TFF PressInfo 82
December 16, 1999
"We are seeing it for the umteenth time in international conflict-management: when intellectual analysis and politics fall apart, cover it up with military potency and give it all a human face! One would like to believe that the West's moral, legal and political conflict 'management' disaster in the Balkans and in Kosovo 1989-1999 would be debated throughout the West - democracies with freedom of speech. The silence about that failure, however, is roaring. It's just the locals who won't understand how well-meaning we were and are!
But something else is happening: the disaster is turning into a recipe! Read the statements from leading ministers, top generals, EU, and NATO during the last six months. They invariably state 'that we have learnt in Kosovo' that we need more military capacity, more force. NATO's Secretary- General, Lord Robertson, tells the world that "the time for a peace dividend is over because there is no permanent peace - in Europe, or elsewhere. If NATO is to do its job of protecting future generations, we can no longer expect to have security on the cheap." Well, Lord Robertson is of course constitutionally prevented from pondering what world leaders have done so miserably the last ten years since the century ends under such dark clouds.
The EU has decided to conduct a turbo-militarization. It has nothing to do with a European Army, we are told - then we can be sure that's what they are heading for. No, it's for peace. And it's modelled on the handling of Kosovo. It means repetition, somewhere sometime, of that failed policy"- says TFF director Jan Oberg.
"To put it crudely, what the EU, the US and NATO have done with all the unique historical peace opportunities of 1989 is to practise a new idea: PEACE-PREVENTION. Western power political, geostrategic, geo-economic motives and military-industrial needs coupled with world cultural and media dominance increasingly function as force multipliers - straight toward a new world-anatagnising authoritarianism. For years to come, this means a less stable, more militarised Europe, a new globalised Cold War, more destruction and more human suffering - in the Balkans and Eurasia in the future.
Most security and peace intellectuals seem safely immunized against criticism and independent, alternative thinking. And neither the citizens of Western democracies nor those of Eastern Europe are consulted at this fateful moment of contemporary history.
We are ending this century in an extremely ill-fated manner. The West obviously could not survive the old Cold War's end without creating new enemies. Some of us - http://www.transnational.org/forum/meet/lossofenemy.html - raised that worry exactly ten years ago. It's part of the deep ideology of the West," says Oberg.
TFF has found it necessary, at this moment, to take a more systematical look at what the West has done as self-proclaimed conflict-managers and mediators since the war started in 1991. The collection of intellectual and moral failures is published in "PREVENTING PEACE. SIXTY EXAMPLES OF CONFLICT-MISMANAGEMENT IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA SINCE 1991."
It contains theory and is very concrete, with the following chapters:
- Pro-active violence-prevention
- Conflicts and emergencies
- Civil society peace culture
- and then comes the sixty examples of conflict mismanagement, concluding in
- nine peace-making lessons that must be learned - again.
This analysis will be followed up by constructive proposals and alternatives to each of the sixty mistakes - what should have been done instead based on a philosophy of principled mediation and peacemaking.
It's short, sharp and sad - sad as a comment on how leaders are misleading us into what looks like impending chaos. On top of it you hear every day that 'we have no choice' and that 'the developments require...'We hope that it will help you think realistically and mindfully about the implications of this particular turn of the year, decade and century.
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