Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Sen. Tom Harkin Speaks at Des Moines Peace Sculpture Dedication

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Sen. Tom Harkin Speaks at Des Moines Peace Sculpture Dedication

Article excerpt

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) delivered an emphatic call for peace in a Sept. 24 address at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

"After so many disastrous and counterproductive wars-Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the proxy wars, need I mention Chile, Argentina, the Central American wars of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and there's probably some I haven't thought of-you'd think that after that maybe now is the time to do the right thing and give peace a chance, rather than war," said Harkin.

Harkin, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and on its defense, and state, foreign operations, and related programs subcommittees, both cautioned and encouraged the audience of some 250 people gathered on a perfect early fall day for the dedication of the Path of Peace sculpture at DMACC's Urban Campus.

"Yet there are powerful voices that are pushing us right now toward a war with Iran. Make no mistake about it, they are pushing us toward a war with Iran," warned Harkin, whose career total of $552,950 in pro-Israel PAC contributions is higher than any other member of Congress except Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who has received a whopping $729,937.

"That is why peace activists like all of you are so valuable," the senator went on to declare. "Peace is a constant striving for justice in social, economic, and human rights; it's not just the absence of war," said the Vietnam-era Navy pilot who actively supported legislation that created the United States Institute of Peace in 1986.

"We always have money for another weapons system, but we scratch to try to get enough money for the United States Institute of Peace, to get enough scholarships for young people. But we can't give up," Harkin said.

Rev. Chet Guinn, who spoke on behalf of the Iowa Peace Monument Committee, recognized many committee members and their work on behalf of peace and social justice. …

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