Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Partisan politics has positive and negative impacts. For those that are deeply engaged in politics, they have a wide understanding that they are acting in a manner which will have a positive impact. For example the people that are leading Boko Haram, Taliban, Islamic State groups and the many organized crime groups around the world, they believe that they are balancing out the power of good and evil. Taking two other examples are the actions of Russia in regards to Ukraine and the Republic of the United States with Iraq. In each case the bottom line reason has been to ultimately achieve peace and stability in those regions as well as in the home countries and the world. Not everyone is in agreement that peace and stability is the ultimate goal. Power and control has often been cited as the main goal in objection to peace and stability. The debate is widely written, talked about and violently being fought over. People are being killed in order to make their voice heard as they debate this topic. In the most simplistic manner, the moment you decide to take up the physical fight to the point of killing another person, you have given up on peace and stability. Such actions are about power and control not peace and stability. Sadly, the person that does take such actions will still believe they are doing what is best for peace and stability. We have known for thousands of years that an eye for an eye justice is destructive policy. Such policy is built upon revenge, hatred and misguided equality punishment ideology. In all seriousness, to change this ideology which has brought us unrest in Ukraine, war in Syria and destruction of Iraq, leaders must be willing to peacefully stand up to those who speak and act violently. Yes this will put such a person in harms way with a great possibility of being killed themselves. If such a reality scares you then you know you are not the person to lead a peaceful and stable society. Nelson Mandela had to go to prison to realize that point. The founder of Christianity lived this exact point to his death. Such courage is rare. Often courage is emulated/exalted with acts of violence in hopes to obtain peace and stability - there is no greater act of hypocrisy. For each of us we need to denounce those that continue to believe in such hypocrisy. Any leader that tells you violence and killing are acceptable is unfit to lead. Peaceful partisanship is the partisan politics version which is in dire need of support. Leaders that are entrenched in fear and believe peace/stability is found through violence have enough support.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Efforts to organize society takes a great deal of energy. Formulating a transition to a new government has an added challenge since the idea of government dawned on our existence. Such challenges and efforts have been in great demand lately as we seek to understand the many stresses of the world. At some point between the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s the world went blind to a great many things. I think everyone crumbled upon the possibility of peace. There was so much hope and of course that meant a new world, an unknown world. Instead of pressing on into that new realm of reality, everyone fell back to what they knew. Wars sprang up across the globe and many economic schemes were founded during these times. However the reality of peace is still there and for some the need to find new answers has produced answers. Peace encompasses our total selves and everything outside of the self. As we seek personal peace we often seek social peace and order. Socially, in short we seek the perfect form of governance. In reality everyone is their own person and has the capacity do what ever they feel the desire to do. With that, there is the spectrum of attitudes and actions we see daily being waged by ourselves and others. No matter what larger social umbrella you may adhere to, these personal attitudes and actions are based upon your own individual governance desires. Every system of religion or politics has individuals who are peaceful icons as well as the icons of evil. No matter what laws exist, each of us acts according to their very own personal set of laws. What happens in a situation where laws come in conflict? At such a point a new understanding should be formulated for that very situation. In some circumstances an example of failed understanding is war, in other situations there is a stalemate. During these times of conflict a transition is being made. In a peaceful environment discussions are held to reach common ground, common understanding, common path to reach a common goal. With the absent of efforts to find commonalities conflicts become entrenched, worsen and each side bolsters their appetite for revenge. When such situations occur peace is rarely understood as possible. In reality peace is always possible, if the courage is there to allow it. For entire societies that experience conflict there is a deeper need for strong leaders to embrace peace. Such leadership has not been there for many in the Middle East. Due to this lack of leadership the entire world is now a battle ground. The world is facing a number of groups seeking change and the method to cause change is violence. Even though there is a global battle, the battle is very much person to person. Each of us must work to find peace within and with each other. This is the only way to end the global violence because for those that act violently, they can only act out against the people they live with each day. This is the transition each of us has to decide upon. Each of us wants peace now we have a great deal of work to obtain peace.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Rebuilding society is always a mash up of ideology. In essence this mash up is why wars are fought and why violent conflicts rage on for centuries. There is no way of getting around the heated discussions of social order and governance. However the main piece of such arguments are always seeking what is best for all. Within that understanding there is a number of phrases which have come to be in recent years. These phrases are negotiated governance, hybrid governance and other longer terms such as governance of relatively self-governing networks. Each of these phrases talks about how societies can manage through the difficult issues while keeping general peace. Every society endures this balance act. Some fall apart into war more often than others. As we study the methods of governance there is a reality which is becoming quite clear. This reality is that the system of governance is rarely the main source of social destruction. The main source of destruction rests with the people who operate the systems. For example it is often stated that the best leader/form of government is a benevolent dictator. When a society comes to a point when war and violence ends and the process to the formation of government begins, there is always an unease as to how the government is to be set up. This is the continuation of the mash up of ideology and the unending discussion of how governance will work. We can play with the style of governance all we want but if the same people are put in place, expect the same results. With that, it is not the system that needs to change, it is the ideology and therefore the people who are operating the system that needs to be changed. Also we must understand that no government can operate without the agreement of society. Even though that is true, the leaders must work to keep people engaged, informed and understand a desire to have each one non-violently engaged in the political process. Each person needs to have a voice and as the structures of governance are built that voice will erode. How to lessen that erosion is imperative for each person to feel they matter. In most cases of post conflict peacebuilding the voice of the individual is of great importance. The first hurdle is to come up with an agreeable ratio for representation. The lower that ratio is the greater the involvement an individual has because they feel they matter. Any method which increases the ratio has a long term impact of lower civic engagement. To have a low representation ratio does make the job of those in government more challenging. However the impact for society to have as low a ratio as possible will be a more engaged society. In practice we find that over time those who represent the people will seek to increase the ratio. The reasons are based upon a more efficient government. The reality is that efficiency is no substitute for the person who will lose their voice. As each step is made to increasing the ratio, that individual who lost their voice will see society one step closer to a dictatorship. Why has the increased ratio taken place, because those who are chosen to do the job can no longer handle the tasks they must perform. This is when efficiency is used to streamline the decision making process (dictatorship philosophy). The entire society must lose their voice because a small group can not handle their job. This situation is exactly what transpired in Libya, Iraq and Syria in recent years. With the evolution of peace, all of these situations must be understood. As prosperity sets in many people will forget the need to have a deeply rooted governance system which is engaging to each individual, in a peaceful manner. Such a job is not easy as each person will have their own thoughts yet to take that persons voice away is an even greater harm. Thus the need to change the people not the systems of governance.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
