Tag Archives: Middle East

A Collision Course in Europe and the US with Russia?‏ – What is the real Crisis?


Air strike in Kobani An air strike in Kobani, Syria, in October. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

 

 

 

“United we stand; divided we fall.”
Aesop

It would seem  the world is facing a critical number of security issues at similar time, the last which is part of the reason for the 28-nation meeting in Newport (Wales) this week. As part of the military alliance heads of state including US President Barack Obama will express their views on the situation in both Iraq and Syria, with the profound dangers of ISIS at this stage, increasing concerns on e.g cyber threats, issues in the South Chinese Sea what may be called territorial disputes and others. However the meeting is most likely to be dominated on the Ukraine crisis with the question as how far to take matters  in support of Ukraine against Russia challenging the political integrity of this nation, – the last by backing separatist fighter in Ukraine at a scale increasing over the last weeks.

Ukraine’s government in Kiev alleges with NATO support – which Moscow denies – that Russian troops are being actively deployed in the east and south of the country, this with the risk  of direct military conflict between the two nations with the potential of both NATO and the USA being pulled in.


The biggest challenge for NATO and the US is to balance both the pressure  but also providing Russia a gracious exit as one unbalanced step too far may trigger an escalating point of no return. Hence strategic discussions being more import than putting out fires. The crux will be NATO’s Clause nr 5 which says an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all members. Ukraine now is a “partner” but not an official member but it is anticipated that Ukraine will seek full NATO membership, which might be the desire of the Baltic states as well.


The US will needless to say reaffirm it’s commitment to NATO’s Clause 5. The problems as a result of this at the moment is as important as the response on the problems being faced. It’s a critical issue where Russia,  and both NATO &  US face each other “in the eye” on either compromise or an escalating devastating conflict. History learnt us that both past crisis around Berlin and Cuba had somehow a “last minute escape” from irreversible confrontation, and it is within reason to suspect that both US and Russia may come up with a solution reached under pressure amidst the risk of spiralling conflict.


One may look at the old Greek as how to face this in a broader context and it was Aesop who once said: “Lay not the blame on me, O sailor, but on the winds. By nature I am as calm and safe as the land itself, but the winds fall upon me with their gusts and gales, and lash me into a fury that is not natural to me.”..

In passing, this is what applies somehow to both parties in the current conflict. The “wind” is an unpredictable force and the “fury” of conflict could be immense. What Aesop says further is interesting as well and reflects some applicable wisdom:  “The north wind and the sun were disputing which was the stronger, and agreed to acknowledge as the victor whichever of them could strip a traveller of his clothing. The wind tried first. But its violent gusts only made the man hold his clothes tightly around him, and when it blew harder still the cold made him so uncomfortable that he put on an extra wrap. Eventually the wind got tired of it and handed him over to the sun. The sun shone first with moderate warmth, which made the man take off his topcoat. Then it blazed fiercely, till, unable to stand the heat, he stripped and went off to a bathe in a nearby river”…..Persuasion is more effective than force! –The question in Europe is how, how to do this as effective as possible without errors in calculation.

It is safe to say that it is sound to use pressure to prevent conflict but utter isolation may provoke war, this to  be considered as one of the learning experiences from both the processes leading up to both the 1st and 2nd world war. Obviously  Germany was both responsible for the start of both war’s but the Dual-Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary made the Russians feel threatened, and as a response they joined a Rival-Alliance with France. This put Germany in a position of threatening peace in Europe, which may have provoked the First World War. It should be noted that Rival-Alliances should not be aimed to put Russia in a spot they see no way out despite their errors of judgement. Perhaps they already don’t see a way out, it’s hard to assess.

Furthermore, coming back on history and the dynamics before the 2nd world war, –  the Treaty of Versailles triggered strong currents of deeply felt cultural dissatisfaction in Weimar Germany, responsible perhaps for a climate in which Adolf Hitler was perceived by the Germans as the answer on their grievances, – not knowing what the man was lying ahead. We know from President Putin that he is prepared to “play hard ball” but not at all costs and he may have his assessment “on the West” ready.



Coming back to Aesop, who said (perhaps) at the personal level: “Once upon a time all the rivers combined to protest against the action of the sea in making their waters salt. “When we come to you,” said they to the sea, “we are sweet and drinkable; but when once we have mingled with you, our waters become as briny and unpalatable as your own.” The sea replied shortly, “Keep away from me, and you’ll remain sweet.”……. In other words within the current European scenario stick to your own country and your country will stick to you.  “Keep your place in life and your place will keep you”. The perceptions Of President Putin are clearly different than US President Obama and whilst Ukraine has its own autonomy, Putin still considers somehow Ukraine as the backyard of Russia, the previous USSR. Increasing connections at military level between Europe and Ukraine are considered by Russia as a security risk.

Prejudices work both ways and conversance in sustained ways may soften the views from bilateral perspectives with an understanding that since the fall of the USSR the underlying Russian current is with an intended reclaiming of Ukraine now, it may strengthen its position against an increasing NATO alliance where the US keeps a strong foothold.  If the Ukraine crisis may be considered as the symptom of a disease, one need to avoid a remedy which is worse than this disease. At the end of the day the US has had a history in both Vietnam, invading Iraq and Afghanistan (which could have been dealt with differently) and on which the mixed after effects are visible . In Iraq more dangerous than ever before with the rise of ISIS. The Russian leadership out of security reasons may perceive to have the same rights as the US where it comes to invading countries if the last fits a “security strategy”, – hence the dynamics being dangerous as due to a risk that both super powers are not willing to back down. Obviously every nation has a right to exist and Ukraine is no exception on this but history learns that in many occasions this is not a point of fact. The question is whether Russia has perceived both increasing NATO influence in Europe, supported by the US, as a threat for its national security and if this is the case whether this could have been avoided and whether those perceptions can be reversed. Hard to say at this stage but once the trigger for this change of direction can be found, knowing that it is not in Russia’s interest to be isolated, efforts can be made to wind down this process ultimately leading to forces within Russia to restore the old status quo of the USSR. As such Russia is better part of Europe , participating like eg Germany does in constructive ways, – and not being a frustrated isolated and destructive force outside Europe with different perceptions on national security and increasing antagonism with “the West”.

Every conflict requires its unique response and in Europe applies that it is important to take care that by preventing one evil, one may not fall in a far greater evil. And being in the process to try to bend Russia from its way “in”, it should not break it whilst seeking a way “out”.  National pride might be for some part at the root of  domestic perceptions and one needs to be careful not to break this pride by not playing a good card (the sanctions) far too often without a convenient way out for the other party. Losing national dignity at this level comes at a price of wrong chosen liberty with the conviction the battle is won by the strong. The last which is not always true as an unexpected poisonous bite, as part of a pointless tit for tat strategy without sustained “face to face discussions”, could make the shortcut on success a failure on the long term. The art of crisis management is to create a new reciprocal bond to prevent issues like this in the future, and Russia needs to be included in such bond if it seeks a way out. Russia is somehow cornered and the dynamics for constructive dialogue are by far not ideal anymore. Partners are able to reason but both the US and Russia are not seen to be partners anymore, if they ever were. They were closing in at some stage, however the relationship is worse than almost ever before since the Cuban missile crisis where the US did not tolerate Russian supported nuclear missiles on Cuba.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  said Monday that his country’s military would not interfere with the situation in Ukraine and that he stood ready to “converse” with the West to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis there. This gesture was supposed  to be embraced within the pending NATO conference in Wales with genuine creativity rather than increasing tensions and new potential sanctions. It would seem Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on Ukraine to start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.  Putin said Ukraine should “hold substantive, meaningful talks, not about technical issues but about the question of the political organization of society and statehood in southeast Ukraine, with the goal of safeguarding the legitimate interests of those people who live there.”


NATO meanwhile claims there are at least 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine and the EU is giving Russia a one-week ultimatum to scale back its intervention in Ukraine or face more economic sanctions. The question is how strong are both the words and the actions in a situation which has deteriorated the last couple of months with high level propaganda in the media, not to speak about the Malaysian plane being shot down in the airspace of Ukraine held territory by pro-Russian separatists. The last a most tragic and dramatic error of calculation in a real war zone.


The conduct of public business in politics has an obligation to preserve peace at all costs and not running the pathway of an unavoidable collusion by lack of diplomatic creativity and discernment. Every man of his nation should be a man of his time as well. A high measure of public service needs to be seen in light of pure principle centred leadership rather than cutting corners with each other on false propaganda. We are living in a time we  neither can afford ignorance to the past, nor to the present , nor to the future, – and those in public office at the critical moment of decision making now need to be aware of the huge responsibilities to future generations, superseding national interest and national security issues in some aspects , but not at a cost of the real dangers of our time. The last, and the real ones,  which seems to find its manifestation in eg Iraq and Syria at the moment. Hence reason enough to find a bilateral satisfactory solution in Europe as if Ukraine would be considered to be a partner in NATO why not as well Russia, – provided they solve their conflicts in a peaceful way, with an immediate cessation of all sanctions after such agreement. Lets put it this way, there are far more important issues to solve at this very present moment and it is most important not to get into inflated “Cold War” dynamics from the past. Leaders allowing this to happen with the backing of their own military advisers would do better to look beyond this with a clearer picture in mind to find a settlement which fits all parties, – as such preventing both pointless and repetitive patterns  in history.

We need to strive to make others see that those matters in both Iraq and Syria are the real issues and avoid an escalating conflict in Europe. Peace among more unified civilised nations is the most important issue on earth otherwise we may be the victim of the widespread violence of seriously uncivilised and brutal forces, – plenty enough here on earth. It’s the kind of peace which makes life worth living and this peace is under threat from far more greater and spreading dangers than we see now, which is the reason we need to reconcile our differences on the issues where we are able do this by reasoning and making deals. The new face of potential all out war, this time in Europe again,  may have life ending implications as such war once started can’t be controlled anymore. Such war can only destroy and never create and serious errors on misjudgment on reciprocal abilities to reason out conflict as part of a multilateral security arrangement in which Russia is involved as well is more effective than sanctions from the West, and Russia reminding the world that they still have one of the most advanced nuclear arsenals. It needs to be understood that Russia has a historical fear with roots to the second world war, and the existing military pacts are coming too close to Russia, – in their perception. The point is that perceptions not being changed by the reality of “inclusion” may lead to self-fulfilling perceptions and possibly war like we have seen under different dynamics in both the lead up to the 1st and 2nd world war.


Both Russia and NATO & the US need to speak in rational terms on the legitimate future of Ukraine with greater reference to the grave dangers in both Iraq and Syria, which is a task of civilised nations. This is not allowed to fall on deaf ears as history will judge those who make decisions in the present on how it worked out in the future. The option to help Russia on a more enlightened attitude towards Ukraine as part of a trade off deal can’t be missed. War is not inevitable among civilised nations but violence at larger than expected scale is inevitable from existing and spreading groups in both Syria and Iraq. We can be as big as we want as a human species but not in harmony with fast spreading evil who may destroy all human dignity on the places where they are allowed to spread their toxins by death, mutilation or worse.

Only the sum of many acts and the sum of the efforts of all civilised nations is able to turn the tide by destroying ISIS and their efforts to create an Islāmic state in Syria and Iraq.

To preserve  peace and avoid the threats of war will be a challenge for each generation anew in different identities and requires now to make a united stance against increasing sectarian violence across the borders of inflated perceptions on those which were earlier considered to be opponents. Relations between nations with frictions on relatively trivial issues need to change and new bonds need to be created against the greater dangers of our time. Communication  should be more than an exchange of threats and sanctions, where the options of a mature dialogue on the broader perspectives from both sides, including the anxieties from both sides, are not fully explored. And the last applies to the current issues in Europe where the risk is that people get too much fixed on their opinions, not always based on the facts. No nation suffered more on the battlefield of war than Russia during the 2nd world war and an increasing united alliance against it’s own state, including former parts of the USSR are perceived as a danger on their part. Reaching out in inclusive diplomacy may help a new bond. The last not being based anymore on underlying historic and  persistent ancient historic for a potential new menace,  from both sides however.

All what world powers have worked for could be destroyed in the devastation of war in the first 24 hours, giving way to the sectarian violence which will be the fruit of those endeavours if life proves still to be possible in some parts of the world.


Therefore I tend to say that nations in Europe and particular Russia need to evaluate their position to the long term desired dynamics and both Europe and the US need to help Russia a way out amidst the rumbling background powers this country has in terms of extreme dynamics, like the US has the same  in its own backyard, – all hard to balance. Certain buttons are not supposed to be pushed too hard where the other party has not a favourable image anymore. We know from both Russia and the US that there are mighty background powers, not to be under estimated, and when both the US President and the Russian President are unable to make a deal being satisfactory and long lasting, the background powers pushing for potential confrontation will get stronger.

The answer is to continue to reach out and look at long-term strategies to form new bonds based on different foundations than in the past, where the last is possible.


