Anonymous on Sat Apr 21 00:08:21 2001

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Realistic? Probable? Are we just painting the devil on the wall?
Scenarios are by definition speculative and heuristic. They may
help us think more adequately about the future and how to
tackle its problems as well as help clarify means-ends relations.
The complete absence of such scenarios in the public debate
and of publicly available plans for the employment of the EU's
rapid reaction force and conflict-management mechanisms are,
all said and done, perhaps the most worrying aspects of the
militarisation of the EU. What EU leaders construct now, we
must live with, pay for and see operate the next 5, 10 or 25 years. 

None of the present EU activity is indicative of a philosophy,
a policy or an organisation aimed at early warning,
violence-prevention and peace with peaceful means. If
European leaders put all their prestige and 95 per cent of the
conflict-management funds and human resources into the
build-up of military intervention forces, the civilian measures are
destined to be the weaker element.  They will come in after the
weapons have been used by the conflicting parties and by the
US/NATO/EU, when war-torn societies need to be
re-constructed (the Kosovo experience).  In short, today's
mainstream thoughts on conflict-management are likely to
permit, if not create, cycles of violence and counter-violence,
locally and globally. Europeans have a right to know and
discuss before it is implemented.

The next six months up to the June EU Summit in Gothenburg,
Sweden, is the right time to push for an open debate, to get
the facts, to debate in the media and to dialogue with
decision-makers about peace in Europe and European
peacemaking. And about alternatives to it.

We saw violence in Seattle, Prague and Nice. The concern
about Europe's militarisation and the presentation of possible
and desirable alternatives can only be expressed nonviolently
with dignity and solid arguments. Protesters who use violence
because they lack creativity and a commitment to nonviolence
have no moral capital to persuade politicians who lack creativity
and promote violent conflict-management about the virtues
of nonviolence!

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