Ming the Mechanic:
War:
A crime against humanity

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 War: A crime against humanity2003-02-20 22:59
9 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

The following is a press communique and statement from the Club of Budapest, dated yesterday. The Club of Budapest is a global think-and-action tank with a hundred members including the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Peter Ustinov, Jane Goodall, Peter Russell, Ervin Laszlo and many others. First Ervin Laszlo, President of the Club of Budapest, has this to say:
"Times are over when questions of war and peace could be decided in the context of international power politics. Right cannot be decided by might, in the international field any more than in the personal domain. In an interdependent global community every war between nations is fundamentally a civil war."
Here is some other good stuff from the press communique:
Terrorists and potential aggressors must be stopped, but war is not the way to stop them. Warfare must be replaced by dialogue leading to mutual understanding as a basis of multilateral cooperation in regard to relations among nations in the political as well as in the economic and the ecological spheres.

According to the Club of Budapest, the project of creating a structure of global cooperation beyond the veto-power and special status of individual states is best pursued in the framework of a 'World Futures Council' as proposed among others by Mikhail Gorbachev and Jacob von Uexkuell. The Council is to be constituted of one hundred independent individuals of high integrity who place the shared human interest above any parochial national or cultural interest. The Club of Budapest takes an active part in the creation of such a Council and will promote its work with special attention to questions of civil and political values and perceptions, and the humanism and sustainability of the policies motivated by them.
I very much agree with that. It is pretty insane to have global wars run by local politicians, either trying to police areas outside their own jurisdiction, or simply for the purpose of improving their chances of re-election, and for filling the coffers of their own business associates. I think there are some important points being made there, so here is the full statement signed by members of CofB:
WAR: A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

The time has come for the world community to recognize that war, rather than an instrument for the elimination of terrorists and aggressors, is a crime against humanity. It is itself an act of aggression that threatens human life, and the environment on which human life vitally depends.

No other species kills massively its own kind: war is a uniquely human phenomenon. Such killing was never justified, but it had a marginal warrant at a time when war was waged among neighboring groups for the acquisition of territory with natural and human resources and could be limited to the territories and the warriors of the protagonists. At a time when resources are not limited to defined territories and hostilities cannot be contained, war is neither politically nor economically justified. Given that modern warfare kills innocent civilians, inflicts serious damage on the life-supporting environment, and may escalate to a global conflagration, waging war needs to be declared a crime against humanity. No nation-state should have the legitimate right to wage war against any other nation-state.

The stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction is not a warrant for waging war. Weapons of mass destruction whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, or conventional are a threat to human life and habitat by whoever possesses them. They are not tolerable in the hands of any state, whether it is large or small, rich or poor, and headed by a dictator or by an elected politician. Such weapons need to be eliminated from the arsenals of every state, a task that is not the self-declared prerogative of any government but the responsibility of the global community of all peoples and states. There will be no lasting peace on earth until all weapons of mass destruction are destroyed, their production and stockpiling proscribed, and strategies calling for their use replaced by strategies of dialogue, negotiation and, if necessary, internationally agreed economic and political sanctions.

Attempting to eliminate weapons of mass destruction with weapons of mass destruction is to fight violence with violence on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, a policy that can end up making everyone blind and toothless. Aggressors and terrorists must be stopped, but war is not the way to stop them.



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9 comments

21 Feb 2003 @ 07:03 by istvan : Just another elitist club?
While i have respect for the founders of this club and the fact that i was born in the same country the club originated i wonder what practical purpuse it may have. I tried to join, but i have no certificates of prestige to be a member. Today i write an e-mail again. We will see what the reply will be.
It is not exactly a Grassroots org.  



21 Feb 2003 @ 13:24 by ming : Club of Budapest
No, it isn't exactly a grassroots thing. I wouldn't qualify. But, I'd much rather see this kind of elitist club, based on noted accomplishments within whole system thinking and peace, guide the world than the ones that are based on power and money. I'd rather see Nobel price winners run the world than multinational CEOs, even if I'm not admitted to either club.  


24 Dec 2008 @ 08:12 by gode mutetse @196.44.177.245 : Archbishop Tutu
The inclusion of Archbishop Tutu among the eminent persons who do not believe in war raises a few questions. That man has openly supported war on Zimbabwe with the sole aim of removing President R Mugabe but one wonders what impact a war of that nature would have on the general population. The answers are found in what happened in Iraq, Afghanstan, Kosovo etc.  


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