The Waste of War

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

There are four ma­jor dif­fer­ences be­tween now and the world of 1914. For starters, we have since lived through two dis­as­trous wars, a Great De­pres­sion, and a Cold War. We have had the op­por­tu­nity to learn a thing or two about the stu­pid­ity and use­less­ness of or­ga­nized col­lec­tive vi­o­lence. Sec­ond, the next global war, in this nu­clear age, would al­most surely end the world.

The third ma­jor dif­fer­ence is that to­day, with our won­drous tech­nolo­gies, we have ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to solve the un­der­ly­ing prob­lems of poverty, hunger, dis­place­ment, and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion that cre­ate so many dan­ger­ous tin­der­boxes.

Fi­nally, we have in­ter­na­tional law, if we choose to use it. The bel­liger­ents in Europe and Asia 100 years ago could not turn to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly, venues where diplo­macy, rather than war, can be the true con­tin­u­a­tion of pol­i­tics. We are blessed with the pos­si­bil­ity to con­struct peace through a global in­sti­tu­tion that was founded to help en­sure that global war would never re­cur.

As cit­i­zens of the world, our job now is to de­mand peace through diplo­macy, and through global, re­gional, and na­tional ini­tia­tives to ad­dress the scourges of poverty, dis­ease, and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion. On this hun­dredth an­niver­sary of one of the great­est dis­as­ters of hu­man his­tory, let us fol­low tragedy not by farce or more tragedy, but by the tri­umph of co­op­er­a­tion and de­cency.

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