This is the second of two issues of Peace that focuses on peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace enforcement, and the like. The timing is opportune, since during the past two months, the problematic aspects of these operations have taken priority over all other topics in the daily news. The problems in Bosnia continue. Somalia has become a scene of rioting against the United States and also the United Nations because of their counterproductive attempts to capture General Aideed. Just now there are warships off Haiti, enforcing an embargo to enforce democracy. In Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze is calling for "peacekeeping" aid from the CIS to protect his own state against both a separatist movement and an ousted dictator. And Russia itself could have used some peacekeepers a few weeks ago.

Participation in the peace movement continues to decline, and it seems apparent that there is a causal connection between that decline and the inability of committed activists to propose practical solutions to these very conflicts. One American activist tells us that the U.S. peace movement has split three ways over Bosnia, with approximately equal proportions holding fervently to three views: (a) the conventional pacifist position; b) support for lifting the arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims; and c) support for armed international intervention. Oddly, support for these various positions does not conform to previous political commitments. For example, Major-General Lewis Mackenzie, having retired from the peacekeeping forces, argues that there is no military solution and that there is "enough blame to go around" for all three warring Yugoslav groups.

The only special thing that peace activists can all agree upon is that, before sending in armed peacekeepers or "peacemakers" every alternative nonviolent means should have been tried. These means are rarely spelled out, but in this issue we have Normand Beaudet's list of tactics.

The section on peacekeeping includes as well papers by David Last on the future of peacekeeping, and by Mile Bozickovic, summarizing the arguments concerning the creation of a standing peacekeeping force under U.N. control. We also have two papers that describe the ethical dilemmas of military personnel at a personal level. One is by Meir Amor, a former Israeli officer who reached his moral limit and disobeyed orders on the basis of conscience. Slobodan Drakulic's bitterly witty comments reflect the position of a man who still considers himself a Yugoslav first, an expatriate from a country that no longer exists. Finally, we have several other important pieces on other issues: Nancy Toran-Harbin on the justice system; M.V. Naidu on the militarization of Japan; and a lengthy report on the Far East by John McMurtry.

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1993

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1993, page 4. Some rights reserved.

Search for other articles by PMag staff here

Peace Magazine homepage