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Updated 13 May 2008, 14 Sept 2010.

There are multiple reasons for optimism, even in these dire times. Like a pendulum, history swings this way and that, and back to where it started, but always moving forward in technology in spite of resistance from the extremists, be they economic, political, or religious.


After WWII, the Marshall Plan came and with it two institutions that were indispensable stabilizing forces, the UN and NATO. In addition, Japan was democratized with a constitution and Europe was rebuilt. Then the European Union, EU, arose as a strong stabilizing influence based on common economic interests. The total EU market is now about that of the USA. Notably, common interests are being extended beyond the Economy and are reaching out to the young people of Europe. See: European Schoolnet. " European Schoolnet is an international partnership of more than 20 European Ministries of Education developing learning for schools, teachers and pupils across Europe." This is a road to peace in operation.

Looking beyond terror, war, and genocide, one can see definite progress toward peace since WW II. A European Union, EU, came into being and is growing. NATO is now including former enemies. These historic facts are vivid proof that peace is possible on the local and international scales over extended time periods. There are other examples as well. The EU recently accepted ten new East European members. Turkey, with 60 million citizens of Muslim faith, has long been working hard to modernize and maintain secular governance. As a NATO member, Turkey was a bulwark against the USSR during the Cold War. Surely Turkey is about ready for EU membership. That event could be a great day for peace. If it triggers a world reformation, it would be comparable to the end of the Cold War in history.

There is little argument that war does not bring peace while understanding can, to echo Einstein. Peace has been the exception, not the rule.

The Cold War will go down in history as a vital turning point for civilization in its quest for peace. Kennedy and Khrushchev established a new balance between the options of war or peace, tipping the scales toward peace. From that point forward, the new face of empire began to resemble that of peace among nations. Communism in Eastern Europe found itself unable to compete and slowly began its decline to a few isolated states. Even in Asia, Communism is embracing Western economic ideas with good effect, gradually freeing their people in the process.

This is a critical point. For the last half century, democracy development has dramatically followed the development of market economies. Since attempts to impose democracy from the outside have not worked, one may make the guarded conclusion that democratic governance will spread in coming decades. This is good news for peace prospects as democracies are generally more peaceful than other forms of governance.

Most of Africa could become democratic by mid century. Until their oil runs out, the nations of Islam are not likely to embrace the allures of democracy. Democracy is not likely to be the last word in governance, it is just more efficient than alternative forms in our times. There is justification for some optimism here.

Africa is not alone in the Southern hemisphere. The last 200 years in Latin America has been a little-noticed showcase. Freeing itself from Spain and Portugal, this region has marched through a series of dictatorships to achieve a remarkable level of democracy, especially Brazil and Chile in recent years.

Former Communist states bordering the EU are now joining or clamoring to join the EU and NATO, their former sworn enemies. This is a new feature in history. It moves beyond military conquest, empires, opportunistic alliances, and confrontations of the past, which still live in the Middle East and in parts of Africa and Asia. Remarkably, this event essentially came about unnoticed by the public and without firing a shot!

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The Oasis of Peace is a hopeful example of peaceful coexistence in dialogue on the small community scale. This village in Israel between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has since 1973 provided an integrated neighborhood and elementary school where Arab and Jewish families live together in harmony. Quoting from the "Young Voices" page of the above link:

"The children of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the Oasis of Peace, play together in the streets of the village, swim at the community pool in the summer time, and attend preschool and elementary school together. Outside observers can rarely tell the Arab child from the Jewish child as they chatter away in Hebrew and Arabic. Here in this unique community, equality and friendship can grow naturally. Dialogue is not a threatening alternative to them; it is the safe norm. And when conflicts do arise, dialogue is the tool to solve them."

Right in the middle of the mutual terror that fuels the Palestinian conflict, this research is perhaps the ultimate proof of the power of dialogue. It is more than that; it verifies the findings of Varshney on how to damp down ethnic strife.

In Palestine, a similar effort is in progress.

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Hope Flowers School Address:
POB 732 Bethlehem, Palestine

"Against the Odds- Hope Flowers Carries the Banner of Peace and Hope in Palestine.

"Hope Flowers School is a Palestinian school in El Khader, in the south Bethlehem area of the West Bank (Palestine), dedicated to education for coexistence, peace, nonviolence and democracy, We want you to know about Hope Flowers, because it really does represent a flowering of hope for peaceful relations between Palestinians and Israelis.

"Hope Flowers staff and students visit Jewish schools inside Israel. Hope Flowers has a program of Jewish volunteers teaching students arts, computers, and Hebrew.. The school also sponsors a series of peace education workshops for Palestinian and Israeli educators.

"On December 17, 2002, Ibrahim [Hussein Ibrahim Issa is the school principal] was arrested, and the IDF, [Israel Defense Forces], began demolishing the Issa family home, because a tenant had been engaged in terrorist activities, and wanted men had entered the tenant's apartment in the compound of houses owned by the Issas. Ibrahim had no knowledge of the tenant's connection with the Tanzim terrorists. Ibrahim was released on Friday December 20.

"We are all grateful for the efforts of many friends of Hope Flowers, of MidEastWeb and of peace, who helped to bring this story to the attention of authorities and of the world, called US and Israeli government officials, comforted his family, and helped to bring him warm clothing and medicine in jail."

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In a similar vein SEEDS OF PEACE invites Middle Eastern young people to summer camps in Maine.

      "Set in a neutral, supportive environment at a summer camp in Maine, Seeds of Peace creates a total coexistence experience in which Arab and Israeli teenagers live, play, learn, eat and sleep together. This intensive, month-long program combines recreational sports and arts activities with daily conflict-resolution sessions led by professional American, Arab and Israeli facilitators. Through the coexistence workshops, participants develop empathy, respect, communication/negotiation skills, confidence and hope, the building blocks for peaceful coexistence.

      "SEEDS OF PEACE works to secure lasting peace in the Middle East by bringing together Arab and Israeli teenagers, aged 13 to 15, before their fear, mistrust and prejudices have permanently shaped their vision of their "enemy." Seeds of Peace begins where international agreements end, dispelling fear in the hearts and minds of the next generation and preparing them for the arduous task of peacemaking. By nurturing lasting friendships, the program makes it possible for these youngsters to become the seeds from which an enduring peace will grow."

For more on how and why these examples work, see: Dialogue and Conflict Resolution.

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For the first time in history, a national leader (a European) is being tried for genocide before a World Tribunal (See International Court). In 1942, the word "genocide" did not even exist in any language. Diplomatically, Europe is showing the way toward cooperation in international law.

The World Trade Organization, WTO, which recently accepted China's petition to join, seems to be a step forward. Further, the EU is leveling the playing field for its participants, a must for permanent peace.

However, the North American Free Trade agreement, NAFTA, began optimistically with a similar goal. In may ways NAFTA did work. But not always as intended. For example the Americans didn't play fair; they slapped duties on Canadian lumber, collecting 5 Billion dollars illegally. The Americans similarly declared Mexican feeders to the Rio Grande to be American water. Both matters are still in court. Both smack of America First and Manifest Destiny.

In spite of the strains, global trade seems to be at last bringing some stability to the world. It just does not yet counterbalance sabre rattling and war. Globalization, like so many things, comes with a downside; certain small countries and even many small companies may no longer be able to compete in certain ways when they cannot join the WTO. That situation must be accommodated by leveling the playing field economically, culturally, and politically.

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These historic trends are consistent with the Social Research of Ashutosh Varshney, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. Varshney's kernel observation is that ethnic integration in all facets of society is the key to harmony. Europe is accomplishing essentially that. This finding, that ethnic integration brings peace, is also supported by the American experience in the 20th Century, Trent Lott notwithstanding.

Varshney's research, meeting the scientific standards of social science, provides understanding of how ethnic violence is being avoided or greatly limited between Hindus and Muslims today. Understanding of how that process works vastly improves the long-term prospects for world peace. Remarkably, the results of this study largely explain the basis for the resurgence of Europe, especially in recent decades. Like the Oasis of Peace and the Hope Flowers School, dialogue is the key, lots of it.

Varshney saw dialogue work between Hindus and Muslims, who are so often mortal enemies in three pairs of cities in India. His book, Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India, has scientific basis and his findings provide a great deal of hope for the future. Europe has already demonstrated the magnetism of NATO and the European Union for its neighbors. These events show that what works on the local scale in India works equally well among nations on a wider scale. Dialogue is replacing guns in Europe. provides the following description of Varshney's book:

"What kinds of civic ties between different ethnic communities can contain, or even prevent, ethnic violence? This book draws on new research on Hindu-Muslim conflict in India to address this important question. Ashutosh Varshney examines three pairs of Indian cities, one city in each pair with a history of communal violence, the other with a history of relative communal harmony, to discern why violence between Hindus and Muslims occurs in some situations but not others. His findings will be of strong interest to scholars, politicians, and policy-makers of South Asia, but the implications of his study have theoretical and practical relevance for a broad range of multi-ethnic societies in other areas of the world as well. The book focuses on the networks of civic engagement that bring Hindu and Muslim urban communities together. Strong associational forms of civic engagement, such as integrated business organizations, trade unions, political parties, and professional associations, are able to control outbreaks of ethnic violence, Varshney shows. Vigorous and communally integrated associational life can serve as an agent of peace by restraining those, including powerful politicians, who would polarize Hindus and Muslims along communal lines."

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Archbishop Anastasios deserves a Peace Prize for his heroic works in rebuilding not only the Orthodox Church, but Muslim Albania itself. He rebuilt schools, medical clinics, youth centers, children's homes, nurseries and camps. All are open to Muslim, Christian, Jew, and atheist alike. Quoting from a recent interview published on the website above:

"I believe dialogue is better than silence, which only cultivates suspicion, and often hate. There has to be a careful study of the real... principles both of Islam and of Christianity, in order to help cultivate a more widespread climate of moderation among the followers of different religions in the Balkans."

"...our attention should not be wholly taken up with the recent terrorist strikes and counterattacks. It is time that our consciences woke from sleep and looked at the problem of terrorism as it is developing around the world. Most people have completely forgotten, if they ever even noticed, that apart from these latest strikes, there are 40 other conflicts going on in the world. Western societies with political, scientific and military power have a duty to engage in self-criticism and to realize their responsibilities in the context of these new world conditions. The peace and security everyone is talking about can only be secured through social justice and development for the Earth's poorer societies. It would be terrible spiritually, politically, strategically out of negligence or arrogance, to allow a new, composite proletariat to emerge, which will try to impose its will violently, exploiting the spiritual, individual energy of religion."

"...In order to cultivate a more widespread climate of moderation between different religious groups in the Balkans, there has to be a careful study of the essential principles both of Islam and Christianity. Each religious community should develop what is best in it, in order to approach society. If religious communities move toward a broader commonwealth of peace and solidarity that will guarantee justice and human dignity for every person, every minority, every nation, we will be heading for a truly human civilization.

Anastasios, the prelate, has more insight into secular society than many secular rulers themselves. His inclusionary style is in the mold of Varshney.

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Host to both a Winter Olympics and a Serbian genocide, Sarajevo is on the world stage as the millennia turns. Bosniaks, as the Bosnian Muslims prefer to be called, have a rich heritage of both war and peace. Rule by the Ottomans (1463 - 1878) brought Islam of the Hanafi variety. Hanafi is a progressive branch of Sunni Islam. Christians paid extra taxes during this period but were otherwise left in peace.

The short lived Austro-Hungarian (Catholic) empire tolerated, even encouraged Muslim activities. An unusual event occurred during the Hapsburg era. Muslims discovered their lifestyle was compatible with European culture. See Fikret Karcic, "The Bosniaks and the challenges of Modernity." This discovery took hold and persists to this day. Brian Whitmore of "The Nation" (August 18-25, 2003) quotes Seida, a 20-year-old student wearing traditional dress and head scarf: "For me it is normal to be in this environment..." "[Fundamentalists] have trouble accepting the modern world as it is today. The only thing that is important is what is in your soul."

This easy mixing is clear everywhere in Bosnia. What little success Wahhabi Fundamentalists have had is in the poorer regions of the Balkans. Significantly, when the war ended and refugees streamed into Sarajevo, there was no religious strife in spite of the rapacious behavior of the Christian Serbs.

"There is something special going on in Bosnia." writes Charles Kuzman of University of North Carolina. Ahmet Alibasic, lecturer at Sarajevo's Faculty of Islamic studies, provides a reason: "Islam leaves room for local traditions. Local custom is one of the sources of Islamic law. I am a devout Muslim, and my wife wears a veil, but everyone should be able to make their own decisions about dress... When you have Muslims living together with non-Muslims, there tends to be more tolerance... There is no talk here about an Islamic state. Islam is either realistic or it is not Islam." This confirms the findings of Varshney. Integration works.

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Globalization has made the WTO more necessary than ever. The WTO is the only organization that deals with the rules of international trade. In spite of its downsides, the fact that it exists is positive in itself. It professes to be aware of both sides of the coin. We quote from WTO .

"While economists emphasize the long-run gains from trade liberalization, policy makers are worried about the short-run costs. The WTO Secretariat, on 23 May 2003, issued Special Study No. 7 Adjusting to Trade Liberalization, The Role of Policy, Institutions and WTO Disciplines, which seeks to identify tools at the disposal of governments to smooth adjustment, to minimize an economy's adjustment costs and to alleviate the burden of those who suffer most."

This is a positive development.

People and nations collectively are making a difference. EU member nations have each given up something for their collective security, unity, and well being. And each did so democratically to gain the greater good. Hemispheres and cultures alike are bonding together in trade and other common interests. If these trends continue, peace among all nations could result within two or three generations.

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People have begun to organize in earnest.

MoveOn is a political-action site that came into being in part to oppose the extreme drift toward the right in Washington driven by the Evangelical Christians. [Any drift toward the extreme left could be equally dire] Additional sites concerned with special interests:

Congress Watch -- "Congress Watch champions consumer interests before the US Congress and serves as a government watchdog. We lobby to strengthen health, safety and environment protections; demand an end to corporate subsidies; fight to preserve citizen access to the courts to redress corporate wrongdoing; and seek to ensure a strong democracy by exposing the harmful impact of money in politics and advocating for comprehensive campaign finance reform."

Special Interests are not all bad. -- Bottom line is that neither you nor I have the luxury of going to Washington to try to influence the legislative process on our behalf. That's why special interest groups and lobbyists are indispensable part of our representative democracy... It's time to learn about issues and do our due diligence as voters and stop blaming others for our ignorance. You can only hold your legislator accountable if you know both sides of the issue, how your legislator voted, and why?"

Special interests tend to spawn extremist views in proportion to the loss of hope felt by those oppressed in fact or in their perception. This is true whether extremists are Muslims, the homegrown variety such as Timothy McVeigh, or any other type.

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This one came from an enlightened visitor.

We face an overwhelming NEED TO UNITE. From Need to Unite:

"Our world grows in knowledge and yet fragments in its wisdom as we witness widespread dissension creating extremism and its deadly brood of terrorism. We must realize there is a greater responsibility toward humanity in developing a new view or code of conduct by securing peace and eliminating the threat of any further violence. As individuals, we have the power to make a difference through our democracy, which is the essence of peace and positive change."
Doug Snedden, visitor comment.

Dialogue can get us there. The fact that peace websites are proliferating provides hope in itself.

In fact, history has already shown that dialogue between warring people can happen. For more on that read the heartwarming story "The Christmas Truce."

An excerpt:

"The meeting of enemies as friends in no man's land was experienced by hundreds, if not thousands, of men on the Western Front during Christmas 1914. Today, 90 years after it occurred, the event is seen as a shining episode of sanity from among the bloody chapters of World War One, a spontaneous effort by the lower ranks to create a peace that could have blossomed were it not for the interference of generals and politicians."

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

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Of the world's great religions, only Buddhism is consistently associated with peaceful coexistence with other Buddhists and with their neighbors. This is not to say that in the land of Buddha there is peace. Rather, it says that Buddhism does not instigate war and terror while the other three major religions (directly or via their religious or secular governments) have and still do. Buddhist monks, nuns, and students braved the bombs and gunfire in Vietnam to help people caught in the middle regardless of birthright, national origin, or faith. And they suffered high casualties doing it. But they too show the way in the Varshney mold.

From a link in BUDDHISM NEWS & REVIEW we quote dialogue from: Monk teaches Buddhist practicality, calm.

"ASHEVILLE - So how would the Buddha, often seen in statues with his serene smile of enlightenment, deal with someone like Saddam Hussein?

"'When the question came up Sunday during his teaching, Gen Kelsang Tilopa, the monk at the Kosala Buddhist Center, flipped his saffron robe over his arm and offered this example: 'If someone came in here with a baseball bat, it wouldn't be appropriate to let him hit people in the head. We would have to use appropriate force to restrain him,' he said.

"'Such action would be compassionate, according to Buddhism, saving the aggressor from suffering himself,' Tilopa said." [He went on]:

"If we operate from a mind of love, compassion and wisdom, we can achieve peace in the world. If we operate from anger, hatred and revenge, we won't. We can't put out a fire by throwing more fuel on it."

Tilopa put his finger on target, dead center. Dialogue will get you there, bullets won't. At the same time, he proposes that one cannot sit idly by and allow others to attack a person or people. But he couches that in a unique way: "...saving the aggressor from suffering himself." This phrase captures an essence of Buddhism, which might be recast as regard for and love of all things living, even the doers of dastardly deeds, as in Vietnam, Cambodia, Palestine, or Rwanda. By the same token, a Buddhist would not attack another on suspicion alone.

Buddhism is not antithetical to religion. It reveres neither one god nor group of gods. People of any religion can become Buddhists even as they retain their other religious beliefs. Buddhism is more about the philosophy of living than anything else. That so many monotheists and Hindus hold to Buddhist ideals is yet another positive sign for the future. Buddhism has the potential to become a bonding agent for all humankind.

Directory of Buddhist Sites for peace.

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The Mennonites and their allied sects are exceptional among monotheists. They believe in peace and put family values first. If they do not accept innovations of American society it is because they understand the dark side of humanity, the side that puts hedonism and self interest ahead of family. That does not mean they are static. Societal innovations that are neutral to their values are accepted gladly.

These people deserve careful study, for their exceptional ways, ways that have potential for peaceful living and should be adaptable on the larger scene, for there is much that is good about new technology--if it is not carried too far. By carried too far, we mean living beyond the means of nature to sustain us, fighting over resources that can only dwindle, exploding our numbers until nature takes a hand via starvation on top of continuing wars and violence of all sorts.

United for Justice with Peace. "We express our profound grief for those killed in the 9/11 attacks."

Upper Valley Peace & Justice "The best homeland security is a humane foreign policy" is among other quotes collected on this site.

The Amish and Plain People Derived from the Mennonites, "the oldest group of Old Order Amish, about 16-18,000 people live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Amish stress humility, family and community, and separation from the world." Although separatism will not bring peace, there is nevertheless much to be learned from those living in Lancaster County.

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Western Quakers For Peace --"Resolving Conflicts in the Middle and Far East and Responding to Terrorism, Prejudice and Racism, Reflections and Actions by Quakers in the Western USA"

American Friends Service Committee --"Quaker organization, which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice."

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Thomas Merton Center -- "We are people from diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world. We work to raise the moral questions involved in the issues of war, poverty, racism, and oppression.

"...the crime that breaks out of the ghetto is only the fruit of a greater and more pervasive violence: the injustice which forces people to live in the ghetto in the first place. The problem of violence, then, is not the problem of a few rioters and rebels, but the problem of a whole social structure which is outwardly ordered and respectable, and inwardly ridden by psychopathic obsessions and delusions."

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Islamic Voice -- ANDALIB AKHTER: "When one Muslim greets another, he invokes peace: 'salaam alaikum' (peace be with you). This greeting is equally applicable to persons of any faith. Surrender to the will of Allah compels followers of Islam to strive for the establishment of peace in society. Allah is merciful and compassionate: al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Obviously, violence and mercy/compassion cannot co-exist."

