Thursday, November 22, 2012

Middle East peace and the individual

When starting out to study peace and conflict, the emphasis on inner peace was made known to me early. From there all emotions of life have been understood. A war between two countries was quickly introduced and brought into the realm of a personal relationship. This connection between the international peace and a personal peace is understood as outer peace and inner peace. Within this dynamic is how the world comes into my mind.
The situation between Palestine and Israel that has rolled along for decades is one violent conflict that has lost a great deal of trust between each other. In another part of the world we have the insanity of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Central African Republic, and both Sudans.
In the realm of a personal relationship, trust is paramount and trust is equally important within international relations. If the trust factor is understood to be a violent relationship, that trust exists even though it may not be the desired situation. Yet violence is a trusted action in all the relations noted above. This leaves us with the question, How can peace ever be possible when violence is a trusted action?
On a personal level you can equate a similar reality when a spouse or an important friend breaks the trust built up between you and them. Such actions will bring life down to a very rudimentary level where anger and aggression are primary responses. Those responses are exactly where the countries listed above exist now.
How do we get past this so that peace is a reality?
On an international scale, inner peace is a very difficult reality because a nation has many people. What is needed is a leader that understands the need for inner peace. Furthermore, a leader that can communicate that need and emulate the mindset of peace is needed. Such leadership has not been present for many years. In this event we must rely on the leadership of others. The sad reality is that the leadership of the other countries is just as weak and untrustworthy. Religious leaders have just as much blood on their hands as the political leaders. The United Nations Security Council system is powered by the untrustworthy leadership of the Permanent Five. This leaves us with the leadership capacity of the individuals.
The leadership of the individual brings us right back to the need for inner peace. This is when each of us has to look at how we think, understand and act to both ourselves and each other. A philosophy that helps to understand peace is to balance where you see yourself and others as helping or hindering efforts to obtain a peaceful relationship.
Are your comments centred around the relationship, you or the other? Peace is a relationship that has a trusted harmony of mutual respect. For an example of poor mutual respect, being Canadian I have lived with the imbalance of respect that the political leadership in the RUSA has for Canada. This imbalance of respect has filtered down to the average person and results in the constant comments of Canada being taken over, being insignificant and having the impression that the RUSA can tell Canada what to do. This is not a peaceful mindest. However, there have been enough peaceful interactions/relations between the two to understand that peace is more valuable than the rhetoric of disrespect. The reality of the disrespect is still there and it is often spoken about when the two leaders meet.  This keeps the issue at the forefront of all situations and that makes the relationship easier and more peaceful.
In that example we can see how leaders work to ensure the rhetoric of the people does not escalate. Furthermore we can see how the need for the individual to be peaceful is a must.
In the cases of Israel, Palestine, DR Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Both Sudans and Burundi, there is very little respect and most communication is done with weapons. Before the weapons are no longer used the leaders have to build a certain level of trust and or respect. This is where ceasefire agreements come into play. Once we can get to a point where the weapons are no longer used and put away, the work to build a peaceful reality will begin. 

To make a parallel to a personal relationship, is having a friend that tells the truth yet that truth is that they continue to hurt and cheat you a peaceful relationship?  For the international scene, such truth is a hard reality of life when weapons have been put away. Some poeple act in ways that are destructive and all you can do is let them go to destroy themselves. Hopefully they will not and rebuild theirself into a more peaceful person.

More often though such situations will quickly see weapons/aggression put to use again out of anger, frustration and a desire to exact revenge to balance out the pain and suffering one has felt.
Again the need for inner peace is needed. It is not an easy path yet we must look to understand how others are trying to help further peaceful realities. Even if that person is insane, there has to be a string of understanding. For the peaceful person the task of understanding is ever present.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Corruption and aggression

After reading a great many articles and essays from around the world, it is really interesting to read news reports from across the world as well. Being from Canada I obviously read most of my news from those sources. Furthermore I try to relate what is taking place there (Canada) to what is happening globally. The two largest items for my interest in Canada have been the corruption in Montreal (which is finally being dealt with) and the issue of bullying.
Both the corruption and the aggression issues are front and centre on the global scene as well. Corruption has brought about the current global economic crisis and aggression has put the Middle East into a tail spin of chaos. What is really interesting is that both corruption and aggression spread due to a perception that all other options are not worth the effort. This perception quickly erodes all avenues of a peaceful society.
In one news story I came across, there was a link made to people that wear fake/knockoff clothing and the likelihood of that person to indulge in corruption. That idea made me think of the current economic crisis and how the world was taken by a bunch of false leaders. I quickly thought of the saying, “dress for success”. Now I know it is wise to prepare for success but mentality is way more important than appearance.
On the issue of aggression, the use of social media has been a major factor. The social media is full of false reality. There are too many people relying on this medium as a source of information and we are paying the price for it now. The actual human need for communication is being fed junk food through the social media. It has got to the point where two people will sit together and not talk because they are texting others. This behaviour has become normal yet in reality it is disrespectful. We are losing respect for each other and we are doing it as blindly as possible.
Just mentioning the absurdity of social media will irritate some people because they want to defend their actions. Most likely their response will be that I live in a reality that is dying. Well the fact of reality is that face to face communication is the primary source for building a trusting relationship. Social media is assisting in the destruction of peoples lives. Whereas in the face to face communication many of these aggressive people would not have the support, courage or reason to act as they do through social media.
On the global scene, would Israel have acted as they have in the past sixty years without the support of the United States (RUSA)?  Israel has now gone to social media to announce its military actions. Global terrorism is rooted in capturing people that are fragile and filling their minds with propaganda so as to turn them against others. This is corruption and aggression mixed together, which is exactly what Greece, Syria and other Middle East countries are now experiencing.
The world is a fascinating place even though there are times which frustrate people to no end. As I look around the world I see the commonalities of life taking place internationally and personally. As I have been working on corruption and aggression these past few months, I find the commonalities rather funny but there are moments where I just wish people could step back and switch off for a month or so. Maybe then peace will be just that much easier to obtain throughout the world.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hell is closing in on the Middle East

