Saturday, August 27, 2016

How to Create a World Without Wars

How to Create a World Without Wars

Dr. Charles Mercieca

From the early days of creation there seems to have been wars going o­n century after century. Needless to say, there have been extended periods in history that were characterized by peace. For example, we read in the Holy Scriptures that when Christ was born the whole world was at peace. As a result, people o­n the whole felt relieved from tension and tended to feel at ease.

Eisenhower’s Admonition

Speaking o­n this topic in his farewell speech to Congress, former US President Dwight Eisenhower reminded the US government saying: “Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their government wants war.” He also remarked that “the people in the world want peace so badly that their government is going to have no choice but to give it to them.”

The tendency for most governments to solve their political differences through struggles and wars will have to stop abruptly, the sooner the better. At this stage of history, we have entered the nuclear age. This means that now the entire world is faced with annihilation where everyone will be a loser and no o­ne a winner. Each time a war was waged we witnessed the destruction of cities and the death of many innocent people o­n both sides.

We all recall World War II. Germany lost the war; its economy collapsed and poor people were found everywhere. At the same time, Great Britain won the war. Ironically, its economy equally collapsed and poor people were found everywhere. Not o­nly so, but this so called winning nation witnessed the collapse of the British Empire soon after.

Since World War II was over we witnessed the emergence of two super powers, the Soviet Union and the United States. As a result, the arms race started that was leading to World War III. Both nations put so much money o­n the manufacture of weapons and the build-up of the military that the entire civic economy was threatened. As a result, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1987 and many predicted that the collapse of the United States would come soon after.

What amazed the entire world lies here. The United States could have embarked o­n a program of international disarmament and arms control. It would surely have had the staunch support of the United Nations since world peace is a major UN objective. Instead, it continued with its phenomenal military build-up, with the manufacture and sales of unlimited weapons of mass destruction and with the continued preparation for an eventual World War III.

Two Ways of Solving a Problem

When we are faced with a problem we have two ways of approach to the involved problem’s solution. o­ne way lies in concentrating o­n the consequences and then figure out something by way of cleaning up the mess that followed. Another way would be to seek for the real source that caused the problem and take immediate steps to deal with that source in a way that the problem would not be repeated again. The reason why we have had so many wars lies here. Responsible government officials feel challenged by the result or consequence of a specific action and they proceed to take immediate steps to counteract it.

They hardly ever seek the real reason behind the tragic event that took place so that they could procure kind of remedies that the involved problem would never be repeated again. For example, when the terrorists destroyed the twin towers in New York o­n September 11, 2001, the United States government reacted by taking immediate retaliation of o­ne kind or another. They simply would not take their time to figure out how and why it happened. They blamed Osama Bin Laden who was presumed to be hidden in Afghanistan. Then the Americans took steps immediately to invade this central Asian nation.

As though this was not enough, the United States wanted to demonstrate its machismo. This time the scapegoat was Saddam Hussein of Iraq who was accused of having weapons of mass destruction and of becoming a great threat to the United States! And we know the rest of the story. The United States, contrary to the opposition of the United Nations and several well-known diplomats, like Nelson Mandela, Oscar Arias, Desmond Tutu, Pope John Paul II, in addition to others, proceeded to invade Iraq. The Pope even warned that such an invasion would create animosity between Christians and Moslems.

Besides, the Pope also warned that such an invasion would turn Iraq into a haven for terrorists and would turn the region out of control. He also stressed that the best way to deal with terrorism was to go to its source as to discover what has instigated terrorists to do what they did. To this day, theUnited States never went to the real source of terrorism. Instead it fabricated such statements as “jealousy for the democracy and freedom that Americans enjoy!”

Of course, this was unfortunately very ridiculous to say the least since in the United States there is o­nly a fa├žade of democracy. We need to keep in mind that this is a nation of plutocracy where the government is controlled by the rich with iron fist through big corporations. When o­ne considers that Americans are prohibited by their government to visit a number of nations including its peaceful neighbor Cuba, it takes o­nly o­nce ounce of intelligence for o­ne to realize that, unlike people of other nations, Americans are severely restricted in their freedom of movement.

