Streams

Carnegie's Vision for Peace

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A picture taken in the year 1916 shows French soldiers moving into attack from their trench during the Verdun battle, eastern France, during the first World War. (ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty)

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War I, Joel Rosenthal of the Carnegie Council discusses the war and the assassination that ignited it. Plus, we talk about the legacy and ideals of people like Andrew Carnegie, who thought international arbitration and shared knowledge would lead to reconciliation and would eventually end all wars and other violent conflicts.

Comments [7]

@Richard Simons from Garfield

George Bush got exactly what he wanted in Iraq. It was not stupidity that got us there.

Bush and his team had plenty of evidence telling them that Iraq had no involvement in 9/11 and there was no evidence of their having any WMD. Bush's problem was not a failure to see the consequences, it is our own failure to see through their lies. From the moment he took the oath of office, the invasion of Iraq was on his 'To-Do' list. Despite his utterances to the contrary during the campaign, the media failed to pick up and pursue the question of a likely invasion if Bush were to win the 2000 race.

If getting Saddam Hussein out of power was his goal, he could have achieved that by taking Saddam and Sons offer to go in to exile (for a billion dollars). His ego and the belief that even if out of the country Saddam would keep running things prevented it.

Bush wanted a large showy war in Iraq. His team would tell any lie necessary in order to achieve it. And most of us bought it hook, line and sinker. The fault lies more with us than with Bush. He told a lie to get into office, we continued to believe his lies because we thought that would keep us safe. So much for that.

As for Watergate, at the time of the election the Watergate story was only 4 1/2 months old. No firm ties to Nixon, just bad things going on in his election machine. No one could really believe that Nixon would need to bug and spy on the Democrats in order to win. Dirty tricks and Plumbers seemed more like stupid frat boy stunts than useful political tools. McGovern's doomed nomination made that even more certain. The Senate hearings of the Spring and Summer of '73 demonstrated how low RMN was willing to go. How ruthless his use of Presidential power. And forty years later, RMN's real motives for the bugging, which imo were finding who had the tapes of the illegal wiretaps that caught Nixon conspiring to scuttle the 1968 peace talks, have yet to come to light.

Aug. 01 2014 10:14 AM
landless from Brookyn

Homestead Mining Strike.

Jul. 31 2014 12:52 PM
Ben from Upper East Side

This is not to denigrate the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie, which was remarkably broad and well-intentioned, nor to accuse philanthropy in general of an occasional presumptious naiveté (although that is sometimes the case), but it is interesting that at the first meeting of the trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (not the guest's organization), the trustees spent much of the meeting discussing what to do with the endowment once world peace had been achieved.
This unrealistic expectation might be a lesson for some of the so-called "new philanthropists" who think that with enough money and an inflexible strategy major problems can be solved in a short time.

Jul. 31 2014 11:59 AM
Richard Simons from Garfield, NJ

I think one misses the point when getting into the esorerica of why wars can start. Stupidity is not being considered.

If George Bush could have understand the full consequences of his actions in declaring war on Iraq perhaps he would have look closer at his motivators.
As the actions of our own government come under scrutiny, decision after decision were major blunders. And the voting public did not pay any attention again. (Nixon was reelected after Watergate had come to light.)
Ignorance is bliss.

Jul. 31 2014 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I believe every tribe has the right to a homeland. The Scots, the Navajo, the Lakotah Sioux, the Kurds, the Jews, the Arabs, the Germans, et al, all tribes have the right to a homeland. But not every homeland has the right to become a totally independent state. That would be impossible and is a prescription for total dissolution of almost all present day states as happened with Yugoslavia.

Jul. 31 2014 11:40 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Call me a pessimist ...

Jul. 31 2014 11:28 AM

Ha, Brian! Our own history about our march into Iraq will show that rationalism does not trump nationalism.

So essentially, Carnegie saw war go from horrible to a meat-grinder. And during our lives, war has gone from a meatgrinder to nuclear annihilation. Doesn't keep us from funding them, does it?

What answers did Carnegie see for imperial colonization? Religious difference? The Zionist desire for a homeland? International communism?

We find new and more creative ways to kill each other every year. Why did Carnegie think it would end?

Jul. 31 2014 11:28 AM

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