Al Quds -- PDF site links the fate of peace with the liberation of Palestine.

Islam and Ethics of War and Peace
IMAM Dr Abdul Jalil Sajid

"The evil attacks on the United States on 11th September, 2001, apparently by a religiously inspired people, brought worldwide discussion on Islam, the question of Jihad and war, and led a few misinformed and misguided individuals to confuse the Islamic concept of Jihad (struggle against oppression, temptation, evil, and to bring peace and justice) with the medieval concept of "holy war". The equation of the two is erroneous and misleading."

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Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel -- "Jews for a Just Peace is an organization of Jews living in Vancouver, BC, Canada whose purpose is to build support in our community for a fair and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

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Palestine Solidarity Movement. -- Third North American Conference. Numerous links to peace related websites. One of the best features of this conference is that it was allowed to happen and did so with public order. Another is the number of concerned citizens who turned out. Apparently there was a significant effort on the part of Zionists to have the meeting canceled or disrupted. Neither happened, apparently because both sides maintained decorum and respect for law and order even though the extreme right and extreme left were in conflict.

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People For Peace "Every Act of Compassion Makes a Difference! Every Day Counts for A Better World, One Heart, One Day at a Time!"

One World, One People for Peace -- "We are just ordinary, everyday people who have decided that all people are equal and should have equal rights. We try our best to make our thoughts, words and actions reflect this. We are against all hatred and all violence because we have seen that it achieves suffering and always causes more problems than it solves."

Kennedy's Peace Corps -- one of the more venerable and durable institutions for peace that the US has sponsored since 1961. It has made a difference, especially in the poorest Third World nations.

International A.N.S.W.E.R -- An activist site protesting US activities in the Middle East. This site sounds extreme in its harsh assessments. But it is antiwar in the extreme, which is better than the other way around. We do not endorse all the actions these folks would have us take; nevertheless, the fact that such a site can still exist unmolested in the face of the Patriot Act gives us hope. They pillory Bush, but they are still in business.

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Looking back from some future time, present time can be reduced to a rather simple perspective of there being three most-significant primary threats to the world: 1) Extremism (especially Fundamentalism) everywhere, 2) Special Interests (that can also be extreme) everywhere, and 3) the confluence of either with Nuclear Weapons. Each perspective provides opportunities for enlightened stewardship. Dealing with these will take national leadership of the highest order, an extremely rare commodity these days.

One skirmish in dialogue on these new front lines was essentially won by Colin Powell and his French counterpart, Dominique de Villepin. Hans Blix also played an essential role by holding fast to the international character of his United Nations inspection team for Iraq and not allowing the Bush administration to dilute its international credibility by including American experts in the inspection process. Powell, Villepin, and Blix deserve the credit for staving off what they and the world saw as a premature war. Needless to say, the Rumsfeld / Cheney influence won out even though their outward cock-sureness that Iraq was well along with developing weapons of mass destruction has yet (26 May 2003) to find foundation. So far, Powell, Villepin, and Blix stand completely vindicated. Ironically enough, time has proved them right. No WMD have been found in Iraq after six months of intense searching by American experts. No connection with al Qa'ida has turned up. The Administration spin is as remarkable as the events themselves. It is now down simply to "Hussein had to go and good riddance."

See Neoconservatism for more on this one.

What the UN and NATO have done amounts to expanded diplomatic dialogue. Dialogue is a most effective way to dampen anger, hatred, and revenge. Its use promotes understanding and understanding promotes peace.

Peace, the new face of empire, is gaining ground. It gives us a great deal of hope that even the Nuclear Terror Equation can be resolved by a comity of nations and a UN that can be reformed to control all things nuclear, and do so effectively.

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We are hopeful because there are many things we can actually do--given the political will. We can achieve peace within our collective powers. And we are intelligent enough to understand the issues and pursue them. It will take time, for ineffective ideas die slowly. Look how long it took the US to reduce bigotry to acceptable levels.

