An Inclusive Litany


While supporting military retaliation against terrorists, congressional supporters of a proposal to create a cabinet-level "Department of Peace" insist that such an agency might have prevented the attack from occurring.

"Does it occur to anybody that all of this [defense and intelligence] machinery has failed totally to prepare us for the way the world is now?" asked Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), a co-sponsor of the Peace Department legislation, which was introduced in July. "Only now are we trying to figure out what is Islam. Maybe if there was a Department of Peace, they would be able to say, 'Uh-oh, we've got some problems with these people,' " Abercrombie continued. "I truly believe that if we had a Department of Peace, we would have seen this coming."

"I think we need to redetermine the conditions that ultimately create war," Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) said, suggesting that the Peace Department would, among other things, explore the "causes" of conflict "while recognizing there are some [who hate the U.S.] who can't be changed."

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