War Dialogue


Alberto Portugheis – TRANSCEND Media Service

3 June 2013 – In the last two weeks there have been articles on Syria, first by TRANSCEND Media Service editor Antonio C. S. Rosa [Here] and then by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire [Here]. Both excellent articles, where we learnt a lot about the suffering of thousands,  millions of Syrians, their desperate need for peace and security, the plight of the refugees, their need for money, food, medicines and much more. We read, especially from Mairead Maguire, how the war in Syria is a proxy war.

I wholeheartedly agree with her. Syrians face a “proxy war”, but then all wars are proxy wars, even when they appear not to be. To give just one example: USA, UK, most of the NATO countries in Iraq and Afghanistan are also in “Proxy Wars”.  This reality does not stop there; the governments of the three countries I mentioned – Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – as well as the governments of all countries where Games of War are played – are the other players in these proxy wars.

Governments create and “perform” wars on behalf of the War and Refugee Industry, of war financing banks or brokers, of oil and media barons, of the security and construction industries, and so on. The fact that people lose their kin, their loved ones, their limbs, their homes, their life, is just the unintended – and inevitable “collateral damage”; just like the side effects of a drug. However, contrary to a doctor who could tell the patient, “Sorry, you must be allergic to one of the ingredients in this drug”, then prescribe a different medication, governments cannot offer alternatives. Death, devastation, destruction, are their aims.

To them, the more people die, the greater their success – ($$$$). The more buildings destroyed the better for their sponsors in the building industry. The more refugees politicians manage to create, the happier the manufacturers of tents, folding furniture, mobile kitchens and toilets, cooking and eating utensils specially designed for refugee camps, etc, etc. War is the best possible publicity for bomb factories, the best and “only”, as they cannot advertise in magazines or television, like other products. The greatest the destruction caused by bombs, the greatest the security of their manufacturers of receiving new and lucrative orders. The whole scenario is about the balance of power and finance, “never“ the pursuit of Peace, Justice and Human Rights.

All these commercial concerns “need” wars in order to make a living. We should not forget that those involved in the war industry and related businesses are, as I mentioned above, the big donors to political parties and even to specific politicians. It is to them that government owe favours, not to teachers, nurses, students, bus drivers, farm workers, chefs and waiters, musicians, actors, locomotive drivers, etc.  These groups are always “asking” governments for money, better salaries, better working conditions, more holidays, etc.; unlike the other group, that “gives”, both cash and in kind. The arms industry, banks, etc, donate money, oil barons give oil, or sell at reduced prices; Media tycoons help politicians reach power.

I’ve written this because of the outrage in many sectors, in recent days, after the British government announced it will arm the “rebels” in Syria. (Why don’t they mention the millions of £s already made thanks to the “rebels”?) Anyway, what I want to say is: if the foreign mercenaries can be armed, it is because “real” negotiations have taken place with the Syrian government. This is what embassies, diplomats, secret services, exist for: to “dialogue” on how to achieve war and to negotiate the terms. All for their own benefit.

One thing is very clear: if the Syrian government did not want a Civil War, not even a single bullet would have reached the hands of the so called rebels.

Military campaigns are not improvised. They require years of preparation. I remember when in 1980 my friends said my prediction – two years before it happened – of the Falklands War, was far-fetched, impossible even. But I could see how it was being concocted, by both governments.  The same applies to the tragic situation of Palestinians. Yasser Arafat died a multi-millionaire, for “not” allowing the problem to be solved. The list of “clearly” concocted and negotiated wars between the “players” in each war is too long, for this forum, so I’ll stop here, as I’m sure there are many other pieces you wish to read.

However, I’d just like add one detail: “Weapons and Money have No Political Colour.” This means mixing the subject of War and Peace with Right or Left politics, is an utter waste of time.


Alberto Portugheis is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. By profession a concert pianist and pedagogue www.apion.org.uk/tapsim, he is an active peace campaigner, whose anti-military stance  earned him a nomination  for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. As a result, Portugheis wrote, “Dear Ahed…..The Game of War and a Path to Peace” – a book that has received critical acclaim http://www.dearahed.co.uk. He contributes regularly to Twitter and has many followers. Some of his thoughts, ideas and reflections, which express only the desire “to make people think” and not take for granted what they read, “no matter where”, can be found in his blog http://portugheis.livejournal.com.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Jun 2013.

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