Where Are the Peacemakers?: Commentaries about Peace and War

Where Are the Peacemakers?: Commentaries about Peace and War

by Jerry Henderson

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ISBN-13: 9781468587081
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 07/30/2012
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)

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Where are the PEACEMAKERS?

Commentaries About Peace and War
By Jerry Henderson

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Jerry Henderson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4685-8708-1


Chapter One

Five Decades of Conflicts and Wars: The World Says No to the Invasion of Iraq—March 7, 2003

As conflict, turmoil, war, and the threats of more conflict, more turmoil, more wars, and more threats of wars prevail in almost fifty (50) countries—internal conflicts and conflicts between nations—the question should be raised—facts and analysis provided relative to the fundamental question. The fundamental question is where are the peacemakers?

What has been offered as a substitute for peacemakers is peacekeepers. While offering peacekeepers and international peacekeeping missions may be well intended, the reality is—one cannot keep the peace which has not been made. Simply stated, the peace must first be made before any realistic efforts can be made to keep the peace. So, we are moving with step 2 before putting step 1 into place. This approach may very well bring about 'short term fixes,' but it will not provide for 'long term solutions.'

If one would realistically look at what I call 50-50-50, the seriousness of the situation becomes much clearer. The 50-50-50 numbers refer to at least 50 major conflicts and wars in 50 different countries—in the past 50 years (and some are still ongoing today).

During this same period, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to individuals who have worked for global peace. Two such individuals are Nelson Mandela, former President of South African, and Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission, which was appointed by President Mandela, held public hearings and conducted investigations into political, economic, and violent crimes which were committed during the unjust and inhumane system of apartheid which ruled South Africa for decades). Mandela, then and now, continues to be a moral leader of the world as he speaks out and pushes for global peace—in a non-compromising style. In fact, and even somewhat surprising, Shimeon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister, was quoted at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, a few years ago as saying, "If we had Nelson Mandela in the Middle East, we would have peace."

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations has led the world body in, around, and through conflicts, turmoil, and wars throughout the world—many times providing wisdom and genuine leadership on one hand (even when/though some do not want to listen), and providing 'peacekeeping missions' on the other hand—while the wait continues for the peace which has yet to be made. Where are the peacemakers?

An examination of the record reveals that during the past fifty (50) years, the world has witnessed conflicts, turmoil, wars, and the threats of wars in and between many countries:

Afghanistan Ghana Namibia

Algeria Guyana Nigeria

Angola Guatemala Nicaragua

Albania Haiti Panama

Bosnia & Israel Pakistan Herzegovina

Bolivia Indonesia Philippines

Burma India Rwanda

Burundi Iran Sierra Leone

Columbia Iraq Somalia

China Ivory Coast Sri Lanka

Democratic Republic Jamaica Sudan of the Congo (DRC)

East Timor Kosovo South Africa

El Salvador Lebanon Thailand

Ethiopia Malaysia Taiwan

Eritrea Mexico Uganda

Former Soviet Union Venezuela (Russia)

Yugoslavia

Zimbabwe

Conflict and wars do not just happen out of the blue. For the most part, there are four (4) primary factors at the heart of all conflicts and wars:

1. Power and power struggles: the desire to be in control. The desire to rule.

2. Greed: the desire to obtain as much as can be obtained.

3. Corruption: stealing and taking that which belongs to another/ others (money, minerals, and other natural resources).

4. Strategic and logistics (land, air, and sea): global military locations and other advantages.

Where are the peacemakers, where is the peace, where is justice, where are the genuine leaders, where is the moral leadership?

During the past few years in particular, much has been said about "terrorism" and "weapons of mass destruction." Terrorism and weapons of mass destruction should be part of a robust dialogue—national and international. The issues and facts concerning weapons of mass destruction should be put on the table for discussion, analysis, clarity, and understanding. These terms and concepts should be qualified and operational definitions applied to both. We must avoid the flaw of having someone politically decide and define for each of us, who is a terrorist and who has weapons of mass destruction. The issues should be carefully examined and clearly articulated. Unfortunately, there is a refusal on the part of the leadership in Washington to debate the facts of the matter. People are told, we are preparing to go to Iraq. Where is the debate?

Other issues and concerns should also be raised: What are weapons of mass destruction? Who determines whether a weapon is a weapon of mass destruction?—by what authority? And, by what rationale? Who are the producers of weapons of mass destruction? If there is a war, what kind of weapons will be used? Will the weapons be weapons of mass destruction? Isn't this a contradiction? There are direct links and relationships to all of these questions and the title of this book—where are the peacemakers?