The region known as the Middle East has been incurred more poorly made decisions and political blunders than many other areas of the world. Each day brings a new piece to the chaos as everyone blames others for the violence. How long has it been since a decade of peace in this region was a reality?
The most frustrating part is that there is not one single person with enough political power willing to stand up and call for a complete and total ban of all military weapons. If there is a region in the world which must have a weapons embargo put against them, the Middle East is tops on that list. For those that disagree with this must face reality – peace has been lost to this region and not once was a weapons embargo fully implemented. For those that say everything is being done to solve this chaos, those people are clearly without sound intelligence.
Many times this topic has been discussed, written about, worked upon and still violence occurs. How many more years are we willing to watch as innocent people die because of idiotic leaders? How many more years of blaming the other side for causing the war?
There is currently a system in place to effectively deal with the violence in the Middle East, it is called Peacekeeping. Unfortunately this system has never been used properly or to a quarter of its capacity. Decade after decade we must endure garbage leadership, blaming others, doing as little as possible and we wonder why there is no peace in this area.
What exactly are we scared of? Why are we not acting with a greater degree of courage, commitment and care? Are we waiting for a complete and total collapse of the region before a true effort is made to bring peace? If we are waiting for that, we are one more day closer to that horrendous reality.
This region is full of wonderful people and culture. The sad reality is that the leadership is destroying all of it for what? The only reason I can see is hate. If a person is to be truthful to themselves, they will see that hate is only felt when you see something in others that you wish to change in yourself.
The violence in the Middle East has gone on so long that there is no longer any sides. Each and every one of the actors involved share equal responsibility. Due to this reality everyone is on the same side and they are all fighting hate.
The wars in this region have been raging for thousands of years. Sadly it may take a few more thousand years before peace will arrive. Under the current leadership that seems to be the way life will play out in this region. More talks, more weapons, more blame, more death, more chaos. At some point you would think that people would just get tired of all the violence?
All we have to wait for is the involvement of Lebanon and Jordan and we will have a full scale regional war. The momentum is moving in that direction, do we have enough courage/intelligence to at least stop that?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Get set for the power vacuum of Syria.

As the leadership of the Syrian government secures its safe passage, the leaders of the rebel groups will intensify their infighting. This is the exact scenario that Russia and China have been voicing yet the west has denied. Syria is on the verge of looking more like Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia. The reality of a regional war is becoming more a reality than ever. The threats of war between Israel and Iran will move a few steps closer to reality.  
So what do we do now?
Before the current government is completely gone there is still time to negotiate a massive international force to enter Syria. The reason for the force is to regain peace, uphold the constitution and assist with ensuring the laws of Syria. The forces should be comprised mostly of Chinese and Russian forces. Why these two? Western countries have made a mess of the area and have no credibility for maintaining peace in the region.
Those leaders that have called for the current leadership of Syria to be ousted should be put on notice for interfering with the sovereignty of Syria. All those calls have provided support to a group of rebels that are just as brutal if not more brutal than the current leadership of Syria.
What will most likely happen?
The world leaders will bicker about what do to and who is to blame. The average people/citizens of Syria will continue to pay the ultimate price. The rebel groups will increase the fighting amongst themselves. All in all, the situation in Syria will get much worse.
The real work will begin in the small communities. Hospitals, schools, markets, shops and gathering places will be the points of peace to focus on. From these areas, peace will spring up.  For the international efforts, there will be a push for aid. All the major aid donors will flock into Syria. 
There will still be high level negotiations which will mostly be a bunch of hot air that will waste more money than produce tangible results.  However, the leadership structure must be sorted out and it is better to have negotiations than a fire fight.
The unknown?
Will Iran and Israel be stupid enough to engage in war?
Will the United Nations Security Council stop acting like five year children and actually work to ensure peace?
Will the western countries stop supplying equipment to rebels?
How long will it take for a peaceful Syria to return?