by Jerry Alatalo
“The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what he saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, and thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.”
– JOHN RUSKIN (1819-1900) British writer
War and violence in Syria continues after passing the 4-year mark while it seems there is no end in sight. Syria’s neighbor Iraq is experiencing the same war against terrorist group ISIS – whose ability to carry out more violence has not been eliminated. The leaders of Syria and Iran’s respective parliaments met recently and said there is no will on the part of certain regional countries and the international community to defeat terrorism in the Middle East, raising serious questions about who is aiding terrorists and who is fighting them.
Of course, the essential overriding reason in the Middle East leading to wars is the massive amount of oil and natural gas resources there, particularly how the profits from selling those resources become distributed. Similar to the “we are the 99%” made world-famous during the Occupy movement, in the Middle East one finds the source of contention is between the 99% of ordinary Middle Eastern citizens wanting simply to live in peace and the 1% (more like fraction of 1%) who have controlled the rich resources of the region and want to keep that control.
The history of the Middle East region reads like humanity’s ultimate morality story, pitting the forces of greed and power-seeking against the innocent people caught in the crossfire of wars fought over differing geopolitical, socioeconomic philosophies. It is an international condition. On one hand there are those who wish for governments and ways of living which are secular, harmonious as possible, independent and democratic. On the other are the monarchies and oligarchies without democracy ruled by multi-billionaire families unwilling to surrender privilege, power and wealth.
The Middle East, like other regions on Earth where large deposits of oil and natural gas exist, is where the highest stakes financial, political, military contests are “played”, only, for the millions of innocent men, women and children who suffer and die in the hideous process, it is not in the least a game. It might be safe to say that Middle East wars and violence, along with wars in all regions on Earth now and throughout history, are true examples of the well-known phrase “One cannot serve both Mammon (riches, worldly gain) and God.” The entirety of the great moral, ethical choices all people must make is there in the Middle East for all to see.
But some will say that is oversimplifying the Middle East with its history of profoundly complex social problems, in particular sectarianism and ancient hatreds nearly impossible to heal. Yet perhaps an assertion closer to the truth is that very powerful, wealthy people who take part in the high stakes world of international energy extraction, supply, sales, and transport will use deception and violence to retain control of resources and markets. The fundamental and gruesome reality is that there are people on this Earth willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of innocent people for power and wealth.
Deception, lies, propaganda and manipulation of the perceptions of societies are deadly factors which, if not eliminated, make certain the continued experience of wars and violence now and into the future. The phenomenon of people around the world able to easily communicate over the internet has allowed for the lessening of those lies and manipulations and disabling to varying extents the agendas of those who use deception as a tactic, yet the internet’s constructive power has yet to totally eliminate fatal deception. What will it take for humanity to defeat deception once and for all – to the point where great, important, life and death actions/decisions become based completely on the truth, facts, and full awareness of circumstances in every situation?
One can look at the alternative, internet-based media as the “democratic (we the people) media” and the mainstream corporate media as “media for the oligarchy (corporate media owners)”. Is there an effective tool which can guarantee mainstream media, where a large percentage of people still get their perceptions of what’s happening in the world, no longer ignores reporting the truth about important world events? Yes, there is such a powerful tool. A yearly, week-long United Nations sponsored “World Peace Conference”. Again, some will respond to such a proposal as an oversimplification on an Earth with collective problems and issues of extreme complexity.
In memory of the millions of innocent men, women and children who have perished in wars through history, and with millions around the Earth displaced from their homelands living in desperation as refugees at this moment in mind – “1st Annual: World Peace Conference 2015” begins sounding more and more like a good, necessary and worthwhile high stakes bet.
(Thank you to Press TV News Videos)