Code Pink and the Peace Pentagon
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Medea Benjamin, fearless leader of Code Pink: Women for Peace, which she co-founded in 2002. Though Medea already was a champion for human rights, it was not until September 11, 2001, that she – like many of us – fully awakened to her calling as a pro-peace activist. Similarly, it was 9/11 and our government’s illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq that changed the course of my life. In 2002, I quit the practice of law, started writing my first book, The Truth: About the Five Primary Religions, and founded The Oracle Institute.
Given the synchronicity regarding the timing and nature of our missions, I was anxious to get to know Medea. I had marched with Code Pink twice before – once for 911 Truth and once to protest the Bush/Cheney war crimes, but I didn’t talk with Medea at those crowded events. This time, however, destiny had us meet at a friend’s house for an intimate dinner. Afterward, Medea spoke at Radford University about her new book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.
The first thing I noticed about this sprite of a woman was that her left arm was in a sling. "Please tell me you weren’t hurt in the line of duty," I quipped.
"Actually, yes,” was her understated reply. I later learned that while en route to a women’s peace conference in Gaza, Medea was detained and held overnight in a prison cell at Cairo airport. She was released the next day with a dislocated shoulder, courtesy of the Egyptian police.
During our dinner, I told Medea about Oracle's work, which for the last decade has focused on interfaith education. She and I readily agreed that religious hatred fuels the war machine as much as bullets and bombs. Indeed, the Military Industrial Complex depends upon and encourages religious and ethno-centric conflict in order to sustain their sociopathic business model.
Then, I told her about the Peace Pentagon, future headquarters of The Oracle Institute think-tank (Code Pink has a "Pink Tank", and our award-winning publishing house and multi-faith spirituality school. In addition, I explained that the Peace Pentagon will be a dedicated venue for planning peacebuilding events, organizing national and international anti-war campaigns, and training peace activists – who also might enjoy a little R&R in the New River Valley.
Truly, the Peace Movement needs a War Room.
Medea smiled as I described my vision, which also includes a full-spectrum micro-community based on a culture of peace – Oracle’s "Valley of Light" project. The dinner ended too soon. We exchanged cards and agreed to keep in touch. Then we quickly said our goodbyes, as everyone rushed out the door for her speaking engagement.
If you see this blog, my sister, know that I am working as hard as I can to build us a sacred space for our sacred mission. And I hope to see you again real soon...