PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2022

In Civility Report 2022, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 193 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2022 today.

PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2022

In Civility Report 2022, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 193 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2022 today.

KEY AREA FOCUS: TUNISIA

Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. Africa covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: COSTA RICA

Americas are lands in the Western hemisphere of the world. In English, the plural form of the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions.

KEY AREA FOCUS: AFGHANISTAN

Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. With approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: ENGLAND

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Yet the borders of Europe, can incorporate cultural and political elements.

KEY AREA FOCUS: SYRIA

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt.

Negotiate With Russia and Let Ukraine Have Peace

NATO continues interfering in the affairs of other countries, causing much pain and suffering across the world. It is time to tether it or dissolve it for good.


Ukraine is the largest country in Europe after Russia. Surrounded by Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea, it shares the longest border with Russia. 

According to the Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2022, Ukraine has a population of about 44 million. It has a reputation for being racist and widely corrupt. It faces internal armed conflict for suppressing the people of Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk regions), a fact that has resulted in many civilian injuries, deaths, and displacements. Torture and other forms of human rights abuses are widely used. Human rights defenders and independent journalists risk being attacked. Harassment and suppression of non-Slavic ethnic minorities, especially the Roma, Tartars, Jews, and political asylum seekers continue. Violence against women and girls remains widespread. 

Ukraine has a short history relative to its powerful neighbor Russia. Although people lived there for centuries, as Ali Rogin, a foreign affairs producer at the PBS Newshour, explains, the region was often ruled by Austria-Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, or Russia. The end of World War I inspired an independence movement that led to the birth of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic in 1922. Ukrainians nevertheless remained divided. Some favored Nazi occupation before World War II. 

The territory we now know as Ukraine was finalized when the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev took Crimea away from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. In 1991 when the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine declared independence. In 2004, Ukrainians elected Vikto Yanukovych, a pro-Russian prime-minister, to lead the country, though the election failed to meet international standards.   

A Free Election, Status of Russian and Crimea

In 2010 in a fair and free election in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych was elected president of Ukraine. The new president favored better relations with neighboring Russia. In 2013, a pro-European Union uprising broke out in Ukraine. Ukrainian security forces over-reacted, shooting and killing numerous people, which led to much wider protests against Yanukovych. Instead of an official impeachment, the Verkhovna Rada Committee, composed of experts advising the Ukrainian parliament, declared that Mr. Yanukovych should be removed from office on February 22, 2014. The large Russian ethnic minority in Ukraine rejected that declaration and generally remained loyal to Mr. Yanukovych.  

On February 23, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill that repealed Russian language as an official status. That further angered the pro-Russians in Ukraine. Their protests intensified causing a rebellion to emerge against the Ukrainian forces. Russians formed about 90 cent of Crimea’s population and overwhelmingly voted in a referendum to leave Ukraine and become a part of Russia. Days later, In March 2014, the Russo-Ukrainian War began with Russia lending its support to pro-Russian separatist forces in Crimea. 

Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, a territory that Russia had previously received from the Ottomans in the 1774 Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca, at a time when it was fully inhabited by ethnic Tatars. Crimea remained a part of Russia for 180 years until 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev assigned it to Ukraine. Prior to 1954, Crimea had been inhabited by Russians and persecuted Tatars. 

It was only on May 25 of that year that President Yanukovych was officially impeached and removed from office by the Ukrainian Parliament.

A History of Cold War and More

Russia and Ukraine have deep cultural, economic, familial, and political ties, going back for centuries. Millions of Russians live in Ukraine and have family ties with other Ukrainians. Furthermore, Russia and Ukraine were the two original members of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that was formed in 1922, eventually consisting of 15 republics, including Russia and Ukraine.

The US, the Soviet Union, and a number of other countries allied to defeat the Nazi Germany in the Second World War that was followed by the Cold War, a political rivalry began between the US and the Soviet Union. They emerged as the world’s two superpowers, competing for political influence and access to resources. They waged proxy wars throughout the world, producing many bloody conflicts across the globe.

In 1949, the US led the move to create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), specifically designed to resist Soviet aggression. Paradoxically, the US-led NATO has been amongst the first to violate its commitments to the UN, leading to its perception by some  as the world’s leading troublemaker since its inception. According to the previously cited Civility Report 2022, NATO has continued “stockpiling as offensive; conventional, biological, radiological, chemical, and nuclear weaponry as well as arming other nations or groups, having a military presence in other nations, giving military aid to belligerent nations, participating in military alliances,” actions that “would increase tension worldwide and violate the commitments to the UN for working towards peace and security.” NATO countries are responsible for over 75% of global arms exports. Among  the recipients are some of the world’s most repressive regimes, such as “Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.”

In 1955, the Soviet Union led the formation of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), also known as the Warsaw Pact, as a balance of power to NATO to resist NATO’s aggression. The Korean War and the Vietnam War are just two examples where the two fought proxy wars, wasting millions of lives.

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the US and Russia agreed that NATO would not expand beyond East Germany after its reunion with Germany. This was confirmed by NATO’s secretary. That set the stage for the unification of East Germany and West Germany later that year.

In 1991, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact fell. However, NATO did not dissolve, but continued. Despite the assurances from the US and the NATO’s Secretary that NATO would not go beyond the former East Germany into the former republics of the Soviet Union, they did not live up to their promises. On the initiative of the US,  NATO moved eastward, taking in former Soviet republics. In 1994 as a response to NATO, Russia persuaded  Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to sign a defense treaty – the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), similar to the NATO – stipulating that aggression against any signatory is to be seen as aggression against all. 

Russian Invasion a Reaction to NATO Expansion

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has persistently expressed its disapproval of NATO expansion into the former Soviet states. The last official warning to NATO was given in December 2021. The US has consistently ignored those warnings, including the latest one. In its 2021 draft agreements with NATO, Russia demanded, among other things, that NATO bar any military activity in Ukraine. NATO ignored the warnings.

To stop the NATO aggression, Russia deemed itself forced to invade Ukraine. The invasion kicked off on February 24, 2022. The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine could be seen as an escalation of the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian War.

For Americans to understand why Russia believes that Ukraine must not be a member of NATO they might see a parallel with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the Soviets installed some of their offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. If the Soviets had not  withdrawn those missiles, it could have resulted in another world war. If Ukraine joins NATO, Russia could have the US offensive nuclear missiles at its borders. 

It has now become apparent that most nations representing a majority of the world’s population do not support the US-led NATO’s action against Russia and reject the US effort to isolate Russia.

The US political leaders should learn lessons from their past mistakes. Sanctions are counterproductive. The US has imposed particularly hard sanctions on Iran with no effect on the Iranian government’s behavior. Rather, Iran turned to developing its own military capabilities and becoming a far stronger adversary to the US hegemony in the region. US sanctions have caused price increases on many goods and services across the world, resulting in more poverty and destruction worldwide. If US sanctions against Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other countries continue, it may have the effect of leading the world into a deep recession, where the American people themselves would be among the victims..

Negotiating Peace Is the Right Thing to Do

“We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom,” said Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States. Instead of pouring fuel on fire by arming Ukraine in the war, the US should take the lead negotiating with Russia. If the war continues, both the US and Russia will lose.

Just as in the Cuban Missile Crisis, negotiation is the only path for resolving the issues. Escalation may ultimately lead to a nuclear war, threatening the existence not only of the US and Russia, but the entire world. 

Most of the world’s population is sympathetic to Russian security concerns and fears NATO’s aggression. Regional powers like China, India, and Iran would like to see a ceasefire and negotiations to address the Russian issues. Former U.S. secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, who has blood on his hands for the US interventions in other countries, has come to the realization that NATO’s aggressive stance is counterproductive. Kissinger has urged NATO to negotiate and give up territory to Russia to stop the war.

It is now time for the US to act. On behalf of NATO, the US should negotiate directly with Russia, addressing its security concerns. The US must be willing to let Ukraine remain a neutral country. If that does not mitigate the Russian security concerns, the US may have to consider letting Estonia’s, Latvia’s and Lithuania’s membership be withdrawn from NATO to become neutral countries as well. Once the negotiation is completed, the UN Security Council would have to guarantee the neutrality of those countries.

Yet, far better would be an initiative of the US to prepare the  dissolution of NATO, an organization  that has brought about so much pain and suffering across the world. This would be the first step in working towards a world free from armaments.

As for Russia, it should make reparations for the loss of lives, injuries, human displacement, and property destruction inflicted on Tatars and Native Crimeans, since taking over from the Ottomans in 1774.

The path to peace can only be achieved by everyone coming to the negotiating table, giving up something they want and atoning for past wrongs. With 250 million people on the verge of starvation, that time has come.

By Mehdi Alavi

This article was originally published on Fair Observer on July 9, 2022.

Those Responsible for the 1994 Rwandan Genocide Must Be Brought to Justice

 

Big powers such as France and the US played a sinister role in exacerbating the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They must pay reparations and bring their officials to justice. African players who participated in the terror and the genocide must also be held accountable for their actions.

Kigali, Ruanda – October, 10th 2015 – The house were ten UN Belgium soldiers were shot dead during the beginning of 1994 genocide in Ruanda. Today its a memorial. East Africa. © LMspencer/shutterstock.com

Rwanda is a landlocked country located in East Africa. According to the Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2021, Rwanda has a population of 13 million, a literacy rate of 73%, a gross domestic product (GDP) of $10.4 billion, and per capita income of $800, which makes it one of the poorest countries in the world. Rwanda is ruled by an authoritarian regime that persecutes political opponents across the country. Journalists and human rights defenders are often killed or disappear. Security forces work with impunity. Refugees are treated badly and some are killed. About 134,000 or 1.2% of the population are forced into modern-day slavery. The country remains a source of, and to lesser extent, transit and destination point for trafficking women and children.

Rwanda has a tragic past. For 100 days in 1994, around 800,000 Rwandans were massacred in Rwanda by the ethnic Hutus in what has become known as the Rwanda genocide. Once, the country was run by the ethnic minority Tutsis. In 1959, they were overthrown by the ethnic majority Hutus. Thousands of Tutsis escaped to neighboring countries. Some of the Tutsis in exile united to set up the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which began fighting against the Hutu government until a peace treaty was signed in 1993. In April 1994, a plane carrying Rwanda’s Hutu president and high-ranking officials was shot down, killing all on board. Blaming the RPF, Hutu extremists began the slaughters of the Tutsis and their Hutu sympathizers. 

The RPF maintained that the plane was shot by the Hutu extremists in order to blame the RPF and rationalize genocide. Meanwhile, French forces present in Rwanda watched the massacres, but did nothing. The French government has denied this persistently until recently. After 27 years of denial, France was finally forced by its own government commission to officially admit its complicity in the 1994 Rwanda genocide. In May 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron, spoke at the genocide memorial in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, where many of the victims were buried. He asked Rwandans to forgive France for its role in the 1994 genocide. “Only those who went through that night can perhaps forgive, and in doing so give the gift of forgiveness,” Macron said. 

United Nations Measures to Prevent Genocide

The United Nations (UN) Article 1 clearly states that the countries are bound to suppress “acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means,” a “settlement of international disputes” or resolution of situations that could lead to violence. In 1946, the UN General Assembly in its Resolution 96 (I) defined genocide and considered it an international crime. 

In 1948, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, defined genocide as, “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” In the case of disputes, the convention made the International Court of Justice (ICJ) the final legal authority on genocide. In 1949, the Geneva Convention prohibited willful killings, torture, property destruction, unlawful deportation or confinement, and the taking of civilians as hostages.

More recently, international law has sought to prevent genocide. In May 1993, a Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established. The ICTY indicted a number of the perpetrators of the Bosnian genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those indicted include Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity.