Massive amounts of money being spent on modernising the capacity for multilateral destruction is better spent on the common enemies we have, including terrorism, the last increasingly advanced, – but besides this a more unified struggle against the  roots of evil and hatred against humankind. At the end of the day violence breeds violence as a self-fulfilling prophecy and in our hands with God’s help lies the seed to unwind this ongoing process of what we may call a  self-destructive trait of humankind, – never ever solved since the creation of human beings.


We now have to avoid a remedy which is worse than “the disease” and too often in history it proved  we did do the last the last bit rather than the first one.  Whilst change of habit can’t change the nature of people, –  changing the nature of our response might change the habit and might change our culture, – the last which we need to watch closely  in our decision-making  at times of crisis.

For sure  we are lacking many answers but this is this is the  last option we have.


Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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The wider implications of the Syrian drama


A mural in Iran showing the yellow Hezbollah f...
A mural in Iran showing the yellow Hezbollah flag, and a quote from Ayatollah Khomeini which says: “Israel must be destroyed.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What started some 2 years ago in Syria as a protest movement against a brutal oppressive regime is now an uprising of spiralling war between various fractions, potentially dragging a whole region in a whirlpool of vicious violence.

What started 2 years ago as a struggle for justice being compromised became a sad time for justice.

In Syria this became a lost case of criminal justice.

It’s a sad time as well for peace in the Middle East as  risky are the dynamics for escalating violence with plenty of stakeholders holding different agenda’s, – all in a position to commit or to refrain from the threat of further escalation. Plenty of stakeholders being able to make either the choice or resist the choice to throw oil on a fire of existing violence between a Sunni – dominated opposition and the al – Assad regime supported Alawite’s, – an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
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It’s now a most dangerous and potential explosive situation as the playground of the dynamics are part of the playground of regional powers. Powers not being ready to give up the status quo on influence by terror. Terror by infiltration and supplying missiles to areas where they should not be, as the use of those missiles could put the region on fire.
Moderates have been pushed to the sideline and there is no leadership among the fractions with only sectarian horror to evolve. Massacres against the Sunni communities likely to happen if the Syrian government army is able to capture these areas with families including women and children being executed.
It happens as it already happened.
It would not seem this conflict has anything to do with Islam and actually the dynamics are opposing Islam as a religion as massacres and murder of innocent people by those countries calling themselves Islāmic by faith are repugnant in the view of real Muslims.  Islam only by virtue of its wide extension can be called a world-religion, – but for some groups it never reached  the required spiritual level because it never produced a workable thinking, which includes workable action  on both the world and humanity. The last at a depths required to bring both civilisation and respect for life in the hearts of its people.
There where religion is unable to achieve this, it is failing, – not because of the religion but because of the people who practice their religion. Where we don’t learn from the vanity of our false distinctions, even where it involves religion with the wrong practical implications, our lives may be diminished to the perceptions that our neighbours are aliens .We then may live together in a region but are not bound together as a community. We only then learn to live in fear with a wish to retreat from the people we perceive as our opponents, because they are different, – and our first instinct dictates then to meet disagreement with violence. This is what we see in the Middle East and elsewhere. And we know that there are no final answers but what we learn is not always the right learning if the common impulse is to meet disagreement with force. And if this carried  over to the children in the worst possible scenario’s encountered in the Middle East, the future of those who are to follow is more restricted with even more violence.
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The mindless menace of violence in Syria is likely  overturning its borders and affecting those who live there as minorities. People butchered to death. The victims are young and old, known and unknown, Islamic and non-Islamic, but foremost they are people suffering from senseless acts of sectarian violence. Families disrupted in the pain of daily agony, not knowing who will be next. It’s the kind of violence which tears apart the fabric of life, which tears apart a country and the fabric of communities as part of barbaric  brutality which belongs actually to dark ages centuries ago. Civilian slaughter for the benefit of politics and holding on to power are one of the worst violations of human rights. Governments mastering this domain  will lose their cause and pay the price. The danger of the spiraling violence is that when you teach people to hate others and fear them because they are different in their beliefs, you teach them as well that they are a threat to you, and that  they may take your life or your freedom,  and a such the cycle of violence and hatred continues to do its evil and destructive work. It can only stop when people cease  to do this, when the actions of violence are terminated at such level that violence does not know how to move anymore. It’s then that we may realise that this short life on earth can neither be enriched by hatred nor by revenge.
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Whilst Christians or Jews have neither been perfect through history, wisdom inspired by those of them who thought in depths about humanity and the world was rarely suppressed to support the status quo of the traditional views, – and progress was made through centuries. The last often recognised in retrospect. And still, even for Christians and Jews at times things are  hard going but civilisation became the cornerstone of the majority, – whilst reality shows that civilisation and respect for life is a lost avenue for some traditional Muslims in countries in the Middle East, – sticking to unchanged dogma’s. The last never been challenged on real merit and value for life as it was intended to be.
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An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth are not the means by which we need to live, and on all sides of the religious spectrum we are never told to do so. Those “who live by the sword will be killed by the sword”.
Some groups and possibly countries are on the verge of making things even more bitter than better in current Syria, based on the dividing thought that violence and cruelty serves the purpose of a united  or stable Syria, based possibly on a different concept of government. The killing fields of Cambodia would perhaps not be worse than those in Syria in such case, but the last may get worse if this current conflict would escalate across the borders of Syria.
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Both scenario’s are not acceptable.
Whilst the people in both Cambodia and Vietnam are by nature friendly and forgiving on what has been done in the past, widening conflict in Syria would be neither forgiving nor forgetting as sectarian violence brings the worst out of people,  the last apart from the agenda’s from surrounding nations trying to capitalise on more influence, – especially Iran.
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If the al- Assad regime would fall to the Sunni dominated opposition, – Iran could lose it’s link to Hezbollah in Lebanon and its power on the border with Israel. Not what they want.
Lebanon with it’s Shiite and Alawite majority (Muslim) sects which both do support the current Syrian al – Assad regime dominate the Lebanon’s government.
You see the frictions here.
Then we have Iraq with long standing tribal ties between Iraq’s Sunnis and Syria’s Sunnis, – many of which feeling oppressed by a non – Sunni Government with Iraq feeling the tensions of Syria’s conflict in its own country. Various bomb explosions have been in the news.  Sunni jihad with al Qaeda links likely being already active across both borders to fight the non Sunni government in Syria.
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And then the country of Jordan  being burdened by some 1.5 million Syrian refugees with adversity leading to potential unrest in Jordan.
Turkey as a country as well similarly burdened by refugees flooding the country since the start of the uprise against the al- Assad regime, – Turkey obviously blaming the al-Assad regime for this. Besides this a pair of car bombs killing dozens of people in a Turkish town which had welcomed many Syrian refugees. A Marxist terror group being involved in those car bombs, a terror group with close links to Syrian’s intelligence service.
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Other countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are backing the Syrian rebels  as they feel a Sunni government being installed in Syria would make the Gulf States more stable, as they fear the spread of Iran’s influence in the region.
For Israel finally it is felt to be important that the front group for Iran in Lebanon will be stopped as due to the increasing dangers with Iran’s infiltration via Hezbollah, the last supported by the Syrian regime. The Israeli‘s reluctant to get involved will  however at all cost prevent the transfer of modern missile systems to the al- Assad ally Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon. Those missiles include Iranian made and upgraded Fateh -110 missiles with a range of 300 km. Whilst the Israelis and Hezbollah are not in direct conflict as yet, they may become more active on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict as due to the Iran – Hezbollah link. Israel will respond in no uncertain terms if the missile threat from the north is growing because Tehran is using Damascus to feed Lebanon with offensive weapons. Israel has deployed already two of its iron Dome missile-defence systems in its northern cities to combat potential missile and rocket attacks from which it is believed that Hezbollah has an arsenal of some 50000.
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It’s a fragile balance on which it is assumed Syria has not the recourses to fight on two fronts. It’s for Israel a wait and see predicament as with weakening the Assad regime the potential strengthening of the rebel fraction such as the al-Nusra Front with al Qaeda links in Iraq may open a new spectrum of threats as this jihad group is highly organised. The question for Israel might be whether the Iran-Hezbollah link is more dangerous than the various rebel fractions being out of control as it would seem to be.
All in all “it’s a can of worms” with no end in sight as evil tends to spread rapidly with chaos the unfortunate outcome. Whilst Islam carries in itself greater ethical depth than it’s appearance would lead one to suppose, no great Islam leader has been able to speak out against all this. No Islamic nation has been able to lift the burden of traditional views  dominating the practical political implications of a nation’s direction slowly moving to war, by infiltration and ambition, – like Iran. No Islāmic nation being able to embrace both respect of culture and human rights has been able to make the al- Assad regime accountable for what it did to its own people, as the traditional and oppressive views are both dominated by Iran and Syria.
Both are major culprits of guided violence and oppression in the Middle East.
The sad thing is that apart from 70000 death inside Syria as result of the civil war, the conflict is reaching across the borders with even Russia getting involved. The last supporting the al – Assad regime.  An indication as well which way Russia is prepared to support, and one may assume lack of real consideration.
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The US reluctant to get involved with US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasising the need for an international conference to be attended by both the Syrian government and opposition to prevent total chaos in Syria. However it is questionable whether this works when the al-Assad regime gets the backing of Russia.
At the same time there is a large inflow of weapons from various sides indicating that more people will be killed with no likely military outcome either side in the nearby future. Hezbollah dispatched some 4000 fighters to Syria to help the al-Assad regime. Rocket attacks from rebel forces into Lebanon against this Shiite militia.
Undeniable there is a huge risk of a most bloody sectarian warfare which will both involve Syria Lebanon and Iraq, – reducing the already compromised stability in the region.
With an increasing number of fighters from different countries going over Syria’s border to support one side or the other. Israel is on the alert to prevent Syrian forces to transport advanced missile systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon and if so required will conduct further airstrikes to prevent this happening out of fear that chemical warfare comes into the wrong hands with Israel being an easy target in such case. Syria’s most powerful ally Russia will deliver advances anti-aircraft missiles, indicating somehow to the West to stay out of Syria. The US supports politically the Syrian rebels with non – lethal aid whilst the Obama Administration refrains from providing military aid, – presumably concerned that the situation would then escalate. Meanwhile however intensifying diplomacy efforts to rescue the region from widespread conflict with international security and peace being at risk.
However this will not change the background role of Iran and Russia’s support for the al-Assad regime.
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The divisions however among the opposition, but also among some of the al-Assad links are a stumbling block for effective negotiations anyhow. Whilst Russia with its al-Assad support makes it clear to the West to stay out of the area, they agree with the US on required diplomacy to prevent a worsening situation. It’s not in the international interest that the situation in Syria is escalating into a large regional war with the potential of an international war, – but at the same time both Russia and Iran prefer to keep the status quo with al-Assad being the main power in Syria. The implication of this includes Iran’s role of supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon will not be changing. This means that on the long term Iran wants to keep its spreading influence whilst heating up the Hezbollah and Israeli potential for conflict in Lebanon at a later date.
It’s hard to say what would be the preferred situation as the region is hanging together on unpredictability’s. For the Gulf States apply they want a reduction of Iran’s influence, as they fear the strength of Iran if it would come to a war. Iran will not make any major moves in this conflict as yet as it prefers to intervene at a stage when it could hit or affect Israel as well.
Strictly spoken and in general, Syria would be likely better off with a Sunni government as Iran would lose part of its power in Lebanon, the Gulf States would feel more safe, the power base of Hezbollah would be compromised with no links with the al-Assad regime anymore. However the question remains how much chaos Syria has to endure to make such a transition possible and how many more people will be killed on such a track. Sectarian violence and anarchy may lead to a more dire situation in which al-Qaeda links may get the better of the existing situation with even more senseless massacres and potential genocide amidst the rivalling sections.
The hard question is which sort of stability is desired at this very present moment. Arming the rebels by US legislation may inflict a strategic set back for Iran as due to the disruption of the terror line between Tehran and Hezbollah in Lebanon. However arming both fractions by either Russia  or US may inflict a terror war worse than the war in Somalia with the difference Somalia never had chemical weapons, the last being at risk coming into the wrong hands not bothered by the human suffering this could create.
Whilst there might be reason to intervene in Syria’s government initiated slaughter house, as part of humanitarian action, – the last would not be perceived this way by the many stakeholders with most different and foremost radical perceptions, often based on emotions. The most important thing is preventing a regional war at large scale as this is not a region receptive for reason.
The least of two evils seems to contain the existing evil preventing from spreading all out violence across the borders, but an al-Assad regime cornered with Iran at risk of losing influence may both be well able to accept all avenues to protect it’s powerbase and influence in the Middle East, and for this reason both the region and Israel are at risk for a new level of barbaric violence in the area.
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With this in mind it is the duty of both the super powers being partly involved already, to contain this conflict and bring people to the negotiating table before matters get totally out of control. Failing this the US may reconsider its position as whilst US interests might not be directly at stake, the best possible humanitarian support needs to prevail in this unspeakable drama, – an obligation of moral proportions. Besides this it is up to the US to allow somehow now to be sidelined by both Russia and Iran perhaps, – awaiting conflict later down the track when Hezbollah supported by Iran will reorganise its forces in Lebanon. The last against Israel with both the al-Assad regime and Iran owing Hezbollah support, as Hezbollah supported al-Assad to stay in power,  – if dynamics would evolve this way. At that stage it would be hard for the US not to support Israel.
Finally, there is nothing to glorify in this world if we don’t get our baseline humanity right in the distinctions we make with each other. This may not apply to everybody as value systems are different. In general however at present it is a matter of watching the current dynamics in and around Syria closely as minor moves may have major implications in the positive or significant ramifications in the negative, –  depending on the choices being made. The last besides the human suffering as part of ongoing business in this part of the Middle East.
With a bit more empathy and lifting inflated dogmatic views lots can be gained. But lots can be lost as well.
In the final analysis, it is not the concern about any religion. It is the concern of human beings being tangled up in destructive believe systems leading to bitterness hatred and violence. At the end of the day in all of this we are faced with one of the most self-destructive dynamics here on earth, and where we are as civilisation able to relief this bit by bit we are on the right track, as life in a deeper sense does not expect us to do anything else. There where countries fail to put in the required thought on the value of life for its own citizens and make within this domain the wrong distinctions when it comes to maintaining power, – they are lost in their own advancement, and in the misfortunes of their own children being exposed to the worst examples of adults.
This is what we see over and over.
And therefore I repeat:
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Where we don’t learn from the vanity of our false distinctions, even where it involves religion with the wrong practical implications, our lives may be diminished to the perceptions that our neighbours are aliens .We then may live together in a region but are not bound together as a community. We then only learn to live in fear with a wish to retreat from the people we perceive as our opponents, because they are different, – and our first instinct dictates then to meet disagreement with violence. This is what we see in the Middle East and elsewhere. And we know that there are no final answers but what we learn is not always the right learning if the common impulse is to meet disagreement with force, and if this is what we carry over to the children in the worst scenario’s encountered in the Middle East, – we face a lost generation there, with worse to come.
As Martin Luther King ,Jr once said:  “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.”
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The crux lies in the method!
Thanks!
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21st Century’s collision course of nuclear disaster, – both the possible and the impossible!


Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”

Those who get confused about the real priorities on earth and lose their cause will pay the costs

This is the reason I want to speak about the prospect of war tonight, not because I like it but the risks are more clear than ever before. The risk of people as part of humankind as a whole being confused about the real enemies and threats we are faced with.

This is the topic for tonight

Tonight people in Western Australia‘s Pilbara region are being warned that the pending Cyclone Rusty could bring 250 km/hour winds slamming into the coast and inflicting massive destruction. Major parts of the Queensland coast and New south Wales have been battered by storms, twisters and flooding at a scale of increasing force. Both the east and west coast of Australia are encountering changing in patterns subject to greater forces of violence of nature in the future.

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That’s nature only.

Like one small wave or earthquake may cause a tsunami, destructive in all its power, – a minor escalating conflict may cause atomic war

Just moments before a tsunami hits can be a time of serene calm, – as calm and hidden can be the preparation of war. In some places the water actually pulls back from the coast. In some cases, harbours and bays are entirely emptied of their water. And people may be misled by those signs, whilst full destruction is pending.

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The same applies when times are filled up with hope, where the absence of war does not mean there is peace. Peace though being desired as the most important revelation on earth, – peace being desired as the most important power being able to combat both war and the preparation for it. Peace being required to combat the elements of nature and not destruction ourselves by choice through science being used the wrong directions.

It will be neither Air Force One which brings this peace, nor is it the breaking of a man’s spirit which may cause war, – but the sum of all efforts in either direction of both peace or war will make the difference between our existence or our total destruction, – the difference between the worst possible menace of violence, or our ability to communicate with each other and try to solve problems, – civilised within the potential of our humanity, as civilised we need to be at the major platforms of international discussions

“Civilisation” in the international arena of politics and eliminating dangers, both about forces of nature and war, should be based by principle on communication and efforts to change perceptions and give countries a chance to stick to international acceptable standards, – knowing we do not live in an ideal world. Hence the reason to do it this way, rather than the other way round.

When the bible speaks about the Kingdom of God being pending within the given variety of historical options and debate, – regardless indeed the potential of global self-inflicted destruction, – we have to remember that still a natural law applies: that we can only bring so much of God’s domain into this world as we have access to and willing to apply.

In the past 100 years, since 1914, we have seen two “World Wars”. World War 1 was more profound in it’s destructiveness than the sum of all the wars over the last 2500 years. World War II was four times more destructive than World War I.

The nuclear annihilation of two cities in Japan was the end of it

Two small bombs.

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The nuclear bombing which crippled Japan for many years, – had the most painful physical effects for many.

In no comparison with what is available now.

Any humans which survived the first blast of this explosion in eg one city only had major radiation exposure. Some 140000 people who survived this first nuclear explosion being used in war, sustained radiation exposure with many 3rd degree burns and were after the blast subject to the long term after effects of radiation poisoning. They were subject to increased risks on various cancers, the unborn being exposed, – and once born months later, far more vulnerable, with the far reaching increased risks of leukaemia and other malformations later in life.

From the first survivors only some 10% did live for a further 2 weeks as due to the wounds, the pain and the agony.

Nurses being overworked waited just for people to die as this was the last blessing to be relieved from their pains.

The long term after effects were horrendous.

The 2 nuclear bombs destroyed everything in its path. Those bombs killed about 165000 people within the first 3 months in Hiroshima and some 80000 in Nagasaki at a similar time frame

Nothing in comparison with what is available and possible now when any nuclear power would opt to use its arsenal, apart from the domino effect on other nuclear powers doing the same out of retaliation.

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The Tsar Bomb eg developed by the USSR and detonated in 1961 over the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya, had a power of 50 megatons, – about 10 times the total explosives used in WWII, including the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Its fireball was so huge that it reached the ground while almost reaching the altitude of the bomber plane 10 km in the sky. It was felt almost 1,000 km from ground zero, and the heat from its first flash could have caused third degree burns some 110 km away. The mushroom cloud that formed was about 65 km high and 45 km wide, and the blast could be seen and felt in Scandinavia, where windows were broken. This bomb was originally designed to be one of 100 megatons, in other words twice the power as been exploded.

The Soviets decided in the end not to go ahead with this 100 megaton bomb

Mind you, – – those nuclear explosives were developed in the early 1960ties some 15 years after the end of the second world war and now we are living in a time where small nations developing nuclear weapons which could equate the 100 megatons in about 20 years or less, as those initially being designed by the Soviets and exploded in 1961.

The potential problem for every country in the third world which wants to be a nuclear power, provides the risks they may develop the sort of weapons both the US and Russia already had in the 1950ties, – and the world for certain should not allow this regardless the fact that the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, India and Pakistan already have nuclear bombs of various strength, -with Israel being included for almost a half century.

North Korea eg is an increasing power, -however a very unusual and unpredictable power, – last but not least as part of its almost total isolation. Despite good connections with both Russia and China in the past, the last 2 superpowers are getting concerned as well, – and the UN does not affect North Korea in any way to change positions of the regime.

There are different ideas about diplomacy and how to apply this in certain circumstances, – but so be it.

There are ideas about applying force, – so be not at this stage!

There is nothing against down to earth diplomacy, face to face at top level, – to prevent an otherwise potential worst case scenario. Only a minor shift in perception may change the risk of war. The reasoning behind this is that North Korea wants to go nuclear as part of its military deterrent in its confrontation with the United States, – which it describes as “the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

Long range missiles are not aimed for South Korea but are on the long term for the US and its citizens and the only way is working on a shift in perception, guided by both Russia and China as the long term developments and scenario’s may hit them as hard as the US in terms of costs protecting its citizens. It will help the US to get both China and Russia on the same page of the international agenda to stop North Korea with its dangerous endeavours.

The diplomacy of the kind being applied till so far did not work, however top level face-to-face diplomacy has not been tried as yet. Top level diplomacy does not mean bending towards NK’s demands, but high level direct diplomacy should be both aimed to ease the tensions and to create a fruitful alternative, – or NK indeed to face the gradual implications which would make regret its actions.

Such meetings with NK is not rewarding them for bad behaviour but allowing them by choice, and after exploring the alternatives, to engage as the last possible option into the domain of civilisation, – besides preventing the possibility that nuclear technology might find its way to Iran, al-Qaeda and others.

The last scenario would be only the start of a more devastating process, – widespread nuclear terrorism included – –

In the long history of the world, at times there were good powers in the Middle East, – like there were repugnant powers as well, living at the cost of many others, – those who died, forgotten in the dust of history.

As history often shows, people do not learn the way they should do, as a group or as a society, – and with this knowledge in the 21st century we need to make this different to survive as a human race on this planet. The flaws in foreign policy from the past should not be the repeated flaws in the future. Nuclear war starting in the Middle East could easily annihilate the human race, with a destruction and chaos as never being met before.

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Like a tsunami may hit us unexpected at the lower coast lines, – nuclear war could hit us unexpected anywhere and unprotected everywhere.

The US may play a major role to help fruitful dynamics, along with China and Russia.

The US can’t be indifferent as a broker, however this does not mean it would be dishonest, or should be dishonest with integrity by principle, – regardless the agenda of placing some safeguards for Israel. Safeguards being justified within the context of ongoing threats. Safeguards, – as the alternative of doing nothing to bend the road among the dynamics in the Middle East more positively, – means simply the clock is ticking towards more chaos and violence. Whether this is in Egypt or with the Palestinians, – Hezbollah in Lebanon or Iran, – or any other areas with conflict including Syria. The last with a promising diplomatic Russian intervention yesterday, with the current regime being ready now to talk to all parties, – despite the risk of so called lip service to dialogue in more sustained ways.

We know it’s all complex, but terrorism and war are even more complex, – and safeguards should be there for any party agreeing with the fact  that broader violence is an inflated perception, leading to nothing else than a final destruction of this whole area and with this at least part of the world. Destruction of what once was build in terms of culture and difference. The Middle East being ancient and rich as once was the Roman empire, the first even older than the last.

Everything is a matter of perception and perceptions do rule the world, either in the leaders of people and governments, or in the people themselves. Whether those perceptions are right or wrong, bizarre perhaps at times – if we put up barriers feuded by prejudice, and as such preventing that we work with the most crucial different perceptions of our times, – we are taking away the opportunities of people coming together and making the impossible possible.

Impossible it seems before arriving at meetings, impossible when people are angry at times and reasoning from emotions, leaders living with ideas of going to war, – especially when those ideas do resonate at Departments of existing Foreign policy or at major military platforms. But history shows that the impossible is possible, even when we are faced with the impossible, like we are faced with the impossible of earthquakes and tsunamis when forces of nature do hit us wave by wave leaving behind bewildered people amidst destruction. But the last are situations where people despite destruction and losses of lives find each other in their willingness to help. That’s again a difference in perception, guided by what hits us.

Guided by what hits us, – whether it is a major bushfire or flooding, a tsunami or an earthquake. Those are challenges we don’t ask for but they hit us unexpected, – like a major rock from space can hit us unexpected.

And you know, – we train doctors and nurses, medical teams and fire brigades and all the others to help when required, – but the terrible contradiction comes in when major war hits the horizon.

War may hit us unexpected but the difference is that the dynamics leading to war are premeditated, dynamics who find their roots far too often within inflated perceptions not being properly discussed or taken to a level of exploring different alternatives.

This is the world as it does present us to day, whether it applies to the problems in the Middle East or in Korea, whether it applies to tensions between the US and China. And even when it seems that certain perceptions are not subject for change, those perceptions being purely based on blind hatred and prejudice, – whether it is the prejudice against the Jews or prejudice of any other kind, – still it is worth giving communication a chance, perhaps a last chance. Even when it seems against all odds. However, there should be zero tolerance for people and even countries who simply kill either on their own or in groups, – just for killing and destroying lives.

Zero tolerance for this!

leadership and I mean true leadership is not the rhetoric from behind the desk in front of a microphone, nor is it confronting people with the facts after disaster happened with the knowledge it could have been dealt with differently. Leadership as well is taking fear for granted and leave it behind in order to tackle the problems which need to be tackled. Leadership is not watching a train taking the wrong railway path and simply watching how a collision will occur and tell us thereafter that it occurred without taking action to alarm those being able to stop the train, or plane, – going into a collision course. This applies to the dynamics of potential world events as well, and we know they are closely watched with far too often too little proactive action. And if we speak then again about eg North Korea, the questions is what kind of discussions with NK do we mean? What kind of settlement do we seek? – – Not an American forced process which may escalate problems by American weapons or war. Not the security of us being a slave from a dogmatic regime running the treadmill of their own insecurities by isolation themselves of the rest of the world by their war machinery. Not only by their current war machinery, but by their nuclear potential just years down the line. We can’t afford to turn a blind eye for this.

