posted by Patricia Hohl
This is the time of year when we hear a lot about peace…in our wishes, our greeting, our holiday cards, stories, and movies. Yesterday, Nicholas Burns, of Harvard University and part of the U.S. State Department under President George Bush was also thinking about peace on The Emily Rooney Show (WGBH). He told Rooney he was originally in favor of the Iraq war but if time was rolled back, he certainly would not support the invasion. With the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, he also wondered why the conversation hasn’t turned to peace:
“Think about Lincoln after the Civil War, FDR and Truman after the Second World War, even Nixon in Vietnam. The ultimate national aspiration was peace. They said that,” he said. “Our political leaders in both parties are now not saying that. What they’re saying is ‘defend, protect ‘ — a very important thing but we’ve also got to think about, about in a democratic society, flying the flag for peace and having that as the ultimate aspiration.”
Perhaps there’s hope we’ll hear that discussion with the release of the first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. Secretary Clinton described the plan in a speech later that day at Georgetown University. This historic step forward formally recognizes the value of women’s contribution to the peace process. For the first time, empowering women as peace builders will be a strategic priority of foreign policy. A growing body of evidence shows that women offer unique contributions to making and keeping peace – and that those contributions lead to better outcomes not just for women but for entire societies.
What else can we do to bring peace into the discussion?