Peace Movement and Contemporary History

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If one is asked to identify three biggest needs of our deeply troubled times these would be—peace, peace and peace. This is because while peace itself is such a compelling need it is in addition essential to provide the basic conditions of international cooperation and national stability in which the nearly a dozen serious environmental problems can be resolved before it is too late. In addition it is always important to remember that durable and broad-based peace is never possible without justice and whenever one speaks of peace in a credible way one must speak in terms of peace with justice.

While peace is of the greatest importance, the actions of several of the top world leaders do not appear to reflect this understanding at all. In fact the actual conduct of some of the most powerful leaders and authorities has been quite the reverse of what a commitment to peace, justice and environment protection would require. The result is that in recent decades the world has seen many entirely avoidable wars and related actions ( such as sanctions) which have directly and indirectly caused the death of millions of people in very cruel conditions, a big majority of them being innocent  civilians, a majority of them women and children. The race for dominance has intensified as also the arms race. Disarmament efforts have suffered badly. Enough nuclear weapons already exist to destroy the entire world more than once. Meanwhile ever more dangerous weapons are being ‘developed’. Research on banned weapons is continuing in disguised ways. There has been more talk of the possibility of a nuclear war and a third world war in the last three years than in the previous three decades.

In these conditions the worldwide peace movement, which just now is quite weak relative to the challenges it faces, has become increasingly relevant and important. One of the extremely important tasks that it should take up is to try to present contemporary history as truthfully as possible as this can help the peace processes greatly. Understanding of truthful history of contemporary times can help to bring many more people to the peace (with justice) movement and make it much stronger.

Of course many eminent persons in the academics, journalism and among independent researchers have already contributed to this, and the peace processes and the peace movement have benefited from this, but there are also important gaps.

Here I will just give three examples of such gaps. Firstly, there is the huge tragedy of the three terrible assassinations that shook the USA—and in fact the entire world—during the 1960s. The reference here of course is to the assassinations of President John Kennedy, his brother and Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Sr., and the great civil rights and peace movement leader Martin Luther King. As is well-known, several serious discrepancies in official explanations have been identified by several competent researchers on the basis of which official explanations of these events appear to be highly suspect. On the other hand a lot of evidence of insider involvement has been presented. There are films on this that have been seen by millions, books that have been read by millions. This much has been already achieved.

It is also known that after these three great men were assassinated in the 1960s, no other President or senior opposition leader in the USA has really taken up the agenda of world peace in a courageous, continuing way, in a way that is effective enough to prevent avoidable wars. Those who came forward a little did not advance far enough. President Obama held out so much hope at one time only to dash them in a most cruel way. Robert Kennedy Jr. as a current Presidential candidate, running on a supposedly peace agenda, appears to have already dashed the hopes of many of his peace movement supporters with his support for Israel in the ongoing conflict in the Middle-East, as several reports from US say.

However if the peace movement can convincingly show, with enough evidence and in a credible way, that the voices of the three biggest champions of peace with justice in the USA (with a worldwide influence) were silenced by inside forces related to the military industrial complex (against whom President Eisenhower had given such an important warning at the time of his departure from Presidency, on the basis of his entire experience as a president and earlier a very senior military general), then the peace movement would be able to get a lot of people to do a lot of rethinking resulting in many of them coming out more actively on the side of the peace movement.

Secondly, there is the war on terror tracing its roots to the 9/11 attacks. The most horrible 9/11 attacks were a huge tragedy that killed nearly 3000 people immediately and many others indirectly from the impact of various hazards unleashed by the attacks. These were used as a pretext for launching a series of ‘War on Terror’ attacks on several countries which have directly and indirectly killed over 4.5 million people, still counting, most of them innocent civilians. Many researchers have contributed to show the glaring flaws in the official narrative of 9/11, some have alleged insider involvement, giving a lot of evidence. If however the peace movement cam make a more organized attempt to present a very convincing narrative of what is most likely to have happened, then this too can lead to a lot of rethinking among many more people and bring them to the peace movement to contribute in whatever way they can for a more peaceful world.

Thirdly, there is the more recent case of the October 7 attack of Hamas about which there is increasing evidence that the Netanyahu government had many advance warnings but ignored them. Increasingly this appears to be a case of deliberate neglect, so that this terror attack could be used as a pretext for a much bigger attack on Gaza (revealing similar kind of thinking behind 9/11and 10/7). Again if the peace movement can show this more convincingly within the next one month or so, this can be very helpful to isolate the most aggressive forces and pave the way for peace.

These are only three of the most obvious examples. A more detailed study is likely to reveal that a lot of the contemporary history needs to be retold if truth is to be told. Who will do this? The American lobby will not like the truth to be uncovered in any of the three cases mentioned above. The Chinese lobby, which increasingly uses its resources to emerge as the main ‘left’ voice, has reasons to cover up many other aspects. It will never admit that over 10 million people died in the man-made famine and atrocities of ‘the great leap forward’ of 1958-62 in China, followed by other cruelties of the so-called Cultural Revolution. So the first thing that the truth movement has to do is to get rid of the American lobby and the Chinese lobby (as well as all other such narrow lobbies) and try to create a genuine truth lobby!

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Protecting Earth for Children, Planet in Peril, A Day in 2071 and Earth without Borders.         


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