Tag Archives: nonviolence

World Order by Henry Kissinger: My Summary

Henry Kissinger served as Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and advised many other presidents on foreign policy. His book contains a wonderful assemblage of information and wise analysis, culled throughout his lifetime, about history and worldwide current events. He even explains modern technology, from nuclear weapons to cyberspace warfare. For me, it took ardent curiosity and a quest for wisdom to read and ponder this book.

One key event in the history of world order was the Peace of Westphalia, which was negotiated in two German towns after the Thirty Years’ War (1648).  After that horrific period of war, “…the most cited diplomatic document in European history [even though]…no single treaty exists to embody its terms…The state, not the empire, dynasty, or religious confession, was affirmed as the building block of the European order.”  Kissinger stated that “the universal relevance of the Westphalian system derived from its procedural—that is, value neutral—nature.  Its rules were accessible to any country: noninterference in domestic affairs of other states; inviolability of borders, sovereignty of states; encouragements of international law.”  Basic to this peace was a balance of power between sovereign nations and groups of nations.

When he writes of America’s actions abroad, Kissinger states that “…the American vision rested not on an embrace of the European balance-of-power system but on the achievement of peace through democratic principles.” It is well known that Wilson justified America’s intervention in World War I to “to make the world safe for democracy.”  According to Kissinger, practically all of President Wilson’s predecessors would have agreed with Wilson. Only Wilson’s view was different in that he believed an international order could be possible within a single lifetime, even a single administration.

The one and only criticism I have of the book is that I believe globalization, corporations, businesses, spiritual entities, and all other forms of human entities outside of national governments, are the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of preventing wars and having a peaceful world order.  Kissinger only briefly mentions trade and globalization, and thus largely ignores organizations which are practically all over our small world and generally are not at all threatening in terms of life and property, though he does include an interesting discussion about  technology.

I look at China and the United States and firmly believe we would be military adversaries rather than peaceful trading partners without globalization and the opening of China to trade, tourism, sports and other nonbelligerent human interaction. Freedom across borders for all those entities could prevent military transgressions. If we can form relationships across borders for the various entities that I listed above, we can, in partnership with honest, capable, and wise leadership in governments, bring humanity the kind of world order that we want and need, including the necessary element of prosperity for all.

This is my brief summary of a book packed with interesting and worthwhile words of wisdom.  I highly recommend it for a thorough refinement of one’s worldview. You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as your local bookstores.

A Missed Opportunity in Iraq

On May 25, 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Opinion page about a speech that the highly respected and departing Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, made about Iraq.  Here is the final paragraph concerning Mr. Gates remarks:
“Lo and behold, Mr. Gates is saying that Iraq is that model, and that even the Obama Administration now sees a democratic Iraq as a  potential bulwark for American interests in the Gulf.  The rest of the press corps won’t acknowledge it, but Mr. Gates is more or less saying: mission accomplished.”
Now, without a stabilizing force that could have maintained the situation in Iraq, disaster is in the works.  According to The New York Times on Thursday, June 12, 2014, “Sunni militants consolidated and extended their control over northern Iraq on Wednesday, seizing Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, threatening the strategic oil refining town of Baiji and pushing south toward Baghdad, their ultimate target, Iraqi sources said.”
No matter how one views our actions in Iraq, a Muslim democratic state in the Middle East would have been very possible and certainly like night and day from what the Obama Administration has allowed to happen.  After World War II we left behind troops to stabilize the democracies in Germany, Japan, and Italy, with wonderful results.  The incompetent and incoherent foreign policy of President Obama is reprehensible.
We need leaders with enough vision to lead our military forces in thoughtful ways in order to promote freedom and democracies across the globe.

Wise Innovation–a key to the path toward Heaven on Earth

We are in The Innovation Age as clearly seen in technology.  As humans, we must change, too, in all our entities, groups, governments, and religions.  At the same time we must seek the wisdom-associated values and go about ridding ourselves of the negative values (See Copthorne MacDonald’s essay, “The Centrality of Wisdom,” in How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.

The reality is that life itself is a process of change with many “bumps” in the road.  I had so many severe bumps from 1963 onward.  But, despite the pain along the way, there’s no question that I am much wiser than if my life had been success after success.  That certainly doesn’t mean that I want to go down in defeat.  Quite the opposite, I have important words to impart.  I deeply want to be a recognized and serious pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth.

A world full of robust, stable, prosperous democracies will be a peaceful world, and I fully intend to do what I can to promote that result.  A free, prosperous world will go about solving so many goals: ecological, harmony, health, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, and moral purpose and meaning.  It’s not a matter of possibility.  It’s definitely a matter of will—individually, and nation by nation.

Dedication of everyone from spiritual leaders to public servants to everyone else is essential to this awesome and wonderful undertaking of the ages, the dream of a heaven on earth, which I definitely believe was predestined by Almighty God from our creation.

Non-violence is part of the puzzle, even the abolishment of capital punishment.  Restorative justice, particularly for non-violent criminals, is so much better than revenge.  Non-violence is also crucial in the replacement of authoritative governments with democracies.  Revenge shouldn’t be foremost.  Freedom and democracy are too necessary that backward looking shouldn’t overshadow the opportunity of liberty and freedom.

When I write about prosperity, I am not glorifying materialism or consumerism.  It is just that financial literacy should be taught at all levels of education and serve to stabilize economies worldwide.  That, in turn, helps employment or self-employment or business formation or business growth, a very healthy situation, especially if we are altruistic.


Why Not Help Rather Than Kill?

