31 October 2006


As Iraq and Afghanistan descend further into chaos with little prospect of the emergence of a free and democratic society in either country anytime in the foreseeable future, the failure of the use of military force to bring about peace is increasingly evident.

Unfortunately many the leaders of the nations responsible for the intervention in Iraq refuse to acknowledge that it was a mistake. A consequence of this is that there is still the prospect that the same mistake may be repeated.

The current responses to Iran’s development of nuclear technology and North Korea’s recent testing of a nuclear bomb seem to be one of isolation and threatening regime change.

Unfortunately western leaders who claim to be Christian seem to have little understanding of the message of peaceful, non-violence taught by the founder of their religion.

The examples of Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King, together with the peaceful overthrowing of the Marcos regime in the Philippines and the peaceful collapse of the Soviet empire all demonstrate the effectiveness of the way of non-violence; perhaps it is time to apply those lessons again.

Readers of this bulletin may be interested in supporting the Ceasefire Campaign calling on President Bush to engage in dialogue with Iran rather than to embark on confrontation.

The campaign is one of a number conducted by Res Publica a community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy.

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