Pragmatic Pacifism And Peacemaking Must Be Seen As Parts Of A Broad Framework For Building Cultures
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Pragmatic pacifism and peacemaking must be seen as parts of a broad framework for building cultures of Peace at individual and community levels. But how exactly can individuals make a difference? Scholars of Peace such as John Paul Lederach [Led-er-rack] have identified three levels of leadership that are essential to peacebuilding. First is the top-level leadership which includes military, political, religious leaders with high visibility involved in high-level negotiations to resolve conflicts. Second, are middle ranged leaders respected in various sectors: ethnic and religious leaders, academics, intellectuals and humanitarian leaders involved in interventions such as problem-solving workshops, training in conflict resolution, and peace…show more content… So, it would be safer for both sides to oppose war despite both believing they are on that side which should resort to force in the quest for peace.
Herein lies the central dilemma of deploying armed force in humanitarian interventions for peace. I have talked about the good that can be brought about by peacekeeping forces, even suggesting that the United Nations Peacekeeping force in Rwanda should have intervened more proactively to prevent the genocide in 1994.
But we also know that military humanitarian interventions in the name bringing peace to a country in conflict can go horribly wrong. In 1994 President Clinton withdrew all US forces from the UN peacekeeping force in Somalia after eighteen US soldiers were killed and images of their dead bodies being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu were broadcast on television, horrifying and infuriating the American public. For those too young to remember this tragic episode, it is well documented in the Hollywood movie “Black Hawk Down.” All UN forces in Somalia were subsequently withdrawn in 1995 leaving that country to spiral into two decades of chaos and lawlessness. Today, Somalia remains effectively a failed state.
The Americans were not the only ones scarred by the well-intentioned international efforts to bring peace to Somalia. Here in Canada, we soon learned of the brutal beating to death of a Somali teenager at the hands of