Streams

End of War: Peace Edition

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Live from WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Watch the video here.

To wrap up the End of War project, we have a wide-ranging discussion about how we can accomplish peace. Conversations include:

The Veteran's Perspective

  • Sead Suvalic, Bosnian refugee and Program Officer, U.S. Programs, International Rescue Committee
  • Andrew S. Roberts, Iraq war veteran and director of Military and Veterans Liaison Services at North Shore LIJ
  • Carl Callender, a program director at Black Veterans for Social Justice and an Iraq war veteran

Why Not A Department of Peace?

  • Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Congressman (D-Ohio)
  • John Horgan, science journalist and director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology and author of the new book The End of War

Strategies for Peace

  • Manal Omar, director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa Programs for the US Institute of Peace
  • Lena Slachmuijlder, chief programming officer, Search for Common Ground

Guests:

Carl Callender, John Horgan, Dennis Kucinich, Manal Omar, Andrew Roberts, Lena Slachmuijlder and Sead Suvalic

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Comments [66]

Felix Rosenthal from Annandale, Virginia

The first two respondents, Mr. Ranney and Mr. Glossop, have hit the nail on the head -- what we need in order to abolish war is a system of enforceable world law with the institutions needed to make it work.

Whenever you have a collection of human beings numbering more than one person, there will inevitably be differences of opinion and conflicts of interest. On an international scale, our only presently existing way to "settle" such differences is that the militarily strongest nation gets its way - and the result of that system often is war. The only rational alternative to the war "system" of settling differences among nations is to establish enforceable world law and to develop the institutions needed to make it work -- legislative, executive, and judicial.

Oct. 27 2012 04:56 PM
Felix Rosenthal from U.S. - Virginia

The first two respondents, Mr. Ranney and Mr. Glossop, have hit the nail on the head -- what we need in order to abolish war is a system of enforceable world law with the institutions needed to make it work.

Whenever you have a collection of human beings numbering more than one person, there will inevitably be differences of opinion and conflicts of interest. On an international scale, our only presently existing way to "settle" such differences is that the militarily strongest nation gets its way - and the result of that system often is war. The only rational alternative to the war "system" of settling differences among nations is to establish enforceable world law and to develop the institutions needed to make it work -- legislative, executive, and judicial.

Oct. 27 2012 04:53 PM
James T. Ranney from Philadelphia

Ultimately, there is really ONE ANSWER to "the problem of peace," and it is not a new idea: "world peace through law," meaning the replacement of the international use of force with the global rule of law. Originating with Jeremy Bentham (1789), this basic idea has been adopted by five American presidents (Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Wm. Howard Taft, Dwight David Eisenhower, & JFK), and is finally ready for adoption. It will require: 1) abolition of nuclear weapons (and mere reductions and balancing of conventional forces, not general & complete disarmament); 2) a four-stage system of international alternative dispute resolution (compulsory negotiation, mediation, arbitration & adjudication); and 3) various enforcement mechanisms, ranging from the force (substantial) of world opinion to a international peace force. The details are available by email or googling the topic "world peace through law" and my full name.

Oct. 27 2012 02:50 PM
Ronald J. Glossop from St. Louis, Missouri

Undoubtedly there will always be conflicts between humans, both individually and as groups. But that does not mean that there will always be wars, that is large-scale violent conflicts between organized groups seeking political power over some territory. The alternative to war is a functioning democratic government where the conflicts are worked out peacefully by political and judicial means, by elections to decide who will have political power and what the laws will be plus courts and police to enforce them in individual situations. We have learned to do this within our country for over a century despite many intense conflicts, and many other democratic countries have also learned the lesson. In order to get a peaceful world we need to have functioning democratic governments within countries and a functioning democratic government for the world community as a whole. That goal will take time, but humanity has aleady been moving slowly in the right direction over a very long period of time.

Oct. 27 2012 11:02 AM
Neil Blonstein from New York City

One thing that could be done in 6 months that would REDUCE war considerably is to get people to be bilingual (literate in 2 languages-conversant in two languages), get people to travel and visit other cultures is LEARN Esperanto. Lernu! It is free and can be done on-line. Esperanto is not an IDEA but an active community ignored regularly by the mass-media. Learn the peace-loving history of this movement, its persecution by Hitler, Stalin and the Japanese government of WW II. The English media would also have to become bilingual.....seems impossible?

Oct. 26 2012 11:33 AM
robert from London

Ending war will require more than any existing political process, philosophy or theology has to offer. But it can be done!

"For individuals who can shake off their existing prejudices, imagine outside the cultural box of history, stand against the tides of fashionable thought and spin, who have the humility and moral courage to learn something new, not of their own intellectual origin and will TEST this insight for themselves, an intellectual and moral revolution is already under way, where the 'impossible' becomes inevitable, by the most potent, political, Non Violent Direct Action any human being can take to advance peace, justice, change and progress."

http://www.energon.org.uk
http://soulgineering.com/2011/05/22/the-final-freedoms/

Jun. 14 2012 08:47 AM
anna from new york

Oh, there are some good comments here. I ended in some place (Green Space discussion) where some retards babble on the level: "It's men, it's religion, it's America."

Jun. 13 2012 12:24 PM
Andrew from CT

While there have been an amazing number of great ideas and points on the end of war since the beginning of this series, I think two are the most relevant in this discussion.

The first was made a few weeks ago regarding the trauma that soldiers go through in and after war. Humans are not designed to fight the wars we fight now; we have to be trained and brainwashed to put ourselves in such horrifying positions and often have years of trauma in the form of PTSD after such conflict. This is such a powerful observation disputing the idea that humans are fundamentally warlike. Just because the people in power can ignore the human impact and the traumas of wars as they start them, doesn't mean we're inherently warlike. We may have inherently selfish traits but they can be overcome as is apparent by the plethora of selfless humanitarians that sacrifice their lives to help others through peaceful means. The drive to look beyond one's self is the beginning.

The second equally relevant point regards the profitability of war and is especially apparent and relevant today as we hear more and more about Russia supplying arms to the Serbian army. When a conflict becomes more about who has more arms than who is actually just, nobody wins except the individuals profiting from the arms sales. These individuals often wield tremendous power and influence over those with the power to actually wage wars and the reasons for waging war get skewed. Furthermore, there is a double standard by countries preaching peace. What are people supposed to think when the US is telling countries such as Iran to not build nuclear weapons or Iraq to not research biological warfare while the US has thousands of nuclear weapons pointed right at Iran and thousands of scientists creating new forms of biological terror. The only way we can overcome our troubles and disagreements is through equality, and that doesn't mean supplying arms to both sides equally. If people want to fight, let them fight but that fight must be fair and should be over ideas, not power and fought with ideas, not power and money.

War can be ended. Not only that, but it must be ended if this planet is to survive. Equality must be the number one goal or the division between the strong and the weak will grow even wider. The weapons to wage war will grow even more powerful inevitably leading to nuclear war and the destruction of the planet and everything that calls it home. The only thing keeping us from overcoming the major obstacles facing humanity is our apprehension to try and our fear of failure. Our history has shown that humans can do anything we put our minds to, but we can't do anything unless we actually try.

Jun. 13 2012 12:23 PM
kathy devos from whitestone, NY

I think that the UN needs to establish a peacekeeping force. It would be made up of citizens from nations around the world that are members of the United Nations. Each nation would contribute an equal percentage of it's population to represent and participate in a world peace keeping force. All of the members would attend and be trained at the former [military schools]now called [peace academies] from around the globe.

If and when a conflict would arise somewhere in the world these trained peacekeepers would be sent in to workout conflict resolution and prevent
further aggression.

Jun. 13 2012 12:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

C'mon, people fight over child custody! I know siblings who haven't spoken to each other in DECADES! People fight over position and power and money and children and recognition and respect and you name it! The Hebrew prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when the Lion shall lay down with the Lamb. I once asked an Israeli about what he thought about that. He said, "Well, when that happens, we want to be the lion for a change." :)

Jun. 13 2012 12:09 PM
Jamie L. from NYC

To Gary from Queens.

I guess you represent the standard racist, nationalistic, patriot, so common in this country and around the world. You are the type of person that supports and perpetuates war.

Think on a few things: Christians last century killed tens of millions of people around the world including millions of muslims. In fact Christians today are much more dangerous than Muslims. That's simple fact not racist, religious hate speech.

Think about the slaughter in Iraq. Approximately 1 million Iraqis killed, the vast majority being innocents, and 4 million more forced out of their country. And approximately 500K-1M killed in the first Iraq war.

So who should the world really fear? Suicide bombers who can kill at most a few dozens of people, or Americans who with their self-righteousness happily murder millions of people in the name of democracy, peace, and the goodness of Christianity?

Jun. 13 2012 12:07 PM
WhatIf from Manhattan

There will be war as long as there are guns, gunpowder and bombs of every kind. If the world abolished all this and only stones and clubs remained, nobody would want to fight.
Standing far away from the target and causing physical damage is the 21st century's incentive for war.

Jun. 13 2012 12:05 PM
gary from queens

Figure out how to stop testosterone production in the human male, and mandate the treatment in every nation, and you will end all wars.

And, incidently, that's the reason women should not be place in combat units. They cannot compete with men in aggression because of this hormone difference, and expecting women to compete in that environment. it's dangerous to them and others.

Jun. 13 2012 12:05 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") does NOT say "Thou Shalt Not Kill." It says "Lo Tirzach." Translation: Don't MURDER. The Bible did have laws of war and did sanction the death penalty, and even sanctioned the extermination of the Amalekites and Canaanites for their abominations and their blind hatred of Israel.

Jesus in the NT came with the Message of Love, but looks like He'll have to come again to get that impelemented :)

Jun. 13 2012 12:03 PM

The key to abolishing war is encouraging and teaching empathy and realizing that hate and fear come out of ignorance. If you could put yourself in someone's "shoes" and recognize that we all have the same fears and hopes, that we all love our children and want their safety, health and happiness, that in fact all children are our children- we could not inflict harm and suffering on others.

Jun. 13 2012 12:02 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ shashinyc from Manhattan

No follow up, a completely biased segment was the point apparently..not a real discussion.

And to Brian, well some conclusions may be "easy" but that doesn't mean they are any less true. In real life, sometimes the "easy" answer is the correct one.

Jun. 13 2012 12:01 PM
ph

"Thou shall not kill" has little face value since killing appears in so many books in the Old Testament and even through divine interventions. Nobody but perhaps very narrow-minded fundamentalist would follow this commandment to the letter.

Jun. 13 2012 11:58 AM
Antonio from NJ

"Can we end all wars?" A resounding yes...BUT we need to prevent our government to be allowed to borrow money for war. Only then citizens and politicians will realize we can't afford it and in order to have war we'll have to make sacrifices.

Jun. 13 2012 11:58 AM
Robert from NYC

OK then, so did we end war? Is war over now? Let's go to lunch.

Jun. 13 2012 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The UN Charter made wars of aggression illegal. However, in 1948, when 5 Arab armies attacked the newly UN-authorized Jewish state, the UN did and said NOTHING against the Arab aggressor state.

However, in 1949, when Communist North Korea attacked South Korea, then the US was roused up enough to get the UN to declare a "police action" in Korea, and we lost 38,000 American GIs to stop the Communist aggression.

Jun. 13 2012 11:57 AM
David from Brooklyn

I am a Vietnam Vet and believe that if mandatory draft, no exceptions, particularly in the USA would lessen the change of war, especially a major conflict....it is i feel what ended the Vietnam War and not the protest, although they indeed helped...

Jun. 13 2012 11:57 AM
shashinyc from Manhattan

Where is the follow-up for the caller who highlighted the profit motive -- that fomenters of war of combat frequently grow enormously rich from the ongoing conflicts?

Jun. 13 2012 11:56 AM
jawbone

I'm a leading edge Baby Boomer, among the first born post WWII -- and I don't think there has been a year during my lifetime when we, the USA, have not been at war. Not always "big" or "medium" wars, but wars against some "little" country we "needed" to use military force within or against with the bigger conflicts getting much more notice.

Now we deeply fear Iran and have taken economic and cyber actions against it, along with black ops actions inside Iran and have used proxy groups to kill and damage Iran withih the country, all to weaken that nation, in attempts to bring down its government. We continually threaten stronger military action and say "everything is on the table.

Iran, however, has not taken aggressive military action against another nation for about 200 years.

Discuss, compare and contrast.

Jun. 13 2012 11:56 AM
The Truth from Becky

Two "pro war" candidates?

Jun. 13 2012 11:54 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Should the troops be "revered" or "respected"?

reverence:
1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.

Reverence, to me, seems to imply more a characteristic found in the ancient Roman Empire...a militaristic culture....

Perhaps respect would be better than reverence

Jun. 13 2012 11:53 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Wars began when some women seeing their children starving from famine, said to their men, "What are you going to do about it?" That tribe over the next river has food; are going to let the children starve while they eat/ Most of warfare in the beginning was just raids for food by one clan or tribe against another.

If Americans couldn't get food or oil, or some important resource, and people here, or our economy here, were starving or otherwise dying for lack of it, you'd see war come back into style again. It's easy to talk about "end of war" when your belly is fat and overstuffed with more than you can vacate!

If Kucinich's nonsense had ever been implemented, this country, or those left in it, would be speaking German, Japanese, or Russian. It may yet speak Spanish or Arabic.

Jun. 13 2012 11:52 AM
gary from queens

Mr. Kucinich,

Muslim supremacy doctrine is the problem. Not what you call US imperialistic hubris.

Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti held a press conference in Kabul Monday morning.

After using the term "the enemy" several times, one reporter asked him to clarify what he meant by it. You can read his answer below.

When you cannot designate who your enemy is in one sentence or less, then you are looking at a defeated force.

But he is just the symptom. His boss, Obama, won't even call it a "war". Rather, it's an "overseas contingency operation"!

If he had been president instead of FDR, we may be referring to World War II today as "The Great Unpleasantness Abroad."

The president also referred to the islamic jihadist attack by Major Hasan as "workplace violence."

And Pres. Bush wasn't all that better. He referred to Islam as a "religion of peace."

During WWII, does anyone recall Churchill or FDR calling Germans "peace-loving people"?

No. They called Germans "our enemies." And no German-Americans in this country held rallies to protest that.

Germany was not broken down into factions. They didn't say we were at war with the Waffen SS or the Wehrmacht or the Luftwaffe.

The majority of Germans supported the Hitler regime. At least until they started losing the war.

Today, most Muslims in the middle east support islamofascism (also known as sharia law) and Islamic jihad (either the violent or the stealth variety).

Indeed, Sharia is the mainstream jurisprudence of Islam, and jihad is a central commandment in the koran.

Thus, we should identify our enemy as followers of islam. Our armed forces are fighting "Islamic militants", and American citizens in the US must fight against the slow, peaceful "stealth jihadists", or Islamists.

Language must mean something, or it means nothing.

SOURCE:
http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5059

Jun. 13 2012 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Thomas Jefferson, a great advocate of peace and democracy, took this nation to war in 1801 against the Muslim pirates of North Africa who had been taking our ships hostage for decades. He read the Koran, tried to negotiate for years, to no avail. Christian ships had to redeem their sailors from slavery by paying tribute. That is way the Mediterranean was.Finally, Jefferson managed to get the US to build a small navy and into a fairly long war with the Barbary pirates. who were not vanquished until after the Napoleonic wars when Britain and France finally combined to destroy the power of the North African pirate states.

Jun. 13 2012 11:45 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Great point, Kucinich: To ultimately be effective, the work of 'Search for Common Ground' and other saviors' must be in context, with truth and reconciliation and the acknowledgement of their own possible complicity in the conflicts they address -- via their country and other agents acting in their name.

Jun. 13 2012 11:45 AM
carl from queens

one fool proof way to prevent war is , when two leaders of nations declare war on each other, no body show up.

Jun. 13 2012 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If you are serious, then make the military open to WOMEN ONLY! Except for rear-guard units in which men would be allowed to serve, say as nurses.

