You wish the world could be completely peaceful, and so do I. There, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about the upcoming World Peace Forum in Vancouver, Canada June 23-28. Here’s what it’s basically about:

The World Peace Forum 2006 will organize panels, workshops, public forums, arts and entertainment activities and networking events to offer all participants an open space for discussion and performance within the main theme of Cities and Communities: Working together to end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

The mission of the Forum is to create a global culture of peace. This is how we propose to implement our mission:

1. Publish a World Peace Forum statement, “Building a Culture of Peace and Sustainability,” for the global community, outlining what individuals, communities, cities, groups, and nations can do locally to create a culture of peace and sustainability.

2. Create an ongoing legacy of bi-annual World Peace Forums, in cities around the world, to refine, promote, and expand the culture of peace and sustainability.

3. Encourage communities and nations to plan for peace, for example, by inaugurating Departments of Peace at city, regional, and national levels of government.

4. Celebrate and protect diversity of culture locally and globally.

5. Make war abhorrent, peace popular, and the restoration and protection of our global ecosystems a priority.

Isn’t it strange how there can be different perspectives on things? For example, I thought the U.S. did have a “Department of Peace,” and it’s called the “military.” And who busted those would-be terrorists in Toronto before they fulfilled their sick dreams and killed who knows how many, perhaps including even ::gulp:: peace activists? Not the “Department of Peace.”

When was the last time a World Peace Forum was held in, say, Teheran, Kabul, Pyongyang or Mogadishu?

It’s like when Yoko Ono took out billboards encouraging everybody to “give peace a chance.”

In 2003, Ono rented a billboard in London, which read: “Imagine all people living life in peace.” Now that cashiers at Piccadilly Square gift shops and bellboys at The Conrad have read the message on a daily basis, hopefully, the world is that much closer to eliminating the threat of nuclear holocaust.

But why did Ono put these billboards in London, New York, Tokyo, etc.? Why not put them where they really belong – in Afghanistan, Somalia, Liberia, Iran, North Korea and in the backyards of drug cartels? That’s an easy question to answer: Because she’d get killed, thrown in jail for life or, worse, sentenced to listen to one of her own albums.

This is why a “World Peace Forum” will always be held in a nation that, for the most part, has been historically smart enough to not base any policy whatsoever on the advice of the kind of people who go to World Peace Forums.

If there’s something that should be gleaned from history, it’s that a nirvana of ongoing peace combined with an absence of strength is, in reality, a potentially dangerous goal, and seekers of this should be viewed (by anybody interested in keeping their breathing privileges) with the same skepticism with which you’d take tax advice from Willie Nelson.

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