Why don’t we think outside the military box in Syria?  Why don’t we help Syrian refugees in every way possible–our government and others, private entities like Doctors Without Borders, a world-wide positive nonviolent effort.  This would be a much more humane endeavor than a risky unilateral military strike by the United States.  It would be like the Marshall Plan after World War II–contrasting greatly with the use of chemical weapans and other warfare against civilians.

Think! Think! Think!

What is the wise thing to do as far as this serious crisis in Syria?  More killing?  Name calling–labeling people as hawks or doves?  Please!  Think more deeply than that–and I mean President Obama, those in Congress, American citizens and all world citizens, even Assad.
    Revenge is a negative value–one to be shunned.  None of those gassed will be brought back to life by military action by the United States, especially ill-advised if we act unilaterally.  And there can be no assurance that military action by us now will prevent the use of chemical weapons in the future, for instance by Russia.
    The United States must stand for positive wisdom-associated values: empathy toward the millions in distress in Syria, particularly the five million refugees within Syria and the two million outside of that suffering nation; truth and honesty through the world media to all world citizens concentrating not on retribution, but rather the terrible gassing of civilians; justice of a restorative nature rather than a retributive; cooperation by all world citizens to bring this whole Syrian debacle to a peaceful and compassionate conclusion with patience and world opinion, I emphasize-by Syrians; universal well-being in reaching out to those living in Syria and those refugees outside of that nation; and creativity in seeking non-military solutions, especially in the public debates.  This should not boil down to military action or not; instead, use creativity outside of military action.  Lastly, let’s learn a whole lot more about Syria.
    There are negative values also at play in this Syrian drama.  Assad is obviously extremely selfish and most probably filled with hate, greed, envy and revenge.  But we do not have to sink to his level.  Again, revenge will not bring back the dead victims or guarantee the absence of such weapons in the future.
    We should reach to our most creative minds; not just in the United States, but throughout the globe, for non-military solutions.  We must focus–not just shoot!  Our nation must conduct our affairs–especially those involving life and death through military action–with deep wisdom.  We should not just focus on the military considerations.  There are economic consequences too–some that may be life and death for abjectly poor world citizens.    Let’s be creative.  Remember what Gandhi said, “Violence begets violence.”  I say, “Kindness begets kindness.”
   We should reach out to all the Syrian refugees and help them.  That would be a compassionate act.  This reminds me of Hurricane Katrina and the help so many private citizens and spiritual entities gave to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast following that catastrophe.  Thanks again to all of you.  Let’s reach out–within and without the government–to help these Syrian refugees.  Nonviolence works much better than bombs.  Apply the same logic as was applied to the “refugees” of Katrina–reach out and offer aid again.
   Hatred must be dissolved by love.  That may sound sappy, soft and cowardly; but what does one promote, hatred and revenge?  I am a truth-seeker, and I implore the citizens of the world to join me in this quest.  Truth seeking, that’s all I ask.  But I realize that may be a lot if one is used to labeling, something that is happening constantly in ALL our media.  We all have a role–all world citizens–to go to the aid (humanitarian aid) of the Syrian refugees.  To me, that–especially in terms of numbers–is far more important and much less dangerous that military action by us.
   Let’s act like we did after World War II, helping–not killing.  The Marshall plan was so effective in assisting the developed world back to prosperity.  Then, in the 1980s, President Reagan with charm, style and very understated intelligence did so much.  What would President Reagan do now?  I believe he would proceed along the more peaceful path that I am recommending.
    Our role is not to be bystanders.  We are all world citizens and need to seek the truth, all the truths in Syria.  Politics and personalities should be put aside in life and death military actions, particularly in democracies.

Syria: Military Action is Not the Answer

In Syria the “answer” is not military action although the threat of it should be apparent to Assad, the knave who ordered or allowed the use of chemical weapons in genocide of his own country’s citizens.  World opinion—including Russians, Chinese and Iranians—should turn on that despicable dictator, Assad the terrible.

The United States and the developed world can’t afford a war in Syria.  War is expensive and the outcome is uncertain, especially beyond the very short-term.  From a humanitarian viewpoint, too, war in Syria is not advisable.  Violence begets violence.  Kindness begets kindness.  But with people like Assad the terrible, the realistic threat of violence and every other form of sanction is sometimes propitious, such as now.

How in the world did a person such as Assad go from the noble profession of being a doctor to being a perpetrator of genocide?  What a terrible transformation.

I was in Syria the day that Assad’s father, the previous dictator, died. Sirens wailed and I really didn’t understand the occasion.  In America the passing of presidents such as President Kennedy were marked with beauty, remorse and ceremony.  We mourn the death of our elected presidents.  I always thought it quite odd the sirens sounding on the death of the dictator, “king” Assad.

Kindness Toward Everyone

Probably all people have some degree of racism.  But the important thing is not to say or do anything that is precipitated by that primitive state.

As humans we often react to those we face.  If they are angry, it may make us angry or upset.  If they show racism it might bring out our own primitive emotion.

But the goal should always be kindness with ourselves and others.  Another important aim is to be honest with ourselves and others.

I’m thinking of Egypt.  Non-violence is important.  So is law and order.  The rule of law rather than either riots or authoritative governments is so necessary to a democracy and a nation’s fulfillment of its people’s aspirations.

One by one, each of us must try to love and help create a Heaven on Earth.  Muslims may want to call it something else, but the nomenclature is not of consequence; only the concept.

Egypt needs the prayers of people around the globe – Egyptians and everyone else.