The end of the Cold War was one of the few historical moments in which people around the world looked forward to a future that promised to be more just and peaceful for everyone. The Berlin Wall was finally torn down, following years of tireless civil society activism in one of the world’s few peaceful revolutions. Liberal democratic systems seemed to be spreading everywhere, compelling Francis Fukuyama to craft the (nowadays often-scorned) argument that “The End of History” – and consequently the cessation of constant conflict – had finally arrived with the falling of the Iron Curtain.
How can you write an article like this without mentioning the #1 driver of war in the world: the US military industrial complex. The end of the Cold War created a crisis -- the Enemy Gap. That's been been remedied by 9/11 -- a Godsend whose significance has successfully been blown out of all proportion. Now terrorists have replaced commies under every bed.
As that Nazi, Goering said: " the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
What happened to the debate about guns versus butter? Why is no one talking about beating swords into ploughshares? Isn't it because both major political parties have bought into War, Inc?
Excellent post, fairley7.
It's not that all US politicians haven't talked about beating swords into ploughshares.
That's all Rep. Dennis Kucinich talked about in 2003-04. And that message was a large part of Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015-16. And he drew a very large audience at the national level. Leave it to the duopoly to sideline him.
Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party also focus on these political emphases.
Already looking ahead to 2018. Try to make headway there.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PEACE?
Simple answer: That is the last thing the American war profiteering industry really wants because of the hegemony and vested, world wide interests of the Amerikan Empire, peace is not as profitable as wars.
" Have to let our politicians know that arms should be removed from most regions of conflict."
That only would work if the US was not a military, industrial,congressional dictatorship.
But as the author, I actually tried to make war-profiteering by US companies a major point in the conclusion.
From the article:
"This is a conflict which finds its roots in an uprising against the dictatorial regime of president Assad, whose government, according to media accounts and studies, has committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, such as the use of barrel bombs, chemical weapon attacks and forced starvation campaigns. Between 312,001 and 470,000 Syrians have died with millions displaced."
Reductive and misleading, bordering on the kind of agitprop you get in the New York Times and Washington Post as justification for further war. The author has a strange way of pleading for peace.
Likewise his claim that the US was 'drawn into' this war, when it followed the very same 'contra-war' template of the fake Libyan uprising, which began with attacks on police and military installations, almost immediately after the allegedly "peaceful demonstrations" against the sitting government, attacks made possible by armaments flowing from Libya and US proxies Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The author should inform himself better by consulting the work of Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley, who, unlike the cowardly pundits disinforming us from their desks in Beirut, or, worse, New York, Washington, London, and Paris, actually spend a great deal of time on the ground in Syria. Bartlett has even spoken at the UN.
The same goes for the author's narrative on Ukraine and the rest.
The author may sincerely want the "regime change" wars to end, but as long as he's peddling the same misinformation upon which the rationale for continuation of the wars is based, there will be no end, because he's adding grist to the warmongers' mill.
What is needed is a major leader to say "Basta" and call for a moratorium on all fighting and a demand that all parties sit down at the negotiating table. If US leaders had the guts and decency to do that, the Russians would come running in a heartbeat.
The lies upon which all wars of aggression (and make no mistake these are wars of aggression by the US and its allies, whether proxy or not) must be exposed or there will be no peace. This article just adds to the murk.
USA bombs are so much more humanitarian than Syrian bombs and outnumber them 500 to one.
I went on my 1st peace march at age 7 -- an anti-nuclear demonstration almost 60 years ago. What's happened since? Our societies have gotten even more addicted to war and to a mentality that can't see the world any other way. What I see is our species playing Russian Roulette and, as a statistician, I know that if you play Russian Roulette long enough you're going to blow your brains out.
It isn't just about regional conflicts, it's about a world bristling with nuclear weapons that, when they are finally released (as they inevitably will be if we don't get rid of them), will pretty much end our species and most life on Earth. But, hey, given the rapid advances in biotechnology, maybe a tailor-made virus will wipe us out first!