We have seen Bonobo societies run by females. They have no war. Of course, the territories the Bonobos inhabit is very small and undesirable compared to those of chimpanzees, and Bonobos are very few in numbers compared to the patriarchal chimpanzees as well. Nobody will attack you if you have nothing worth stealing.

Jun. 13 2012 11:41 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The problem is that war is irrational. Evil, which leads to war, is far more powerful and subtle that rational solutions. Grace is needed.

Jun. 13 2012 11:37 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Bernie

Yeah, well his whole theory fell apart when he tried to gloss over conflict in general and narrowly define war in modern terms. Let's say we get rid of all the weapons, the military industrial complex, etc,etc

people will still fight with one another even without "militarism" and heavy weaponry whether you want to call that "war" or not is irrelevant.

If we're talking just about ending "militarism"...yeah..that's possible, not likely but possible. But conflict and violence in general? No, I do not think that is possible. Too much a part of our nature.

Jun. 13 2012 11:36 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Truth and reconciliation will be a critical component to decreasing war.

Jun. 13 2012 11:35 AM
adrienne from UWS

Oh Brian, Help...Please. The 20th century was the most blood thursty in all of human history between Hitler, Stalin, Polpot, The Cultural Revolution, Cambodia, Haiti.where do I stop?

The battle of the sexes, people getting along in the subway are you kidding? and today: Sudan, Congo (every one is afraid to mention the total horror of south africa, the rape, denial of AIDS, amazing crime)

Iran, Iraq (glad Israel has a gay bar in Jerusalem where palestinian and Israeli gays get together, and the great Israeli scientist whose working with Palistians on food and water issues, well Isreal has many problems for sure but I ask you to compare)

Jun. 13 2012 11:31 AM
gary from queens

Mr. Kucinich,

Clinton had already shot missiles at training camps, if you recall. It didnt stop al qaeda from attacking us on US soil.

The majority of americans favored attacking the taliban in afghanistan. even Barney Frank had. But you think a million (you claim) people gathering in one place trumps our democratic system?

Jun. 13 2012 11:29 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Beautiful thoughts coming from your guests, may they all come to fruition!
Except ... how do you sell this idea to a regime like Iran? It is very likely they are developing nuclear weaponry. How do your guests suggest we deal with this situation realizing our Western paradigm of thought is not shared in other parts of the world, especially in the Middle East.

Jun. 13 2012 11:28 AM
bernie from bklyn

ha! this guy is the inspiration for this entire series and he just completely blew up the whole philosophy!
using nyc as an example of how a world without war could be? that's a good one! people fight eachother everyday over the most ridiculous things all day, every day in nyc...if the people in these skirmishes were in charge of armies they would use them all of the time.
and our fear of war with iran isn't irrationally based on protecting israel (which is irrational). it's based on iran closing the straits of hormuz and the resulting energy crisis that would ensue.
please stop dreaming everybody!

Jun. 13 2012 11:25 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Mary tells us that 'War is a punishment for sin'. And there is a just war theory. And our country is moving toward sin (anti-life) nationally and internationally, so I don't see how we can avoid war.

In the Bible we're told (Isaiah 2:4) that it's the presence of God that will end war.

Jun. 13 2012 11:24 AM
Robert from NYC

Well they don't kill each other on Brian's show YET! But I agree wholeheartedly with both your guests.

Jun. 13 2012 11:20 AM

We do have a capacity to evolve and move beyond the impetus to go to war. But the "coordination" of humanity to go along with this would have to be far more extensive than it is today.

We have several "world" organizations that seek diplomacy and try to squelch the fires of conflict before war breaks out, or to try assisting people to end conflicts that have already begun. But, this effort is quite small relative to the scope of human strife taking place.

Remember, we have people emboldened to fight on the foundation of their religious ideals and principles. You can't force people to simply drop what they believe in, all in the name of peace. For example, the Shiites and the Sunnis have differences in their beliefs that fuel tremendous anger and a fear-threat reaction. You cannot get them to stop until you STOP TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN TO CARRY ON THE FIGHT.

Jun. 13 2012 11:19 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ending war is SIMPLE! All you need is an international law that would only WOMEN to serve in frontline combat units! They'll scratch each other's eyes out! Men would either stay home and take care of the kids, or serve only in rear guard and maintenance positions.

Turn war over to women. They are good at war against fathers, so maybe they will end war when they have to blow each other up.

Jun. 13 2012 11:17 AM
Ramaswamy from Closter

I agree entirely with Congressman Kucinich as well as one of your guests who said that war is avoidable if you love your children and grandchildren.. so perceptive.

I think war is definitely avoidable. Here's why-
Primitive people from the stone age most likely settled their differences with a club or a stone. As time went by, there was cultural evolution, and people developed spoken and written language, and voila- found that they could settle differences by negotiation rather than violence.

Just as standing in a queue to await your turn is a sign of a cultured society, avoiding war is a sign of a cultured society. As time goes by, just as we get more and more technologically advanced, we will also become more evolved and cultured, and will eventually end war.

Just one person's opinion.

Jun. 13 2012 11:16 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Amy

I like the first part of your answer the best out of all the comments so far. Though I don't think war can ever be eradicated completely (and I am defining war more widely than some here, more along the way Kucinich just stated it) because it is in human nature. Our entire history shows that. Daily life shows that.

To think that we can eradicate it completely seems utterly naive. Especially when couched in easy answers like "institute a draft",etc when the rich would just get around that like they did in the past and they do with everything else.

But it is something we have strive for and I agree that reducing it as much as possible is a better way of looking at it. "I don't think so, but I hope so" would be my answer. I always liked Kucinich's idea of a Department of Peace.

Jun. 13 2012 11:14 AM

Yes we can. just give everybody equal rights, equal access and give that time to take effect. Make sure women are equally represented, and understand that this has to be in an environment that is not built on male values only.
Without all of this, no way. My fear is this won't happen in my lifetime.

Jun. 13 2012 11:10 AM
gary from queens

We already have a "Department of Peace."

It's called the State Department.

Speaking of diplomacy, perhaps we should send Madonna to other Muslim cities besides istambul.

The best way to desensitize Muslim outrage at the sight of a woman exposing her breast is to repeat it over and over.

The question is whether or not we, as a nation, will have the resolve and commitment over the long term.

Jun. 13 2012 11:10 AM

There is no simple answer to this problem, of ending the impetus for humanity going to war. The primary reason is three fold.

First, you have great disparities between countries on the policies of governance. Some of them are rather extreme, like North Korea compared to the United States.

Second, there is the matter of religious differences. Some sects and factions of various religions clash with each other to such intensity as to provoke violence. Until those conflicts of interest and belief can be quenched, war will always break out.

And third, there are the legacy conflicts that keep being passed down from generation to generation, such as the strife between Israelis and Palestinians. While this has been a combination of both religious ideals and political policies that have culminated in a long standing conflict, it has taken on a history of epic proportions. With such a strong momentum having built up over time, this becomes another factor contributing to conflict.

While there is also the separation of consequence from action with the powerful elite sending people to war when their friends and families are protected from serving, and that if many more people were exposed to the consequences of war there might be more restraint, this is not the root of the problem. It is within the 3 main causes I've cited that start conflicts to begin with.

Jun. 13 2012 11:08 AM
Amy from Manhattan

1st, I don't think either yes or no can be definitive, & neither ends the discussion. My own answer is "I hope so," but even if we can't end war, how close can we come to ending it? A major reduction in the number, duration, & severity of wars would still make a great difference in millions of lives.

2nd, if you have enough awareness to ask whether ending war would require equal representation of women in gov't., why are women only 2 of the 7 participants in today's discussion--& both in the same category?

Jun. 13 2012 11:07 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

The rich avoided the draft when there was a draft. Let's not lightly pass over that fact.

And you lightly pass over the fact that there has been conflict and war for all of human history, way before "the current culture".

Jun. 13 2012 11:06 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, humanity can probably eliminate war. However, it will probably take a very long time. Centuries.

Jun. 13 2012 11:06 AM
Amy

1st, I don't think either yes or no can be definitive, & neither ends the discussion. My own answer is "I hope so," but even if we can't end war, how close can we come to ending it? A major reduction in the number, duration, & severity of wars would still make a great difference in millions of lives.

2nd, if you have enough awareness to ask whether ending war would require women to be

Jun. 13 2012 11:05 AM
bernie from bklyn

and regarding the soldiers point of view.....it sounds harsh to say, but kids out protesting about their increased tuition rates isn't something to be scoffed at. we didn't ask to be involved in these ridiculous wars and because you volunteered to join the service during the term of a criminal administration is unfortunate and sad. if it seems like the american people don't care about these wars it's because they don't. they just want out.

Jun. 13 2012 11:04 AM
john from CT

You lightly pass over two very important statements;
Profitability & 'The Draft'.
Self interest drives everything in the current culture...
-j

Jun. 13 2012 11:02 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Is there any evidence that a "democratic" government necessarily leads to peace when we look at history from the original "democracies" of antiquity up until the present day? I don't think that holds up....at all....

Jun. 13 2012 11:01 AM
john from office

If we had a draft and the children of the upper west side or the upper east side were drafted, any war would last 5 minutes. Because it is a volunteer army, made up of people from the otherside of the tracks, it is ok to go on for ten years.

Jun. 13 2012 10:59 AM
The Truth from Becky

I agree with the comment that "as long as there are independent Naiotns..." there will be war.

Jun. 13 2012 10:58 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Brian - you just hit the nail on the head.

Almost all those in power don't have anyone in their family or circle of friends in the military. It's easy to send "those people" to go die when they are rather abstract to you.

Jun. 13 2012 10:53 AM
John A.

Department of Peace is half the function of the State Dept.
So, what do we call the other half?
-
Gradual elimination of the Death Penalty is one indicator that war's days are numbered. Maybe numbered in the tens-of-thousands, but numbered.

Jun. 13 2012 10:53 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

...and if John Horgan comes on again citing western Europe as an example...sorry 70 years of peace historically speaking is just a blip. Prior to that European history was nothing but war after war after war and part of the reason for the peace since WWII is because WWII was so completely destructive for the European powers

But the time since WWII is NOT a long time in terms of history at all and certainly does not prove in any way whatsoever that a permanent peace is possible. that's just ridiculous and intensely anti-historical

As for the draft thing Brian just cited...when there was a draft, rich politicians got their sons out of going to war despite the draft (hello...George W. Bush???), so that is not necessarily going to deter the rich war mongers

Jun. 13 2012 10:53 AM
Chris

Women leaders who engaged in war include:
Golda Mayer, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Queen Elizabeths I & II, Queen Mary.
I'm sure we can think of some more.

Jun. 13 2012 10:52 AM
fuva from harlemworld

SilverSurfer, so only govts that can borrow go to war? I think the question is war across humanity, not just war in America, the West, etc.

Jun. 13 2012 10:48 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Again, are we defining "war" as fought on a proper battlefield or do we mean violent conflict or conflict at all

Humanity will never end conflict because it is in human nature to seek to identify, bully, scapegoat, oppress and even seek to kill "the other" - whether the other is defined by race, class, religion or whatever

And definitely war will not be eradicated when there are huge class differences and the existence of religions that state that "the other" is "sinful" in whatever way they define it

So, the answer is "no"

Jun. 13 2012 10:47 AM
john from office

We are basically animals with big brains. The answer is no, you cannot end war at this time. How would the world deal with a Hitler or a Saddam, or any other person or group that wants what you have.

Jun. 13 2012 10:45 AM
SilverSurfer from Westfield, NJ

Actually...the answer is a big "Maybe". Only if governments are NOT allowed to borrow will citizens realize they simply can NOT afford war.

Jun. 13 2012 10:41 AM
fuva from harlemworld

I see at least one WNYC listener has resigned himself to low standards...

But about the "Department of Peace": Will it focus on addressing the progenitors of war -- ignorance/unawareness and scarcity? If so, will it replace any federal govt operatives that currently address these? Because we need no more redundancies.

Jun. 13 2012 10:08 AM
bernie from bklyn

while i appreciate the sentiment of this philosophy, it's pure fantasy.
war is a big part of human nature, end of story. can we move on to things we CAN change?

Jun. 13 2012 09:52 AM

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