May 31, 2017

Peace Action Meeting Features Col. Wilkerson, At Seminary on June 4

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, will present the keynote address at the Coalition for Peace Action’s (CFPA) 37th Anniversary Membership Dinner and Gathering on Sunday, June 4 in the Mackay Campus Center of Princeton Theological Seminary.

At the program the CFPA will also honor the Muslims4Peace organization and three state legislators who have championed the prevention of gun violence.

Mr. Wilkerson, who currently teaches at the College of William and Mary, has been a leading critic of the Iraq War and of America’s use of drone warfare.

“He has a more sweeping critique of militarism dominating our relations with other countries,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based CFPA. “We are unfortunately relying on the military more and more for solving problems.”

Mr. Moore noted that Mr. Wilkerson has stated that supporting Colin Powell in his argument for the Iraq invasion was “one of the worst mistakes of his life. There was a cabal that was skewing the intelligence. Powell let himself get duped, as the vice president and the secretary of defense were most involved in cooking the books.”

In addition to serving as Mr. Powell’s chief of staff, Mr. Wilkerson also served as associate director of the State Department’s policy planning staff. His distinguished 31-year career in the U.S. Army included leadership posts at the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine War Colleges, before retiring in 1997. Since then he has taught at George Washington University and The College of William and Mary.

Mr. Wilkerson will be speaking on “The U.S. and New World Disorder“ at the June 4 gathering that begins at 1 p.m, with dinner at 2 p.m. and the program from 3-5 p.m.

“We are delighted to offer such a special opportunity to hear from a leading expert on the excesses of U.S. military interventions, and how counterproductive that is to peaceful alternatives for dealing with international conflict,” Mr. Moore said.

The bipartisan group of honorees includes N.J. State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16), who cast a vote to help override Governor Christie’s veto of a gun violence prevention bill; N.J. State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37), senate majority leader who has consistently advocated for gun violence prevention during her 21-year legislative career; and N.J. Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-4), general assembly leader on prevention of gun violence and lead sponsor, along with Ms. Weinberg, of a bill to prevent domestic gun violence.

The Muslims4Peace organization has worked closely with CFPA around the state during the past year. “Great allies,” Mr. Moore said, “the best antidote to the stereotype that most Muslims are terrorists.” A number of their leaders are scheduled to attend the CFPA anniversary dinner.

Deadline for reservations for the event has been extended to noon on Thursday, June 1, through the CFPA website or by calling (609) 924-5022.