I am really talking about a genuine process which helps both sides to reconsider an ability to take a different direction, – a direction of helping to grow one nation sidetracked from common civilisation, – anxious about the concept of liberation as it would as such destroy the current status quo.

What we know from history is that nations did arise and disappeared at times in the dust of history, a process over many and many more years. We know as well that dictators grew old and were replaced at times. We know as well that the people of some nations said that they had enough and went on the street to provoke change. Change at times so desired and needed. All this is not possible at the moment but we can’t allow one nation at this point of history potentially destroying history itself by simply not talking. Total war as a result of this, triggered by error or miscalculation makes no sense as no one will surrender without resort to those forces which could destroy us all. Believing that negotiations and fruitful discussions do not make sense means that people feel it is inevitable that NK goes it own way by further producing thermonuclear devices and more advanced missile systems in the future, – allowing as such that at some stage we will or may be subject to international blackmail. Not believing in the only possible way of discussions, to change perceptions as an act of real leadership, is a regressive defeatist belief leading to the belief we have no grip to change those forces and powers which need to be changed, – forces which need to be modified based on simply the reason at this time in history.

This time in history!

Whilst sensible words and conversations do not harm and open options for further dialogue, easing tensions, – provocative words and actions may lead to war.

This time in history!

Whilst there is no “magic formula” to make peace, man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly impossible and I believe we can do it again whilst we learn from the past and walk the many miles to reach out to make the impossible possible, – like this happened eg during the Cuba crisis, like this happened eg when the Iron Curtain between East and West Berlin was abolished, like it happened eg when a first US President did visit mainland China for a new chapter in history.

This time in history again!

Facing the facts of this world we can’ deny fanatic nationalism being on the rise, with the situation worldwide being similar to the conditions that triggered both past World War’s. In 1994 Africa’s Rwanda proved how tensions suddenly can explode; church-going neighbors turned on one another with genocide. Close to 1000,000 died. Even women and children that took refuge in churches were hacked to death by machete.

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Again this time!

Multinational wars in Africa claimed some 2,500,000 lives, including the hidden war in the Congo, almost completely ignored by western news media. India and Pakistan have exchanged angry threats in the past, backed by nuclear missiles.

War usually does cause famine by disrupting farming, like happened during and after the 2 World Wars. Stalin created death by starvation of millions of his own countrymen in Russia . After the second World War about a fourth of the world was starving.

Corruption and war has starved millions in both Angola, Somalia, Ethiopia and North Korea. Zimbabwe had a corrupt and brutally racist regime, using selective starvation to crush dissents. Wealthy nations do show “compassion fatigue,” Sometimes the news media just ignore situations until hundreds of thousands are already dead. In other places, the problem is not one of war but gross inequality: the rich are sumptuously stocked, while just across town the poor cannot afford even a balanced diet. All too often the poor in so-called “developing” countries have to stand with empty hands and empty stomachs whilst rich harvests are exported for hard cash which then being used to buy weapons being used by the government against its own people.

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All this in our times!

The World Health Organization reflects that at least 5 million children die every year from malnutrition. At the same time in the well developed world many children are grossly obese with already early signs of both diabetes and high blood pressure.

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The world is shaking both by its bankruptcy of moral values in some countries as literally by earthquakes. Besides this there have been major upheavals in societies and governments in the past century. Empires have been broken up, and divisions have split nations along ethnic and religious lines. In 2008 there was a near-collapse of the world economy due to greedy financial manipulation, with great difficulty slowly recovering but the markets both in Europe and the US still unsure, the last as due to a huge deficit. In early 2011 we observed an Islāmic Spring with still uncertain outcomes.

We can’t deny it, it happens all in our time, in past time and currents times over and over!

In many places around the world people put heavy steel bars over their windows. Often honest people being in jail whilst criminals walk the streets. Confessed rapists and murderers set free and courts finding technical excuse to do so. In some places 80% of all children are born to single mothers with not rarely the father not being known. Many semi-slave laborers as part of the human trafficking industry, often enslaved and very young within an increasing dangerous and powerful evil business overtaking in the years ahead the industry of the “drug barons”. Poisons being poured out into rivers whilst people downstream have no other choice but to drink the contaminated water. Multinational corporations hiding their trail of injustice and profits in a legal jungle of complex contracts where government officials turn a blind eye for cash. The exponential increase of our human population in the 21st Century will raise more expectations on normal living circumstances and shelter, – unsustainable as more people adopt modern lifestyles of consumption and pollution. Climate change will provide a burden for us all, – but in particular for those people with little shelter and less normal circumstances of living.

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The 21st century, – all our time and may be the end of times if we don’t pull together as civilised nations and use reason as the guiding force to streamline our decisions, decisions or choices which will determine how we proceed this century.

Conflicts are increasing over essential resources, especially water and energy. Accelerating climate changes with profound changes in patterns both in Australia, the US and other parts of the world. Political and economic instability including the slowly spreading of nuclear weapons give little hope in objective terms. Church officials being exposed as pedophiles, seducing or raping little boys and girls. The Roman Catholic Church turning a blind eye for a long time to this like they turned a blind eye to Hitler Germany to continue as a Church. A reflection of the violence of institutions, indifference and inaction and slow decay. But still amidst this good people as well fighting this decay.

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Many good people in our times as well! —-

Going back as not being finished yet:

Hitler, Lenin and Pol Pot who did mislead millions of people doing the most repugnant and wicked things, apart from the “smaller evils” like eg Idi Amin.

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However, – still we have the last choice, if people say to kill we don’t need to kill.

If we were abused as children by parents, we don’t need to abuse our children..

For some, – religion as part of their appeal with Al-Qaeda being a prime example now.

All in this world and in our time!

And still, – we can only bring so much of the Kingdom of God into this world as we have within ourselves, – which includes our sense of piety or respect for life, – within the concept of a practical and down to earth wisdom on international relationships.

Our times are full of shame and sorrow despite the hope for a better future where forces of nature should be the enemies and not humankind divided in itself. The victims of the violence and senseless bloodshed are across all religions, black and white, rich and poor, young and old.

“Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”

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Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and indifference amidst this is a different sort of violence on its own. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, the hungry and those being victims of broad-spectrum abuse, whether it is human trafficking or the abuse of elderly in homes.

I am not saying this because I have remedies for this. No not at all. It’s more that I am speechless of the complexities and dangers of this world, – our only world.

It is not about me but it is about all of us, young in heart and spirit to do what life asks us to do with the predicaments of our time. This time and for all times, just to set the records straight for future generations.

The question is when we may find in our own hearts that sort of leadership re humane purpose that will see and hear the terrible truths of our existence, to be replaced by the kind of love and commitment which helps people and nations to grow with real destination, with true distinctions in our search for meaning in life, – neither enriched by hatred nor revenge. But a meaning which frees our children from the injustice inflicted by others and allows them not to build their futures on the misfortunes of those who lost their fight for justice in the agony of life.

Let us look around towards our fellow men and women to seek the bond of common faith.

This faith which can teach us neither to be indifferent nor to have illusions, but to see the world as it is and still keep hope by working and healing wounds in hearts and spirit, – by working to be brothers and sisters with a common goal to make the impossible possible.

Whilst there is again no “magic formula” to make peace, – man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly impossible.

And I do believe we may do it again by being free man and taking our bullets of self-destruction to the ballet of international coöperation, – to counteract the problems of our time, to counteract it for the future of our children and their children, – but it will come at a cost we can’t foresee as yet.

All in our time.

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Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

America’s Role In The Middle East – Justified?


English: youth orchestra of the middle east
English: youth orchestra of the middle east (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We shall live at last as free men on our soil, and die peacefully in our own homes”, – as Theodor Herzl once wrote in his book “The Jewish State“.

He wrote this almost a century ago, long before the concentration camps of Hitler, long before the increasing tensions in the Middle East, – not being aware that what he said now applies for most people living in the Middle East, the young and the old, the sick and the frail….

The tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, the tensions between some Arab nations with both each other but with Israel as well, – proved to be one of the most intractable and ever-lasting conflicts in modern history, not forgetting the history of thousands years ago. A conflict with still powerful impacts outside the boundaries of the Middle East, either on the price of oil or on the growth of global terrorism, – fended by those states getting increasing powerful.

The Middle East is both a dream and a reality, – the Middle East a frame-work for both interesting difference and evolving cultures, – but still a major threat to both international security and peace.

As one said years ago: “We have tears about Johannesburg”. This at the time of major friction in South Africa, with the risk of ripping South Africa apart and social unrest escalating into civil war. It did not happen finally as wisdom did reign by the actions of some.

Today can be said: “We have tears about the Middle East”, as neither Allah nor God, the same, – would approve any of the activities of those who hate, those who kill without reason.

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Yesterday, – about 43% of US voters had the opinion that the United States was too much involved in the Middle East, some 15% did believe the US should offer broader involvement in the Middle East. Perhaps some 31% felt fine about the current level of US involvement in this part of the world. This has been the outcome of a recent Rasmussen Report with a 95% confidence level. In other words, the outcome of the Rasmussen Report was very close to give an correct idea of the American public at a time the role of the US in the Middle East takes a more central role, – as far as the confirmation hearings of the nominee Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel concerned.

Is this surprising?

Some may feel this is part of an ongoing worldwide conflict between the Islāmic world and the West, but such feeling is most questionable if we look at the Islāmic culture and it’s real traditions, – which by far the majority of people of Islāmic background is favoured. Most of the Islāmic people are hardworking people with a common faith and a common believe in family traditions and a common hope for peace on earth. Both for their children and themselves.

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In essence their belief system is close to ours perhaps, where it goes to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, supportive to the striving and tolerant to both the strong and the weak. The tensions in the Middle East are not between regions or religions, it is not about the poor versus rich, but it is about those who hate, – and those who feed their hate with weapons of prejudice and destruction, with infiltration by night and attacking by day, – both at small and larger scale, – both with risk of massive escalation.

The current US Administration is sharing this view and it is about the last risk being mentioned that US involvement may shift to a broader involvement, – perhaps against public opinion, but with the aim to prevent an escalating situation where this is possible on reasonable terms.

Widespread coöperation is still possible, as illustrated eg by the famous Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim‘s with his Youth Orchestra, – joined by young talented Arabs and Israelis. This was a real life show of musical harmony in the Middle East, a show as well that behind the scenes, behind the scenes of hard work, – those young people were able to share what they have in common, to share their humanity and their dreams regardless of what their Governments say. And as so often happens, – it became clear as well how many of those people who created for a brief moment musical harmony in the Middle East, – were influenced of what was spread by the media in their own countries, the prejudice of often their own Governments, affecting the nations of many people. People who don’t want to have anything to do with a new war, – don’t want to live in ongoing fear.

Musical harmony is great, as it bind souls and people in common endeavours, – regardless colour, race, identity or belief. It binds the people good at heart and intention, – being ready to work for harmony with the tool set of various instruments and skills, under the guidance of great and skilled Conductors, – Conductors encouraging people young in heart and spirit, encouraging people who are not blindfolded as yet by the common convictions of prejudice and hatred.

That’s about music and music needs harmony.

Those who persistently fail, either on purpose or lack in effort, – lack in effort to play their own role at such an Orchestra need to be replaced as they destroy the collective effort. The last does not need force, it requires reason, – and most of those participants make place for better ones, even if it takes an argument. But it is better to loose an argument than a friend. At the Orchestra of world politics, at the orchestra of politics in the Middle East, – repetitive exercise to get the best out of our endeavours is required as well. Required the repetitive exercise to increase the need of harmony, with the obligation players being ready to use their tools and instruments to make such harmony, this harmony all around, – despite differences, despite errors, despite tears at times.

 

When it was decided to go to the Moon, when it was decided to go for this goal, – it was not because it was easy but because it was hard. It was not because it was cheap but it was expensive and worthwhile to explore the wonders of nature, and to bring out the best of us in a common endeavour where everybody has it’s own role, – a role to bring those who were nominated and trained, – to visit that part of the universe not being explored as yet.

And yet, the universe of peace and harmony has never been explored that much, – as what music is able to do in harmony, as what we can in our efforts to explore the moon and all the others, – as what we are able to do in science and technology.

It is nearly as what Isaiah not literally once said almost 3000 years ago, – that the “prostitutes” do not only represent Rome, but that they represent all the corrupt powers, the evil powers and authorities of every age and every generation, powers still having their share in evil and massacres, – in immorality and abuse.

The Middle East is possibly the most dramatic scene of potential major violence, the most dramatic scene of emotions neither being controlled nor realistic. Ongoing conflict not being resolved, – as so many players are due to be replaced, as so many Governments are due to work through change in the spirit of hope and challenge to get the best out of our human endeavours.

Israel, some days ago, did sent warplanes into Syria with widespread condemnation of both Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, condemnation from Russia as well. Iran warned last week via Abdollahian that Iran would consider any attack on Syria as an attack on Iran itself.

Whilst world leaders try to seek aid for Syrians being the victims of their brutal regime, Israel’s warplanes did hit a convoy with surface-to-air missiles, likely Russian-made missile parts potentially being used in a possible pending attack on Israel. Those weapons were intended to be provided to Hezbollah in Lebanon, supported by Syria and Iran.

We know the Assad’s regime is failing after nearly two years of fending off the ongoing and justified rebellion, and Hezbollah probably wants to take hold of various weapons before the al-Assad regime gets crushed, – again supported by Syria when everything is lost. The last thing then to do is to divert the attention by supplying even chemical material to equip some of the Hezbollah Scud missiles. It is not surprising that Iran is responding the way it does, turning a blind eye to the violence inflicted by the Syrian authorities on its own people, but supporting Hezbollah inflicted violence, – providing a reason to retaliate if Israel would hit back.

Both White House spokesman Jay Carney and Victoria Nuland from the US State Department refused to comment on the Wednesday airstrike, with Israel not having much to comment either.

It looks like a simple incident but whilst the Syrian authorities are still entertaining their cruel efforts to hold on power with all means they have to kill, regardless age and gender, – the UN needs now to respond as requested by Syria and other nations, whilst Israel only tries and tried to prevent worse scenario’s as potentially being prepared.

Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Israel’s attack was “in line with the West’s policies of undermining the victories of the Syrian Government.”, with the ambassador for Syria in Lebanon saying that Syria reserves the right to a “surprise retaliation” against Israel .

Victories of the Syrian Government?

It shows how the dynamics are. It shows the evil in some existing systems not being overruled by the people younger in generation, avoiding conflict and war. Systems of evil being allowed at the Orchestra of world politics to kill eg it’s own citizens at massive scale, not in the name of Allah, – but in the name of corruption and holding on too brutal power. Syria eg again is a prime example, apart from a few other countries.

This is the reason that the US needs to keep a very close eye on the dangerous dynamics in the Middle East, – as those dynamics changing in a war machine of preparation affect us all once they escalate.

Neither music nor Conductors can change this, but the power of people and real leaders may change this when the efforts are there, – and the wind has been taken away from the sails of those who hate, those who kill regardless gender or age.

What happens here has neither to do with the authenticity of the Islam culture nor with a worldwide conflict between those who represent the West and those who have an Islāmic background. It’s the conflict between barbaric or evil elements and culture, the conflict between evil and civilisation. It’s about the insight that the travel of prejudice, narrow-mindedness and bigotry is fatal

Like the famous Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim’s Youth Orchestra showed the coöperation between young Arabs and Israelis, who found common ground in the way we are as a people, – it’s the next generation of youngsters perhaps who may offer peace and coöperation in the Middle East, after all the evil offending participants have been taken away from the political arena of the Middle East.

Hence wisdom and restraint being required until this happens, but the day will come, – and we are all waiting for this.

It is like Gandhi once wrote: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”

The time may come that war is asking us what we were doing all the time before it started, – and this is the reason that US role in the Middle East is vital until a new generation of peace makers takes over. Whilst wisdom is a matter of reflection, long and hard before we act, – it is Israel who failed to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas and Hezbollah continuing to mount attacks on Israeli’s citizens leading to military responses by Israel. All this serves fuelling the hatred against Israel with the USA being Israel’s major supporter, but the Middle East dynamics support as well the murderous activities of groups like al- Qaeda. It supports as well other evil systems in the Middle East, – and hatred seems to be the irrational engine of all activities of violence.

It seems hatred is the longest lasting pleasure in the Middle East, creative in it’s dynamic’s but creative as well as to the extinction of values and human rights, – hence our support for those youngsters turning away from the “masters” of hate, working on the harmony among people from all different backgrounds, – like some may find in the harmonies of music. Those people are the people who represent somehow the will of both God and Allah, – the same. And during their endeavours of tuning their instruments and playing together, – they will meet each other from heart to heart and work out the reason for which they were created, …regardless the settlements, the military, the defeat, and the tears at times.

Meanwhile the US needs to play its role. Trying to enforce peace in the mindset of people not ready for it is like painting on a wet wall. It does not help. Vision and mission to create an enduring peace and an enduring cooperation requires leadership receptive for the sentiments of all parties, – besides deep trustworthiness. We are not there as yet. We may not do it in this generation and even not perhaps in the next generation.

The main emphasis when people are not ready to talk and get a real understanding from where they are coming from is to try and avoid conflict and balance the powers as good as possible.

Israel is entitled to defend itself against eminent significant threats.

America’s role in the Middle East is an important one with an adequate US Administration now being place, as through reasoning and diplomatic actions with the right mind and skill set, – to give diversity and hopefully “non violence” a place. trustworthiness in any endeavours may give the cement to keep a fragile peace the least, ..and the last is more important than no peace at all. Whilst the US has obviously an important and influential role, – it’s not only the responsibility of the US as there is something like a “global responsibility” as well. A responsibility of nations being prepared, nations being able, – to take this supportive role on board.

Peace in the Middle East is a process of many little positive actions, providing forums where people can meet face to face to dissolve hatred and hardline policies. The US and others perhaps can only be the facilitator, – as when nothing changes in the heart and mindset of people, nothing will change in the world of the Middle East.

Finally, – history shows that the root of most evils is hatred. The art of real leadership when the heat is going up, amidst the dynamics of hatred, – is to try to diffuse the last in the most reasonable acts to prevent this hatred flowing into the most irreversible deeds of evil. Whilst this is not always possible, those acts are justified. Those acts like straight on meetings with enemies or foes need both talent and skill, besides foremost great compassionate and deep rooted courage. The courage not to refrain from encouraging both opponents or foes to renewal and change, – not to refrain from trying to rejuvenate responsible and reasonable thinking. And if possible, not to refrain from trying to prevent hardening existing perceptions, – as perceptions may soften in humble face to face meetings perhaps.

This is what seems to be required in the Middle East,
to prevent the tears of future generations….

The point is, – we either die together or we live together!

We can put up walls, – or build a cathedral!

Sure?

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?”


Kennedy giving his speech on Martin Luther Kin...
Kennedy giving his speech on Martin Luther King, Jr.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” — Robert Frost

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCrx_u3825g

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” —George Bernard Shaw

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Being asked at some stage why this blog had the pretentious title; “We dream about things that never were and say: why not?”, – I refer back to one of the plays of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) “Back to Methuselah“, which actually is a series of five plays on its own.

In “Back to Methuselah” the above quote is used by The Serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The play was performed for the first time in New York City at the Garrick Theatre in 1922 and entailed for the time a most interesting science fiction fantasy which took three nights to do.

The former US Senator and assassinated Presidential Candidate Robert F Kennedy (1968) borrowed this quote and said it differently: “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?”

Kennedy and Martin Luther King were the people at the forefront for change in the United States during the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King was assassinated just a couple of months before Robert Kennedy was killed.

The movement for change came to a standstill, the Vietnam War escalated, – social issues to be developed in the US were put on hold. The last until the movement for change embodied in President Barack Obama evolved into a new episode in US history, at a time crucial for various developments in the world.

If the further movement for change on issues of human rights, on Peace and International Stability requires to get stronger, and if the quote in above fiction play (from Bernard Shaw) is being allowed to embody a stronger emphasis, then the “I” part in the quote needs to be changed in the “We” part.

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We are all strongly interdependent and if the “dream” in whatever entity resonates as a ripple effect across the generations, like the waves are coming and going but (!) always coming in terms of new energy, “We” may create a movement eventually which breaks the obstacles for Peace and stability, the obstacles to reduce poverty and keep the ingredients to protect this small planet against  climate changes and other disruptions of various nature.

We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?”, reflects a shift in perception so to say.  A shift in thinking where new and better options are explored, new ways discovered. Where the creativity from the  right part of the  brain takes over the reactive activity from the  left side of the  brain, the last where those activities are not balanced in the actions of people. Actions which are not right and call for change. Actions which require passion and creative thought for peace and development.

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Where conscious activities take over the activities from the mind, as it is not the mind which dictates the outcome of the future, the first determines then the outcome of our common activities.

Obviously we can do this as people in breaking with the past where this is required and at times we do this by choice, – using this gift we all have.

At the end it is not “I” it is “We”!

 

There is no pretentious aim in the title of this blog, – as it is not about “me”, it is about “We” as a people, “We” as people, “We” embodied in the future with plenty of issues to be resolved. “We” who bear both the seeds of potential and defeat.

Defeat we had, potential we need.

Far too often we see the scary demeanour of empty confidence and coolness in this world.

People who both often speak too noisy with overbearing pride. People often who build their lives at a cost of others, –the last not rarely with intolerance and suppression. We see this in families, our communities, in organisations where people are still able to manage from inflated principles, – and finally we see this in our country and many countries around us.

Often in “the culture” as well of our political systems, – whether they are democratic or the opposite.

The more suppression there is the more violence it may create, with violence creating retaliation and retaliation creating more violence, – whether this is the violence in our demeanour or the violence of a society.

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Again and too often we see the sickness of not rarely whole societies, – with true respect for those who turn against it. And too often as well again we see the sickness of the souls of those people with the kind of sickness we are neither able to remove nor to heal.

What we can remove however is the hidden sickness of our own souls and shine as brightly as we can, – knowing that we don’t live in a perfect world. But the last thing which remains by free choice is trying to take away some part of the misery of humanity and this world, when it comes our way drop by drop and piece by piece, – either by coincidence or by choice.

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In the final analysis as human beings, – we have the last choice. And again this is not about “Me or I”, but it is about “We”, – where the sum of our individual activities do help to call the trumpet of our collective activities. The last in alignment with a massive human orchestra, directed perhaps by those conductors representing global efforts in favour of increasing international coöperation on the issues of our time.

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This part is not seeing things and standing by only, – and wondering “why?”. This is part of the active process of “Dreaming things that never were and say: Why not?” A creative and proactive activity, an ongoing movement for change where only “we” as a people can  make this change.

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In the broader sense of the word it is a team effort of gigantic proportions, which does not fail when one of the leaders would be assassinated, but where the group activity would make sure that the anti-movement would be eliminated by the proper law enforcement which would be the fruit of our collective endeavours, – and the movement would endure, regardless death, which surrounds us day by day.

Whilst the reality of this world may make many of us pessimistic, – the power of being hopeful and believing in the potential goodness of human nature and going beyond the realities of ignorance and violence, – provides us with the seeds to “Dream things which never were and say: “Why not?”

So let us go forth therefore unto keeping the human spirit alive, against all odds.

Let us go forth into the field where we are able to touch the lives of others who walk in “the dark”, whether they are rich or poor, – whether they represent countries in regression or under repression. As both in our communities we are able to offer the peace which helps people to move forward and inevitably among countries as well, – we are able to support those who need guidance. Not the support of weapons, which only give destruction and not the provision of hope, – but the support to inhabit this planet within the range of our human destiny where forces against its survival can be controlled by the rational end of the human spirit.

The last to be shared with the vigilant efforts within our families, communities and finally between countries, – where law enforcement on peace, human rights and the protection of our environment is not impossible.

Not even impossible in times where annihilation still is possible, – when people can’t do without this enforcement on peaceful efforts to settle disputes of any kind.

Therefore we need to continue to dream things that never were and continue to say, – as acting we must: “Why not?” Each time and in each generation those efforts need to be renewed. Each time and in each generation new identities need to be evolved to combat the danger of evil spirits and evil movements, – whether it is organised crime or human trafficking, whether it applies to countries who foo the world or people who represent terrorist activities.

Where non-violence needs to be the universal aim, – violence can’t be always prevented as ready we need to be to combat the risks of greater destructions.

Never ever we will live in a perfect world. Never ever will there be an enduring peace as there is always the risk of conflict. But “We” as a people need to dream things to create the antidote for the evils of humanity, – which is an active process starting at the base of our own conscience in all our day to day activities where we have to make choices, where we have to make choices to make things better or bitter.

Therefore we have to dream things which never were and say” Why not?” Not because the people have to do it for us, but we have to do it for the people, for those who deserve our care and compassion.

Again lastly (I touched base on this before), the last responsibility we have as people is to remove the hidden sickness of our own souls. Either the sickness from the past or the present, which manifest itself in small and often unnoticed deeds. It’s a process of personal growth which means we need to leave certain things behind us and replace this by better things today and shine as such as brightly as we can.

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After sustaining and surviving the most horrible experiments in 2nd WW concentration camps, –  it is as Victor Frankl once said about choice.

Indeed, at the end we have a free choice.

They can take away everything from us, and even at the last moment we have the final choice as how to respond or not respond at all anymore.

So neither death nor life needs to face us in the things we don’t understand, as long we play our own part on this little planet.

At the end nothing is terminal, everything is transitional, – even where death separates us from our duties here on earth.

But the duties continue in hopefully endless generations to come, each with its specific problems where man made problems need to be resolved.

And finally therefore the “We” part in saying we dream things that never were and say “Why not?” is so important, because the power of our collective dreams for a better world in action creates a ripple effect which can’t be stopped, – neither today nor tomorrow!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-question-as-how-to-serve/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/to-sweep-down-the-mightiest-walls-of-oppression-against-our-human-rights-and-create-the-biggest-movement-on-earth/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/peace/

Challenges of our times and generation

Some predictions for 2013 after 2012?


DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 - John F. Kerry, Se...
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 – John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts (Democrat), USA captured during the session ‘The Future of the Middle East’ at the Annual Meeting 2007 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2007. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

>”Don’t sweat the small stuff when so much else matters.”<

Predictions are not always easy and sometimes impossible. We have one certainty and this is that not nothing is certain. Our agenda for tomorrow based on today or yesterday may well work out, but sometimes it may get disrupted by the unexpected and we have to deal with things as they face us. The day may end differently than we expected, despite a good start perhaps and despite the fact that we assumed everything would by all right.

The same applies to predictions on a New Year, we hope for the best but nothing is certain. Same applies to the weather forecast. We may have good grounds to say it will be a sunny day tomorrow and go to the beach, but we may have to change plans as it proves to be a rainy day with a thunderstorm after eg a very humid day. Let’s be happy that the forecast that the world would end on the 20th of December was nonsense, nobody is able to predict those things.

In other words we may have our intentions but we are not sure whether they come true. Hence what I have to say about 2013 is based on assumptions, based on trends and certain facts perhaps but knowing as well that everything can be changed by the unexpected. In other words and if you like, read what is written below for your pleasure only. It is written by a country Physician, – so be on your guard as Physicians are not supposed to know anything about the future, not to speak about international developments. However what is said is not too difficult and perhaps we all know about it already. Besides this there is no pretension to be complete on those things as completeness on those things as far beyond our abilities.

2012 was for sure not the most dramatic year fortunately. As I said the world did not come to an end and for some this was a bonus, if they were aware of those predictions. Still there have been plenty of issues in 2012 with the seeds of events setting the scene for 2013. This includes eg the launch of a long-range rocket in North Korea, a country with just a new young leader.We had the conflict between Israel and Gaza, or actually as well the non – coöperation from Israel towards a new Palestinian State next door with still clearly significant Hamas impact and the potential of new rocket attacks from East Jerusalem, – if again a conflict situation. Hamas still being supported by Iran, not particularly Israels biggest ally so to say. We all know this. Nothing new. There has been always friction in this area.. Even in the Old Testament there were many reflections on struggle and endless fights. The problem now is that we have different means to start war’s. It’s a bit scary at times. Iran’s nuclear ambitions within this context are only adding oil on fear.

The ongoing civil war in Syria with endless killings and with the remote risk of escalation is an other example, and sadly spoken there is no reference for life at all in Syria (its leaders).. The only thing which is positive after the international community being tight into “non action” is that Russia is getting a bit over Syria with its troubles as well, which may aid international coöperation to end this pointless conflict, – based on a dictator hanging in for power. It’s a terrible example.

There are the current tensions between China and Japan about an absolute insignificant rock in the ocean, which means apparently enough for those countries to send Navy vessels to this direction. And we all hope that no idiot will start to sink a ship in this breeding conflict as little things can have major implications. However feel assured, neither the Chinese nor the Japanese are idiots, they need to show to their own people that they take this issue serious. However one may ask for what reason. One miscalculation or error in judgement may ruin plans. Interestingly Kennedy during the missile Cuba crisis in 1962 was at the end more concerned about his own Generals than about the leader of the Soviet Union at the time. Gives an indication perhaps that playing with fire may give unexpectedly a fire and sometimes a big one.

The continuation of Obama’s Presidency in 2013 may cause him more grey hairs, but his team approach will help to set the tone of international developments where both wisdom action and restraint are more balanced when the election outcome would have been differently. History has not always been that lucky.

Syrian dictator Assad still being in office with all the ongoing massacres will drive him into increasing isolation.Hopefully it is just a matter of time that international approval will help to stop the needless killings and extreme violence in this troubled country.The whole Middle East area is already troubled enough.

Needless to say that the Middle East will be most challenging in 2013, more so than in 2012. This since civilization festered area with religious hatred and conflict for certain will not easily find a harmonious solution for all parties involved. The most practical interim solution will be straight on US – Iran discussions to test Iran’s willingness to coöperate in multi part talks to restrict/reduce the chance of an escalating war without end.The emhasis should be to end all terror related violence as only this will encourage Israel to help the Palestinians into the developments needed with the protection of all people in the Israel/Gaza region.It is just wait and see whether it will go this direction, but it would be wise to include Iran subject to prove of genuine intentions to keep friendly relations with all neighbours in the area, including full safety guarantees for Israel.

It is amazing to see that the Euro crisis has been able to drag on for another year without a final conclusion. In December 2012 Greece is still in the Eurozone and different European countries are struggling with various intensity to stay straight, so to say. Unemployment ratio is increasing likewise the closure or reduction of various businesses. For many the belief in the Euro future is bleak with Germany however insisting that the Euro should survive. Needless to say that a potential fall of the Euro will have lots of implications for the people of Europe, but also for the nations with strong Euro connections.

Leadership changes took place in various countries during 2012 and generally spoken not much change can be expected immediately after those transitions. However, the leadership changes in both North Korea,China, Russia, Japan and other States will set the agenda for changing dynamics in 2013, with the inclusion at least of a stable and trustworthy foreign policy approach of the US under the same President with a good successor of Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. John Kerry is a foreign policy expert and an impressive elder statesman in the US Senate. He will not need much “in-house training” to aid US foreign policy on critical issues in 2013.

The most important issue perhaps of being resolved at present is unfortunately financial . If both the US and Europe are unable to solve their issues with the required political will, it will enhance the weakening of the “western hemisphere” in almost every dimension. Fiscal cliffs or not, the balance between outgoing’s and innings need to be right. The current US deficit and the Federal Reserve printing heaps of money not backed by any “golden standard” or “oil” is asking for trouble down the line with the risk of a massive new recession.Utterly complex matters within the US not fully controlled need to be be managed or controlled by vigorous new legislation. Gun control is important and a public topic at present but the system of financial self-regulation is vital for the US to continue to exist in the way it does and not go down the road as the Roman empire once did. Some countries perhaps would be delighted with a reduction of US power, but the risk of a significant reduction of US power could destabilise the world and President’s Obama’s second term will be vital to face and deal with the issues as they are.The potential foreshadow of social unrest and increasing violence as a result of a possible second recession makes gun control even more significant to protect US citizens against itself. The potential destruction of the US not necessarily may come from the outside but can come from the inside and the years ahead are critical for the US. Inflation and possible recession are going hand in hand if no firm control on the Federal Reserve, but the powers behind this are significant and dealing with this is a risk for the US President. However what needs to be done needs to be done. At the end of the day it is all people’s work translated into energy, rewarded by money, – which is decreasing in value by the private control of creating money by the Federal Reserve. Man made problems can be resolved by men, only if the political will to support the required directions resonates through various legislative branches in both Europe and the US.Without any predictions being possible it is wait and see how the dynamis in this area will evolve in 2013, knowing that any international conflict could ruin the efforts of each country to solve its balance between spending and cutting costs in a way which protects those who have worked hard for their money, but also those who live from their superannuation, those who are disabled and fragile in society, the elderly and the children included. “Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” as was once said by Nathan Pyle, – however I doubt this for 2013 (in no uncertain terms).. Increasing costs for food and energy against reduced value of our money is harmful wherever we may live on this world, and still the majority of people can’t afford it anymore and live below any reasonable standard of living.

Various countries in the Middle East will face the problem of opposing Islamist groups taking responsibility of taking Government as many Islamists have their own political frictions with the potential of increasing sectarian conflicts in the years laying ahead. Initial peaceful countries could turn quickly into new areas of intense conflict.

The US has renewed interest  in the Asian Pacific for both economical and security reasons after withdrawing from both Iraq and eventually in 2014 from Afghanistan, but the vacuüm created will have both Iran’s and India’s interest to have their perceived deserved share of influence. Also an area of different dynamics with an uncertain outcome at this stage after US withdrawal by the end of 2014.

It is anticipated that US dependence on oil exporting countries is going to reduce in quite sustained ways with significant “US dollar” issues. There is a tendency already of increasing countries less relying on the value of the US dollar with as final result (forgetting about a few other issues) that the US impact on foreign international policy may reduce in value and strength..

President Obama shortly in his second term will have greater influence to balance the critical important relationships between the US and China. The new President Xi from China needs to get agreement and support for a different set of policies in a rebalancing act on the Chines economy and the demands of some 350 million middle class people. The facts behind the conflict between Japan and China in the East Chines sea could be well that the Chinese government can’t afford to look weak. It is clear that the US has been worried about China for some time and it is not hoped that Japan might be forced to act in a very trivial conflict with apart from this the still contentious issues around Taiwan.

As we all know, words from leaders may lead to action and both feeding empty rhetoric and false sentiments besides fear, are unhelpful to balance the required coöperation between Washington and Beijing.Tha call for action goes together for the call for great care on both sides. Again note that it has been an international interest to have President Obama reelected as US “Commander-in-Chief”, even though a number of US citizens feel different about this.

Iran has been faced with various sanctions in 2012 together with increased inflation and unemployment.The desire of Iran to go nuclear and have potential weapons of mass destruction is going at a significant cost for Iran.It’s standing in the region as due to the Arab uprising is not as strong as it was before.It’s ally Syria is fully involved in a civil war and Israels insistence on a preëmptive attack may seem to have diminished somewhat, waiting what a second Obama term will deliver in terms of security for Israel. The question remains whether containment of a nuclear Iran is possible. Israel will still reconsider its options and in terms of US foreign policy it would be wise to test Iran on its willingness to have serious discussions on security matters in the Middle East area, including its place about Israel. If Israels security is without any doubt accepted it is neither in Israel’s interest nor intention to start a preëmptive war with Iran, but also this is a wait and see matter as how dynamics will evolve. Needless to say again that this is an area of both great concern and importance and proactive management from the US Administration is a need to keep the right balance as from other countries this can’t be expected, unfortunately. It’s a critical issue in US foreign policy in the Middle East and it would be hoped that John Kerry will be granted with a new US mission to explore the potential coöperation with Iran to balance US vital security interest in Israel, without a major Middle East war.

Climate change and the implications of Climate change, the protection against terrorism of any kind will remain high on the international agenda, likewise and hopefully increasingly the protection of human rights. The last often an issue of international lip service and a need being recognised but not often materialised where it proves to be required, including the issue of increasing human trafficking. Also in this domain we have to wait and see how international coöperation will work out, but at least a stable world will contribute and a world with increasing conflict will compromise, – any form of human rights! Hence the importance of the 2013 agenda that some countries are going to deal seriously with their own financial affairs as what we can learn from history is that the great depression of the 1930ties was one of the triggers of the second word war.

America’s stronghold as an economic power has been compromised in the past and it is by far nor sure this will be sorted in the future. A sudden recession or an unexpeced and escalating conflict could ruin each potential to overcome its problems if both leaders in Europe and the US are unable to get the required support to control internal economical dynamics not being sufficiently managed in the past. Fruitful international relationships are  of ongoing importance, which will be really the challenge of 2013 with a new generation of leaders in vital countries of potential conflict.

