Sunday, February 27, 2022


by Galen D. Kirkland
Executive Director for War-Peace Studies

All citizens of the world confront the same nagging questions today. Is humankind doomed to experience another paroxysm of human slaughter because of delusional designs for domination and control in the minds of a cadre of misguided people? Will the unpredictable dogs of war be loosed upon millions of people to inflict unspeakable suffering? Is the vast majority of peace-loving people unavoidably paralyzed in the role of passive observer as the nightmare unfolds? The truth that illuminates us all is that we always have the power to fight for peace. We can raise our voices and sacrifice our material comfort to support the global resistance to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

After World War II, there was a surge of international support for a world federation of nations in hopes that the obscenities of widespread war would never be repeated. The tangible result of this movement was the establishment of the United Nations with grand expectations. Pioneers like Lucy Webster, Richard Hudson, Hamilton Kean, and Myron Kronisch at the Center for War/Peace Studies developed proposals for a more effective United Nations through a more powerful federation of nations. They met with embassy and consular staff of many nations to advocate the adoption of the Binding Triad for a more rational voting system in the United Nations General Assembly, and they advocated for a reformed United Nations Security Council where more global representation could be achieved without vetoes by the big-five victors of World War II. 

These and other supporters of world federation around the globe dedicated many years of tireless work to the mission of creating a stronger global community that could better defend itself from dictators and rogue regimes. The present challenge of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a reckoning of whether humankind has developed the capacity to prevent a repeat of the violent tragedies of the past. Have we evolved sufficiently to use reason and diplomacy in place of unbridled violence? The answer to this pivotal test of the twenty-first century hinges on the consciousness and the courage of all citizens of the world. Are we prepared to do everything possible to succeed in rejecting violence by means of overwhelming sanctions? This will require isolating the Russian regime from the rest of the world effectively enough to make victories in battle self-defeating. Working together, we have the power to defend peace by creating an effective deterrence to violence.

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