Ending War Now: A Proposal.


By Jerry Alatalo

***

“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that hold out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”

– ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) Last written words, April 1955; quoted by Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden in “Einstein on Peace.”

iven the massive shift of world collective consciousness emergent after, among other astonishing developments, U.S. President Donald Trump’s arguably intended-to-provoke and dangerous Jerusalem announcement – and especially considering the dramatic response by member states at the United Nations (UN), now would seem the perfect storm, confluence-of-events time for the world’s genuine peacemakers to conduct an energetic push towards long-overdue reform of the UN, and making wars of aggression punishable. Or, in plain-speak, now is the opportune time to end forever in all its dimensions impunity for war criminals.

In the United States, as an example, the Constitution allows for adjustments by the people as time goes by and societal conditions evolve, and the supreme U.S. law-of-the-land document has endured the amendment process several times when deemed necessary. Similarly and invariably, the world and humanity evolves and conditions change to the point of requiring necessary actions correspondent to newly developed circumstances.

Let us call the proposed United Nations reform to the UN Charter a similar legally binding amendment, or treaty, or instrument, but – no matter the name and/or process necessary for bringing about truly effective legal enforcement on a global level – the vital point of such an initiative is making wars of aggression an action individuals (historically, in most instances the wealthiest and most powerful) will certainly think long, hard and twice about, because they are (now) subject to prosecution and punishment. This describes the basic foundation of deterrence, the legal term fully understood by any man or woman with a reasoning, functioning brain.

The reform we propose is as simple as simple gets, yet at the same time tremendously consequential in its potential:

Make it mandatory for each United Nations member state to sign the Rome Statute and agree to come under the legal jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, or face their nation’s expulsion from the United Nations – period. Perhaps it is beneficial at this point to look at the history-changing example of what the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and its hundreds of global support groups accomplished:

  • An unprecedented, binding United Nations treaty passed in July 2017 making nuclear weapons illegal
  • The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee’s deciding upon and rightly honoring ICAN as the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

May we suggest that a similar effort to end impunity for war criminals, embodied in and anchored on the simple United Nations reform just described, led by a new globally supported organization with the name “International Campaign to Abolish War”, would become the next recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for year 2018? It’s safe to say every human being on Earth would gladly welcome elimination of both nuclear weapons and wars of aggression from the Earth.

Most men and women who pass this way and read these words feel the extraordinary nature of current events in aspects equally historical, international, and spiritual, and especially in the sense of intensifying inevitableness. Both ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and 85-year old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, Setsuko Thurlow, spoke passionately to the world after accepting the organization’s richly-deserved 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

In her acceptance speech on behalf of ICAN, Ms. Fihn clearly and powerfully articulated that widespread, growing sense of inevitableness, when she said:

“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen.”

ICAN’s name suggests the sole goal of the organization is abolition of nuclear weapons from the face of this Earth. But it could reasonably be asserted: given the likelihood any escalation of violence today approaching the destructive levels of World War I and World War II would involve the use of nuclear weapons – so in the ultimate, classic logic sense ICAN’s vision is all about total abolition of both nuclear weapons and war.

Many are comparing the international situation today as more dangerous than that which existed during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and it’s likely somewhere in the 90-99% range that men and women who come to read these words will agree. One senses that humanity is closing in fast on the time of its greatest moral decision, or has even already arrived at its most crucial collective rendezvous with destiny in recorded history. The decision upon which civilization now will depend for their very lives to continue, and begin again for those to come in future generations, is whether to take right action or not.

Creating a workable plan to effectively abolish war forever is clearly taking right action.

There is only one human family. Arguably, an overwhelming majority of people the world over wish to carry out their lives in human-created conditions guaranteeing their opportunities for experiencing some significant level of love, peace and harmony. War is undeniably in the way, and represents the absolute obstacle to achieving humanity’s highest vision. There is only one simple, yet immeasurably profound and unavoidable question. Why not take right action toward ending war; taking into account the current dangerous, worrying state of world affairs and international relations, shouldn’t such necessary action be starting now?

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4 thoughts on “Ending War Now: A Proposal.

  1. These are noble sentiments, surely. However, once again, the mice are trying to get organized to free themselves from the depredation of the cat by putting a bell around its neck. Only problem is, talking about it is fine, but actually doing it, that’s a different matter. History teaches us that we can never enforce peace, that being an oxymoron. Besides, military forces stomping down streets enforcing peace has been done since before the Roman legions stomped on the known world. They did not bring peace, quite the contrary. With or without nuclear weapons, when this inane, insane and archaic US empire implodes the world will erupt into more wars, not less. The world as it currently operates is like a steam kettle gradually heating up. Empire prevents enough steam from escaping that the end result is inevitable: kaboom! Maybe I’m old and jaded but my memories of anti-Vietnam war demonstrations are as clear today as they were on the day. There were more of us actively demonstrating and voting for peace then than there are today; more who truly cared and made themselves heard, and felt! Peace and love were our greetings, and we carried our flowers and we were absolutely sure we had inaugurated a new era of peace. Some of our members traveled to Soviet Russia and communist China and came back extolling the virtues of those regimes. We should have made “Three Blind Mice” our anthem! But who needs reality and facts when they can substitute a belief system? The problem of man is that he’s a rebel at the core. No enforcement can ever change the creature, it has to desire it at a gut level. Peace is achievable if/when every Earthian chooses to interact compassionately with all others regardless of circumstances. You will have peace on this benighted world when the very last die-hard right-winged bigot chooses to abandon his “rights” to side with the peace makers. Now then, how do you get such a bigot to choose peace if you already know force will not work?

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    1. Sha’Tara,

      At the end of the commentary you posed the essential question, which arrives at where the “rubber meets the road” on the issue of war and peace: “You will have peace on this benighted world when the very last die-hard right-winged bigot chooses to abandon his “rights” to side with the peace makers. Now then, how do you get such a bigot to choose peace if you already know force will not work?”

      The bigot at this point in history has no “skin in the game” due to his (or her, see Hillary Clinton “we came, we saw, he died”) historical ability to conduct wars of aggression with impunity, or without any effective legal constrainst or deterrent. Because he and others like him positioned in the same place on the spectrum of worldviews hold the stance of willingness to use aggressive war as long as their impunity for war crimes persists, it becomes a simple logical exercise to conclude that creating effective deterrence against war crimes commission is, well, self-apparent.

      Just as potential murderers think long and hard about the consequences of any criminal act they might be considering, often deterred from going forward by concrete laws guaranteeing serious punishment if caught, when the same laws pertaining to war criminals are established internationally one could foresee a dramatic drop in war crimes. We suggest the drop would be not only dramatic but historic, and from all measures would entail or result in the “ending of war”.

      The absence of an effective international legal framework which provides real deterrence against commission of war crimes (let’s call it what it is – mass murder) is the same as if the state of Pennsylvania had no laws against murder; in other words residents of Pennsylvania have no deterrent to walking next door and shooting their neighbor, and can do so with complete impunity. Sometimes one becomes frustrated when the solution, whether when implemented it results in small or large decreases in war crimes around the Earth, has been for many decades available, is now available and implementable, so simple to contemplate and understand, but not yet the law of the land (law of the world). This is “Catch-22” stuff, my friend.

      Of course, even were such a simple legal solution finally made reality, if the peckerhead, blinded law professors, legal experts, academics in related disciplines, etc. open their eyes and see what’s always been right in front of their faces and speak out, there’s still the problem of dealing with the spiritual and philosophical dimensions of human experience associated with, and fueling, the harming of fellow members of the one human family at the individual to universal levels. But, one step at a time as the wise saying goes.

      Thank you for the conversation-generative commentary. Perhaps someday we can travel to the United Nations together and straighten things out. Meanwhile, here’s hoping those with the capacity to do precisely that reading these comments resolve in their minds that “someday” for them is today.

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  2. Reblogged this on Wobbly Warrior's Blog and commented:
    “There is only one human family. Arguably, an overwhelming majority of people the world over wish to carry out their lives in human-created conditions guaranteeing their opportunities for experiencing some significant level of love, peace and harmony. War is undeniably in the way … “

    Like

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