I was asked: what are the linkages between peace research and peace movements and how these two can help strengthen the peace process?
My reply was: the very linkage between peace research and peace movements is the vested contribution of the developed world. The peace research is to meet the same fate what has been happening to peace movements. The tragic thing happens to almost all peace movements (most of them initiated by the developed world) today is that they succumb to their paradoxical goals.
One can recall what happened to the three dominant peace movements namely European Nuclear Disarmament Movement (END), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and Freeze Movement in USA, as all ended unsuccessful.
The END was defeated by its conference, or convention, when it received just one thousand people from 10 countries in 1985; the CND diminished due to Britain’s and Nato’s deployment of nuclear arms; and the freeze movement in USA ended when Reagan launched SDI. The sad demise of all these three movements is a clear sign what will happen to peace research as well.
One thing we usually miss in this regard is the actual role of the powerful states of the world who propagate peace on the one hand and their actions on the other are awfully damaging for the peace of the world. This is conducive in the failure of peace processes.
A report titled ‘The human rights record of US in 2009’ published by the China Office discloses that US accounts 42% of world’s military spending with cost around 607 billion dollars and US was the largest arms seller to the foreign countries in 2008 which accounted for 37.5 billion dollars.
Now, the numbers are more than that. This huge spending of US in arms under its national security paradigm itself is damaging for peace in the world. This was the biggest reason why the Global Peace Index’s report stated that the world was less peaceful in 2010.
Another thing, these preachers of peace don’t keep their promises regarding establishing peace. El-Salam Amin in his column titled ‘One year after Obama’s Cairo Speech’ said Obama made 10 promises to the world in his Cairo speech which included lifting blockade of Gaza, stoppage of drone attacks, nuclear arms control, resolution of Palestine issue etc. but did not keep a single promise.
It is worth adding that Obama has now been elected again, and this Cairo speech was made years back. Today, the situation for peace is as pathetic as it was then. Terry Jones rightly said ‘as long as there are people and companies who make vast profits out of war, war will continue to plague our world.’