In August 1993, the Rwanda government signed a peace treaty with RPF, known as “Arusha Accords.” In October, the UN Security Council (UNSC) established the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) to assist the parties executing the peace agreement. The UNAMIR was supposed to monitor the progress in the peace process and help form the transitional government.

As mentioned earlier, the plane carrying the Rwandan Hutu President was shot down in 1994 and the Hutu government blamed the RPF. The next day, on April 7, 1994, government forces and Hutu militia began killing Tutsis, moderate Hutus and the UNAMIR peacekeepers who were among their first victims.

On June 22, 1994, after two and a half months of killings, the UN finally authorized a French-led multinational operation, “Operation Turquoise”, which set a protection zone in Rwanda to help victims and refugees. On July 15, 1994, RPF took over the country and stopped the 100 days of killings. In August 1994, whatever was left of the UNAMIR took over the French-led multinational operation and provided shelter to thousands of refugees.

In November 1994, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established. Headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, the ICTR was supposed to “prosecute persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and neighboring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994.” So far, ICTR has brought to justice 93 persons “responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda in 1994.” 

French Support of Genocidal Hutu-led Regime

In April 2019, the US law firm Levy Firestone Muse released A Foreseeable Genocide, a report based on million pages of documents after years of interviews and investigation. The report found France to be a “collaborator” of the Hutu government in the genocide. The French were aware that the regime planned to exterminate the Tutsis. 

As per the report, the “French government was unwavering in its support for its Rwandan allies even when their genocidal intentions became clear, and only the French government was an indispensable collaborator in building the institutions that would become instruments of the Genocide.” The report concluded that “the Government of France bears significant responsibility for having enabled a foreseeable genocide.”

In March 2021, a French commission found that France bore “heavy and overwhelming responsibility” for the Rwanda genocide. After this finding, the French government could no longer deny its involvement in the genocide. Under international pressure, the French president was finally forced to apologize for supporting the Hutu-led genocidal regime in Rwanda in 1994.

US Support for RPF

Even as the French backed a genocidal regime, the US supported the rebel RPF. Helen C Epstein, a visiting professor at Bard College, chronicled the secret role of the US in the Rwandan genocide in a tour de force in The Guardian. Rwandan President Paul Kagame was “then a senior officer in both the Ugandan army and the RPF, was in Kansas at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, studying field tactics and psyops, propaganda techniques to win hearts and minds.” He flew back to lead Uganda-backed RPF against the genocidal Hutu regime.

Kagame and the RPF were not blameless either. Epstein tells us that Robert Flaten, the then US ambassador to Rwanda, witnessed the terror caused by the RPF invasion of Rwanda. Apparently, “hundreds of thousands of mostly Hutu villagers fled RPF-held areas, saying they had seen abductions and killings.” Flaten urged the George Herbert Walker Bush (Bush Senior) administration “to impose sanctions on Uganda, as it had on Iraq after the Kuwait invasion earlier that year.” Instead, the US and its allies doubled aid to Yoweri Museveni’s government. Uganda’s defense spending ballooned to 48% of the budget. Strongman Museveni allocated a mere 13% for education and 5% for health, even as AIDS was ravaging the country and killing thousands.

In 2022, Museveni continues to rule Uganda while Kagame is the big boss of Rwanda. There has been relative peace in the region but both regimes are based on the barrel of the gun. Under the Belgians, the Tutsis “formed an elite minority caste in Rwanda” and “treated the Hutu peasants like serfs, forcing them to work on their land and sometimes beating them like donkeys.” Today, the Tutsis continue to occupy the top echelons of the Rwandan state. The Hutus may be better treated than a few decades ago but they are clearly second class citizens in their own land.

Time for Action

Like many other countries, Rwanda is still waiting for justice. It is another example of the failure of the UN to stop genocide, save victims, and bring to justice all guilty parties. In 1994, the UN only acted after 75 days of killings. Even then, it chose France, a biased party, to lead the operation. The UN has acted belatedly, inadequately and irresponsibly repeatedly. Genocides in Cambodia, the Balkans and other places are proof of that fact.