With each international summit there is always the question of where are we going? Each leader will give a prepared speech which is summed up in one word – PEACE. The complexity begins in that not everyone agrees on how to get there or if it is even possible. Many times the argument falls apart with answers being too simple or too complex. In reality simplicity is needed in order to get through the complexity. There are a great many options for us to understand as we seek to obtain peace. For example we have the recent crisis with ebola, Syria still has the world’s attention as does, Iraq, Ukraine and the entanglement of global spying scandals. The most deplorable acts we engage in is the trafficking of ourselves – human trafficking, slavery, prostitution of both mind and body. Most of these elements have taken place due to fear with the exception of illness and even that has been questioned to some point. There is very little we can do to prevent every outbreak of illness. What we can control is the fear element. Fear begins with the decision to not trust others. To a certain extent we must be understanding of insane actions. These actions are also unpredictable, hence the term insanity. So here we are with the understanding that a sane person is not to be feared. This should be true since a sane person, in theory listens, understands and has a balanced mind toward peace. However in reality many actions taken by world leaders do not hold up to a peaceful reasonable line of thought. This is when fear takes hold, distrust sets in and we have spies, wars, scandals and corruption. Being peaceful is not easy yet it is what is needed in the face of fear. I guess this attitude delves into the realm of a person spirituality as well. What does it take for a person to be peaceful? To live without fear of the those who seek to traffick, enslave, harm and corrupt takes great courage. This is where the inner peace of each person and spirituality mix. We must carry a spirit of peace and let us not get tangled into fear based religion. Spirituality is not a complete match to religion. Spirituality is what a person has as a core rationale of why they act the way the do. To have a spirit of peace is what a sane person would rely upon in times of fear. This is what the world is in deep need of. The courage to understand, reason and love the differences of each other without the threat of harm. The constant mix of religion, politics, patriotism and other forms of spirit have rooted themselves in fear. This fear brings harm to those who object to our reasoning. This fear base eroded the reality of peace we should have across the world. The elements of fear have been used to bolster our spirit in patriotism, religion and politics. Take away these boisterous mouths that spew fear and what are we left with? The answer currently is only a guess as we have not tried such a method yet on a global scale. All we have are the individuals who have obtained such a state. At times we have even killed those people out of fear. We are trying to reach a peaceful state yet we keep bowing to our fears.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Living in the region where Islamic State fighters has been fighting is a terrifying reality. Sadly that region is expanding and once again we are dealing with acts of terror across the world. The world is dealing with a group of people that are acting in complete contradiction to the values of their own religion. Each member makes the choice to kill others for the end purpose of peace. How do we deal with this situation? The history is well documented. We know the direct link of today with the crusades a thousand years ago. More recently we know the links between the Jasmine Revolution, Arab Spring, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine, Israel, Iran, and the illegal invasion of Iraq 2003. The history is there to see and with each step we have responded with bullets, violence and death. Within the Middle East the options are very limited due to the violence/war. In this case a military option with soldiers on the ground is what must take place. Peace has been lost and hatred has already won. There is no winner in the Middle East anymore. We have all lost because violence is too wide spread in peoples minds. Moving away from the epicenter of the ISIS combat zone, the tactics involve more conversations than bullets. At the base root, a persons joins such a gang as Islamic State because they are frustrated with the current situation. That person needs to gain control, needs to gather some support, needs to give their voice to change and that need has come in the form of violence. At this point a person may be too far along the decision of being a violent person to. However the need to talk is more important than ever. The singular item we are dealing with is hatred. A person is taught to hate another. Teaching is done through discussions and reinforced with actions. Teaching peace is similar and teaching peace or hatred is the front lines of this war. Are you teaching peace or hatred? A peaceful teacher understands that discussion is constantly needed, never ending. A peaceful person never needs to be feared. If the tactics the individual engages in has an ideology of bringing fear, that is rooted in a violent ideology which leads to war. Are your actions that which bring fear to another? The person that acts with fear is a person that is already defeated within their own mind. That mindset can not be fought with bullets. A discussion with that person is the only way to bring peace back to that person. Using violence only reinforces the mindset of fear. That reinforcement brings escalation of violence, more need for fear and a larger group of people to fight the fearful situation manifested within the mind. Peaceful society begins within the mind of each of us. We must bring peace to the mind first and lead peacefully within our circle. No one should fear your actions because a peaceful person is open to finding agreeable solutions, understandings and a path forward. Violence has only one solution which ends with everyone dead.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
