Our world is an arena for all sorts of conflict and competitions and thus a huge battlefield. Smaller countries are threatened continuously and sometimes torn by volatile events and situations. They are surrounded often by powerful states that are competing economically, politically, and sometimes militarily. This, sadly, sometimes translates into small or not so small wars and battlefield in which states wield the axe of influence and power often beyond their own jurisdictions or borders. This is due in essence to several reasons.
Such reasons include, but are not limited to socio-ethnic and or religious reasons, national and ideological high hopes and aspirations, and last but not least economic aggrandizements and national and international grandeur. Our world is indeed salty and shaken, where war and violence are not but a normal way of life. It is a sadly world, where the pursuit of national and strategic interests is a priority. It is a world where world leaders, superpowers and the main international bodies succeed in interfering over and over again in invoking wars or conditions conducive to war, and managing after the fact and more talks and political maneuvering a kind of reactive rather than preventive measures and a big bold rescue operation that generates a plethora of photo opportunities, exacerbates a lot of funds and looks good on paper.
History has shown time and again that international bodies share among all a consistent inclination to fail, more often than not, in preventing or precluding war. They shine most often indeed subsequent to such systematic and tragic failures, namely in nominal cure rather than outright prevention, dealing with the aftermath of war, such as treating the injured, burying victims and looking most often minimally and in some temporary manner after the displaced and the stricken.
The reasons for these shortcomings from the point of view of leadership are indeed numerous and highly debatable. They include among other things lack of foresight or hindsight or both of statesmen and world leaders, lack of passion or enthusiasm in the noble missions that is the political life.
In this regard, it goes without saying that people are not born to be victimized, or to receive the harmful consequences of the arbitrary and uncalculated decisions of men of state and leaders.
Of this spirit and in this respect, all international organizations, as well as democratic institutions and communities should play an active and more positive role in bringing the forces of conflict in our societies together, and in engaging them selectively and subsequently in a system of constructive, meaningful and determined dialogues. And because of the factual merit and moral status of these institutions and organizations, and their essentially inescapable and unbound influence in the international theatre, they are indeed capable of truly bringing about and brokering real solutions for most if not all our abound and growing international conflicts.
Some people are barely able to withstand the more disrupting or destructive acts of nature (floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, to name a few…) or the biological realm (diseases affecting the human body). They, following some unfortunate catastrophe of this nature, or disastrous event, become too expended or exhausted to survive the horrendous effects of such horrific events, including the calamities of war and peacetime violence, two specters that personify the destructive propensity and sheer deviation of the human mind.
Instead of sitting idly by and watching helplessly states as they declare and wage war on their fellow states and neighbors, the international community is invited to declare the peace and wage the peace indeed, through bold, constructive and consecutive dialogues, open rather than closed, inclusive rather than exclusive, in which the ultimate means of diplomacy are employed and put to use. This is after all mediation moderated between states not simply for the sake of arbitration of right or wrong, but in essence between responsible parties and stakeholders in a healthy and natural game of international play and conflict of interest. This seeks “to compromise not between equities but between national entities and aspirations” as underlined the American diplomat and writer Charles W. Thayer.
This initiative for dialogue is the essence of the ultimate international order that strives to safeguard the world equitable blend of idealism and egoism in the worthy pursuit of creating sustained symbiotic relations between essentially antagonistic matters.
By Jean Makaron PhD
Former Ambassador of Lebanon to Kuwait