Far more to say about 2013, but let’s leave this to the experts with more insight information about existing background dynamics. What often seems true on the surface is different from the inside, with the knowledge reaching this inside.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, and create the biggest movement on earth


 
Collage for MENA protests
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal or act to improve the lot of others, or strikes against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”    – Robert F Kennedy,  former US Senator and Presidential candidate in 1968
Like words can move and guide people as part of proper leadership, so is principle centred and strategic non violent action able to remove the power base of oppressive regimes, – those regimes with no respect for human rights. Needless to say the movement of non violent action will endure and the force if well-balanced on all core principles, may outmanoeuvre dictators to make free the people who lost their freedom and dignity under often ruthless powers.
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It works. It proved in India at the times of Gandhi, it proved in Tunisia and Egypt with people at the forefront of action and strengthened with the literature of eg Gene Sharp, the last being a scholar in nonviolent social change and still alive today in East Boston, USA.   Gene Sharp is a graduate from Oxford and has held positions at Harvard University, besides Massachusetts Dartmouth. His books “The Politics of Nonviolent Action” and “Waging Nonviolent Struggle” have inspired many movements across the globe. Iran did accuse him of working for the CIA, which is not true. A reflection however that the non violent movement if well prepared is feared by those countries who have reason to fear, Iran and Syria included. Needless to say that in some Middle East countries real discussions are going as how to break the force of non violent action. However if well-developed, like Robert Kennedy from a distance once indicated, it can “sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression”, as happened eg in South Africa.
Obviously the road of non violence action is not without risk and people engaging in non violent action will be killed regardless their good intentions. Often the struggle is a hard one with loss of friends to be endured, not to speak about the risk of very potential torture. However non-violence by principle and guided with superior talent is the only way, as violence will be responded with greater violence by forces far stronger than yourself and it will give opponents an argument to fight to the bitter end. Non violence includes the choice of specific tactics, often to break the violence of opposing policing and military force.
There have been misconceptions about nonviolent action. Many people used to think that it was not a strong force and that only the violence of war could remove extreme dictators. It is not true. Foreign countries do not need to occupy countries where human rights are abused or where dictator’s have the reigns. It needs to come from the people themselves, at times with support like in Libya. However the last one was not an example of non violent struggle and where violent struggle obtains a victory the likelihood of violence to be sustained has increased, – whatever party did win the struggle. Only if the principles of non violent action are at the centre of the struggle, those groups sustaining and winning the battle this way are more likely to continue to stick to those principles.
If people are disciplined and courageous, they can do it with the proper concepts of non violent action. When people lose the understandable element of fear of an oppressor’s regime, the oppressive regime is facing deep trouble. Maintaining a nonviolent discipline is crucial. If a highly oppressive regime has various troops and effective weapons, it is foolish to try fighting them on their own ground You can’t win from their weapons and if you use the same tactics you will be branded as terrorists. So you must choose something else. Violence is usually not the answer, it creates more often greater disasters.
Highly regarded Us exVietnam war officials initially being sceptic about the concept of “non violent action”, – changed their mind after the war as they were confronted with evidence that it worked,  – more effective than they ever thought!  The power base of people does not involve a foreign occupation of any country if such country lives in gross contradiction of essential human rights, – it does not even involve the requirement of using ugly force. It only requires to empower people with the principles of non violent obstruction and non coöperation in the specific context of their country and such a movement is able the get a victory on principle and start on the same principles a sustainable democracy with proper law enforcement, – the last requiring force of the law on the real offenders and criminals.
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Related imageMilitary-Industrial Complex Conduct Invites Nonviolent Direct Action
Some may say throwing stones are fine as long as you don’t hit people. It is simply not true. The gesture is violent in itself and will be responded with physical and all other violence. In biblical terms the fall of Jericho was neither caused by violence nor stones. The walls representing the barrier were of such nature that violence would not bring it down. Oppression and dictators are based on certain systems of power and undermining those systems to make them fall apart is one of the aims to get rid of oppression. With faith!
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This concept can be developed into a smart and highly effective technology using the human spirit in all it’s positive and creative dimensions for those who suffer an enduring and violent injustice against the basics of human rights. It requires a sound knowledge of the nature and dynamics of the oppressing regime, answering the question as well in which areas they are both strong and weak. Modern communication technology will  aid such movement of positive change.

 
It is not always true that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves, what is true that every community may get the sort of law enforcement it insists on. To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world (as the Greeks) wrote so long ago, requires a shift in modern thinking where this modern thinking traditionally did include the option of excessive and more brutal force than ever before, against the will and the interest of the people. This type of  shift in thinking and perception is simply progress in the way we see the world and change is the motivator of progress into non violent ways to meet worthy goals and show respect for life.
However this type of change has enemies not to be underestimated. Those enemies are usually the extremists being extreme in their intolerance and in their accusations and it is paramount to provide them no grounded base for their accusations. Hence being in debt familiar with the principles of non violent struggle being the baseline to start a strategic sound and well prepared campaign against the oppressors, whoever the oppressors are and wherever they may be.
It is within this context that the intellectual work of Gene Sharp deserves recognition as within the context of an increasing friction between the interests of the people and the interests of Governments who seek confrontation rather than peace,  whilst the people they represent say:”Never ever again!”, – it provides a blueprint to do what Senator Robert F Kennedy once said in the above quote about “ripples of hope” and “million centres of energy and daring”.
The power of one can make or break the world where it comes to critical decisions about war and peace, and where the power of one directs into the direction of war the power of people’s have a right to say:”Not again, – never again!”, – as all out war on this planet not being able to controlled anymore is not a rational alternative. People  have  a right even to sweep down democratic governments if those governments take it one step too far in the direction of major war, and not keep the peace where  the option is to preserve the peace. Too many wars in the past were pointless, without real gain and with too many losses.
Any future major war may escalate into global disaster and as global citizens we have an obligation to watch our governments on the best possible intentions to protect our human right to live on this planet and cultivate the positive potential of life, – industry, – liberty and cut inequalities among race, cultures and individual opportunities. The last just  to be able to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy!
The use of violence is only the very last option when nuclear powers try to dominate the world with both the use of nuclear force and international blackmail, –  after it proved all efforts of proper international diplomacy guided by the UN failed.
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To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, against the mightiest walls in favour of an increasing arms race and both nuclear and biochemical threat, –  requires nearly half a billion centres of energy and daring.  As only this current can change the tide in human history!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

“To make gentle the life of this world.”


At times all of us would wish to live in a world more stable and tranquil, – but the fact is the world isn’t like this. Our times are both complicated and perplexing, but even though they are difficult and perplexing the challenges are still filled with hope and opportunity, even though the dynamics of reality are often confronting and little hopeful. It’s all about perceptions and choices.

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We simply have to look to the past weeks and learn from the events as they happened.

When we look around there is a lot of tragedy and suffering going on and though tragedy might be a tool to get wisdom for the living,  it is neither a guide by which to live, nor has it been showing a real learning curve in history. The challenges our world is faced with are hard to be solved by the sceptics who can’t look beyond their restricted perceptions of the obvious realities, neither can they be solved in the retaliation of violence where this should be avoided.

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I always found some comfort in the words spoken by Albert Schweitzer. He said in summary-that civilization is only working the right direction when life is considered to be sacred, and apart from human life he did include the lives of plants and animals.

 

 

As caretakers of this earth – he said – we have to protect and support life, within our reasonable options. It all has to do with compassion, which should embrace all living creatures as the guiding principle of morality. He called it: ” Reference for life.”

 

It might be hard to go that far, but if our choices tend to go more towards the direction protecting at least the human rights we need to stand for, this would be already an improvement.

As history unfortunately however shows at times, we had to go to war to remove the kind of criminals certain countries did not deserve to rule their nation. The sort of people who abused both their country and their people from a position of high authority.This is what happened when Allied Forces decided to strike Libia to stop Gaddafi killing far more of his civilians, and this decision was good as the intention was to prevent worse.

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More countries do show unrest and dissatisfaction at large scale with the way people are treated and suppressed, people disappearing through forces of eg secret police etc.

Demonstrations have spread across various countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Countries often with an oppressive leadership. Whilst human rights were seriously compromised in Egypt for many years already, – only during the uprise of the Egyptian people Hosni (Muhammad) Mubarak had to go.

Still there is a long way to go.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are seen as the most powerful Arab friends of the US and a strategic focus will be still in place and operational perhaps, despite liberation movements. It is not the easiest place for the US Obama administration as it could get easily caught in increasing policy contradictions where on the one hand there is a crack down on enemy governments which kills its people and on the other hand favouring countries like Bahrain and Yemen that kills its demonstrators.

Obviously bombing the Libyan leader Gaddafi’s air defences falls within the UN security council resolutions of imposing a “no -fly zone” (Resolution 1973) and taking the required actions to stop Gaddafi from killing civilians in his own country.

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This does not take away that with increasing unrest situations political courage and guiding principles are important where it comes to dealing with powers compromising human rights at a larger scale. The dilemma’s might be difficult. The question often is when it applies to countries not being familiar with democratic principles as we know them, what will happen if opponents remove a brutal dictator. What will happen in the aftermath and whether it is possible to rebuild the country with better law enforcement on human rights and basic other liberties, or whether matters get worse amidst chaos allowing eg Al-quaida elements to get the better in all the destruction, and more influence in such areas, – with even more human agony spreading down the line.

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Diplomacy on this issue requires utterly clarity on the right direction and support for all democratic movements around the globe which are stronger than the minority of their oppressors, and those who want to make a real break with a past of cruelty and violence. Like it is the ultimate aim to convince Colonel Gaddafi to step down from power, the same could apply to different leaders in the future as well.

It was Abraham Lincoln who once said that:”Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and to shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is the most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”

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Whilst there is no easy answer for many predicaments in this world and smoke still spewing from 2 adjacent reactors at the Fukushimadaiichi nuclear plant, it is  that both the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear challenges in Japan are among the most expensive disasters and that rapid international support could have been more forthcoming at an earlier stage. Japan had  much  trouble with many natural disasters in the past but the death toll and aftermath for many of those living now amidst the extremes of sudden poverty and grief is beyond any imagination.

Like it is objectionable that it proved to be hard to get timely a UN resolution in place to stop Gaddafi, – it is objectionable as well that the countries who did perceive Japan as neighbours friends and partners (besides allies), did not join together in providing organised support to those who are displaced, -with little shelter or food.

With more natural disasters happening in the future, it would seem countries are more ready to go to war rather than helping each other in the scenario’s like Japan is facing today.

The UN needs to have rapid intervention forces for humanitarian aid, – available within 24 hours after a major disaster all over the world to cut prolonged anguish and suffering. We need to learn from those disasters and both learning and leadership are indispensable to each other as a tool.

The late US Senator Robert Kennedy once quoted from the Greeks  many years ago:”To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.” He did put it in the right context.when he used this quote amidst racial violence in the US and a Vietnam war during the mid 60ties of the last century.

We have a free choice to do it this way in the arena of our human activity, and change a small part of the burdens of our world.

At some stage all our acts will be written in the history of our families and communities, and if important enough in the history of our countries and in history itself.

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It’s about the bit we did on earth and how we did it, – when we are laid to rest.

And if our actions and choices were directed rightly, –  it was good.

Good enough to lay down in peace..

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/21st-centurys-collision-course-of-nuclear-disaster-both-the-possible-and-the-impossible/

Let’s take the torch forward


English: Posthumous official presidential port...
English: Posthumous official presidential portrait of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, painted by Aaron Shikler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Good evening – or good morning – wherever you are at this hour.

Wherever you might be in your life, or wherever you will be in the future, – the future being the most important thing for all of usThe future we all cherish, – if we still have dreams or things to do.

The future which lives in us, – and we live in this future. A future still in which we are able to live our dreams and desires for a better world.

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The future is important for us because in the future lies our growth.

The growth which we all cherish for ourselves and for our children.

A future which will be the result of the decisions we make, either as persons, or as a people, – as citizens of the world.

What sort of future do we seek and what sort of world do we have?

Is what we see a world only of conflicting national interests and international fear, on a planet which bears the burden of increasing environmental degradation, – increasing disasters of nature and the risk of war?

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Is what we see only perhaps ourselves, trying to keep up with day-to-day life, finding a job , keeping a job and push as hard as possible to live the life we want to live for ourselves and our family?

A world of hope perhaps, – despite the enormity of sorrow?  A world with a future, despite agonising questions about both the past and the present? – –

Whatever the way we live and in whatever circumstances we are, there is still a world with opportunities,  if we are able to decide to live up to that future and face the questions as they are, – find the answers and actions which we need. The questions, answers and actions of our time, – as one global community.

A future in which we hope to survive the challenges which we face today, in our time, and for all times. Not only for this generation, but for all generations. For our children and their children. Long after we have gone ourselves.

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In our days as a human race, we need to be remembered not for the victory of wars, but for the victory of the human spirit, which dictates us to show our common humanity at all corners of the world.

Is this our quest for peace?

It is my wish to discuss some of the major challenges of our time, – the potential events we face as a people on this planet.  A pathway perhaps to take the torch forward to a new birth of freedom, – for all those people who seek this freedom and this peace, – unwilling as well to sacrifice the future of this world on the altar of increasing nuclear threat or war. War either by miscalculation or misinterpretation the nature of people, or disaster by underestimating the force of nature itself.

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Let everybody know that in the long history of the world, we are still embattled in the search for this new birth of freedom, based on the perils of liberty and a free choice. Based as well on the examples of people who lived before us. Based on the aftermath of many wars,  and captured in the spirit of hope to live up to the standards and obligations of  this freedom. Freedom which looks to the future with responsibility, based on conscious, –  but knowing that human nature is neither perfect, nor will it ever be.

Many pointless wars have been endured and will again happen all over the world. Many families and soldiers still traumatized as a result of often ill selected battle fields, wherever they took place, wherever they may take place. Many people having to face death going to war, and if they survive  – having to face what died in their heart and their personal lives, as the human spirit does neither cope with e.g. the past killing fields in Vietnam & Cambodia,-  neither will it cope with the potential of mass destruction in the Middle East or anywhere else on this world.