The UN usually serves the interests of the powerful and ignores the poor. Thus, we cannot rely on the UN to prevent genocides, crimes against humanity and other atrocities. It is we the people who must assume responsibility and support political leaders who strive for global peace and harmony.

In the hope of avoiding another genocide, we must demand that our political leaders take the following actions:

First, ICTR must continue its work until all individuals, Rwandan or not, are brought to justice. Its mandate must be expanded to include the forces of other countries who watched but chose not to take any action to stop the ongoing killings.

Second, France, which has already appointed a commission, must now form a criminal tribunal to investigate those who collaborated with the genocidal Hutu government in 1994. French troops who watched the killings, but chose not to act, should also be brought to justice. The French cannot be tried by the ICTR because France is a permanent member of the UNSC and will veto any such proposal. So, we must put pressure on France to bring its citizens to justice.

Third, France must make reparations for the loss of lives, injuries, human displacements, and property destruction caused by its illegal collaboration and complicity with the Hutu government. France has a GDP of over $2.7 trillion compared with Rwanda’s $10.4 billion. France must put its money where its mouth is and allocate at least $20 billion, amounting to less than 1% of its GDP, to compensate the victims of the genocide.

Fourth, the US must form a bipartisan committee to investigate its officials who played a dubious role in Rwanda or Uganda in the 1990s. Those who knew about killings and did nothing to prevent them must be brought to justice just like their French counterparts. Like France, the US is a member of the UNSC and its citizens cannot be tried by ICTR. So, it is up to American citizens to demand a reckoning of the dark days of the 1990s.

Fifth, the US must also pay reparations for the loss of lives, injuries, people displacements, and property destruction that occurred during the genocide. The US GDP is much larger than France and the US could easily give Rwanda $20 billion, about 1% of its GDP.  If the bipartisan committee discovers systemic support of genocide, then this amount should be higher. This money should be spent to build infrastructure, educate people, improve healthcare, create means of production and much more.

By Mehdi Alavi

This article was originally published on Fair Observer on June 3, 2022.

Nationalism is not Patriotism, it is a Threat to World Peace

 

January 6 insurrection at the US capitol, image by NPR.org

Peace in Europe and America may be at risk given the recent emergence of nationalism, which first emerged in Europe and now on the rise within the US.

European nations waged wars against one another for centuries. The two European wars WWI and WWII engulfed the world and were the deadliest in human history. Around 120 million people died as a result of these two wars. A majority of those who died were women, children, teenagers, and young men. Since WWII, what distracted the Europeans from waging wars against one another was the United States (US), which provided the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe and modernize its industries, encouraging cooperation among nations. To this day, the US continues keeping its military forces in the region and redirecting Europe’s attention outward towards influencing affairs in other regions through vehicles such as the United Nations and NATO. These initiatives promulgated peace in Europe, leading to the emergence of the European Union (EU).

However, the emergence of nationalism threatens Europe into conflicts and wars. “We know what happens when Europeans start dividing themselves up and emphasizing their differences and seeing a competition between various countries in a zero-sum way,” warned the US President Obama in November 2016.

Nationalism

The rise of nationalism across the world, especially in the US, the UK, and the EU continue to threaten the fabric of democracies across the world. It contributes to poor and often hostile treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers coming from the Middle East and other regions.

In Europe, the nationalists are joining together to divide Europe. They are gaining power in numerous countries, including Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Serbia, and the UK. In December 2021, the right-wing European leaders met in Poland to cooperate in strengthening their nationalistic ideals and activities.

In June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) nationalists led the vote in a referendum, known as the Brexit or EU referendum, to leave the EU. In the US, President Trump empowered nationalism. Consequently, the rise of nationalism in the EU and the US resulted in hardship for the refugees and asylum-seekers, especially those coming from the Muslim countries. It also resulted in attacks on American Jewish and Muslim religious minorities. Worst of all in the US, it contributed to the 2021 capitol insurgency that threatened the fabric of American democracy, revealing the extent of domestic terrorism, racism, and white supremacy.

