Christmas Newsletter 2003

Posted in Peace and Conflict | 23-Dec-03 | Author: Hubertus Hoffmann

WSN President Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann (right) with WSN Vice President U.S.A. Rado Petkov at the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Chrysler Bulding in New York City where the new Worldsecuritynetwork Foundation is located

Rado Petkov Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann

When it comes to War or Peace only militant pacifists believe that soldiers and their officers like war.

Our 2003 Christmas Tale brings you back to the horrible days of 1914 and the killing fields of Flanders in Belgium and France during World War I. It was then and there, in the midst of a gruesome battle, when ordinary men decided on their own to have Peace on Earth at least during Christmas time.

This emotional story suggests why all Americans with a sense for history should be happy to have a united and prosperous European Union, taking the first steps to unite its military forces within the NATO Alliance.

For 75 years until the fall of the Berlin Wall, thousands of U.S. soldiers died in Europe and ordinary Americans were at risk of a nuclear war as a result of the domino-like effect of the self-destructing European World War I.

Only after the silent revolution by human rights activists in 1989 and the ensuing democratic reforms in the former Warsaw Pact countries and NATO expansion to the East, Europe became a place of stability and peace again.

Thirty years from now, the EU will have one united modern army, air force and navy equal to those of the U.S. with global responsibilities within a balanced and strong two-pillar NATO.

The analysis of Archbishop Alfons Nossol on Christian Peace Policy: Combating Ideology and Nationalism with a “Thoughtful Heart and a Loving Mind” is worth reading again this Christmas.

Not only because he is a close friend of the Pope, but because Archbishop Nossol adds very important elements to foreign and defence policies which are too often forgotten and ignored:

To make “Real Peace” – whether in Iraq or Palestine and Israel- our diplomats, generals and politicians need to design, plan, and implement a more fundamental and holistic “Peace Policy” to win the hearts and minds of the people. Neither The White House nor Downing Street 10 nor the Bundeskanzleramt are doing it currently.

The core of this new holistic approach to peace it is to reach reconciliation between former enemies, similar to what Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle did after World War II with the Germans and the French or Helmut Kohl did with the influential help of Alfons Nossol for the Germans and the Poles.

The Archbishop recommends to rise “above stereotypical pattern of thoughts” and to “strip away prejudice and combat idealogization.”

I think he is wise and right to do that.

Our Western policy is too much dominated by military planning alone and lacks a dual strategy of credible containment by force and winning the hearts of the adversaries by smart public diplomacy programs.

We, the West, have to address another Achilles’ Heal in 2004. We never came to the core of the confrontation with terrorists and totalitarian regimes like those in Iraq or North Korea – the education for hate. Going forward in a positive way, we need to promote education for tolerance between different people, cultures and religions.

The U.S. and Europe have to address this very urgent issue next year. Towards this goal, the World Security Network will establish an International Task Force to study the educational materials for kids and students throughout the Islamic World and the West and to propose policies and actions that will promote tolerance among different cultures and societies. We will present our findings and recommendations to the large public and will discuss them with policy makers, media experts, and governments throughout the world.

Our Network wishes you – now more than 120,000 members of the international info-elite - and your families a Happy Holiday Season and a Peaceful New Year!