My point is, we've got to think not just beyond regional wars, but beyond war itself. How do we create a world where war is unthinkable and armies are no more? Huge militaries are inevitable in a lawless world. Einstein was saying it 60 years ago: We need international laws to prevent wars and to adjudicate them fairly, and we need an enforcement mechanism to back these laws up, and we need to do it in a way that power can't become too concentrated in the hands of any small group (or even a tyrannical majority).
Such changes are possible. Just consider Western Europe, convulsed in 2 horrible wars within the past hundred years. Yet today, I can't imagine Great Britain going to war against Germany, or France fighting Italy. Here in the California, for all our militarism, I can't imagine us going to war against neighboring Nevada, or even Texas. Or vice versa. But we did have a bloody civil war only 150 years ago.
What depresses me is that the consciousness to make the necessary changes appears so lacking. Here in the US, there are a few groups that continue to fight the good fight -- like the Friends, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Today these are voices crying in the wilderness, and not being heard. The article mentions a "global peace movement" but I'm not aware of its existence.
Where are the leaders? Forget the Republicans, who don't think our military is powerful enough even though ours dwarfs those of any other country. But what about the Democrats? The opening sentence in the military portion of their platform: "Democrats believe America must continue to have the strongest military in the world" (https://www.democrats.org/party-platform). Talk about vision! (Or despair about it.) Bernie, at least, seems on the right track: "Move away from a policy of unilateral military action, and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort" (https://berniesanders.com/issues/war-and-peace/). But even here, this isn't a policy to rid the world from the threat of nuclear/biologic/cyber/chemical anihilation.
Yes indeed this guy is beating around the bush trying deliberately to confuse the reader with big words and lofty scientific experiments that should be left to the scientists over a bottle or two of wine. He is too detached from the dirt level.
As well in Syria too the CIA paid undercover agents started the so called "uprising" as they have several time in Venezuela and elsewhere. Who is this guy trying to fool anyway wonder.
The Cold War was almost ended in 1963, when JFK and Soviet Premier Khrushchev were about to announce a joint venture to the moon, and JFK was about to end all US involvement in Viet Nam.
The CIA, Military and FBI, as documented in James W. Douglass's "JFK and the Unspeakable -Why He Died and Why it Matters" murdered President Kennedy, before these changes could take effect, and have since threatened, and attempted to hobble Kucinich and Sanders when they threatened to impede the Endless War.
I too was disappointed by this presentation of a plea for peace. Don't mean to sound like a broken record, but all one has to do to understand is to read the PNAC document of 2000, Strategies for Rebuilding America's Defenses. As fairley7 stated above the bloodthirsty war profiteers of the US fretted over an Enemy Gap, and more cynically lamented all of that gravy train money they were used to wallowing in from the cold war was drying up. And so they plotted how to get it all back, and further to make sure that the flow of blood money to them would never, ever again be shut off. Eternal war.
While Iran figures prominently in this analysis there is no mention of that giant festering thorn in the side of world peace - the Israeli pursuit of Hebrew manifest destiny. Will the Israelis be satisfied when they have secured the borders of that map they have claimed from the very beginning as the rightful Jewish State? Who besides the Iranians have come to the actual physical defense of the occupied Palestinians? And today the pussy grabbing Fraud-in-Chief is making kissy-face with Netanyahu.
Again, to repeat myself, the Syrian conflict, as was Iraq, Afghanistan, the Libyan debacle, and the never-ending desire to annihilate Iran are merely the overt acts of the victor of the cold war consolidating the spoils. An empire as cold, ruthless, and murderous as any humanity has ever produced.
As it happened, when W was setting this nation on the course of eternal war I read for the first time The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and it scared the shit out of me. Of particular interest was how the humiliated German military hierarchy was so thoroughly perverted. Some things just never seem to change.
