Tag Archives: Peace

China Proposes Improving Relations With Taiwan

At a time when bombings rock the Middle East, the government of China has moved to utilize peaceful strategies of dealing with its 60 year conflict with Taiwan. Chinese President Hu Jintao proposed that mainland China and Taiwan “engage in contacts and exchanges on military issues” in order to establish a system of mutual military trust. He believes such interaction will stabilize the situation and prevent the outbreak of any violence. He also proposed the two entities could sign a treaty of peace. In a sharp break with prior rhetoric, President Hu said: “people on both sides of the Straits share the responsibility of ending the history of confrontation.”

The President of China said his nation was prepared to work with Taiwan to ensure it could once again become a member of international organizations. He basically made clear if Taiwan accept the concept of “one China.” He is willing to conclude economic agreements and work to further cultural exchanges.

Perhaps, the offer of President Hu is a model that Israel and Palestinians authorities might emulate. It begins with establishing military trust and from that point, genuine peace can arrive.

Syria Ready To Negotiate With Israel On Golan

Syria has told western officials it is prepared to discuss with Israel the resolution of their conflict over the Golan Heights but first wants to be clear as to exactly what piece of geography constitutes the area being discussed. President Bashar al-Assad will not enter into direct negotiations until both sides have clarified what is the area that constitutes the Golan Heights. Israel captured the plateau during the Six Day war in 1967 and then annexed the area ten years later despite being reprimanded by the UN Security Council. Assad’s father refused to sign any agreement that did not include the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a main water reservoir.

There are two issues in conflict– the actual geographical entity that is known as the Golan Heights and the desire of Israel to receive assurances from Syria that it will cease funding terrorism in Gaza and Lebanon and to end its close ties with Iran. The issues in the past were geographical, but now they include political ones. Syria has to decide if it wants the return of the Golan Heights and what is it willing to give in exchange?

Mumbai Violence Just Another Chapter In Indian Violence

The violence which engulfed Mumbai was horrific but it is basically simply another chapter in the turmoil which has plagued India since it was freed from British rule. The moment of independence was marked by strife which resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands as Muslims an Hindus clashed with one another. The clash over Kashmir has sparked additional conflict and deaths as both sides insist they have a claim to an area that historically was mainly Muslim. In 1992, a mob of Hindu extremists destroyed a Mughal era mosque which resulted in fighting that took over 2,000 lives. A year later, terrorists struck back by killing over 200 Hindus. In 2002, the state of Gujarat witnessed a massacre of over 1,000 Muslims by Hindu mobs.

India is the world’s largest and among the most successful democracies but it has not been able to shake loose from extremists from both Hindu and Muslim factions. Perhaps, it is time for Muslim and Hindu clerics to united in the struggle to restore peace to all areas of the country. Perhaps, it is time for both Indian and Pakistan school systems to work on peace education and religious tolerance programs.

Israel Wants Syria To Cut Ties With Terrorism

President Shimon Peres bluntly told the Syrian government it could not have peace with Israel and the return of the Golan Heights so long as it continues being friends with Iran and funding terrorist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas. Peres said his nation could not tolerate an Iranian presence on its border, particularly one in which terrorist groups are being supplied with arms that will be used against Israel forces. As of this point, Syria has yet to give any indication it is willing to pay the price of the return of the Golan Heights in exchange for cutting ties with terrorists. British Foreign Secretary Dvi Miliband urged Syria to engage in dialogue with Israel and to re-evaluate its connections to Iran and Hizbullah and Hamas.

Perhaps, this situation could best be handled by having a Middle East summit at which all parties, terrorist or not, come together to work out a compromise. Turkey is the logical mediator in such a conference.

Medvedev And Obama- A New Beginning?

The administration of George Bush has done tremendous damage to American-Russian relations by building missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and encouraging the eastward expansion of NATO which have posed a serious threat to the security of Russia. Barack Obama and President Dimitry Medvedev were both born in the sixties and now represent the emergence of a new generation which lacks ties with the war in Vietnam or the Cold War between their nations. An op-ed piece in the Moscow Times by Rose Gottemoeller, argues Obama and Medvedev have the potential of coming together in a new process of peace for the world. They can put vestiges of the Cold War behind them and work for a new Russian-American alliance for peace in the world.

Medvedev needs support if he is to take on hard liners in the Kremlin and Obama needs support to end the madness of American policy in the Middle East. Obama could cease building missile bases which would strengthen the hand of Medvedev against Putin supporters and incorporation of Russia into NATO would once and for all put an end to the Cold War. They can cooperate by offering joint discussions with Iranian leaders and exerting pressure on Israel to reach a compromise agreement with Palestinians that ensures creation of an independent nation in that region of the world.

A Medvedev-Obama alliance will be a force for peace and social justice in the world. Russia can emerge as a democratic nation once fears of the outside world are removed.