History is always important, however when peace is the goal a great deal of history must be let go of. This reality needs to be understood as soon as possible in regards to the international chaos taking place from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The tension within this region has deep historical roots. We have one of the oldest battles between Islam and Christians taking place also Russia and the Republic of the United States are squaring up. There are other long term fights taking place such as radicals spouting rhetoric which places eastern philosophy and western philosophy at odds. The world economic system is being put into question as sanctions are levied in response to what is taking place in Ukraine. International travel has been impacted as well with passenger airlines being targeted. As the world moves along into an uncertain future we must stand strong and begin to rebuild peace. We must begin to act differently. We must begin to work together. The radicals will always be with us. However, there are relations that have grown out of step with what the world needs. Most importantly is the working relations around the Security Council table. These five members need to let history go. We all know that the invasion of Iraq was an illegal act. That invasion has caused the situation we are dealing with all across the Middle East. Now we must deal with that fall out. The International Criminal Court must deal with those responsible. That is their task. The task of the current world leaders is to let the history go, work to solve the chaos and bring peace to the region which is expanding. We only have a few short years before Afghanistan blows up again. When that happens there will be an even wider area of unrest. This widening of unrest will put the entire world in a situation that we have not seen since World War Two. War will have broken out in the widest area since 1945. From Libya to Afghanistan to Ukraine to South Sudan. This area will have a major impact if left unchecked. At the moment there is no one willing to do what is right and break old lines of hatred. We can not count on the permanent 5 members of the Security Council because they are the ones that got us into this mess. We must find new avenues of what was once called smart power. Circumvent the idiocy of those five countries and bring in a new future. On another front, the individual front, please act peacefully. Even though there is great unrest globally, peace starts and ends within each of our minds and hearts. Each of us must fight the devil of war within our own minds and hearts. This devil never leaves yet we have the choice to act. This is our most important role, to act peacefully in the face of the devil. There will be history of our own minds and hearts. I have expressed as much within this article. My own hypocrisy creeps out. Peace is possible though we must fight it first within our own minds and hearts. Let the history of our hatred be transformed into a desire to seek change within our own selves first.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Those three elements of life are the crux of the issues within every war taking place. The right to exist is without question. The right to peace is also without question however each of us will always have an ongoing personal struggle as we search for inner peace. The homeland territory or sovereignty is an element which complicates both the existence and peace elements. Territory wars are well documented and are fought by every living thing. We all battle for space to live, exist and to be at peace. In regards to actions Israel and neighbours are engaged in, sovereign territory is a major part. Compare maps of the area in 1947, 1967 and today. What you will see (as I am sure you know) is an ever increasing size of Israel. The right to exist and to have sovereign land are the reasons for the 1947 map change, however it sparked a war that rages today. When will the leaders of the world do what is necessary to end this war? I have written my plans for the solution many times. Basically it is a two state solution based upon the 1947 map. The largest International force ever assembled must completely remove of all weapons from the region of the Middle East. While the international force upholds the law, leaders negotiate the reality of peace with the condition that the international force remain for 75 years after the agreement is finalized. Everyone has the right to exist. We have seen enough of the ineptness of the stuttering peace efforts within this region. Another method must be tried. If we continue on with the same tactics, peace will never come. Greater death tolls and less peace will be the result.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
In my past writings concerning the wars taking place around the world, the plan to solve such wars are very easy to understand. The major barrier to peace is the cold reality that people are not willing to allow peace to take hold. Libya wanted a change of government and they have it. Sadly the hope of peace has not taken root. In fact the people of Libya are far worse today than they were five years ago. Libya is a perfect example of how the world geos about bringing peace. Basically it is a point, shoot, kill and leave a power vacuum for the shell shocked citizens to deal with. This is the leadership of our world when it comes to peace. More effort was put into stabilizing world banks after the Ponzi schemes began to collapse in 2005. What is more shocking is that we know peace is a very profitable environment to work in. We know that peace increases wealth. Yet there is a small, powerful element which works to ensure chaos. Millions of people live in hostage like environments as they must endure explosions, gunfire, death and injuries. As families are raised in this environment the children understand no other way of life but the chaos of war. This is what children understand as acceptable and proper surroundings of life. The most damaging part of this life is not the bombs or bullets. The most damaging element is the ideology of hatred and acceptable actions to kill another to solve conflict. This is what we are teaching are children when war breaks out. Yet almost every soldier who returns from war tells you that such an experience/existence should be avoided at all cost. When (or if) you read past writings posted here, you will notice a strong message of inner peace. Each of us has a duty to find peace within ourselves. We have the capacity to bring peace to the entire world. The only barrier to that goal lies within each of our minds. As you may read in past writings, war needs to met with a global effort. That effort is a total weapons ban, especially in such cases as Palestine and Israel, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and many other areas.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Palestine and Israel are at it again, well to be more accurate, Hamas and Israel are at it again. There are few conflicts that hold the worlds interest as this conflict. With each peace talk and cease fire agreement that fails there will always be one more thing left undone. In no small part is this one thing an easy solution yet it is simple. What I am eluding to is a complete and total arms embargo in this entire region. The Iron Dome which Israel boasts about is not a solution nor a deterrent. In reality it is an imaginary cage in which the people of Israel have engulfed themselves in. This conflict is ideological in nature and thus no weapon we make will ever end the struggle. To end this struggle all weapons must be taken away and none brought in or made within the region. Already the politicians are playing with lives by giving way to perceptions of strengths and co-operation. Reports are being made that Israel agreed to a cease fire to give the impression they are co-operating. While Hamas has not agreed because they need to have the perception of not giving in. This is a war of ideology that is costing real life. How do we get to the point where perception gives way too reality? The United Nations Security Council is one of the problems. The permanent five members have acted childishly for their own ends. This dictatorship lead by the permanent five needs to find the courage to end the systemic violence that is now taken root in the Middle East. An arms embargo, more security forces, and a concerted effort to stop the ideological hatred between the people of the Middle East needs to start. The next step is to have educational programs that target the deep hatred set in the minds of the people. Of course many people will say that such a plan will take too long. Well we have had this garbage situation since 1948, so how much longer shall we try the same thing expecting a different result?
Friday, June 20, 2014
Rarely do we see war as an act of civic engagement in a political argument. However, war is the utmost physical engagement a person can delve into when it comes to politics. Such engagement is the brutal reality of war. As politicians talk about civic engagement we must understand the balance of such goals. Each war we experience begins with people protesting, shouting and asking for change. This civic engagement then boils over from words to fists, to bullets, to barricades, to grenades, to tanks, to bombs and then airplanes and finally a city is destroyed. Egypt did not fall into complete ruin or as much ruin as did Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, ort others. Ukraine has also seemed to dodge the complete destruction of war. In each situation, the civic engagement went out of control and into a realm of chaos. Why? How do we balance such civic engagement from spiraling out of control?
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
With each conflict the world deals with, the plan to bring peace and stability often fails with the initial setup. There are a great many reasons why peace is a very difficult thing to bring about. First of all is the concerted effort needed to sustain trust in the people that peace is being held. For example we can look at Libya. I wrote a number of articles and posted them to this site. In these articles the path to peace was spelled out. I am only a small player within the global context but if I had seen what was going on why was no one else looking? Tribal warfare has been the largest source of violence and for the most part, what I wrote has taken place. The tribal wars have taken root and the central government is on very weak ground. Even with the election of Ahmed Maetig, peace is far off. Within President Maetig’s speeches, he rests on the need for the legitimate force. Legitimate force is a United Nations sovereignty factor which allows a government to use all means to control violent groups or situations. The issue within Libya is that the country was without any centrally credible force to call upon except the already existing tribal forces. This created a power vacuum and leads us to what we are dealing with today. There is an unease of trust within the government forces as well with the politicians. What is to be done? President Maetig has talked about the singular vision of Libya, this is a very needed step. His biggest challenge outside of the violence is to get the leaders to agree on the singualr vision of Libya. The world needs to support these talks and assist with providing a peaceful environment for such talks to grow. For me the hardest task is to ensure the communities where schools, markets and hospitals are kept safe for children to grow and learn. Without this certainty, children will experience the violence which will plant seeds of hate towards those that may or may not have destroyed the child’s world. All that child will know is that no one is to be trusted and government is the first to be untrusted. At the heart of all peace is visions and hope of the future. That is why the children are such an important part of the focus. With that focus, each leader should be mindful of all the children that have already built up a distrust and the ones that are on the cusp. These children are the future peace. The next challenge for peace will be to have people act with a community mind and not a selfish mind. This is the point where community peacebuilding efforts are most needed. Also the need for a Libyan singular vision will rest upon the community mindset. How much of the community vision can be seen in the singular Libyan vision? These two visions must have a great deal in common. For President Maetig and the world, this term in office will be an interesting time for Libya. I pray that peace will be the outcome.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
After reading the article in the following link, I recalled a number of discussion I had on the need for strong leadership during transition from chaos to order. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/egypt-sisi-chooses-stability-over-freedoms-20145119717430958.html Each and everyone of us understand the difficulty that arises within a society that has endured a complete breakdown in peace. During such times, the leadership of society is often a military style of governance. The reasons for this is that military leadership is much quicker and effective than a democracy. Even after a period of chaos there is a strong need for such a governance style to exist. It is rare that an entire society transitions peacefully after a period chaos. More often than not society will slip back into chaos if a democratic system is brought in too quickly. As mentioned in the linked article, stability is paramount to freedom in the early stages of rebuilding peaceful societies. The main reason for this is that there are too many sides seeking their way forward. Such a reality promotes segregation in thoughts, that spills into verbal confrontations and then into physical violence. This cycle of human nature is very common and the ultimate reason for military style governance immediately following a violent conflict. Such reasoning is often debated yet there is a reality at play which many ignore. Every society that uses democracy has a set of laws for emergency situations. These laws bring about military style governance in times of disaster or social upheaval. Also organizations such as the United Nations which preach democracy actually does not engage in such a practice. Take for example the Security Council, five members hold the entire organization hostage. Freedom is a great state of being when peaceful society is able to cultivate such an environment. When society is unstable, peace is very difficult to maintain. For peace to take hold in an unstable environment the system of governance must be strong and quick to hold the peace. At present we are seeing the collapse of peace in Ukraine and each side speaks of what the people want. As the situation erodes, the irony of such leadership is that the people want peace but the leaders are ensuring chaos. Egypt has also experienced the same ironic reality. The words of peace are easy to speak but the actions take great courage and will power. This task of being peaceful takes such great courage that very few have been able to accomplish it. The governments that proclaim to be peaceful have been the exact opposite of peace. We know who those hypocrites are. As we work to solve chaotic situations, the need for strong leadership is a must. What is refreshing is to hear a leader talk about the need for a multi-governing style as society transitions from chaos to peace.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Even though many world leaders have focused on erosion of peace, Ukraine society is spiralling out of control. What we are seeing is typical of human nature as we constantly make mistakes in chaos. Finger pointing and admonishment of others actions has taken over. The peace that is eroding in Ukraine is now spreading to international relations. The person who wakes up and needs to gather food for the family is now struck with fear of life for the entire family. Food is pushed down the list of concerns. What was a normal routine just months ago is now a distant dream. Children are thrown into question mode as they try to understand why the people who are to provide and protect them are no longer able. As the hand of death slowly cradles the children, the adults are gripped with revenge. This situation is what we must understand as the reason violence should be avoided. Taking that knowledge of reality with in conflict zones also spreads to every other country around the world. Every city, community, family and individual faces these spirals of chaos. Each of us have been involved in circumstances when a breakdown of some order occurs. It is natural to point fingers and seek out a cause for blame. In such situations each of us is trying to rebuild order, peace and good relations. However that desire is lost more often due to the fact that we interpret other peoples intentions are to blame, correct, admonish or even punish us. This is a natural state of individuals protecting themselves. For peace to reign, that understanding of personal protection must be met with great courage. Such courage allows the freedom of expression. The courage to stand in the face of these verbal bullets is the price we must pay in order to ensure a wider peace. Each of us are soldiers of peace and the bullets fly each day. Some bullets hit hard and are fired with great repetition. In these situations, we soldiers can lose control, some of us actually die. Each day we face these battles and each day we must carry the courage to stand up speak with peace. This world we live in has everything. From the most horrendous nightmare to the wonderful beauty of peace, each of us can experience such realities. For someone to experience all of this takes great courage. To be okay in the face of the nightmare as well as in the presence of total beauty is rare. Each of us work to be just that person and along the way we will falter, yet we will succeed. The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility. Vaclav Havel.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Often the phrase, “truth is the first victim of war” is thrown at the general public. That phrase is an exact assessment of war – every war. When we work to rebuild societies, rebuild peace the largest barrier is the general understanding or what the truth is. At the base of every war there has to be someone that wanted the violent chaos more than peaceful order. That decision is an absolute cause of every war. At some point a single person must act with extreme violence (killing another person) which then quickly spirals into the chaos we know as war. This scenario is exactly what took place in World War One, Two, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Rwanda, Egypt, Ukraine, Yemen, etc…. Ukraine is now focused upon the edge of war as Russia places forces at the border. However we have forgotten that the situation would not have even gotten to this point if western countries did not support the illegal coup in the first place. Even though such a truth is forgotten, pointing this out will not bring peace any quicker. In fact, such highlights have proven to deepen the desire for greater violence to silence such realities. We are left with a situation where the past is not to be talked about, the present is to be ignored and the future left unmanaged. This is where we find ourselves in the efforts of peacebuilding – if we leave it up to the world leaders. At some point we have lost respect for each other. There are two sets of rules if not more in the world today. Some countries can act as they please, others are beaten into whatever role they are forced to take, some are ignored and few actually carry the intelligence and/or knowledge that peace is the ultimate goal. As violence continues in society, the youth are being raised in an environment where violence is normal. The peaceful methods which existed in communities before violence erupted, is quickly forgotten within the youth psyche. The longterm memory of peace is difficult to rebuild once a generation is lost. Due to this reality, peacebuilding needs to be a very important goal on a community level as well as international.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Peace building is very much an act of community building. Every community is built upon trust or at least an understanding of how general day to day life transpires. When we look at the situations in the Ukraine and Syria, this general understanding was broken on both the individual basis and international basis. The individuals in both Ukraine and Syria had held mass protests to hold government accountable. Now someone in both situations had crossed a line and used violence. This is the exact point where fingers of blame begin to thrust. However the reality within Ukraine and Syria, both Western countries and Eastern countries are to blame for violence. The communal peace had asked for change in both countries. Some level of violence is understandable in such situations. What we as a global community must do is to reach back into the values of the United Nations charter and ensure the peace. So far what we have been doing is ensuring the escalation of violence. We have been doing this with such skill that a corridor of violence has sprung up from the Red Sea half way to the Baltic Sea and getting worse by the day. At what point do our leaders work to bring peace to a country? We have seen enough of the garbage leadership that has been brought destabilization to the world – for what? What has been solved in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Chechnya, Rwanda or a number of other places where violence still rages on? We have focused on the international politics and the leaders have brought very little peace. This method of solving chaos has slowly been shifting towards the community focus of peacebuilding. The individual, the local communities, the families that actually make a country what it is are the first steps that need support. This step is the most important. Globalization has proven a falsehood of hope in terms of peace. Globalization has brought the individual more goods to buy in exchange for peace. The world leaders have spewed rhetoric of economic gains will bring peace. Look at Greece, Egypt, Tunisia and other places. Where is the peace that was promised? Now we are witnessing cold war relations play out again all due to the garbage leadership from all sides. The world is slowly falling apart and what hope is there on the horizon? I see little yet I pray for peace, I live peacefully and I demand a peaceful community. Still the mindset of chaos and violence is proving to be a difficult energy to turn around. Where is the hope? Please show me something to grasp on to?
Monday, April 7, 2014
Peace is Simple to understand and can be simple to do. However, we live in a time where our closest allies have become untrustworthy. What is even more disturbing is that there are so many people who have solutions to many of our problems but the leadership is unwilling to implement these solutions. For example in Syria, the referendum that was held 26 Feb 2011 was a building block to A peaceful transition of power. For whatever reason on 27 Feb 2011 over 3 million worth of weapons poured through the Iraq and Syrian border. This is the exact situation that has brought Syria into the hell they live with now. Who supplied the money to purchase weapons, who orchestrated the movement/delivery of these weapons? All of these questions come up when violence breaks out. We are seeing the destruction of society take place in Ukraine now. The leaders of the world are doing very little to improve the situation, in fact they are adding fuel to the fire. Knowing that options exist which will improve relations and bring peace to the situation is great. Seeing the disruptive actions of the world leaders that erode peace is frustrating. The illegal invasion of Iraq remains one to the largest post World War II crimes that has taken place. Even more troubling is the hypocrisy which is spewed on similar situations such as Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. At what point do actions meet the words of leaders who talk about peace? We built the United Nations for a reason. Sadly the countries that hold a balance of power are the ones causing most of the problems. We hear these leaders talk of peace yet continue to stand on the neck of those who strive for peace. When opportunities arise to be leaders of peace these leaders find ways to cause more trouble. The recent issue with global communications being tampered with for the sole benefit of one country has shaken the entire world. How can we trust such a country that has acted with such disrespect yet speaks about being a global leader in peace? As individuals we must ask for those we elect to have a greater effort to be peaceful. We must understand that each leader today has started out in small communities. This is the where the future leaders will come from and why we must ask more from our locally elected people and leaders.
Monday, March 17, 2014
As world leaders continue to take sides in situations such as Syria, Ukraine and other countries, the people who are paying the price are youth. The rhetoric of world leaders is just garbage talk. If any of them actually cared we would not have chaos in Syria or in Ukraine. At best international laws are written to be expansive ideology. At the root of such law is the absolute right to self-determination and Crimea has exercised that right. This is the exact same reasoning the people of Ukraine used to topple the former government. Basically any action taken outside of the governmental structure is open to violation of international law. Instead of the sabre rattling of world leaders and pointing fingers why was there so little talks of commonality? In the realm of peacebuilding the practice of community building and the whole of government approach has been seriously disregarded by all world leaders. Really all that is being done is reactionary politics and that is poor leadership. The damage is done and the clean up is poorly being managed. Here we sit with Ukraine in crisis, Crimea has separated and is now independent. We must wonder who or what area is next. Economic support is needed, government support is needed, diplomatic support and good relations are needed. At best we are getting more tension from leaders which will only make the situation worse. Sadly most leaders today do not have the capacity to understand how to be peaceful in such situations. They think that economic sanctions are a good step. Why was there no economic sanctions against the Republic of the United States when they illegally invaded Iraq? Within that question is the root of the larger problem. We do not live in an equal world. Some can do as they please while others must hurdle the tallest of bars. This is the hypocrisy which must stop. Voicing concerns of what is being done and how leaders act are a big part of diplomacy. However, ensuring that leaders are working to improve situations is rarely the outcome. More often we get stand offs and media sound bites of measured aggression. For all that we hear about peaceful efforts, there is certainly very little being done other than grand standing and rhetoric. Both those actions only serve to strain relations and cause more damage. We have seen the same thing with Syria and look what that has brought us. Now we can actually solve a situation before it gets worse and what do we do? We do exactly what we did in the past and expect a different result. Idiocy of the most magnificent order. Crimea had to deal with an uncertain future inside a collapsing country. Not much of a choice really. So the most stable avenue was to become independent and work with Russia. That was their choice. Just like the choice Syrians made to follow a referendum. The Syrian referendum was overshadowed by the infiltration of weapons and violence the very next day. So far the Crimea situation is vastly more peaceful than Syria, even though world leaders are doing everything to ensure it is not peaceful.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein The above quote speaks to how the brain interprets sensory information. We know that the brain can be impacted with a great many elements which alter how the world is perceived. Again, Shakespeare wrote “What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. The meaning behind this quote is that reality deals with what is and perception skews reality. Today we say that perception is reality and Einstein would agree, according to the above quote. However when it comes to the heavily controlled “message” that is being put forth today, perception is far from reality. For the past few decades we have been told that perception is reality. This mantra has seeped very deep into the psyche of most of the population. Both perception and optics are now very much seen as the focal points for policy development and governance agendas. However, the statement of modern wisdom which tells us that perception is reality, in fact is 100 percent wrong and very harmful. The fact of the matter is, perception and optics are Ponzi schemes. These schemes start off as television news clips, news articles, the harm that has been done in pursuit of addressing perception has brought the world economy to its knees. Perception has brought the country of Iraq to complete destruction. Perception has brought us grocery stores full of junk processed foods, cities engulfed with polluted environments and poor leadership. The statement perception is reality, is very much an abstract painting on the expert scale of Picasso. We can see whatever we want to see and that is our personal perception of the art work. The perception we have towards a certain piece of art will change the moment we learn of the artists intention, explanation and experience. The art never changed but our perception does. We must understand the world at it very simplest and expand from there. The complexity of the world is there, yet we do not have to buckle under that complexity. Nor do we have to hide behind the complexity in order to bring order and peace to the world. Those that live and defend the mantra of perception have bought into a systemic mindset. This mindset has been causing great damage. The reality is we are being sold fools gold at gold prices.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
World leaders need to go back to elementary school understand how poorly they handle breakdowns in peace. The permanent five members of United Nations Security Council need to be fired and a new system put in place within the United Nations security department. For far too long we have had to endure the slowly rotting situations in the Middle East, Ukraine, Afghanistan, East Africa, South China Sea, and Latin America. Basically the entire world has taken a huge hit due to mismanagement. Still I wonder how the world allowed the complete destruction of Iraq to take place with very little consequences for those that performed the illegal act of invasion. Again, I wonder how the world allowed a massive fraud scheme to cripple the global economics with hardly anyone being held accountable. Today we hear leaders act with concern as they speak about the violence in Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine has been boiling for many years and we have to ask, who was minding the situation as it was eroding? The question I ask is why do we wait for violence to take over before we seek partnerships to help solve such issues? Such a strategy of wait and see has failed us enough to know that it can no longer be an option. The protests in Ukraine were indications and calls for support from partners. Russia, European Union and others should have started talks months ago to ensure peace. The same should have been done in Syria. However we are dealing with weak leadership when peacebuilding is concerned. Due to the poor international management, we are left with old ideology and methods of conflict resolution. These tactics leads to a destroyed society, power vacuums, strained relations and short term solutions. As the short term solutions are put in place there will be those that will cling to such agreements for years and decades to come, thus creating long term problems. Managing peacebuilding is an art form that rarely is given the credit it deserves. What we have now are people who can speak about peace but have very little courage to implement their words. This is how we end up with tough talking politicians who do nothing or even worse do the wrong thing. Having the Ukraine military march without weapons and request the Russians to stand down was a brave act. Such a display of peace is what the works for the betterment of resolving a violent confrontation. Now it may look differently on television and the hawks will laugh at such a peaceful act but, those people are the ones responsible for the deaths and destruction of society. To change we as individuals have to change and request that our leaders change as well. Being peaceful is not an easy path.
Monday, March 3, 2014
The cold war stand off is in high gear with Ukraine now being another battle ground. In addition to the situation in Syria, Ukraine has the potential to follow a similar path into chaos. There is one major difference between Syria and Ukraine. That difference is that parts of Ukraine are legally autonomous, which has a right to ask for Russia to protect the area of Crimea and that ask was made. So here we are with a crumbling state of Ukraine broken up along lines that were very loose to begin with. The international community staking high claims of consequences due to Russian involvement while forgetting that those who are now heaping scorn upon Russia are guilty of worse actions within Syria and Iraq. This is the hypocrisy of leadership that must stop if peace is ever going to take hold. At some point the leaders must stop being the idiots of the world. They (the leaders) will never stop as long as the people support such idiocy. This is why every individual is so important to the world reaching the goal of peace. We must demand better leadership. Tell those that stand up for public office to stop the hypocrisy, stop the bloodshed and stop the rhetoric of war, violence, suppression and segregation. We deserve better leadership than we have been getting these past two decades. Russia took a major step forward with the dismantling of the USSR. Knowing that such corrupt politics is not sustainable the people moved forward. The rest of the world stayed behind. That inaction has lead Russia to fall back into the comfort spot of the Cold War ideology. There was a great chance to grab onto peace yet the people (each of us) and the leaders who succeeded the 1989 – 1991 world have failed. Again we have a chance to work together and bring the Middle East into a peaceful era. We failed as we fell back on cold war ideology, knowing it does not work. Now we have Ukraine and again we are failing because of faulty ideology. Sadly the truth is that we have the intelligence to move past such idiocy, we just do not have the courage to do so. Such a world is unknown, new and therefor feared. We know what to expect with the divisions of yesterday but, we need the reality of peace that is tomorrow to take roots somewhere. Ukraine could have been that place where peace began but poor leadership has brought us back to 1945 politics and the Yalta conference. All we can expect now is another five to ten year war in Ukraine. Thousand will die, very little will change except the size of cemeteries and still we will seek out a peaceful world. Why do we always wait for the killing to start before we try to stop such violence?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Revolutions are very much about the explosion of emotions. Until the actions of revolt are taken there is a great degree of repressed emotions. The general social mindset is one of fear and containment. These feelings are psychological jails for society and without proper avenues to vent, we get exactly what we have in Ukraine. We must realize that the people will act with very little rationale. In such times the emotions of repressed feelings explode. As we read, hear and watch the reports about the situation in Ukraine there is the question of what needs to be done to quell violence, to stop a power vacuum, to insert a legitimate government and bring order to the chaos. All these tasks are very difficult in times of chaos. The people need to vent. The challenge is to have that need met in an environment where no one else is harmed. The political discussion about who will lead what groups, who is to be at the negotiation table, who is to provide security (police) when that trust has all but vanished and then how to resolve the past damages are topics to focus on. At the moment there is no neutral party which can intervene because the East and West major players are heavily involved. This is not a new issue and the hurdles of politics make the challenges even more rooted in geopolitical history. The people in some parts of Ukraine are pulling down the statues of the past while other people are disgusted with such irrational acts. The very history of Ukraine is being put into question. There are deep sentiments that Moscow preserved itself on the backs of Ukraine throughout history. Such an understanding has been passed down through the ages which has been displayed in the revolution. Add to this the fact that the revolution has been burning for many years now. The architect of revolution began in the 1950’s and took physical shape with the 1989 reunification of Germany. The current situation in Ukraine is an extension of that transformation Russia embarked upon with Gorbachev. Here we sit today looking at another wave of protest that has spiraled out of control. The strong desire to hold on to power, control and influence is at the forefront of the revolution. We will see this battle take place with those that are placing themselves in line to be the next leader. This is the power vacuum/grab which is very much the danger that needs to be dealt with. Despite the geopolitical and historical battle, the real battle will be the fight for who will lead next.
Monday, February 24, 2014
For those who thought the Cold War was over has just been given another lesson in global politics. Ideological wars never end and the Cold War is an ideological war. At the heart of the situation within politics such as we are experiencing in Ukraine is exactly the same as what has and is taking place in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Baharain, etc… The situation deals with corruption within government and a complete lack of trust for those who rule. The people are divided and the poor leadership of both civilians and government has brought chaos and violence to another capital city. The international community is playing chess with the people of Ukraine. The two sides are the cold war rivals and the tug of war is on. What is the peaceful way to solve this situation? The two sides need to have a meeting and work together. The European Union, Russia are the biggest players who must set out a unified plan. This plan must look at securing the peace within Ukraine. A joint effort of support from both sides to bring the violence to an end. This may include foreign soldiers to intervene or it may be a statement of non-interference of outside forces. The non-interference is most likely the method taken. From there, a massive effort to talk with the people about the future course of Ukraine needs to take place. This step must be without interference of outside forces. Of course such a dream is rarely ever realized. However the effort must be made. The people of Ukraine must be allowed to speak for themselves. This is their future, no one elses, let them decide. Political and economic agreements must be made that will benefit people not the ideological tug of war that the cold war is rooted in. Ukraine needs a unified focus for the future. At the moment the people are divided and broken. The international community can repair a great deal of the damage by working together and offering agreements that benefit the people. We must remember that a diverse economy is better than a monopolic economy. In such a Ukraine both Russia and the European Union can offer economic packages that sustain trade, jobs, people, culture and relationships. Here we are on the edge of another collapse. The international community can do the right thing and work together or do what it has done most often, which is pick sides and fight.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Peacebuilding on a scale of what Syria must endure requires so many things to happen for it to go well. In no small part is that the personal component. Scan over the media of the past few months and there are threads of hate and predetermined outcomes woven throughout. In past postings I have written about the transformations of Russia, Czech Republic and other countries. Each of these countries at some point had to look past current thoughts and take leaps of faith into the unknown. These leaps of faith are the portions of letting go that must take place for peace to unfold. On a personal level each of us encounter moments where we must let go. Taking our first steps requires that we let go and stand on our own. That may seem like a small point in life but really the courage and willingness is what is required for peace to take root. As we get older we find our selves in situations where we must take emotional first steps, mental first steps and then do those on a community level. In such times we look for inspiration when we need to change something in life. However the true courage must come from within first. The courage to not act violently, to seek understanding, to be able to say that history is unchangeable but our future is still unknown. Who do we want to be and how do we want to live are questions that must not be answered with bullets, suppression and segregation of any kind. If anyone can do that, you have reached a level of peace rarely seen in our entire history. Understanding that is to know how difficult peace is to obtain. Further more such peace requires that we seek to be that peaceful today and every day. We must do so even though our governments are killing each other, religious leaders are telling followers to kill in the name of God and people all over the world are hated because they are different. We need to let go of the fear violence has on us. If you reach a state of peace no one needs to fear you. However many will laugh at you, despise you and may want to kill you because they can not understand you. Sadly the courage to live peacefully is often killed because of fear. Let go of the fear and be peaceful.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Syrian peace talks are a great example of what not to do. Furthermore, the action of the supposed friends of Syria and its neighbours have shown how not to bring peace to the region. We have known since the very outset of the Syrian civil war that weapons were being supplied to anyone that wanted the by outsiders. The main entering points were from Iraq, Turkey, Israel and Iran. As these weapons flowed freely, the violence increased. Yet we had to endure the hypocrisy of world leaders talking about efforts to retain peace and providing weapons at the same time. After years of such hypocrisy, still to this day the people of Syria must live in a war zone as talking heads admonish each other. How do we end this war, do this: Build a peacekeeping force that is mandated to heavily secure the entire border of Syria. At the same time begin the complete deweaponization of Syria. Once that is done, send in a different peacekeeping force that is mandated to police the laws of Syria. While this is taking place the peace talks/elections can take place. These talks and election preparation is to be monitored and carried out a coalition of the international agencies that focus on elections and peacebuilding. The time frame for the above plan is non-existent because peace has no time line, it will happen at its own pace. That pace must be respected and allowed to evolve. Forcing peace is phrase that in reality is an oxymoron, peace can not be forced – it must be nurtured, cared for, supported and education provided. The preconditions being put upon the peace talks such as who will lead Syria after the peace talks, who is at the table or finger pointing only prove to set the entire talks to fail. This failure will provoke further violence and for what - So that some half wit can get a verbal rebuke across? Such childish idiocy is what we are now getting for leadership in todays diplomacy leadership. The first mandate of a peace talk is to never pick a side. At this point everyone is responsible for each death so the finger pointing and blaming are a waste of time. In reality all we get from such tactics is a higher body count. Already we have children who can not recall a peaceful Syria, or even what life is like outside a refugee camp. These are the realities of poor leadership around the world today. Sadly, I think this situation will be with us for the next 12 years at least.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Tribal methods of keeping peace are the foundations of modern society. Forgetting these links appears to be one of the largest factors in why the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed. In much of the research that deals with peaceful societies, peace is more prevalent than many have come to believe. This is the case with Afghanistan. Although the Taliban government after 1994 was not a welcomed transition, there was a peaceful semblance of order under the Taliban. This reality is hard to understand when balanced with the stories of public executions, segregated schools and news of societal violence. What is often lost in the fog of war are the linkages of society which would remain alive. The cultural ways of dealing with issues remain because that is what the people are use to. These linkages must be used and supported for as long as necessary. What often happens is that the old methods are disposed of because foreigners see them as part of the problem. The same thing took place hundreds of years ago in North America. Today many of those ideas are now being put back because of those methods actually were useful and are often more efficient that what replaced them. For example courts in modern society are often slow and not community focused. We are seeing a resurgence in restorative justice programs. Such methods were the only method of dealing with issues that broke the peace in society. The elders were the ones that dispensed the program and ultimately ensured that peace returned. Such methods were alive and used in Afghanistan and Iraq. When those methods were broken a power vacuum was created. This power vacuum was a major component of why the military efforts failed. The governments that were propped up had no real authority with the average person. When the propped up government tried to execute its authority it was seen as a tribal power grab than a legitimate use of force. For those that study the transitions of society in times of violent upheaval, it is well know that a semblance of the past needs to be maintained. Some structures of culture are best preserved so the people can feel comfortable and secure. If such structures are not kept the transition will take longer to be successful if it is ever successful. People have to feel that they are part of the transition. This is the ownership of peace that must be felt as widely as possible. Peace is not something that can be imposed upon a person. The very notion is a contradiction in reality and is exactly what was being done in Afghanistan and Iraq. “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Trust is a large component of peace. If the people do not trust the government or the people in government, peace is not possible. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, peace was possible until the foreign military started caring more for their own security than the people who they were to protect. The average person knows that peace was not going to happen when they saw troops being transported by helicopter. This lack of peace was further noticed when troops traveled in fast moving convoys to remain safe. The culture of peace was lost early on and the people understood this before the foreign governments even noticed. The people resorted to the old methods of doing things. This set back was fought hard by the new governments. However each fight brought more insecurity and distrust. Had the new governments embraced the old ways of doing things and brought peace in slowly we may have seen a different outcome. However we tried to hurry in peace, to buy peace, to impose peace with a smoke and mirror strategy. Culture takes time to both build and transition. In Afghanistan and Iraq we tried to bully people into peace.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
In both countries, many military efforts to bring peace will be seen as wasted efforts, as time passes. Even though that history will be forever, we have the future to ensure the next efforts are successful. What can be done? There are some efforts that were made and are worth repeating. These efforts are the community peacebuilding programs which bring trust and stability to the people. We know that the people who seek to bring havoc to communities use fear. What we have to do is use the same tactics with trust replacing fear. Such efforts were being used by military and others to build peace. Fear needs little exposure to make an impact. Trust needs a great deal of exposure. This is the battle. This battle can be summed up in the cliché, one bad apple destroys the bunch. Fear preys on the individual to stand in the shadows, and it works. Peace relies on the individual as well, yet in the face of personal injury it is understandable why fear often wins. Such tactics are used in gang warfare, organized crime and as we have witnessed with terrorism. The only way to defeat fear is to have individuals believe in peace more than in fear. In peace operations there is the term sector security reform. This term relates to securing peace to a specific area. In the battle between fear and peace the sector is both the personal mind and the community. When we use physical tactics such as military the war of fear begins. As we have seen, the war of fear is rarely won by those who seek to bring peace. This is a reality in part due to the hypocrisy of using violence to bring peace. We have two examples of such situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Peace is very much a long term goal. Peace requires the best of courage, strength, resilience, patience, wisdom and care, day in and day out. The trust begins to be built when those that ask for assistance receive it. Peace is obtained when the people who seek to destroy it are called out by the community. In many peaceful countries there are communities where peace does not exist because of fear. Such situations are examples of the constant work that is needed to sustain peace. The task is difficult and often takes more courage to wield than it does to shoot and or kill another. The steps to peace are to support education of wisdom, caring and fostering hope for children. Any act of violence will displace peace and breed fear, even if it is done in the name of peace. Such hypocrisy is why peace eludes most armies and why peace has not taken root in either Afghanistan or Iraq.