Friday, February 13, 2015

There ARE Alternatives to War (A Personal Commitment to the World Beyond War Initiative)

The present confrontation between "the West" (i.e. the US/NATO military alliance) and Russia over Ukraine is a case in point that illustrates what the thousands of people who have committed themselves to the World Beyond War movement are committed to. @WorldBeyondWar

"#Ukraine ceasefire deal agreed at Belarus talks"

There is no denying that there is conflict within Ukraine and there is no question that Russia is involved.

There is also no denying that Ukraine now sticks out like a sore thumb as a remaining contested space in a process of Western power creep that has been taking place in Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

NATO's eastward expansion -- 1990 vs. 2009

The news in the US is full of Russia and Ukraine and Putin and Crimea, and I recognize in myself a curiosity and thrill at learning about this new, exotic part of the world. Unfortunately, this is a movie I've seen a growing number of times in the last decade -- the U.S. dazzles the public with "foreign-conflict-as-entertainment," and the public loses sight of the big picture.

The big picture -- the forest for the trees -- is that we have to de-escalate conflict, not engage in one-upsmanship. This is particularly true in the US-Russia relationship, where job #1 is the elimination of the two countries respective nuclear arsenals.

The World Beyond War initiative is aimed at encouraging everyone to stay focused on the key point: there ARE alternatives to war, and when we are able to proceed with those alternatives, we CAN succeed in achieving peace.

Four people who discovered the truth of this statement are Fran├žois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko, and Vladimir Putin. When they met in Minsk and talked, they were able to achieve a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Peace is not a one-shot deal. It involves a continuous process. A process of choosing the alternatives to war.

There are already an AMAZING number of people around the US and around the world who have committed themselves to choosing these alternatives -- and they're doing so in more ways than you can imagine.  Over the days and weeks ahead, World Beyond War will be lifting up these alternatives and the way people are pursuing them, and encouraging everyone to #choosepeace.


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It can all happen very fast . . . . No one really knows ahead of time what will happen . . . . That's why it's so important for people to get together and talk.

(See The Lesson of Reykjavik: TALK About Nuclear Disarmament (You Never Know) )


Everyone in the world should be doing everything possible to drive the nuclear "haves" towards an agreement on nuclear disarmament. It's more important than ISIS. More important than Iran, Bibi, or Boehner. And certainly more important than the top ten things trending on Twitter or coming up in your Facebook feed.

(See Job #1 Vis-a-vis Russia: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT)

I believe an enormous number of people will conclude that, if they really believe "we can choose to abolish war," then what's required is to speak it.

(See "We can choose to abolish war" (The rest is just details) )

I wonder . . . what would it look like . . . if we could use social media to underline the concrete ways each of us is, in fact, choosing alternatives to war? And expressed interest in how others are choosing, too? (Including by sharing and spreading what we find valuable?)

(See STEP ONE: CHOOSE (To Have the Power to Choose, Putting Alternatives to War into Action) )

What I'm feeling particularly energized about is the potential for the thousands of people who have already signed on as supporters of World Beyond War -- as well as millions more who are expected to do so soon -- to become active participants in spreading this good news.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )