by Joe Scarry
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.
THERE *ARE* ALTERNATIVES to #war:
“#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 theelimination 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 François 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.
Sign up at worldbeyondwar.org and tell others.