By Jan Oberg, The Transnational, February 16, 2023
It’s one of those countless absurd events within the field of security politics of our dark times: Finland and Sweden are proud to receive the Ewald von Kleist Prize at the Munich Security Conference, February 17-19, 2023.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, will give the keynote speech. More here.
The Munich Security Conference is the main European hawk forum – historically growing out of von Kleist’s Wehrkunde concerns – for everyone believing in more weapons, armament and confrontation as synonymous with peace and freedom. They’ve never thought of the UN Charter’s Article 1 – that peace shall be established by peaceful means – and it has never struck these peace-illiterate elites that if weapons (and more of them) could bring peace, the world would have seen peace decades ago.
While true peace is a cherised global normative value and ideal, peace is not at all their goal. It is, instead, a major event of the Western MIMAC – Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex.
Now, as you can see on the links and the photo above, the prize is awarded to people who contribute to “Peace Through Dialog.”
It has been awarded to quite a few whose names you associate neither with peace nor dialogue – such as Henry Kissinger, John McCain and Jens Stoltenberg. But also a few who could be quite fitting such as the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation, OSCE.
But for sending an application to NATO? Is that an example of making peace through dialogue?
Is NATO for dialogue and peace? At this moment, 30 NATO members (standing for 58% of the world’s military expenditures) do all they can to make the Ukraine war as long and hurtful to the Ukrainians as they can. Not one of them speak seriously about dialogue, negotiations or peace. Some leaders of NATO member states have recently argued that they deliberately did not put pressure on Ukraine to accept and implement the Minsk Agreements because they wanted to help Ukraine win time to arm and militarise itself further and continue the civil war on Russian-speaking people in the Donbas region.
Western leaders have told Ukrainian president Zelensky to stop talking about talks.
So, dialogue with Russia? There is none – NATO has not listened or adapted to anything Russian leaders have said since the days of Mikhail Gorbachev about 30 years ago. And they cheated him and Russia by breaking their promises about not expanding NATO “one inch” if they got unified Germany into the alliance.
And who is it Sweden and Finland are now rewarded for seeking to join?
It’s a group of countries which have repeatedly participated in wars, some of them have nuclear weapons, and they have intervened militarily worldwide, in particular in the Middle East, and continue to have a military presence around the world – bases, troops, naval exercises, aircraft carriers, you name it.
It’s a NATO that daily violates the provisions of its own Charter which is a copy of the UN Charter and argues for all disputes to be transferred to the UN. It’s an alliance that has violated international law and killed and maimed in, for instance, Yugoslavia (without a UN mandate) and Libya (by going way beyond the UN mandate).
And NATO’s supreme leader, the United States, distinguishes itself as being in a class of its own when it comes to militarism and warfare, has killed and wounded millions of innocent people and destroyed a series of countries since the Vietnam wars, lost all its wars morally and politically if not also militarily.
To quote from John Menadue’s fact-based expose here:
“The US has never had a decade without war. Since its founding in 1776, the US has been at war 93 per cent of the time. These wars have extended from its own hemisphere to the Pacific, to Europe and most recently to the Middle East. The US has launched 201 out of 248 armed conflicts since the end of World War II. In recent decades most of these wars have been unsuccessful. The US maintains 800 military bases or sites around the world, including in Australia. The US has in our region a massive deployment of hardware and troops in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Guam.
The US tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War…”
And countries that voluntarily join such an alliance with such a leader are awarded a prize for peace through dialogue?
Some of us – not the least professionally competent people when it comes to peace and peacemaking – strongly believe that peace is about reducing all kinds of violence – against other human beings, cultures, gender and Nature, on the one hand, and promote society’s individual and collective realisation of potentials – in short, a less violent and more constructive, convivial and tolerant world. (Like the doctor’s aim is to reduce diseases and create positive health).
As a matter of fact, those the world used to perceive as peace leaders were those who stood for that kind of peace such as, say, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Daisaku Ikeda, scholars like Johan Galtung, Elise and Kenneth Boulding, the peace movement – again, you name them, including the forgotten heroes of peace in all warzones that never receive any attention in our media. Alfred Nobel wanted to reward those who work against the warfare system, reduce weapons and armies and negotiate peace…
And some of us associate peace with life, creativity, tolerance, coexistence, Ubuntu – the fundamental connectedness of humanity. With civilian, intelligent conflict-resolution (because there will always be conflicts and differences, but they can be solved in smart ways without harming and killing).
But, as we all know by now – and since the end of the First Cold War and 9/11 – peace is also associated with death and planned destruction – by those who never thought a deeper thought about the concept of peace – .
They say RIP – Rest in Peace. Peace as silence, lifelessness, death and winning on the battlefield because ‘the others’ are humiliated, harmed and killed.
The above peace prize is associated with the destructive, not constructive, peace – it’s a Rest In Peace Prize. Peace through Dialogue? – No, peace by historically unique militarism and preparation of Death.
The signal being sent – but not problematised in any media is this:
Peace is now what NATO does. Peace is armament. Peace is military strength. Peace is not to dialogue but to play it tough. Peace is to never do soul-searching and ask: Did I possibly do something wrong? Peace is arming someone else to fight our enemy, but to not pay a price in human terms ourselves. Peace is to blame everybody else and see the world in black-and-white colours only. Peace is appoint ourselves as the good, innocent and victimised side. And therefore, peace is to legitimate our own ongoing unspeakable brutality, arms addiction and contempt for others.
Peace is to never mention words such as consultation, mediation, peacekeeping, reconciliation, forgiveness, empathy, mutual understanding, respect, nonviolence, and tolerance – they are all out of time and out of place.
You know this strategy, of course:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
It seems not to be formulated by Goebbels, Hitler’s public relations manager or spin-doctor. A post about The Big Lie at the Jewish Virtual Library informs us that:
“This is an excellent definition of the “Big lie,” however, there seems to be no evidence that it was used by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, though it is often attributed to him… The original description of the big lie appeared in Mein Kampf…”
I’d not be surprised if we shall soon witness similar RIP Prizes given posthumously to, say, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin or Goebbels… whoever works diligently for the RIP Peace.
For the peace of our times is a RIP peace.
I congratulate the Finnish and Swedish governments to the award – and thank the German prize committee for having made it so clear for the world to see just how fast and far the lemmings of militarism are running towards doom.
You may get much finer insights into these things by watching Harold Pinter’s lecture upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005. Its headline is “Art, Truth And Politics.”
George Kennan, legendary diplomat under The Cold War, father of Containmant politics that probably saved the world from WW3.:”I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ”I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves.