FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

by

In 2014, the growing list of suffering by violent conflict management includes (but is not limited to): more than 10,000 murders and kidnappings in Nigeria, civil war in Syria, escalated terrorism in Iraq, an asymmetrical bombardment in Gaza, and now somebody, some faction, some government shot down a Malaysia Airlines jet and killed 295 human beings.  The cause of the tragedy – a missile – confirmed by a U.S. official, will guide at least one week of media coverage. We’ll bicker and brood about who done it, how and why until the next tragedy and the next and the next. All the while, we’ll ignore the underlying assumption: that violence is natural, inevitable and an acceptable method for problem solving – so long as it’s done by our guys with our weapons on their guys and their ground.

I don’t care who did it.  I care that the victims and their families find justice – at least knowing the absolute truth and receiving reparations and support. But, I don’t care who’s to blame, what weapons they used, which countries/leaders are allies/enemies, who hates Malaysians, Americans, Russians, Ukrainians or any of the typical issues fueling analyses from political science talking heads on mainstream media. There’s only one most important problem anyone should care to address: All violence, from state to non-state to domestic varieties, all weapons, from small arms to nuclear bombs, and all industries profiting from human violence, from manufacturers at every level to dealers of every “legal” degree, have only ever caused more violence, war, destruction and suffering all over the world.  This global pro-violence worldview will shoot us all down from the sky unless we – as international citizens of rational mind – reject the outdated, illogical idea that violence is an acceptable, or possible, means for achieving peace.

Let’s finally start listening to and joining with the voices of positive peace – defined by my mentor and dear friend Tom Hastings, author and professor of conflict resolution, as: “peace and justice by peaceable means.” World Beyond War, a nonviolent international movement to abolish war and build a truly sustainable global peace, has a plan in which we can all participatePhysicians for Social Responsibility have been working for more than 50 years on campaigns to ban nuclear weapons, reverse or mitigate climate change (a current cause of violent conflict in some areas – especially when violence is the preferred method of conflict management choice) and eliminate toxic waste that violently threatens our very existence on Earth. Online university, media service, research institute and peace development network Transcend International, founded by Prof. Dr. Johan Galtung, father of Peace and Conflict studies, aims to educate the global public on current peace and conflict research and peacebuilding practices, including peace journalism, that will create a positive-peace world. There is also the United States Institute for Peace (can you believe it?!), established by Congress to “increase the nation’s capacity” to use nonviolent conflict management methods. USIP had its funding completely eliminated and reinstated between February and April 2011 – a flagrant message to our peacebuilders that pro-violence politicians can and will cut you – if we let them.

These are just four examples of organizations and people who have been tirelessly working for peace and nonviolence against the raging current of a pro-violence worldview. Let’s give these four, and the many, many others out there, some jet skis already before the fan simply breaks and we’re all just covered in the feces of this big white elephant we’ve raised.

We’ll always have conflict – it’s absolutely natural and inevitable. It’s our beliefs about how we should properly manage, resolve and transform that conflict that determine whether or not hundreds of innocent people are murdered at 32,000 feet, are kidnapped from their homes and schools, or hear a “knock on the roof.”  I’ll let Oxfam America sum it up: “…it is not conflict but conflict management that should be of utmost concern; that is, the ways in which environmental and political stressors interact in the presence of ameliorative or exacerbating institutions are the keys to overcoming violence.”  We’ve got the knowledge, we’ve got the tools, we’ve got the capacity, we’ve got the motivation and we’ve got each other – so let’s get to it.

Erin Niemela (erin.peacevoice@gmail.com) is a Master’s Candidate in the Conflict Resolution program at Portland State University, PeaceVoice editor and PeaceVoiceTV channel manager.

Erin Niemela is a Master’s Candidate in the Conflict Resolution program at Portland State University and Editor for PeaceVoice.

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail