A world where war has ceased to be an option

The Movement for the Abolition of War aims to create a world where war is no longer seen as a way to solve a problem; where it has ceased to be an option; where conflict resolution means resolution, not more conflict. 

Its goal – THE ABOLITION OF WAR. 

Its excellent newsletter, ‘Abolish War’, is produced and edited by Lesley Docksey who lives in Dorset. A few highlights from the Summer 2010 issue follow – the whole newsletter can be downloaded here

Lesley asks: “When will we learn it is our corporate greed, our military aggression and our assumption of world leadership that causes the anger that our leaders see as such a threat? Not as quickly, perhaps, as Mr. Cameron learns what a minefield Afghanistan is for the West. And regardless of any good intentions, how does overseeing a massive rise in insecurity in another country make ours safe? . . . Under international law there is only one clear justification for waging war on another country – that you are responding to an attack on your own country. 

Cobden [like Émeric Crucé]: a great believer in mutual commerce as a means of ending war 

Bruce Kent told Abolish War that Richard Cobden was one of those people who deserve far more recognition than they now receive. The inscription on the statue, in Camden Town, to the north of Mornington Crescent station, says that the major part of the cost of the statue came from Napoleon III. Why should a French ruler contribute to a statue of a British man? Because Richard Cobden was a great believer in mutual commerce as a means of ending war. He helped to negotiate the Anglo French Trade Treaty of 1860. One of the reasons behind setting up the Common Market (now the greatly enlarged EU) was that trading with each other would stop us fighting each other. 

Civilisation 3000 records trade links forming between countries who are under pressure to regard each other as threat and fervently hopes that these economic interests will enable them to resist this pressure.  

Paying lip-service to global peace, under cover of pursuing our own and our allies’ advantage 

Sue Gilmurray reported on a discussion, held in De Morgan House, Russell Square on June 7 and hosted by Conscience, part of the Peace and Security Liaison Group which seeks to advance the UK’s role in achieving national security through non-military means. The topic: Why do governments still resort so readily to military intervention, while conflict prevention and peace-building are under-resourced? 

Paul Ingram of the British and American Security Information Council concentrated on the need for real negotiation, which meant listening to, and genuinely trying to understand, our adversaries . . . He tackled the question of military intervention. The British, like the USA, tend to see ourselves as a force for good in the world, and assume our intervention will be benevolent. This needs to change, as does our paying lip-service to global peace, under cover of pursuing our own and our allies’ advantage. 

And finally there is a searing verse from Kipling’s Epitaphs of the War 1914-1918.

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