Ref. :  000038953
Date :  2015-12-21
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

The West has chosen the worst path: War


The terrorist actions perpetrated in Paris on November 13th, by terrorist groups of Islamic extraction, were certainly abominable and totally worthy of condemnation. Such nefarious acts do not fall from the sky. They have a prehistory of rage, humiliation and the desire of revenge.

Academic studies conducted in the United States have shown that the continuous military interventions of the West, its geopolitics towards the Middle East, and to guarantee the supply of oil - the blood of the world system, that is abundant in the Middle East, further aggravated by the unconditional support of the United States for the State of Israel, with its notoriously brutal violence against the Palestinian people, are the principal motivation for Islamic terrorism against the West and against the United States (see the vast literature by Robert Barrowes: Terrorism: Ultimate Weapon of the Global Elite, in his site: ).

Starting with George W. Bush, vigorously retaken now by François Hollande and his European allies, plus Russia and the United States, the reply the West has been the path of implacable war against terrorism, be it internal, within Europe, or external, against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. But this is the worst path, as Edgar Morin noted, because war is not combated either with another war, or with fundamentalism (the cultural fundamentalism of the West that presumes to be the best in the world, with the right to impose it on everyone). War as a reply, which most likely will be interminable, given the difficulty of defeating fundamentalism, or those who decide to turn their own bodies into highly destructive bombs, is still based in the old pre-globalization paradigm, a paradigm harbored by nation-states, without realizing that history has changed and that the human species and life on planet Earth now share a collective destiny. The path of war has never brought peace, at best some pacification, leaving a macabre burden of rage and a will for revenge on the part of the defeated, who, to tell the truth, never will be totally defeated.

The old paradigm answered war with war. The new paradigm, of the global phase of the Earth and of humanity, responds with a paradigm of comprehension, hospitality of all for all, of dialogue without boundaries, of inter-exchanges without borders, of the win-win and of alliances among all. Otherwise, with war becoming ever more destructive, we could put an end to our species, or make our Common Home uninhabitable.

Who can guarantee that the current terrorists will not adopt sophisticated technologies and start using chemical and biological weapons that, for example, are released in the water system of a great city, and end up causing unprecedented loss of human life? We know that they are preparing to mount cyber attacks, and attacks on computer systems that could affect the entire energy system of a big city: including hospitals, schools, airports, and public services. The war option could be carried to these extremes, all of which are possible.

We must take seriously the warnings of the wise, such as of Eric Hobsbawm at the conclusion of his well-known book, The era of extremes: the brief XX Century, (1995:562): «The world runs the risk of explosion and implosion; the world must change... the alternative to change is darkness». Or the warning of the eminent historian Arnold Toynbee, who, after writing ten volumes about the great historical civilizations, in his autobiographical essay, Experiences (1969:422) tells us: «I lived to see the end of human history become an intra-historic possibility, capable of being made real, not as an act of God but as an act of man himself».

The West has opted for war to the end. But the West will never again have peace and will live full of fear, and hostage to the potential attacks that are the Islamicists' revenge. Let's hope that the scene described by Jacques Attali in, A brief history of the future (Una breve historia del futuro, 2008): regional wars, ever more destructive to the point of threatening the human species, does not come to pass. And humanity, to survive, will have to consider a global government with a hyper-planetary democracy.

What is important, this is what we think, is to accept as a fact the existence of an Islamic State, and then, to create a pluralistic coalition of nations and diplomatic means and peace, so as to create the conditions for dialogue, to address the common destiny of the Earth and humanity.

I am afraid that the typical arrogance the West, with its imperialistic vision of itself as being better in everything, will not welcome this peaceful path and prefers war. In that case, the prophetic phrase of Martin Heidegger, discovered after his death, will again become significant: «Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten: then only God can save us».

We should not naively wait for divine intervention, because our destiny is our responsibility. We will be what we chose: either a species that preferred self-extermination and holding on to its absurd will to power, above everything else, or better, that we forge the bases for a lasting peace (Kant), that allows us to live both different and united, in our one Common Home.

- Leonardo Boff, Theologian-Philosopher, Earthcharter Commission.

Countries : 

Rate this content
Keywords   go