March 19, 2002
11:09 AM   Subscribe

In a world of frustratingly cyclic bloodshed, peacemakers show the way according to an article by William Pfaff at the IHT. AC Grayling at The Guardian says that true heroes are those brave enough to make peace. With terrorism and counter terroism raising the temperature of rhetoric and war across the globe, will a new wisdom emerge where cooler heads prevail?
posted by will (9 comments total)
Give credit where credit is due, better late than never. Second link care of Arts and Letters Daily.
posted by will at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2002

excellent post will. art and letters looks like a gem in the rough. thanks!
posted by specialk420 at 11:32 AM on March 19, 2002

It's always pissed me off that when my country sends planes and troops off to blow people up in another country, people line up to cheer, but when my country helps to broker a peace agreement that will keep people from being blown up - no flag waving, no parade, no cries of "Go USA". Not a knock against our soldiers, I just think that saving lives is something we should take pride in when we can.

When I was in high school, my history classes used to have simulation games to act out different points in history. If it was a scenario that involved an upcoming war, I used to take it on myself to try negotiating peace & prevent the war from happening. It was amazingly difficult and left me with a lifetime appreciation for those who manage to do it in real life.
posted by tdismukes at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2002

Arts and Letters Daily is a great site (I've borrowed from there myself). But if you're making a bookmark, you might want to try a shorter url:

And while I agree that true heroes are those brave enough to make peace, we need to be careful not to confuse doing nothing with making peace. Doing nothing against Hitler would not have made peace. Doing nothing against Osama bin Laden would not have made peace (imho).
posted by pardonyou? at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2002

The worst thing about A&L Daily is that they only post once on a weekend.
posted by vbfg at 12:13 PM on March 19, 2002

Doing nothing against Hitler would not have made peace.

And as Neville (Peace in Our Time) Chamberlain showed us, making peace with Hitler did not prevent war.
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:15 PM on March 19, 2002

Humans love conflict. They just do.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:36 PM on March 19, 2002

according to SDB's USS Clueless :) the world is fucked!
posted by kliuless at 1:00 PM on March 19, 2002

Nice link. PER (mentioned in the first link) seems to be an interesting outfit. Looks like they have achieved tangible stuff in Romania.

I think most conflicts are rooted in some injustice or some perception of injustice (of course sometimes it is driven by pure territorial greed or racial enmity). But we are born into a specific geopolitical context and have to resolve conflicts in that context.

Avoiding complete resolution can only make a situation worse in the long term. Intermittent negotiations without a clear end in sight can sometimes do that. The enmities can simply go underground, flow through subterranean channels and mutate into something vicious. Who would have said during Tito's reign that so much blood would be spilled in central Europe in such a short time?

I agree with Pardonyou that sometimes conflict can only be resolved thru force. As someone who has slowly over time developed a hardline stance on terrorism and still has only formative opinions on the subject, I think peaceful resolutions are possible. But for peace/negotiation to have a chance, it usually need to be backed either by overwhelming force or by overwhelming moral authority. In the current age when the harsh lights of media falls under every stone, maintaining the latter is increasingly difficult. So mostly it is the former that the nations can bank on.

There has been men in 20th century, who achieved thru peace against overwhelming odd, what war probably couldnt give their men. But I think war too has a place for the achievement of long lasting peace. And as someone else noted, peace woudnt have worked against Hitler.
posted by justlooking at 1:00 PM on March 19, 2002

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