Friday, February 17, 2017

Ten reasons why humanitarianism is a ‘peace’ issue

Ten reasons why humanitarianism is a ‘peace’ issue

1. Easily preventable hunger and poverty is a personal security nightmare that continues to fuel wars, revolutions and genocides long after the big wars ended.

2. Wealthy nations and the life styles of their average consumers are the largest producers of environmental problems as well as a small group of Americans that focus on ‘peace’ with virtually no attention to justice.

3. Economic injustice is the largest driver of infant mortality in the world which is the greatest driver of failed states and emerging conflicts.

4. Wars are fought primarily for economic power out of a fear of a government or it’s people’s experiencing economic insecurity or instability… which is intimately bound up with an unyielding desire for ‘peace through strength’ or, peace at any price.

5. So called “Peace and Justice” efforts focus 98% of their time and money on disarmament issues and self-promotion while spending virtually nothing on pursuing ‘liberty and justice for all’.

6. The avoidance of the need for global justice and the protection of everyone’s human rights is a primary driver of fears and conflicts in the world, which is a primary driver of military spending.

7. The so called ‘Peace and Justice” movement cannot resolve disputes within their own organizations and still struggle to come together into a national movement that speaks with one voice…let alone any real focus on justice.

8. To successfully address the greatest threats to current human or national security (infectious diseases, terrorism, WMD proliferation, economic instability, government dysfunction, failed states and climate change) the ‘Peace and Justice’ movement must take a more comprehensive view of what ‘security’ really means, and how important a comprehensive approach is needed to address all the security threats people face.  This will require a unifying effort demanding ‘liberty and justice for all’ with a sustainable environment, before disarming nations, or a singular focus on preventing a nuclear war that might never happen.

9. To achieve a peaceful transition to a just and sustainable economy the ‘peace and justice’ movement will need to see the importance of social and economic justice (protecting human rights) which is the only realistic way to maximize both freedom and security in an irreversibly interdependent world.   And just as importantly, this can be achieved without first tapping/cutting current military spending.  A singular quest for ‘peace’ will continue to be ineffective while most people’s priority is maximize both their freedom and security from a growing list of threats equal to or greater than war.

10.  The death of a child from any cause is the most terrifying of all human experiences. Every day nearly 15,000 children under 5 years old die from easily preventable malnutrition and infectious diseases. This daily death toll dwarfs the total number of people of all ages killed in the world each day by war, revolution, genocide and climate change combined.  And, in spite of a Presidential Commission and other prestigious studies clearly warning about the long term consequences of world hunger, poverty and their associated spread of infectious diseases, the peace community continues to demand disarmament as a prerequisite to addressing this greatest of all human tragedies. And, while their math may work out, the realities of any cuts from US defense spending being invested in the global necessities of clean water, sanitation, basic health care services, and primary education for all children now in  need…is virtually zero.  Given our own nation’s real and perceived need for funding various projects/programs -- or cutting the federal deficit -- the only way our US government would appropriate adequate funds for such a humanitarian or environmental effort is if they were convinced, without a doubt, that every aspect of our personal and national security depends on ending the worst aspects of global economic and environmental injustices. And, without the ‘peace’ movement fully on board…a ‘movement of movements’ is unlikely to rally in time to avoid global chaos.

The US peace movement (if it can be called that) must stop avoiding the connection between their quest for world peace and the prerequisite need for justice in our nation’s domestic, foreign, environmental, and immigration policies.

(FYI:  This was in response to another piece offered by the "peace" community earlier today -- posted below.)

9 reasons why militarism is an environmental issue:  Michael Eisenscher   2-17-17:

1. War is an environmental nightmare that continues to poison people
and the planet long after the fighting ends.

2. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

3. The Pentagon is the largest emitter of CO2 gases in the world.

4. Wars are fought for oil and other energy resources. The U.S. drive
for global hegemony is intimately bound up with its aim to control
energy resources.

5. The military consumes 54% of all discretionary spending.  War and
preparation for war divert financial and human resources needed to meet
social needs (including investment in renewable energy and a
sustainable energy system).

6. The manufacture of arms and other military gear adds considerably to
the carbon burden of the world.

7. The military-industrial complex is fully integrated with and
dependent upon the fossil fuel energy complex, serving as its enforcer
as well as its client.

8. To successfully address the climate crisis requires creating a
sustainable new economy, but that is impossible so long as our economy
remains dominated by the military-industrial-security-energy complex.

9. To achieve a just transition to a new sustainable economy will
require the environmental movement see its connection to movements
for social justice, economic justice and peace.  The quest for peace is
also a social justice struggle.

The environmental movement must stop avoiding the connection between our militarized foreign policy and the challenge of climate change.

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