Nobody has brought this simple message to the world like the Perdana Global Peace Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As the leader, Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's fourth prime minister, says: "Peace for us simply means the absence of war. We must never be deflected from this simple objective".
THESIS ONE: The leaks are not about "whistle-blowing", but about a nonviolent, civil disobedient fight against huge social evils.
Future studies, like peace-development-environment studies, is an interdisciplinary, international effort to get a grip on key issues, divided into ‘preferred futures’ – utopias – whose?; ‘predicted futures’ – forecasting – who does it, for whom?; and ‘future practice’ – scenarios bending the predicted toward the preferred – by and for whom?
The atrocious Second World War left behind lasting damage by lowering our standards for what is marginally acceptable.
The United States and Colombia are the leaders in mental anxiety in the Americas.Both have good reasons: Colombia has witnessed the longest lasting violence in any contemporary country: from 1949, with some interruptions, then on again from 1964 with the notorious guerilla group, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
It has not been this bad since the 1950-53 Korean War.October 1962, the Cuba-USSR-U.S. crisis, comes to mind. There were horror visions of mushroom clouds. A proud Cuba, with a strong leader-dictatorship, a social revolution in the near past, was denied a normal place in the state system, bullied by the U.S. and some allies with sanctions and boycotts into isolation, which has lasted more than 50 years.
That his life and his deeds had black dots is part of the story but should not prevent us from seeing the greatness of a maker of history. First, in his own country, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez lifted those at the bottom up from misery, into economic wellness, political participation, cultural pride (in their often African, or Indian, blood), social dignity – going far beyond Gini coefficients to measure increasing equality.
That Liverpool was once the uncontested centre of the world slave trade, accounting for 40 percent, is well documented in the International Slavery Museum in the port where slave ships docked.
The Middle East-North Africa – MENA -- is Arab-Muslim with a growing Jewish island in its midst. It was colonised for over four centuries by the Sunni Ottoman Turks, then the secular West, United Kingdom-France-Italy -- for half a century and is now under Israeli colonialism and U.S. imperialism.
The problem of the U.S. economy lies much deeper than
the fiscal cliff. Wise people--Robert Borosage, Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz--see neither the fiscal deficit nor the U.S. debt as the key problems, but the lack of growth.
A Third World War is not impossible, but fortunately is rather unlikely. Let us explore why, and what can be done to prevent it.
On Nov. 29, 138 member states of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of giving Palestine “non-member observer state” status. Only nine voted no, 41 abstained. Beyond Middle East politics, the vote also mirrors the limits of the U.S. global, and the Israeli regional, empires: 138 defy their grip and favour change, 41+9=50 do not for various reasons. Who wants what?
The media did their best to make the U.S. presidential election look important, the altar on which democracy is built. But there has been a problem ever since the Supreme Court legalised unlimited campaign spending (six billion dollars this year), thereby authorising one more freedom of expression, called "commercial speech" even though much of this speech is libellous, often neither true nor relevant.
Empires come and go. The Ottoman-Muslim Empire was among the better, and the Iberian-Catholic and European-Protestant among the worst. In the Ottoman empire, religions of the kitab (‘the book’: Judaism, Christianity, Islam) were respected; Turkish was not imposed. Religious-linguistic entities survived in the Balkans as opposed to in Latin-Caribbean America. National independence movements succeeded: Greece in 1829, Serbia and Rumania in 1878, Bulgaria in 1908, Albania in 1912.
In trying to bring peace to conflict-ridden parts of the world, it is important to distinguish between negative peace - ceasefires and the absence of violence in general - and positive peace - cooperation for mutual and equal benefit, emotional harmony, reconciliation of past traumas, and the capacity to resolve future conflicts peacefully, nonviolently, with empathy and creativity, instead of forcing those with serious grievances to lay down their arms and reintegrate into civilian life.