There are at least 30 nations with conventional weapons—biological and chemical (selectively referred to as 'weapons of mass destruction'). The United Nations and or members of the G8 (commonly referred to as the major industrial nations of the world) should put forth the evidence in a public display and make the case. While the United Nations and or the G8 (or any of its members) puts forth evidence about who has 'weapons of mass destruction,' two additional things should be done in the process:

1. 'Weapons of mass destruction' should be clearly identified and explained (specifically, what are weapons of mass destruction?); and

2. A comprehensive list should be developed—and publicly displayed—by the United Nations—of what countries produce these weapons, state why they are produced, and to what countries the weapons are sold and or given—and why.

The primary purpose for items 1 and 2 above is to inform the world of the truth and facts—something which is missing for the 'lightweight' global discussions taking place at the moment. If these steps are taken, certain explanations and definitions provided, information about what countries are producing what, I have confidence in people's intelligence that more qualified views and comments will emerge from the current dialogue (individuals who know the facts and what they are talking about). As in any debate, dialogue, or meaningful discussion, facts are very important. Far too many people are quick to give opinions (informed, ill-informed, and uninformed). Yet, many of these same individuals are slow to ask questions. Qualified and robust debate is needed. Whether one watches CNN, BBC News, SABC Africa, read the Guardian, Daily Mirror, the Sowetan, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The New York Amsterdam News, The Final Call, The Economist, The International Herald Tribune, The East African, or Caribbean Weekly, try and get a look at the weapons that are being displayed in the various conflicts around the world. Weapons are not limited to one country, two countries, or even three countries. Weapons are in many countries.

As world leaders 'lead,' refuse to debate, engage in trade-offs, play politics of mass destruction, and pontificate—millions of lives are being lost and destroyed. Millions of people are left homeless, millions become refugees, and millions are internally displaced. Most of the victims are innocent children, women, men, and persons with disabilities. There are too much bloodshed and too much politics. The words of the spiritual song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, are correct and on target, "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear." The world is witnessing needless suffering and pain. Unfortunately, those who are causing the suffering and pain are not the ones doing the suffering. Moral leadership is needed. The politics of war is not the answer. There is a better way.

An article "Iraqi civilians will bear the brunt," in the Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland, USA) quoted officials from the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO):

As U.S. and British forces prepare for an Iraqi war, scant attention is being paid to a looming human rights disaster: [1] if there is a war in Iraq, some 500,000 people will be killed or wounded, [2] some three million people will be displaced and separated from the families, friends, loved ones, homes, and communities, [3] out of the three million people, one million will become refugees [go to other countries] and two million people will become internally displaced within Iraq. An Arab Women's Declaration calling for a halt to military build-up cited the child mortality rate in Iraq as 130 per 1,000. An Oxford Research Group's study clearly suggests that a war against Iraq may very well lead to instability in the entire region. What about the financial costs? As if millions of lives are not enough, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences estimated that the costs of war with Iraq could amount to $1.9 trillion over a ten-year period.

War is Not the Answer

On Saturday, October 26, 2002, thousands of people took part in peaceful demonstrations and protests for peace around the world: Washington, D. C., San Francisco, California, Denver, Colorado, August, Maine (yes, a demonstration and protest in Maine)—USA, Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, Stockholm, Sweden, Copenhagen, Denmark, Rome, Italy, Tokyo, Japan, and Mexico City, Mexico, just to cite some of the cities and countries.

The demonstrations, rallies, and protests did not and will not stop there. The week of January 15, 2003 (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday), mass anti-war demonstrations and rallies took place in at least twelve world capitals: London, England; Tokyo, Japan; Damascus, Syria; Cairo, Egypt; Islamabad, Pakistan; Moscow, Russia; and Washington, D.C.—USA. In fact, it was reported that demonstrators in the United States planned to march to a U.S. Navy Yard and demand the inspection of 'weapons of mass destruction.' There is more. Mass demonstrations for peace took place in 600 cities in various countries throughout the world during the weekend of February 15-16, 2003. It is estimated that more than 8 million people participated. Just as in January, people of conscience—throughout the world—continue to say no to war and yes to peace: Rome, Italy, Barcelona, Spain, one million, Madrid, Spain 650,000, London, England 500,000, in Paris, France, 100 organizations organized in 80 cities, hundreds of thousands turned out, Berlin, Germany 200,000, Damascus, Syria, Melbourne, Australia 150,000, Sydney, Australia 100,000, Cape Town, South Africa, Toronto, Canada, Dublin, Ireland, Amsterdam, Holland (the Netherlands), and Tel Avis, Israel. In the United States, protests, marches, and rallies were held in New York City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Illinois, San Diego and San Francisco, California, Detroit, Michigan and Raleigh, North Carolina (yes, Raleigh). There is much more. Demonstrations took place in South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, Bosnia (yes, Bosnia), Greece, Scotland, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico.

