WAR AND PEACE
     
keynote Paul Wolfowitz
The very important debate on politics of war, the current political culture, the European ideal of civilization and safeguards for peace were at the forefront during the NEXUS Institutes' conference 'WAR and PEACE' on 19 September 2014. For 20 years, this institute studies not only the European cultural heritage in its artistic, ideological and philosophical context in order to provide insight into contemporary issues and to challenge the cultural philosophical debate, but cherises and protects it and brings it to the attention within societies
European history in the last fifty years has been a great success. Several generations of Europeans have lived their whole lives in freedom and have, except an incursion into Georgia and the Ukraine open military conflict, not been witness to war in the Old Continent. This is a valuable legacy that we should all keep in mind and which must be responsibly managed to guarantee its future success. Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity required to begin solving these challenges. It is impossible to accurately portray the devastating effects that global challenges will have on us all unless unified global action is taken. Our shared challenges call for global solutions, and these solutions will require cooperation on a global scale unparalleled in human history.

We are in an epoch different to any other epoch in human history.

But why war? How is it that millions of people on the order of a few people deny their human feelings and reason and fall into heinous crimes like murder, looting, treason and arson? Why the obedience of a mass to a ruling power? What force brings peoples in motion? These are the questions to which a bemused Tolstoy tries to answer in War and Peace, his epic about Russia during Napoleon's campaign in 1811-1812.

After two world wars, after Auschwitz, Hiroshima and the Gulag, Europe knew one thing for sure: no more war.
Democracy, economic growth, freedom of expression, education and social justice, became the new values ​​to be ensured that there may be - starting in Europe - never be another war. Leo Tolstoy died in 1910 so he could not see how Europe is now at peace between Member States already seven decades. What forces control this time? How do we keep our humanity? What are the safeguards for peace?

The Nexus Institute invited thirteen international politicians, diplomats, historians and thinkers to discuss on those questions. James Fallon told a newspaper that After the Cold War, you could see all kinds of people wanted to be independent. In the Balkans, East Timor. Many countries, including mine, embraced it. The right to freedom for all. We were naive, we ignored practice: could these entities stand on theirown? The former Soviet republics that belonged since the revolution the Soviet Empire, including Ukraine, were after independence often badly governed and corrupt countries. We are victims of our desires. It's a better way to give up some of our desire for freedom for the benefit of the public interest. Now, weeds insert everywhere its head.

 


The first panel debated on the international organizations created to turn off war. Who now have the power, and how they deal with their power? The second panel discussed on hope for peace. Can cultural development, civilization and love counterbalance war? How can we learn what love is in a society that is often so uncharitable again?

discussion on war: Paul Wolfowitz, William Fallon, James Rubin, Lilia Shevtsova, Jean Marie Guehenno, Dan Diner and Horia, Roman Patapievici discussion on peace: Lila Azam Zanganeh, Hassan Mneimneh, Avishai Margalit, Robert Cooper and Masafumi Ishii William Fallon Paul Wolfowitz in conversation with Hassan Mneimneh

Guehenno: 'NATO needs to tone down regarding Ukraine. If we raise expectations and then disappoint, we create real danger. 'Idealism is realism! To ignore the power of ideas is very dangerous.' 'If we can't define who we are, others will define us, and this is what got us into the trouble we are in now.' 'Freedom is the fundamental issue, and I believe it must have content; and since 1989, we have only seen a vacuum.'
Fallon: 'US are going to stay involved, but to what extent remains to be seen. We have to take charge of our own situation first. 'We have to get engaged. All of us. Especially those who share the values of humanism. We have a lot of work to do.'
Ignatieff and Cooper: 'What is the politics of peace?' - 'There is none. The only thing is not to begin war.
Margalit: 'Talking about wars in general is not talking about anything at all. Today's wars are civil and particular.
Shevtsova: 'The West pretends nothing is happening in Ukraine, avoiding the word "war".' 'If I were in the Oval Office, I would make Ukraine an American ally without waiting for the NATO.' 'Putin was the first to cross all the red lights.'
Diner: 'Looking back to the 19th century, I feel uncomfortable about France and Germany left alone in the continent.'
Rubin: 'We have to defend the Baltics by drawing the line and showing Putin now.' 'Ukraine is about an old threat, an old problem: a big place called Russia, that broke all the rules of the game.' 'Its a horrible thing done by a fascist regime in Damascus, and the US did nothing. That's the other side of the pendulum . 'Whatever you think of Saddam Hussein, the military operation was performed badly and the US lost respect.'
Wolfowitz: Putin is now demonstrating the effectiveness of military power, and that is what makes him so dangerous. 'Think much that we feared would be the result of arming the Syrian opposition, has happened because we did not. 'We would do better to deal with the dangers in the world than to run away from them.' 'In Syria, the US seems to have hesitated for too long in fear of another Iraq-type situation.' 'The world is still a dangerous place we, the US, need to worry about.' 'Most troubling of all have been Putin's dealings in Ukraine.' 'The west can take a bit of credit for progress in the world.' 'The west walked away and left Libya to Islamist groups'. 'It was premature to declare an Arab Spring, but it is premature now to declare an Arab Winter.' 'Indonesia's democratic transition has been more successful than Egypt's due to its civil society'. 'The world today is much more prosperous and free than it was 50 years ago.' 'Too often, we seem to think that the threat of force is something that only comes into play when negotiations fail'.
Ignatieff: A world of 200 states that don't kill others and don't kill themselves, that's something, that's a better world.' 'Every time we stop war from happening, we win an important victory.' 'I teach human rights and I think these enlightenment ideals cannot be agreed on. It is a battle from beginning to end.
Mneimneih: 'We are living in the illusion that we still live in a framework of shared values.
Ishii: 'I still believe US is indispensable in international conflicts, but not sufficient. We need a group of leaders
Cooper: 'In Western Europe we had 70 years of peace, and for this we have to thank America.
Azam Zanganeh: 'The real challenge today for peace is to believe in the universal ideal and value born in Enlightenment Europe.