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This will be our fate and that of our children, if the means by which we are able to fight wars are not extinguished from earth, or from our decisions to fight those wars. Too many countries with irrational leaders have potential access to nuclear energy, and may opt to set fire to this world.

War itself in some occasions might a necessary evil where the liberties of the free world are at stake, as happened e.g. in the 2nd World War. However, more and more is required to secure all efforts to reverse at an early stage the processes leading up to war, – as war with the long-lasting destruction ability as we have now –  neither predictable nor controllable when it starts – is no longer a rational alternative, – as President John F Kennedy once said.

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It is for us the living,  dedicated to the unfinished task of others and dedicated to the outstanding task still remaining,  to make our time a better time and to make our world a better place. To make our world a better and safer place to live, as there are conditions and circumstances on this planet of far more importance than the strict national interests as defined within the perceptions of existing nations. We need to shift the perceptions on the world as it developed in the last decades, to one of harmonising our global interest with our national interest, and educate the leaders of UN member states – mixed as the interests are – to do the same. To shift towards a global awareness on what is really important to survive together as a global community, interdependent as we are.

At the end of the day we are not only a world of Christians, Muslims or Jews. We are not a world of blacks and whites, but we are a world of people with similar needs, occupying the same planet, having the same right on some space to live, the same right on food and water. We are all breathing the same air, and we all mortal and fragile in our basic humanity.

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All of us – at some stage – will be struggling with disease, – physical and mental decline, – and many of us will be affected by the increasing agony of our environmental degradation, including the disasters of nature, –  of any kind.

There is too much to say and far more to add.

But blessed are those people who are the peace keepers in this world, – those politicians as well, who affirm to peace and shy away from military confrontation, but stick however to the principles of finding solutions for both national and international problems.

Those principles do not only include solutions for both the roots of hatred and violence on this globe, but help to erode the barriers from past generations, and give new directions for different ways – and old perceptions to change. Those principles include the use in this generation of different and new requirements, adapted to the needs of tomorrow. The last not only as part of our national interest, but foremost as part of our global interest. Not only as part of the interest of our own environment, but as part of the interest of our global environment, which does not allow anymore to cut corners for the benefit of those who suffer the least.

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We have to carry forward the torch of the legacy of some  forebears, who stood for the same principles, who stood their ground – with this hope – and with this spirit – and we have to  renew this spirit in our time and for all times, within the endeavours for this generation and all generations.  The torch of protecting humanity at all corners of the earth.

Tyranny, poverty, disease and the prospect of war itself are the great challenges of our time. Where civilization does not succeed in the battle with those challenges, those challenges will succeed the battle to end the prospect of life on earth. As free people we end up with the last choice. As free people we may decide and if we  do not decide properly, our learning –together with our freedom will be in vain.

In too many cities and countries around the world, peace is not secure, because the obligations of freedom and a free choice are not fulfilled.

It is fair to say that in the world of today, still at least half of its population lives amidst the chains of poverty and disease, and many are the slaves of some of the so-called modern dictators – those who violate their conscious and their Creator – , those who are the champions of oppression, the jailers of freedom and the enemies of the free spirit of man. They include those people who make human rights abuses their business, the business of human trafficking included.

Divided we often are, united we can be– united in our efforts to ease the burdens of those who are born in the millions of families without the prospect of living in peace and proper education. Those families all over the world, often in conditions of war , and many of those people now the  new generation of refugees, always on the move from one place to the other. Homeless, in either their own or different countries. Not only as a result of war yesterday but as a result of climate change and other things “tomorrow”,  –  increasing sea levels and other disasters of nature.

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I think we should not simply add a new chapter to the misery of mankind, but write a new story on  the prospect of different frontiers in the history of humanity. And write this story in the hearts and the minds of people all over the world. A frontier which proclaims to protect life on earth and dictates wisdom in the use of our energies. A frontier which may reach all corners of this planet, if we decide to commit and not to compromise, – compromised as we often are..

Let it be said that when  we have the means to reach the moon, and save no cost to get this right, – or save no cost to fight the wars we should not fight, – we could change history by spending most of the required resources in building factories of hope for those who deserve it most. Not only in the countries of the rich, but together as well in the countries of the poor.

I think as  free citizens of this world, we need increasingly ask what to do about our global interest, because with the historic endeavours  we face to overcome the obstacles which will challenge our life in the next 20 years – united only our planet will survive with us – and we shall survive with our planet.

I think that on the mountains of civilization, we must put an end to the valleys of war and terror, before  war and terror may end the high ground of civilization.  If we don’t learn the lessons from history of too many wars and its potential destruction in the world of today, by not changing our thoughts on our culture, on real progress to make, – the history book of our culture and all cultures is closing in to an end.

However, rather than the terror of tyranny being allowed infiltrating the liberties of free man, let free man all together restrict the limitations of the tyranny from terror, wherever on this planet, whenever it strikes again!

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Where nations fail to act on the misery created or provoked in neighbouring countries, either by war or by the forces of nature, – they are collective responsible for the suffering of human beings.

Young citizens of this world without hope or education easily follow the recruitment steps of terrorists, with hatred among the domain of the living, and either violence or death within the targets of their armed domains.  We know what they can do, – we don’t know what they may do.

Still too many people enjoy the comfort of ill-founded opinions and not the discomfort of their inner thoughts which could be the motor of change, and part of our education needs to provoke our real thoughts about the future of our world, and the contributions we are able to make as simple human beings.

All people on this planet have the right to live within liberty and dignity for each other. We can’t turn back from this pledge at this stage for the world, without compromising the spirit of humanity, wherever country we may live.

We can’t turn away with so so many children to educate, so many families and jobs to protect, so many dispossessed people to care for, and so many economic and environmental problems to solve.  So much to deal with as well in terms of urban and rural poverty, and so many reconstruction to prepare for.

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Both the material and immaterial costs of war and preparing for it will create and contribute to increasing problems of instability, the misery of refugees, lasting terror, ethnic conflicts, increasing global financial crisis, – whilst there need to be still the resources for justified wars like the war against all this kind of poverty, the war against disease and the war against the disasters of nature and terror.

Let it be said that if we don’t put an end to the roots of terror and it’s ghetto’s, the ghetto’s of terror will worsen the risk of conflict at international level, – with potentially more people to be killed and incinerated in the fires of a nuclear encounter than at any time in the history of humankind.

I think where poverty more often creates the prospect of terror, we need to defeat the prospect of the worst poverty, as this is neither the domain of our humanity, nor the domain of real freedom and responsibility.

Where international misunderstanding and misalignment may put an end to mankind let it be proclaimed that humanity first and forever must put an end to international misunderstanding and misalignment, by principle centred leadership. The last which needs to be encouraged all over the world.

We faced many changes in history.

Production and industry changed and evolved. It shifted to highly qualified manufacturing and advanced service industries. We left the Industrial Age behind, but still follow the perceptions of the Industrial Age model in too many business entities, where people are “a cost” , and not an asset in an age of knowledge workers.

There is and has been an oversupply of workers at the lower end of the economy. Quite a number of those people ended in cheap labour at the bottom end of the income scale, not only in Europe or the US, but in other countries as well, where companies with their production lines and policies, shifted their lines of production to those areas overseas where the cheapest labour was possible.

I think we need to get a practical and principle centred approach where no one injustice, however grave, is above all others, and this approach needs to start in all communities where people prefer justice rather than injustice, where people prefer real communities rather than ghetto’s, whether they are the ghetto’s of the rich or the ghetto’s of the poor, as many ghetto’s there are..

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We live in a world where power decides outcomes and our approach needs to be practical based, on the moral realities and possibilities of our position to move things in the right direction. If we decide our direction with wisdom and restraint for the benefit of humanity, we may change the many imperfections from yesterday for at least some improvements tomorrow.

We know that the ark of Noah was not built on its own. Neither any major accomplishment was the work of one person. In the world of today we are more dependent on each other than ever before.

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We know as well that there are countries where people have no moral principles anymore. Principles to lift the darkness of their own conscious and attitudes.  More often  those people have seen too much violence, too much hatred, too much corruption and the worst examples of human living.  This only contributes to the imperfection of human nature and is not allowed to get into the mainstream of civilisation, as such cancer could destroy civilisation.

We are all mortal and have no permanent ownership on anything of this earth. However if one country denies an other country to exist and aims to prepare arms to destroy the other, the international community needs to cage this poison, before its venom may poison the region into the bitterness of death, – and the age into nuclear destruction.

And so, fellow citizens all over the world – our international obligation is not an obligation to bear nuclear arms, though arms we need, not an obligation to battle, though history faced us with battle, – but an obligation to struggle the battle of humanity for a better world, – to struggle and overcome the spirit of darkness in our time, which includes poverty, tyranny, disease, widespread global crime and corruption, the risk of self-inflicted ecological disaster, increasing disasters of nature, hyper consumption, – and finally war itself.

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We face global warming and our long-term sustainability is limited. We need to find new solutions for world water resources and end international water disputes, – we need to share our resources of knowledge and keep together the Oceans clean.

We need to make united efforts to protect habitats in danger, as on the long run increasing habitats in danger may endanger humans as well.

We tend to use unsustainable natural resources and with the growing global population we may have run out by 2075.  The choice to go nuclear in our energy supply by the so-called modern nuclear plants may evolve on a more global base, with ramifications often poorly understood at present.

Where the spirit of human kind is not ready yet for an enduring international peace, there is little room to increase the dimensions of nuclear energy. What is for peaceful use today, can be used for nuclear warheads tomorrow. Besides this the risk of radiation in even the best equipped powerplants are subject to failure if the unexpected strikes, either by nature war or terror.

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Some would say , and with justification, that our market forces operated across the global economy are potential most volatile and often irrational, – with strong fluctuating oil prices. Energy security is a matter of ongoing concern. Countries depending on eg gas from Russia and the Ukraine, as due to changing prices, may feel inclined to use eventually increasing nuclear power, – which will be  subject to widespread  suspicion as due to the potential on less peaceful use.

Under the “Kyoto Agreement “all EU countries are supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but with the lack of renewable energy sources more countries will use the new generation of Nuclear Power Stations, not only in Eastern Europe, but across the Middle East as well. Hence the united efforts to make the world a safe environment, and cut the potential of this power being used for destructive forces of any kind. Even conventional wars in countries possessing nuclear power plants, where such power plants are either damaged or destroyed, may give radiation ramifications far worse than the Chernobyl disaster  where those nuclear power plants become a target.

Going increasing nuclear in our energy supply will give the wrong message and is in a way cutting corners in terms of safety of our environment, at a significant cost of the next generations.

We face an increasing hungry planet with worldwide between 800 and 850 million people suffering from hunger, and widespread malnutrition in Asia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Tajikistan and North Korea, – some countries with a long history of civil conflict. 

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It is well-known that the problems of Africa have enormous proportions, where most problems are rather political than environmental. Global rates of malnutrition are overwhelming. Somalia almost ceased to exist as due to hunger, nearly similar with Nigeria – the last by some considered as being the most corrupt country of the world. Of the world’s 50 poorest countries, 34 are in Africa, all of them with high HIV rates.

This is grossly our world in a nutshell – and there is far more than this.

Where East and West do meet in conscious and with purpose, with the required discipline passion and vision, there will be ultimately peace and shared resources of wisdom to solve the problems of this earth.

There where East and West meet at evil’s end, – there will be war and destruction, without the required resources to repair at any stage the global problems we may face in the aftermath.

Where the Assembly of the United Nations often appears not being effective enough in finding a common approach for resolving both the problems of the tyranny of poverty and the poverty of tyranny, this is mainly due to insufficient moral leadership of some of the membership countries.

Our global interests requires vigorously enforced non nuclear proliferation , supported by all nations on the earth. And those countries behaving outside such treaty, losing their credibility and provoking a nuclear or biochemical threat to others, – ultimately need to be caged with force if so required. The attitudes from yesterday are not the ethics for tomorrow, in which we face the world today.

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Our highest achievement is the preservation and cultivation of life, where this appears possible. If moral leadership is the core of our aspirations, responsibility at a global perspective will lift the world and will ease the burden of our planet, but not without national and international law enforcement.

Let everybody know that if we don’t erode old barriers, old barriers will erode us.

Let us not allow that any person or country destroys the idea of a new and better world, neither by violence nor war. Neither by living nor death. Neither by the mountains of our obstacles nor by the valleys of our despair, when we face what we have to face – to make responsible freedom come true..

And so we have no choice than to carry forward this torch. To carry forward and  set ourselves free from the slavery of the past, whether it is the slavery of the dictator or the slavery of our own thoughts, the slavery to either inflated perceptions or poverty at heart.

And so we may ask every day for the best possible perceptions. The best possible perceptions at any time we face, for both the better and the worse. For both the world in us and the world around us.

And then we may say: we are free, – free at last!!

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Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

 –

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

 https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/the-art-of-leadership-and-lessons-from-the-past-gandhi/