Nationalist aspiration has also been rising in other countries, including Russia, Myanmar, and India. Russia’s claim on Crimea, the land of Tatars — the indigenous people of Crimea, is totally baseless. It is a naked nationalist aggression.

Myanmar has experienced vicious Buddhist nationalist genocide of the Rohingyas, causing an exodus of refugees into Bangladesh and other neighboring countries. This scenario resembles that of Nazi Germany, Rwanda, and the Balkans where nationalism led to demonization, cleansing, and genocide.

In India, the Hindu nationalist government has been empowering the persecution of the Indian Muslims bring up the question if Indian government is ruled by bigots. According to Freedom House, the Indian government continues instilling Hindu nationalism and abrogating the “rights of different segments of its Muslim population”.

“So, it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one’s fatherland is to wish evil to one’s neighbors,” said Voltaire. Nationalism is based on a belief that, “the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state surpass other individual or group interests.” It is a poisonous idea for producing a feeling of superiority over others and hostility towards other peoples and nations.

Nationalism naturally leads to interventionism, conflicts, and wars. It first surfaced in England in the 17th-century and became fashionable through the 1789 French Revolution. It is an evil Western innovation responsible for many deaths, destruction, pain, and suffering across the world. This type of behavior must not be tolerated and must be stopped.

Nationalism vs. Patriotism

Nationalism is not patriotism. Nationalism breeds defiance, stemming from fear, feeding insecurity, and producing abusive energy. In contrast, patriotism is a “feeling of attachment and commitment to a country, nation, or political community.” It is being pride of its own country, nation, or people for its accomplishments. It is being ready to cooperate with others towards doing good deeds, and willing to defend it against any foreign aggression. While nationalism has a history of a few hundreds of years, patriotism has a history of thousands of years and is as old as the world’s first civilization.

Nationalism is destructive while patriotism is productive. In the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqis and their accomplices acted on the behalf of the Arab nationalists and the Iranian defenders were patriots. In the Iraq conflict, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists were behaving as Wahhabi nationalists and Iraqi defenders were patriots.

Time to Pause and Think

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said George Santayana. We can remember that it was German nationalism that empowered Hitler and afterward brought shame to the Germans. It was the Hutu nationalism led to the genocide against the minority Tutsis with the support and in the presence of the French forces. It was the Serbian Christian nationalism that perpetrated genocide against the Muslims in the Balkans in the presence of the UN peacekeeping forces, especially in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre declared “safe haven” under the UN Dutch troop Protection.

Nationalism as it is expressed in the UK, the EU, and the US is harming our democratic virtues and weaning our rule of law. It also threatens global security. If unabated, it will leave us all economically exploited and morally humiliated. Unintentionally, it could also lead to WWIII, if its seeds have not been already planted by the US draconian sanctions against Iran. In his recent visit to Greece, Pope Francis condemned nationalism and asked to stop partisanship and work towards, “engaging ourselves actively for the promotion of all.”

The US was founded upon liberal individualism and common language and culture, but not religious or ethnic nationalism. It has been a melting pot, welcoming immigrants and providing opportunities. For its long-term interests, the US leaders must bring nationalism under control by reminding the citizens about the nation’s democratic values, ethnic diversity, and power of commonalities. If the US as the world’s superpower can have its house in order, chances are the European and other countries will follow.

Plenty for us All

Nationalism stems from fear and insecurity, which produce abusive energy. Fortunately, we all share the same basic needs and desires: food, clothing, shelter, prosperity, and respect. And, nature has plenty to offer to us all. May we release our fears behind judgment, control, and power thus opening the avenue to peace worldwide!

By Mehdi Alavi

*[Dr. Mehdi Alavi is the founder and president of Peace Worldwide Organization, a non-religious, non-partisan and charitable organization in the United States that promotes freedom and peace for all. It recently released its Civility Report 2021, which can be downloaded here.]

This article was originally published on Medium on March 31, 2022.