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It hurts when the world breaks

Droughts and floods, natural losses and wars, water and food crises await. Violence and disarmament, millions in flight. Where's Hope? 


The state of the world is about to go from bad to worse. Violence and threats of violence are increasing – we are seeing an epidemic, yes, a pandemic of violence. There is greater inequality within and between nations. Politicians buy votes for money in false elections in so-called democracies – in fact plutocracies, ruled by finance. Nature is violated, with less species diversity, less symbiosis and CFC gases in the stratosphere that destroy the ozone layer. 

But it's not just misery. There are areas – often ruled by a state or nation – that constitute "poles" in a multipolar world where peaceful coexistence prevails. Discrepancies occur, but not war. What kind of "poles" are we talking about? 

Russia, China, India and the Islamic region – half of humanity – are in an alliance so important that it avoids being mentioned in Western media.

Anglo-America is one, ruled by the United States. Latin America / Caribbean another – without a clear leader, but where Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil play leadership roles. CELAC, the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, is a forum that coordinates all these 35 countries. 

How do these two regions of the Western Hemisphere relate to each other? The United States used to look down on Latin America / the Caribbean – see the area as its own "backyard"; now they are slowly turning around, so that both instead look at each other as "courtyards", with openings for dialogue on equal terms in a forum that is not yet fully consolidated. 

Let's cross the Atlantic, to Africa with its 54 countries. The continent has been divided into a Muslim north and a pre- and post-colonial "sub-Saharan Africa" ​​since around 700. The CELAC countries freed themselves from their colonial powers Spain and Portugal from 1810, but the colonization of Africa lasted until 1960. Portugal was in other words, an early colonial power that also decolonized late. 

Colonial capitalism destroyed much of the continent, and millions of its inhabitants are now emigrating to Europe. These immigrants are considered a problem – the underlying capitalist-colonialist atrocities are obviously not.

Why does this matter? What can be done? One answer: The colonizers can lament what happened, as Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi did in 2011, in connection with the country's bombing of Libya, with its oases with women and children. The regret worked. 

For England and France, the list of sins is long – and we are still waiting for regrets, even for what has followed in the wake of the ravages: the expanding Muslim culture that is now being spread with the sword raised. 

Following Leopold 2's 10 million genocide in "Belgian Congo", Antwerp is yet to present a memorial to the victims. 

In Cameroon, formerly English and French colony, one can imagine a future well-functioning society. In Northeast Africa the same – a community of Egypt and a federal Sudan including Khartoum, where the White and Blue Nile meet. To the east, a society with ties to Arabia over the sea, and surrounding the Horn of Africa, peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the three Somalis, with a demilitarized Djibouti. And China must stay away! The South African border states – also a society. And even more. 

All of Africa as a community of communities, gently ruled by Addis Ababa, towards a kind of unity. Look at the map: Africa is huge, surrounded by four seas: the Antarctic, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Mediterranean. 

And then – the equally enormous Russia, with Putin restoring the country's dignity. From the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the country has increasingly been regarded as an enemy – a cold war that has in fact lasted for over 1600 years, aroused by the Germanic Knights, Napoleon, Hitler. But Russia has never taken revenge! We should transcend the divide of 395, seek reconciliation, as Pope Francis and Patriarch Krill have done. 

But the West's assumptions about what will happen weigh some more: "I hate you because I've treated you so badly that I expect you to fight back."

We need to talk about the United States – about the huge American fighting spirit: 248 military interventions since the Jeffersons in Libya in 1801, now averaging two wars a year – and projecting responsibility over to Russia. The taboo around the United States must cease, and the fact that American warfare has killed more than 20 million people in 37 different countries, just after World War II, must be made known. As well as the fact that Russia has been peaceful. 

In comes Trump – unbalanced, narcissistic and paranoid. If he were president of a smaller country, he would have been exposed – but in a country that is itself narcissistic, paranoid and autistic, he is just as well suited. Either way: Getting rid of Trump is not enough to put an end to America's perpetual war horror. 

Russia must be seen in the context of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), an alliance between Russia, China, India and the Islamic region – half humanity – so important that it avoids being mentioned in Western media. A Eurasia begins to take shape, a belt, a road, an east-west connection in the world; The West's colonialism connected only the north and the south.

American warfare has killed more than 20 million in 37 different countries, just since World War II.

Is this Chinese colonialism? China has been creative with its win-win strategies and made infrastructure accessible to all – but the colonization aspect of the state system is obvious. Xi Jinping is the dictator of life. Freeing ourselves from China becomes a key issue. More traffic between east and west, including people and ideas, is inevitable. 

South of Russia lies "the real Asia", divided into Western, Central, South, Southeast and East Asia. In the West: Jews, who by virtue of being a "book people" (kitab) can live in Muslim countries and should therefore reciprocate – that is, avoid an Israel reserved for Jews. Syria, a country deeply rooted in Islam, has a tradition of tolerance and should be understood – not as part of the West's colonial history, but as a country in intense dialogue with Al Qaeda and the Salafist movement about what is the true nature of Islam. In the IS caliphate, a literal interpretation is "spread" from Mecca and Medina. 

Central Asia: The Afghan-Pakistani border of 1893 (Durand Line) must be ended to establish a Central Asian Alliance where Iran and the "stan" countries cooperate. South Asia: Giant India manages SAARC – the South Asian Regional Cooperation Organization – relatively well. Southeast Asia: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, a giant association of ten states, lives in peace with each other. East Asia: Hope for a Northeast Asian society with two Chinese, the two Koreans, Japan and Mongolia, which instead of the United States keeps North Korea within through a peace agreement policy, normalization and a nuclear-free Korea. Finally, the Pacific, which is basically a Polynesian peace zone.

Conclusion: The key process in the world is too deeply dominated by the northwest and by the south and east – Russia, China, the Islamic region. The third world is on the rise. Peace must be promoted by linking the best of the northwest with the best of the rest: We must learn from the two spiritual leaders of Rome and Moscow.

Johan Galtung
Johan Galtung
Galtung is a peace researcher with 60 years of experience in conflict resolution. Galtung has been a frequent consultant to governments, companies and to the United Nations and its family of organizations. His relentless dedication to peace since he published Gandhi's Political Ethics has been recognized with thirteen honorary doctorates and professorships and an alternative Nobel Prize. He has generated a unique conceptual toolkit for empirical, critical and constructive inquiry into the subject of peace. The fundamental purpose of the Galtung-Institut goes beyond the transfer of the theoretical, methodological and practical skills developed by Johan Galtung and others in over 50 years of progress in peace research and practice. The overall goal of the GI is indeed to continue contributing to the further development of peace theory and peace praxeology in the interest of a desperately needed reduction of human and environmental suffering.

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