Israel-Syria Cooperation Key To Middle East Peace

Former Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin told the Israel newspaper, Haaretz, that peace between Syria and Israel could open the door for resolution of many problems in the Middle East. Even as he spoke, angry mobs in Syria were gathering around the American embassy in Damascus to protest recent military action carried out by US forces inside the territory of their land. President Bush has a way of lousing up efforts for peace by not understanding when there is need for quiet diplomacy to be allowed an opportunity to function instead of always resorting to bombings. Cetin believes a new American president will be the best hope to further efforts by Israel and Syria to achieve peace.

At present, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, has been working to bring together Syrian and Israel officials in order to broker peace between the nations. Cetin hopes this effort can move forward, and it will need the assistance of a new American president who works for peace rather than for war.

Livni Opposes PM Olmert’s Palestinian Peace Plan

Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made clear she opposes efforts by Prime Minister Olmert to reach a peace agreement with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. She told French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, “I do not believe in far-reaching proposals and an attempt to expedite matters, especially in light of the political situation.” Olmert told the French foreign minister of his frustration because Abbas would not agree to his proposal which indicated a desire to accept the 1967 borders which has been a goal of Palestinian leaders for years. Livni’s argument is that Abbas could not agree to the Olmert offer due to opposition within Palestine, and she added, “the political situation in Israel also does not allow it to be signed.”

The best that Livni can offer is “let us not allow dates or political changes to stand in our way. The point is to understand the required concessions in order to conduct a correct process.” Perhaps, Livni is hoping John McCain will win the election and then support any Israel plan regardless if it has any chance of being accepted by Palestinians.

Israel could use a Nelson Mandela in charge of the government.

Will Israel Be That Important To US In 2009?

Yoel Marcus, writing in Haaretz raises the question as to whether after all the political posturing among Democrats and Republicans during the election, will Israel really be high on the agenda of any new American president in 2009. Israel always has placed high on the list of issues that American presidents are concerned with handling as exemplified by the fiasco of the famous Annapolis Conference called by George Bush. “What a lot of hot air that turned ou to be” and although Condi Rice flies around the Middle East there is scant evidence any of her trips have resulted in anything other than giving her a large number of frequent flyer miles.

Marcus bluntly says Israel will be lower on the list of important American needs given the current financial crisis and need to deal with major problems in Afghanistan. The Haaretz writer believes given those realities it is up to Israel to assume responsibility for solving its own conflicts and not simply rely upon an American intervention. “What we don’t do, nobody is going to do for us. We must get ready for a year without America.”

The real question is whether new prime minister Tzipi Livni can form a coalition with Ehud Barak and work together to achieve peace with the Palestinian Authority. Right wing fanatics like Benjamin Netanyahu are waiting in the wings and their obtaining power dooms any real chance for peace.

US Tough Talk On Iran Falls Flat

Leaders in the American armed forces and the Bush administration have been racheting up tough talk regarding Iran’s support for Iraq militants but, so far, the rhetoric has not resulted in the reality that Iran is worried about a possible American invasion. Iranian Foreign Minister spokesperson, Mohammed Ali Hosseini, responded to the latest comments by Admiral Mullen last week in which he warned of consequences if Iran did not cease sending in supplies to insurgents. “We see it unlikely, said Hosseini, “that they plan to enter a new disaster which they themselves believe wlll have unpleasant consequences for the region and the world.” He said Iran smply does not believe America possesses the military power to initiate a third area of operation in the Middle East.

On one hand, the Iraq government of Prime Minister Maliki, constantly praises Iran for aiding its survival, on the other hand, the United States insists Iran is attempting to destroy the Mailiki government. Perhaps, there should be a meeting of minds to work out the story to be presented to the world.

Uganda Civil War Goes On And On

One of Africa’s longest lasting wars which has resulted in the death of thousands and the use of children to conduct some of the most brutal fighing on the planet is apparently no longer closeer to a resolution than before. Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance ArmyILRA) failed to show up at an agreed spot near R-Kwanga, on the remote and thickly wooded Sudan-Congo border. Ugandan religious and cultural leaders ventured into the forest in an attempt to find him. Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Ruganda said “the devleopment yesterday and today are a challenge to the peace process… nevertheless the peace process continues.” Kony’s 22- year rebellion aganst the Ugandan gvernment has killed tens of thosuands of people and uprooted 2 million in northern Uganda.

Kony is wanted for numerous war crimes by the international criminal court)|(ICC) in the Hague. Even if the rebels sign a peace agreement Kony has vowed not to surrender his arms until charges are dropped against him. The Uganda government wants to handle the matter internally in order to end fighting and restore peace. It prefers drawing upon traditional African reconciliation procedures in hope of peace.

Although the world would enjoy the prospect of placing on trial a brutal dictator who has abused innocent children in his mad wars, the most important consideration must be restoring peace to Uganda.