Exploitation of People

In several studies made by many non-governmental organizations, it was discovered that many people in the world were becoming increasingly tired and sick of their exploitation by colonialists and imperialists. Over periods of time they developed animosity and even hatred toward such powers and that included especially the United States. We are all fully aware of how US big corporations try to infiltrate in as many nations as possible to exploit their natural resources, while leaving the natives in abject poverty and suffering from all kinds of maladies.

Hence, the source of the kind of terrorism we have been experiencing against such an imperialist nation as the United States and such a colonialist nation as the United Kingdom could be well understood. Briefly stated, the world at large cannot accept any longer its respective nations being exploited to their own detriment. To turn an insult into injury, a number of nations, above all the United States, resort to the military to get what they want by force anything they feel it could not be obtained through diplomatic means. The people in the world at large do not view the military the way it is advertized.

The military is viewed the way it performs since actions tend to speak louder than words. Judged by its actions o­n a global scale, the military has been described in some academic circles as “a terrorist organization sanctioned by the government.” The excuses a government brings to the contrary are viewed as pure lies, as elements of deceit. For example, what did the US military do following its invasion of IraqUS soldiers have destroyed the infrastructure of many cities, leaving numerous people homeless. They massacred thousands of innocent Iraqis composed mostly of women, children the elderly and the sick.

Besides, they left over half million children orphans having lost o­ne or both of their parents. The life of such children will never be normal again. They have to live in pain with a trauma for the rest of their lives. As the Iraqis said repeatedly, the greatest problem they have is the presence of Americans.

When some humanitarian organizations visited Palestinian and Iraqi children, they asked them the following question: “What would you like to do when you grow up?” Without hesitation some 80% of them replied: “Killing Americans.” These were children between the ages of nine and eleven. When such children were asked to explain why this was their goal in life, they were quick to reply saying: “Because Americans killed our fathers; they killed our mothers; they killed our brothers and sisters and they maimed several of our relatives and friends who live now with an arm or a leg amputated.”

Foreign Troops Unwelcome

Toward the end, the Iraqi children spoke of what they think would bring peace in their country. They said: “We want peace in our country by all means but for this to happen we want the Americans to leave the country the sooner the better. We just want them to leave us alone.” Of course, the military atrocities we have experienced by US troops and their European allies in both Afghanistan and Iraq is not something new. Such atrocities were experienced by many Europeans, especially the Jewish people, in World War II by the military regime of Nazi Germany.

Moreover, such war atrocities were experienced by Tibetans in Tibet by the Chinese military. They were eventually experienced in countries across every continent where we have had civil wars or nations invading nearby nations. It is quite curious for us to discover that in all of these struggles and wars no o­ne was a winner but everyone ended up being a loser. In spite of this military fiasco that was experienced over the past 6,000 years of recorded civilization, the nations of the world continue to manufacture, sell and purchase weapons and military equipment. They continue to rely o­n the military for their eventual security!

Former US Alabama Senator Howell Heflin was o­ne of those in the US Congress who advocated and defended people’s right to purchase and own guns as they need. He explained this saying that the American people have a right for self-defense. In the event they are attacked, he added, they may have no time to call the police; they have to take care of their lives themselves.

One of his constituents o­nce raised to him the following question: “Senator, suppose you are in the midst of an auditorium with 500 other people watching a stage show, what will make you and everyone in the auditorium feel more secure if you and each o­ne of those present is carrying a loaded gun, or if neither you nor anyone of those present is carrying no gun at all?” He never answered that question to the end of his life. Needless to say, the answer was obvious but he would not put himself o­n the spot.

In view of what has been stated, we may begin to understand why the military has emerged to become the greatest stumbling block to peace. From a brief glance at the past 6,000 years of recorded history, the military was hardly ever used to promote peace. It was virtually used to promote struggles and wars, to massacre innocent people and to destroy people’s homes, hospitals, schools as well as their places of worship. Besides, the military has become a source of our air and water pollution and the tremendous amount of maladies that have developed as a result, which threaten human survival.

Liability of the Weapons Industry

Since we cannot imagine a military without weapons, those corporations that manufacture such lethal elements have increasingly become the greatest polluters of our planet. Unfortunately, the weapons industry, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, developed itself into a lucrative business. Government officials are bribed with millions of dollars to support the spending of more and more money o­n these lethal instruments.

Organized groups, the mafia type, visit various global areas to find ways how to instigate the starting of civil wars and the pushing of nations to fight against each other. In spite of all that has been stated, we still can create a world without wars if we were to take the proper steps. Some people have become so skeptical that they really feel convinced that we are bound to have weapons along with struggles and wars till the end of times.

This is certainly true o­nly if we were to choose not to become involved in making a difference, if we decide to generate in ourselves and in others negative rather than constructive energy. However, individually and collectively we could make a big difference, for we could turn things around o­nce and for all as to fulfill a dream that is cherished by all.

We are referring to the creation of a permanent world peace through the structure of a new global approach that is in the best interest of all people without exception. All we need to do is to adopt the right approaches while keeping in mind the universal welfare of all people without exception. We need to view each other as members of the same body known as humanity.

Each time the members of our body are properly coordinated, we all feel satisfied and happy. If it is true that both the arms and legs have different functions, it is also true that they all belong to the same person. It would be incomprehensible if we were to say seriously that we are concerned primarily with the welfare of our arms but not of our legs.

This kind of reasoning may force us to neglect the needs and health of our legs as to risk becoming lame or ending up in a wheelchair. In the political sphere politicians must be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of all people not o­nly of their respective nations but also around the world. This kind of reasoning leads to unity, peace, prosperity and harmony. It leads eventually to a world without wars. This was o­ne of the secrets of Barack Obama in his campaign to become the US President. He said:”We are not democrats or republicans; we are not black, white, Asians or Latinos; we are all Americans who share the same country, the same opportunities and the same destiny.”

Solution of all Problems

We need here to bring to our attention what Socrates said some 2,500 years ago relative to the solution of problems we may encounter. He said: “We can solve properly and effectively every problem we encounter without exception if we were to take the first step.” What is this first step? He continued to say: “The first step is to bring the problem into the open for everyone to see because, unless people become aware of the problem, they will never do anything about it.”

Moreover, Socrates added saying: “Once people become aware of the problem then they immediately begin to figure out how this may affect them in some way or another and o­nce they see that clearly, then actions are taken and the problem is solved.” For 2,500 years, this statement of Socrates was continuously vindicated with no virtual exception whatsoever. We may now begin to understand and realize why our politicians, who often tend to function like a mafia gang, try to lie to their constituents as to make them see things differently, not in true perspective. This explains why so many governments in history adopted strict censorship in the news media.

Everybody knows in the world that honesty is the best policy. If this is the case, it is in our best interest and that of all human beings around the world to expose corporate greed and selfish interests as well as governmental abuses of power. We need to bring to justice all those that have been responsible to genocidal crimes and to the infliction of untold suffering o­n so many innocent people through the destruction of their places of habitation along with their hospitals, markets, schools and places of worship.

We need to view as criminals all those who provide money for weapons to destroy the infrastructure of cities instead o­n food to feed the hungry and o­n medication to cure the poor who are sick. We need to jail all those who use the military for negative and destructive purposes without hesitation.

In order for us to understand the status quo of our earthy society, let us imagine that all sane and intelligent people are locked up in jail, while all the notably insane and notorious criminals are released from their asylum or jail. Let us also suppose that such released mentally deficient people and dangerous criminals assume afterwards the realm of government. Can we imagine the atrocities that people everywhere would be soon experiencing? What makes such people dangerous is not the fact that they were locked up but the fact that they have proven to be mentally deficient, heartless and cruel.

Enemies of Peace

Yes, we can create a world without wars by all means without the slightest shadow of a doubt. In the first place, we need to get to the source that has inflicted so much suffering in this world. We need to deal with that source in bringing it under full control, no matter how long it may take. Here is a list of the enemies of peace that is formulated at random and in no special specific order. These enemies of peace have at least o­ne thing in common. They have no regard for human life at all, regardless of what they may say to the contrary.

1. Weapons Industry: The culprits here that need to be brought under control are the owners and share holders of the weapons industry. These tend to make millions of dollars almost without limit. There are also those who work at such industries under the pretext of “making a living.” It is immoral to produce objects that are meant to kill human beings and also to destroy the infrastructure of cities. Like the Master Teacher of Nazarethsaid: “Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.”

2. Wagers of Struggles and Wars: Those that usually wage struggles and wars are politicians who use the military for negative and destructive purposes. Many of these tend to become millionaires from such morally abusive actions. They tend to work maliciously under the patronage of Satan. We need perhaps to invoke the intercession of St. Michael who wiped out Satan and his adherents from heaven with the speed of light. We need to have all belligerent politicians removed from office. This is best done during time of elections.

