Since International Peace Day was first established by the United Nations in 1981, this September 21 represents its 30th anniversary and another attempt to undermine the value of war, especially for the extraordinary U.S. Peace on earth needs to stay where it belongs (on holiday cards). Otherwise, Americans might muster the spirit to develop a sustainable, green, peace-based economy, and who wants that when our vibrant military-industrial complex thrives so well on war?
Every year the average American household already sacrifices $24 in taxes for peacekeeping (vs. $8400 for defense). Even on a shoestring budget, U.N. peacekeeping efforts have become successful at winning the global "war on war." Thankfully the U.S. is lagging compared to other countries on its war reduction efforts. I hate to think what would happen to war if American contributions went from $24 to $100 per year.
From Islamabad to Guatemala City, citizens around the world will celebrate this year's peace day with community festivities, studying peace lessons learned, and listening to inspiring speeches. International armed forces will even call for ceasefires. Fortunately, as past coverage indicates, U.S. mainstream media will barely mention these activities or the significance of the day -- although it might get a nanosecond of attention because President Obama will be speaking to the U.N. General Assembly.
The U.S. Air Force was even going to test a nuclear-capable missile on the same day that would have sent a message to all those peace-mongers about who we really are, but I just heard that they canceled the launch. What a pity if they gave into pressure from advocates to preserve this day for peaceful endeavors.
Additionally, if more teachers used International Peace Day to emphasize successful conflict resolution instead of the history of wars, children could grow up realizing that alternatives to violence are viable. But then they might strive to settle disputes without force, and what would that do to undermine our rapidly growing prison economy? Fortunately, budget cuts in education are taking care of that potential problem. Increasingly, teachers are leaving the U.S. to serve in schools in countries like the United Arab Emirates for increased job security and real appreciation of their talents.
Since my church makes no mention about, much less celebrates International Peace Day, it tells me that peace day must be for wusses. Ignoring this day underscores how that Prince of Peace stuff needs to be viewed as ancient history without relevance in today's world. Peacemakers may be blessed, but they are hardly as cool as warfighters.
As exceptional Americans, it is our patriotic duty to continue to ignore International Peace Day (as we invariably do anyway). Celebrating a day of peace is contrary to our national interests and sends the wrong message about who we are as a nation. This International Peace Day, to avoid being mistaken for a peace wuss, be sure to greet your fellow citizens with a hearty, "May war be with you!"