by Hilmar von Campe
Peace in general is understood as the absence of war. War in turn is understood as a shooting war, which, with the advance of technology, includes nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. The rise of terrorism as a global threat, however, has already altered the concept of how and where a shooting war is being carried out. The United States and the world are in the process of adjusting to a changing environment. Let's have a look now at whether the adjustment is adequate for the purpose of peace.
Terrorism is not an isolated peace-preventing affair the elimination of which would produce a peaceful world. Terrorism is just a symptom of a deadly sickness, which has stricken all of humanity. Dealing with the symptoms politically, economically or militarily may be necessary, be it on a global, regional or national scale. But if it is not done within the framework of a sick world in crisis, it will not only resolve nothing, but may make things worse and just postpone final reckoning until after the next election or to the next generation. That applies also to the "Road Map for Peace" in the Middle East.
This "roadmap" defines terrorism as an obstacle to peace as a sequence of violent actions by Palestinians against the Israeli people. Mahmoud Abbas is supposed to stop this violence so that the peace process can begin. But what if a stoppage is nothing but a tactical maneuver? I doubt his peaceful credentials. You cannot be for years a deputy to Arafat and not be involved in terrorist planning, in the Intifada and the inciting of hatred through all channels, including mosques and school curricula. He probably realized, that suicide bombings lead nowhere and changed the approach - the purpose remaining the same, destroying Israel on the road to destroying American power. Even if he were sincere, the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Matyrs Brigade are not. They wage a religious war, which does not allow peace before total victory and they will continue to kill innocent people.
There may be a way, however, to stop suicide bombing, which is better than using military force. The Israeli should soak the remains of a suicide bomber in pig blood, entrails, etc. and so bury him. This should be filmed and the video given wide distribution in areas where these bombers are coming from. Eating or touching a pig, it's meat or blood, etc. means for them to be instantly barred from paradise (and the virgins) and doomed to hell. General Black Jack Pershing, US Army, applied this medicine shortly before World War I in the Philippines to Muslim terrorists condemned to death. He let one go free to tell the tale. There was no terrorist attack for 42 years anywhere in the world!
The road map deals at least with the incitements of hatred and not just with symptoms. It does not define, however, the terrorist acts as the expression of a philosophy of hatred and murder wrapped into a religious garment sweeping the Muslim world and entertained by the majority of Arab leaders; whatever they publicly declare. Such a definition may be difficult politically for the president. But still, Israel is supposed to risk her existence and deliver land against promises, which as certain as the sun rises in the morning, will be broken when there is a convenient time. The longing of the Israeli people for peace is the result of the relentless terrorist campaign. Terrorism pays.
The demand for the return of Palestinians to their former homes shows the real intentions. Muslim leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, like the Israeli, know that that would be the end of the state of Israel. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported, that in a closed session on February 16, 1996, Arafat explained to the Arab ambassadors in Sweden how the PLO would bring down Israel: bringing in hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugees. Within five years 5 to 6 million Palestinians would live in the West Bank and would make life impossible for Israel. His purpose, he declared, was the destruction of Israel.
Hatred is directed not only against Israeli or Americans, but also against everybody who does not believe in violence for Muslim power. The brutal assassination in Najaf in Iraq of Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei, son of a famous Shiite Ayatollah and himself a Muslim cleric, is testimony to this. Khoei wanted to act as a bridge between the Unites States and Shiites for reconciliation. Apparently, by order of radical fellow Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadre, he was hacked, dragged through the streets and then shot dead. He doesn't want reconciliation.
When I read the story written by Trudy Rubin I thought of the procedures, which Mandela's African National Congress used not against Apartheid whites, but against black people opposed to ANC violence, eliminating them through neck-lacing, putting burning tires around their necks. They got the power they wanted. Terrorism pays. After the shooting war was won in Iraq there is no peace. The deep divisions, which before were controlled with an iron fist of a ruthless government, are still there. Will the victors know how to heal them and transform the brutal battle for power into a search for justice?
There has not been a shooting war in Venezuela yet, but it could develop. It would then be called civil war. The majority of the population is opposed to President Chavez, who they fear will lead the country into a totalitarian system destroying their rights as free people. At the end of May the government and the opposition signed an agreement. It determines that within this year there will be a popular vote on whether Chavez will be allowed to continue as president, or whether he has to resign. Since he is ruthless and he holds the power, I am pretty sure that he will find a way to make the agreement meaningless - similar to what I suspect Mahmoud Abbas is planning to do. And what I have seen Hitler do.
Unfortunately, United States foreign policy is nowhere ahead of the game in Latin America. It seems that there is only little interest in our neighbors. No top US government representative turned up at the presidential inaugurations in Brasil, Ecuador and Argentina. 535 members of Congress were invited to a hemispherical conference on inter-American affairs from May 23-26 in Brazil. One came - Rep. Jim Kolbe from Arizona. In the State Department there are nine officers at the Cuban desk and two at the Brazilian. You build friendly relations to other people and nations in normal times or when they are in need of you. Then you have friends if there comes a crisis. And there are quite a number of local crisis just around the corner. If you want peace in the region, you must work for it before it comes.
There is lack of proper definition of philosophy, purpose and motives of the Russian and Chinese establishments. Without it there will be no peace. Their present and former leaders, like Michael Gorbachev, are our deadly enemies despite whatever pious words they utter. They are no "former." They are committed Communists bent on destroying freedom. I have pointed that out in other context repeatedly. To have Russia with KGB agent and STASI collaborator Putin as part of the "peace" team of four for the Middle East is absurd. Both services are equivalent to the GESTAPO. The KGB after all has created those terrorist organizations and supporting intelligence services, and I have heard no apology from any of the former Soviet Union leader for what they and their governments did. In a recent report the CIA warns of the dangers Russia, China and Iran pose to the United States.
Peace means the living together in harmony by people and by nations. It is not the framework but the attitudes, which are decisive. People can live in the same house and hate and fight each other bitterly; this is war, even if there are no weapons. Anything, which produces divisions between people and nations is anti-peace. Every conflict between self-seeking parties weakens the quest for peace. The fundamental issue in any given conflict is the goal sought by the parties involved, whether they are looking merely for their own advantage or for justice.
Peace is as indivisible as freedom. Peace is not an end in itself. Peace is the fruit of justice for all people brought about by men and women without resentment and hatred who live at peace with themselves and care for others and other nations. Without justice there is also no freedom. Since freedom is the mission of America, moral leadership in the quest for justice has to come from the United States. But it must be given from a nation, which is at peace with itself. Those who look for peace and not for justice not only will get nowhere, but will also make things worse. Those who fight for justice for others will find peace.
"For the Godless are like a raging sea that cannot come to rest and whose waters are full of dirt," said Isahia, "For the Godless there is no peace, thus sayth the Lord" (Isa.57:21).
"First maintain peace and order yourself and then you will be able to bring about peace and order in others," adds Thomas A. Kempis.
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