Thank All Mighty God, there are people with courage and conviction who will stand up when it is time to stand up and will speak up and speak out when it is time to speak up and speak out. They are not afraid to say to their government leaders and loudly say—WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER. Six (6) members of the United States Congress, military personnel, and parents, had the conviction and courage to file a lawsuit—seeking an injunction barring an invasion of Iraq.

As is the case with many historical struggles for justice and peace—young people of the world are standing up and making their statements. In early March 2003, hundreds of thousands of school students and university students around the world took part in school walk outs, teach-ins, demonstrations, protests and rallies—all in the name of people and all against war. Activities took place in a number of countries: the United States, England, Egypt, Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Switzerland, and Senegal (yes, two countries in Africa).

War, bloodshed, killings, and insecurity will bring about more war, more bloodshed, more killings, more destruction, and more insecurity. The ultimate security of the world is linked to love, justice, and peace—not war. Peace is brought about through justice, respect for one another, honesty, and understanding. It was encouraging to hear former South African Archbishop Tutu raise the questions: when does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in? Archbishop Tutu raised these humane questions and concerns when commenting on the prospects of a U.S. and Britain led attack on Iraq.

In keeping with the true spirit of peacekeepers, symbolic Certificates of Peace should be awarded to the organizers, protesters and participants of the rallies and demonstrations. Those who consistently demonstrate, protest, rally, sing and organize choirs to sing, "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bare" should also be recognized as contributors to peacemaking. It is these and other individuals and similar actions that will help lead to peace—not guns, not bullets, not bombs, not fighter jets, and definitely—not political rhetoric.

In the final analysis, there is the promise of God—where it is written in the scriptures:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal the land (2nd Chronicles 7:14).

War is wicked. War is sinful. When nations engage in wars and when leaders of nations try to 'justify' wars—the wars are no less wicked. The wars are no less sinful. The world has witnessed far too much bloodshed and far too many wars. Give peace a chance. The ultimate security of the world is linked to love, justice, and peace—not war.

Where are the peacemakers?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Where are the PEACEMAKERS? by Jerry Henderson Copyright © 2012 by Jerry Henderson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................xi
A Perspective....................xiii
Introduction....................xv
Chapter 1 Five Decades of Conflicts and Wars: The World Says No to the Invasion of Iraq—March 7, 2003....................1
Chapter 2 Israel and the Palestinians—July 26, 2006 The Ongoing Conflict between Israel and the Palestinians....................9
Chapter 3 Israel Invades Lebanon—August 2, 2006....................13
Chapter 4 Violence and Bloodshed in the Middle East—August 10, 2006....................17
Chapter 5 Another United Nations Resolution is Passed—August 15, 2006....................21
Chapter 6 Views on the Middle East Conflict—August 18, 2006....................25
Chapter 7 We Live in Troubled Times—August 25, 2006....................31
Chapter 8 Why Do We Live inTroubledTimes?—August 31, 2006....................37
Chapter 9 Wars of Oppression and Injustice—September 5, 2006....................39
Chapter 10 "We Are the World"—September 29, 2006....................45
Chapter 11 "Children Are a Gift from God"—November 5, 2006....................55
Chapter 12 The Children of Sudan—December 15, 2006....................67
Chapter 13 A Tribute to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations: 1996-2006—December 31, 2006....................71
Chapter 14 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—January 15, 2007....................73
Chapter 15 President George W. Bush Calls for More Troops in Iraq—January 22, 2007....................75
Chapter 16 America's Security—January 26, 2007....................77
Chapter 17 President George W. Bush's Stateof the Union Address: The War in Iraq—January 31, 2007....................79
Chapter 18 Anti-Iraq War March and Rally in Washington, D.C.—February 3, 2007....................81
Chapter 19 The Israeli and Palestinian Conflict: Another Meeting—February 5, 2007....................83
Chapter 20 Palestinians Meet in Mecca, Saudi Arabia—February 14, 2007....................85
Chapter 21 Meetings in Jerusalem—February 21, 2007....................87
Chapter 22 Iraq: What Have We Learned?—February 27, 2007....................89
Chapter 23 Problems and Solutions—March 4, 2007....................91
Chapter 24 Iraq: Another Meeting, New Signals—March 6, 2007....................95
Chapter 25 Darfur: A United Nations Report—March 21, 2007....................97
Chapter 26 Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007: Pope Benedict XVI's Message—April 12, 2007....................99
Chapter 27 Continued Fighting and Bloodshed in the Middle East—June 25, 2007....................101
Chapter 28 Critical Issues—September 25, 2007....................103
Chapter 29 'Elders' Pursue Peace in Sudan—October 26, 2007....................105
Chapter 30 Youth and Youth Leaders Pursue Peace: Israel and the Palestinians—November 3, 2007....................107
Chapter 31 Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas Message: An Appeal to Political Leaders—December 26, 2007....................109
The Final Analysis....................111
Appendix—Maps....................113
Selected References....................119
About the Author....................125
Index....................127

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