Is this article an innocent attempt at an impartial assessment of the state of affairs regarding terrorism and proxy war making? If so its a disturbing reflection from a person who works with refugees. Are the NGO's to which he refers those which come under the umbrella of benign forces and seekers of peace? The article itself shocked me in terms of its apparent innocence and blatant regurgitated propaganda. Call me a sceptic of sorts but the innocence is too much to swallow! Its nothing more than pseudo academic drivel and replete with falsehoods and made up fictions of an imaginary nature. It reminds me of organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch much quoted in mainstream articles by the so called progressive reporting, that insinuate these bodies to be paragons of virtuous intent and reliable sources of truth? It's intolerable and anything but progressive to have to have to put up articles like this one and to have read its unavoidable ignorance about what has and is happening in our world. It does no less than force me to state that it is as dangerous as it is completely unreliable to anyone unsuspecting? Hopefully these are few and far between though that may not be the actual case? The author really needs to be better educated and encouraged not to write about things he obviously and evidently knows nothing worthwhile about. Perhaps he unwittingly feeds an audience distortions and false narratives because he himself is a victim much like the refugees he works with or for? He can answer for himself!
De-escalating war means escalating a more equitable distribution of finite resources. And/or finding workable substitutes or better alternatives. When life itself hangs in the balance; having enough water for food production and energy for survival from the elements, for producing income to pay for essential goods and services you cannot efficiently produce yourself, conflicts and wars inevitably sprout from a real anxiety and foreboding. The needs of nations push the levels of demand and supply to the breaking point. Something really does have to give. Arbitration and more peaceful resolutions seem to almost always fly out the world's windows. Over the best laid plans and courts of negotiations, whatever is tried.
Oil wars, land wars, water wars and other large continuous conflicts really seem to be intractable eternal problems. But mitigating the worst of the possible outcomes is generally the preferrence.
How this is done requires real and honest assessments of what can be done.
In the present situation the world seems to think disruptive activities, through proxy wars and worse, is the best action from a list of lousy options.
The United States uses 25% of the world's oil. It uses a disproportionate amount of ________ ( insert your personal choice here ). Additionally, we currently have the largest inequities between rich and poor in our country's history. We continually seem to allow larger portions of the population to suffer from internally generated proxy wars, by the same leadership who generate the proxy wars, around the world. We use state sponsored deprivation to allegedly teach our less affluent; using very warped versions of " the carrot and stick " approach ". Apply more stick, more stick! More!
Since Reagan, with Center-right accommodation in the form of some Clintonism and some of Obama's policies, the UniParty has agreed on Military Keynesianism to " prime the pump " at home. And, simultaneously create ever greater limited, but active, multiple conflicts almost globally. The exception is the EU and, with NATO pushing up against the immovable force of Russia and its allies, that could change. China isn't, and won't, have any of the " phony exceptionalism " or " the U.S.'s domestic carrot and stjck " juvenile treatment. Imposed by a warped police and security state marriage, arranged by the elites, here at home. Presuming they will is not American hubris, it's American folly and lunacy.
So, from where does the money for the elite's continuing comfort come? That's as easy to figure
out as looking at the proposed budget coming from the Republican Congress and the current administration; which is nominally a Donald Trump one, but in truth could be written by the Neo-Fascists residing in The Pentagon and on Wall St.
After all, the poor at home and weak around the world, share some traits admired by both those groups. They're expendable, disorganized and can't win a weaponized, ongoing conflict. And, they have few powerful allies in the opposition. The Democratic Party elites look like they're ceding that role. They like to be coddled and comforted, too. And, if that means an unhappy and uncomfortable political marriage; well, it certainly wouldn't be the first one we've had to watch play out here, at home.
And how can an article on this topic not address the HUGE influence and role of the Israelis? CD has gone quite on Israel for some time now. Donors? For some solid information on this dinosaur in the room -
Why Not a Probe of ‘Israel-gate’?
"Let’s talk about Russian influence"
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"