3. Religious Fundamentalists: We find such groups in some of the major religions of the world. In Judaism we have the Zionists, in Christianity we have the Christian Fundamentalists, and in Islam we have the Jihadists. What do these religious fundamentalists have in common? They claim that God told them to wage wars against other people, to kill them mercilessly and to destroy the infrastructure of their cities! This is certainly not the God of Jesus Christ whom He described to be a Father of love and mercy.

4. Tunnel-Vision Clergymen: Several clergymen, in spite of being good at heart, have a narrow tunnel-vision of spirituality. In good faith, they mislead people to their detriment. In the USA such tunnel-vision clergymen reveal themselves openly in political elections. They exhort people to vote for “pro-life” politicians who are also “pro-war” at the same time. o­nce elected these “pro-life” politicians take money away from the hungry and the poor and from the health care and education of children to pass it to the weapons industries for the promotion of more wars, where tens of millions o­n a global scale are massacred.

5. Big Corporations: It has been verified by several humanitarian groups linked with the United Nations that big corporations in general have become the greatest polluters of our planet. They have been singled out as responsible for the pollution of our air and water, two vital elements that are very essential for human survival. The reason for this is always the same: greed and selfish interests. To make things worse, governments, like in theUSA, tend to abdicate their responsibility to protect the health of their people and do hardly anything constructive to improve the situation.

6. Governmental Corruption: There may be hardly a nation without having experienced, at o­ne time or another, corruption in its political leaders. Such leaders, at times, receive millions of dollars from foreign groups to help improve the life of their people as well as the educational system of the involved nation. Instead, such leaders use such money for themselves while letting their people continue to suffer from deprivation of the necessities of Life. Just to mention a couple of examples, we have had President Sese Seko Mobutu of the former Zaire and President Robert Mugabe ofZimbabwe.

7. Military Operations: If we were to give a rapid glance over the past 6,000 years of recorded history, we would discover that military operations were virtually always linked with the destruction of the infrastructure of nations and the endless massacre of innocent people. The military exists for the sole purpose to instigate and promote struggles and wars. Hence, such operations should be severely restricted. The objective of the military should be changed from o­ne of destruction to o­ne of construction.

To illustrate this by example, military ships could be used as floating hospitals to bring medical attention to the poorest nations o­n earth. War airplanes could be used to carry medical and educational equipment to nations in need, along with food for the hungry. The military personnel could be used to build bridges along the highways of nations, to construct and repair bridges, and to build modest residences for the homeless. Cuba took a step in this direction several years ago already and people have benefited immensely.

Needless to say, the list of the enemies of peace may go o­n but these seven mentioned may be viewed among the principal o­nes. Of course, there are many positive and constructive steps that could be taken toward the creation of a world without wars. In the first place, we need to start with our schools at all levels of education covering kindergarten, elementary, secondary, college and university. The importance of peace education is vital since our children and students of today will be the leaders of our governments of tomorrow.

UNESCO’s Preamble

Let us keep in mind the preamble of the United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and cultural Organization (UNESCO). It states: “Since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace should be constructed.” The good or bad ideas children receive now will be demonstrated in their actions as adults of our earthly community tomorrow. o­n this point Lenin said: “Give me a child until it is eight and it will be Bolshevist forever.”

We need to imbue in our children from early childhood with a good philosophy of peace by enabling them to find pride in the practice of virtue. It is nobler to give than to receive, to serve than to be served, to be patient than to be compulsive, to reveal courage rather than arrogance, and to promote peace instead of waging wars.

In addition, we all need to work together to procure for our children a better world where the concept of war would be remote. Thus, we need to take drastic steps to this end. These steps are not enlisted in any specific order.

Step Number 1: How can we deal with the weapons industry in a way as to force it change its product? For example, instead of manufacturing tanks for soldiers it may start to manufacture tractors for farmers. To this end, we need to convince those that work for such an industry to quit their job and get another job instead. Former Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque remarked o­n this point saying: “The weapons industry would then have to choose between remaining in business with a different product or simply fold up and go out of business.”

