Friday, August 25, 2006

Lowering the stakes

Amos Oz, the Isreali novelist and peace campaigner, is quoted by Wikipedia as saying that

the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a war of religion or cultures or
traditions, but rather a real estate dispute--one that will be resolved not by
greater understanding, but by painful compromise.

When you boil that conflict down to a dispute over specific land and resources it loses its ability to fracture and destabilise the world.

Those promoting a war will always badge it as being a war for principles and values. A war for democracy, freedom, civilisation, the motherland, islam, national security: a war against terror, dictatorship, fundamentalism, zionism, genocide.

By appealing to these principles the conflicts becomes harder to resolve, more likely to spread, and more likely to lead to additional cruelty and racism.

Why do those promoting wars always appeal to principles? So that they can win the support of those who may not care about the particular resources being fought for, but do care for the values and principles being espoused.

No comments: