet-level post, which Rep. Dennis Kucinich has sought for nearly a decade, would work to prevent future slayings of innocent people such as Hasan’s victims. In addition, it would promote diversity and tolerance, which Hasan needed to curb his extremist views.

And how would this mythical “department of peace” cure the sick mind of a radical Islamist? Why with a “different standard” of “best practices” from all over the world that would “ensure the stability of the people in uniform,” how else? Of course, that is all simply meaningless jargon, the sort that is so often used to justify valueless fields of inquiry such as “Wymin’s” studies and social engineering.

Listen to Diuguid’s panacea…

A peace department could help ensure international and domestic productivity and stability. It would be far better than the constant fighting that has occurred with people aggressively at each others’ throats over scarce resources.

And his prosaic pronouncements…

A peace department could defuse the hatred that folks in the service might harbor just as it could have identified and addressed the boiling anger that Hasan had.

It is long past time for peace to be given a chance. Peace is not a weakness; it’s a strength if it’s allowed to prove itself.

But, let’s take just a minute to consider this whole premise, shall we? A “department of peace” would, I assume, have some sort of power to make good on its policy prescriptions based on those “best practices,” right? If it had no such power to compel implementation of these so-called best practices, why have a federal department devoted to it in the first place? After all, government is built on the power to compel. Without the power to compel there is no efficacy for government. Who, for instance, would pay taxes unless jail awaited the scofflaws?

So, following Diuguid’s proposal, we would have a “department of peace” that would have the power to force its ideas on one and all as befitting a “cabinet level” government position. But isn’t this power to force itself on everyone the first way to obviate the whole idea of peaceful intent? Force is the very description in non-peaceful intentions, isn’t it? Furthermore, in a nation of tolerance isn’t a “peace” that is created by government fiat necessarily discriminatory on someone’s ideas? Amusingly Diuguid’s very rhetoric is loaded with conflict right off the bat. I mean, the phrase “best practices” itself promulgates the obvious premise that some ideas won’t qualify for practices that are “best.” Therefore the very debate itself leads to a fight to arrive at what is “best.” At some level his premise sows the seeds of conflict before the first policy idea is even offered.

Additionally, to shoehorn some sort of “department of peace” into the mission of our military is one incompatible with a military responsible for domestic safety. How do we assure our safety against foreign enemies by putting peace first as a singular military goal? Institutionalized ideals like this would lead to weakening our security.

The truth is, peace is not the job of the military, breaking things and killing people is. Overwhelming violence is the military’s charge even while sometimes setting aside those capabilities fits its end goals.

Without question peace does fit into our national picture, though. Instead of being part of the military’s responsibility peace is the venue of the civilian authorities that control the military and that is the way it should be. Further, peace is in the hands of the voters who guide the hand of our representative government. That is how it works, a “best practice,” if you will.

This “department of peace” nonsense is the exact sort of foolishness that has turned the U.S.A. into a land steeped in mushy, childishness. It is the sort of rhetoric that has no place in serious policy discussion and should be relegated to those dismissible new-agers and wooly-headed dreamers that have one foot firmly planted in the land of make believe and the other in naivete.

The main problem with a “department of peace” is that we will never agree upon what kind of peace are we talking about when all is said and done. I am sure, for instance, that peace of sort could arrive if the west were to give up its pretensions of self-government and allow al Qaeda to implement Shariah law on the world in preparations for a world Caliphate. All dissent, all conflict, would be eliminated at that rate. Perfect peace. Of course, freedom, creativity, music, love, art, science… all that extraneous stuff would also be eliminated with such a peace. We might have had a nice world peace if we’d have allowed Hitler to take over the world, too, I suspect, and with similar results as a world Caliphate would offer, as well.

The fact is “peace” is not a term well enough defined upon which to build policy because in the search for it we come down to the question of whose peace are we talking about. And therein lies perpetual conflict as we hash it all out. Unfortunately for Diuguid’s hazy thinking, the only proper way to arrive at peace is to find the road that leads to the contentment, freedom, and liberty forthe most people and that system was discovered in the halls of the Continental Congress, Federal Hall, Independence Hall, Faneuil Hall, Wall Street, all those places where America’s founders met and in which was undertaken the beginning of our American experiment. We have no need of any other “department of peace” than the one made up of our founding documents and principles.

Lastly, let us revisit one of President George Washington’s best quotes as it is quite apropos here: “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” It would serve Lewis Diuguid well to put down the hash pipe and read a few history books before he seeks to expound on keeping the peace, wouldn’t you say? As the founders said, let experience be our only guide.

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