Step Number 2: How can we deal with those that make a lot of money from the promotion of struggles and wars? We need to find ways as to convince themthat such a money is cursed money since it is earned through the shedding of blood of numerous innocent people consisting mostly of children, women the elderly and the sick. In the sphere of morality, when o­ne person furnished another with a gun to kill another person, both are equally accused of murder and both will receive the same punishment, even the capital punishment.

Step Number 3: How can we deal with religious fundamentalists who claim that they wage wars and kill people mercilessly because God directed them to do so? We should think o­n what Socrates advised in this regard: exposing their fallacious and wrong philosophy. The Master Teacher ofNazareth confirmed that the God He knew was a God of love and mercy, a God that when you strike Him o­n the face, He would not strike back by way of revenge. He would rather let you strike Him o­n the other cheek instead. He also rejected the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth philosophy, which is espoused by the military.

Step Number 4: How can we deal with clergymen who seem to neglect all of God’s Ten Commandments except the o­ne that says: “You should not kill?” In practice, they apply this commandment o­nly to the killing of the unborn! As already stated, in time of elections they encourage people to vote for pro-life politicians who are also pro-war. We need to expose their fallacious and wrong spiritual direction that they give. Our slogan may be: “Voting for a pro-life and against-war politician yes, but voting for a pro-life and pro-war politician no.”

Step Number 5: How can we deal with executives of big corporations to convince them that it is in the best interest of everyone concerned to try to reduce considerably the hazards they emit to the very air we breathe and the water we drink? When we consider that such corporations are generally run by greedy and selfish people who are mostly ego-centric, the o­nly hope to bring them under control would be through governmental intervention or through the courts. If necessary we need to have people trained to boycott their lethal products, which they could change, if they want, to beneficial and constructive items.

Step Number 6: How can we deal with top government officials that are proven to be corrupt? This would be a tough job since such officials would try to make you believe they agree with you but, at the same time, they already have in mind not to do anything different. If people were to become properly organized they will surely find ways to have such corrupted officials removed from office, like Americans did in recent times when they ousted the Republicans from the US government and replaced them by Democrats almost overnight.

Step Number 7: How can we deal with crucial problems that emanate directly from the very presence of the military in so many countries all over the world? There are several practical steps that could be taken, regardless of the time it may take. We need to put pressure o­n every single government o­n earth which has foreign military bases to have such bases closed without further delay.
We need to make it clear that while humanitarian and peace groups would be always welcome, the presence of the military would be always unwelcome for as long as the objective of the military would remain to wage wars.

In view of that has been stated, we may conclude that creating a world without wars is feasible even though the road to this end may be found rough in a number of instances. We need to be adamant in our determination to achieve this goal, which is the best legacy ever that we could give to our children, grandchildren and posterity. The achievement of a permanent world peace is, technically speaking, not difficult at all, since the seed of peace already exists in the heart of every human being, good and bad alike.

Nature of Peace

This means that peace cannot be imposed from the outside by any person or government, far less by the military. We have to nourish the seed of peace that we all have and simply pull it out from inside of us. This way we give peace a real healthy birth with a chance to live indefinitely. That is why peace education could play a big role in this regard.

In the meantime, we should put pressure o­n our respective governments, to make sure that those who try to make money through the manufacture and indiscriminate sales of weapons, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, be viewed as criminals and be prosecuted for treason. At the same time, we should become highly suspicious of any government official who says that we need to prepare for war in order to retain peace. The slogan over the past 2,000 years has been: si vis pacem para pacem – if you want peace prepare for peace and si vis bellum para bellum – if you want war prepare for war.

The greatest hope we have to create a world without wars was expressed by former US President Eisenhower, as already mentioned, when he said that all people of all nations want peace. It is o­nly a tiny minority that still wants war. Unfortunately, the war-minded of this tiny minority has infiltrated a number of governments. Our job and challenge would consist in working as hard as we can to eventually find effective means to eradicate this war mentality from every government where it exists. Let us keep in mind two good traditional sayings: (1) When there is a will there is a way, and, (2) Do you best and God will do the rest.

In addition, we need to keep in mind the words of the Master Teacher of Nazareth who said: With faith and prayer you can move a mountain. Also, the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, during the decade of the eighties, said to the children there something similar: With faith and prayer you can suspend the laws of nature. We may have a world without wars, sooner than later, if we were to get the habit of developing positive and constructive energy toward this end. It basically amounts to a combination of faith and prayer. Besides, we need to continue to work to bring the enemies of peace outlined above under control.