NO PEACE WITH WESTERN WAR POLICY! NO PEACE WITH THE NEOLIBERAL SYSTEM!
By Jurgen Wagner
[This address at the Munich Easter march on April 15, 2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.friedenskooperative.de
The Easter march this year takes place on the eve of the second planned military action by the western superpowers. Both actions are prototypical for wars in the 21st century.
Given dwindling world oil supplies, the escalation in Iran is a forerunner for the announced increase of so-called resource wars.
On the other hand, the action of the European Union in the Congo is an expression of western globalization interventionism.
Globalization – the code word for expansion of the neoliberal world economic order – and western war policy are two sides of one coin. The impoverishment of vast parts of the world population is causally responsible for the escalation of conflicts in the third world.
Since neither the US nor the countries of the European Union are interested in a fundamental change of course, economic exploitation will be increasingly supplemented by military oppression. States will be set under western guardianship until they function halfway in this world economic order.
For us as a peace movement, this means we cannot protest against war without questioning the dominant capitalist order!
This war policy is justified as a completely selfless undertaking. How insidious that the rulers in so-called civil-military cooperation still try to co-opt the peace movement and development assistance in their war plans!
Let us not be taken in! We must unmask the lies with which these wars are justified. I’d like to focus on four lies:
1ST LIE: CAUSES OF WAR: THE THIRD WORLD IS RESPONSIBLE
So-called “new wars,” violent inter-state conflicts with supposedly new characteristics, are now emphasized. Firstly, religious, ethnic-cultural disputes are said to cause these wars. Secondly, the West is said to have no responsibility in these conflicts.
A very different picture appears upon considering the empirical material. Many conflicts in the third world are fueled by western weapon deliveries. They arise mainly where raw material wealth becomes a curse since western interest in their exploitation foments existing conflicts.
Poverty is the decisive reason why conflicts escalate violently, World Bank studies confirm. Thus the West has the primary responsibility for wars and conflicts in the third world by ensuring impoverishment of vast parts of the world’s population through expansion of the neoliberal world economic order.
2ND LIE: THE SUPPOSEDLY SELFLESS MOTIVATION OF WESTERN WAR ACTIONS
They want to fool us into thinking their war actions are completely selfless. They cannot look on inactively when people fight. The sociologist Ulrich Beck speaks of the “military humanism of the West” based on a “world monopoly of power and morality.”
The truth is the exact opposite. Concerning the example of the Congo, Defense minister Franz Josef Jung declared: “Central security interests of our country are involved! […] The German economy needs stability in regions rich in raw materials.”
In general, globalization opens up new profit possibilities to big western companies while simultaneously making them more susceptible for crises and conflicts in the third world.
Christian Schmidt, CSU-member in the German Ministry of Defense, writes: “The destabilization of certain developing- and threshold countries can negatively impact international economic- and financial conditions and our interests as an export nation.”
Jurgen Thumann, head of the federation of German industrialists, was very clear at the 2005 Security Conference here in Munich: “Investments in developing countries create jobs and incomes. […] However the economy needs secure framing conditions. Inadequate legal security and the rule of law make investments irresponsible. […] The basic hypothesis `No Security without Development’ can be turned around: `No Development without Security.’”
Military investment protection for realizing western profit interests is urged.
3RD LIE: THE FAIRYTALE OF THE LEGITIMACY OF WESTERN WARS
Military action only ensures observance of “universal norms and values,” the European Defense Paper insists. An incredible hypocrisy is concealed here. When industrialists like Thumann say a constitutional state must be built militarily, they really mean the right to plunder.
This appears very clearly in western escalation toward Iran. That Iran has not violated any international treaties cannot be emphasized enough. Nevertheless the West overruns Iran with threats of war including the use of nuclear weapons.
What we witness now is the return to jungle law or “double standards” in the words of Robert Cooper, the author of the European Security Strategy:
“Post-modern imperialism has two components. The first is the spontaneous imperialism of the global economy. An international consortium of international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank normally practices this. […] The challenge of the post-modern world is to accept the idea of double standards. Among us we get along on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But with more traditional states outside Europe’s post-modern continent, we must use the raw methods of a past era – violence, preventive attacks, and deception, whatever is necessary for those who still live in the 19th century when every state existed for itself. Among us we rely on the law but when we operate in the jungle, we must also apply the law of the jungle.”
4TH LIE: RESULT: CIVIL-MILITARY “STABILITY EXPORT” IS COLONIALISM
The last lie is also the biggest lie. It strikes us directly as the peace movement since it tries to instrumentalize us for western war objectives.
The close interlocking of civilian actors (civilian conflict resolution and economic aid) with the military is urged with the argument that this is a necessary condition for the sustainable “stabilization” of conflict regions.
However, operative control remains with the military. Formerly civilian actors are made integral elements of the military logic of western interest policy and also help as a legitimation element for military “peace missions.”
The western war policy should become considerably more effective. An important EU-paper, the “Human Security Doctrine for Europe,” already proposes building a civil-military troop of 10,000 soldiers and 5,000 civilians (administrators).
The peace movement must categorically refuse all participation in western protectorate troops, however cooperation with the military is stylized.
Whoever wants to bomb “security” and “rule of law” to put countries under the shield of western protectorates for a long time until they obey neoliberal rules merely perpetuates the vicious circle of poverty and violence. This is exactly the miserable praxis hidden behind the euphemistic term “stability export.”
Those urging western military actions sign a moral declaration of bankruptcy because they legitimate pumping more billions in armaments while millions upon millions of victims are ignored in our economic system of structural violence. There is no money for them.
The European Security Strategy admits that 45 million persons die every year of hunger, malnutrition and sicknesses. This lack of social perspectives and the naked fear over survival drive people to violence and “pacifies” them militarily – since ending the western exploitation policy is not discussed.
In this context, it is the height of cynicism that many EU actions are paid out of the European Development Fund and thus withdrawn from the direct combating of poverty.
For example, the Development Fund contributed 90 million for the EU action AMIS II in the Sudan. At the same time big German companies supported by the German government contributed massively to the escalation of the conflict. Then the UN coordinator for emergency relief in the Sudan declared there are no funds for the urgently necessary humanitarian relief!
This is a scandalous instrumental estrangement of development assistance. Those responsible should be charged with embezzlement of tax funds!
CONCLUSION: NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE!
Without fundamental change of the neoliberal economic system, there will be more and more conflicts that the West then “pacifies” to keep the vicious circle of poverty and violence and the boiler of globalization conflicts halfway under control.
In this sense, “No Justice, No Peace! No Peace with the Western War Policy! No Peace with the Capitalist System!