From the above, it is easy to choose directions from here -- it will be altogether another matter to make it happen. For millennia, Church and State have been at war; our time is not different. But the basic issue is deeper than that: religions and states have been at war within themselves and between each other for equally long--without resolution. Humanity seems to need each institution, yet some societies are much more peaceful than others. This feature gives us great hope. Tactics employed must resonate with strategy to be effective. See Zimbardo's Advice in particular.

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      Internationalize and Expand the Peace Corps (Increase ability to integrate all societies.)

      Work toward reforming the UN to become an effective even-handed world government. (Effectively cap terror.)

      (Excise Extremism)Society Reformation

      Population Control (Because there is NO CHOICE)

National Actions:

The option to any of the below is continued terror and violence.

  • Ethnic Integration in All Sectors of Society
  • Religious Tolerance
  • Equal Educational Opportunity
  • Equal Economic Opportunity

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Institutionalize the following toward the end of a balanced approach to education that meets the needs of both the scientific and fundamentalist minds.

    In Dialogue Discuss:

    Natural and Human-History Education (Sciences behind existence)

      Philosophy (Purview and values to society)

      Religion (Purview, origins, needs for, usefulness, values to society)

      Anthropology (Human society origins; meaning for today)

      Psychology (Understanding one's self to bring wisdom in dealing with others)

      Sociology (Understanding society reflecting how individuals add up to it to bring wisdom in dealing with other societies)

      Locus of Control (Ability to make up one's own mind independently of others, build immunity to propaganda)

      Economics (Economics relationship to governance, values of trade, laws of supply and demand, three sources of capital)

      Mathematics (A key to most actions in this list, distinguish between fact and fiction)

      Inferential Statistics (Understand Information, draw effective conclusions)

      Scientific methods (Enable wise decisions, distinguish between fact and fiction)

      Chemistry (Understand the world of substances, pre-biotic evolution)

      Physics (Understanding the world of energy, pre-chemical evolution)

      Biology (evolution and ecosystems, improve crop yield, extend human life-time)

      Genetics (evolution, health, harness for flora and fauna improvement)

We must remember that what the terrorists of today want to exploit most of all is the tension between security and freedom. The more they can make us like them, the weaker we become.

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We must apply the scientific method and answer the following specific questions

  • Why is Tokyo the most-peaceful, large metro-area on earth?
  • Why are Honolulu and El Paso tens of times more peaceful than Washington DC, Baltimore, or Detroit?
  • Why is America more violent than Norway or Portugal?
  • Why does China have the oldest, least expansionistic, society on earth?
  • What are the effects of population pressures on violence?
  • Where on the human genome are the genes for authoritarianism?
  • How can we implement findings from new research?
  • Why do Nordic countries have high suicide rates?
  • Why do sparsely populated areas in the US have high suicide rates?
  • How can we keep the world population within the sustainable levels available from nature?
  • Why exactly does monotheism correlate so strongly with war, terror and poor education?
  • What do the Mennonites and brethren have to offer in this regard?
  • How can we reconcile and alleviate our fears that drive us to compete mightily for turf and comfort at the expense of others?

As answers appear we must apply them. Some studies will provide no answers, only more questions to be pursued in turn. That is the nature of research, especially in the social sciences. Varshney provides an excellent model.

Societies that encourage true freedom of thought and opinion, are the groundbreakers. Democratic societies are better than any alternative on this score, even as conservative forces try to turn the clocks back to mediaeval times. We call for teaching the elements of peaceful living, not as a recipe, but as an experience enabled by Internal Loci of Control -- taught to our children by living example.

Just as Authoritarians among us can be radicalized, so also each of us can find in ourselves the wherewithal to sail our own ship. With practice, it becomes second nature. We need more freedom, not less. The Homeland Security Act is a step backward, not forward. Standardized achievement testing in schools will be for naught if we neglect independence of thought and the development of an Internal Locus of Control in every person growing up.

Peace is so important that we hope that you will research it for yourself and actively help humankind achieve peace. The links we provide can get you started. One key, as Varshney so ably points out, is integration in all things at all levels.

"Hate cannot drive out hate-only love can do that."
Martin Luther King Jr.


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