This week we stared down the wall of manufactured consent with a sledgehammer in hand.  We waded through the mainstream, fighting the current, and shouted along with Lennon:  “give peace a chance!” We gave peace an hour to unfurl through the words of those who have practiced it, preached against it, and manipulated it.

Peace cannot be allowed to become war. More and more, it is becoming just another product or catch-phrase with no real meaning, shaken dry of its political significance. The most obvious example of this opened the show last night: Obama announcing a huge troop surge in Afghanistan a few weeks after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee and Obama himself said time and time again that the award was a “call to action.” But what kind of action, exactly? An even more prolonged war? Was peace ever really on the table?

Yesterday Obama accepted his Prize. In his speech, he quoted MLK and said “The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.” Quite the salesman. He isn’t reassuring us that he has found a way to deal with the military industrial giant we’ve created with our annual $600 billion Pentagon budget. We have one thousand American bases outside the continental US – more than any other country in human history. We self-perpetuate these imperial conflicts to keep money coming to this gigantic policy-less industry we’ve created. The words for freedom, democracy, America, and yes – Peace – are still used everyday to argue for this or that weapons system, and now those words have become empty.

We must always keep in mind that peace sells and is being sold to us as we speak — but we can take it back. Peace is everywhere. We need to recognize that. It’s there in our communities and relationships.  We can resist this military complex non-violently. Help a conscientious objector, a war tax non-payer, keep recruiters out of schools.  Peace must a viable option, not just a sales tool.

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War and Peace by Jayel Aheram on flickr

“Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.” -Allen Ginsberg

Last week President Obama, despite having recently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, announced his decision to send an additional 34,000 troops to Afghanistan. A study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting reveals pro-war voices outnumbered anti-war ones by a huge margin in the OpEd pages of the The New York Times and the Washington Post, the nation’s two top newspapers.

As was the case in the run-up to the invasion in Iraq, the media again seems to be beating the drums of war.

So tonight, we offer an alternative.  We’ll be injecting an hour-long message of peace into the digital divide. Through  songs, readings, and recordings, we’ll explore war becoming peace, the possibility of peace, and that eternal struggle between non-violence and armed struggle.

>> Listen to 12/8/09: Peace!