Peace as a Break between Wars and Preparation for New Wars


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

Over the past recorded history of 6,000 years we notice that many nations tended to solve their differences through the waging of one war after another. Needless to say, in-between wars we also observe a period of peace. As far as the people were concerned they enjoyed such periods and often hoped they would continue forever. However, as far as government officials were concerned that always proved to be a different story. As the Italians say, tra il dire e il fare c’e’ in mezzo il mare – between saying and doing there is an ocean, that is, an abyss.

Eventual Purpose of Wars

Of course, there should be a reason why wars continue to take place, especially when the population as a whole never wants to experience the tragedies of such events by all means. Scholastic philosophers tell us, quidquid contingens est causam habet — whatever exists there must be a cause, that is, a source. And another famous dictum runs as follows, ex nihilo nihilo fit, — nothing happens out of nothing.

Hence, wars do not pop up from the midst of nowhere. There must be a plan of some sort that would make it easier to instigate and promote wars. What is curious in our study of the nature of wars lies here. Such devices were never used to promote peace and harmony, love and compassion. On the contrary, wars often tended to stem out of jealousy and hatred and they always inflicted pain revealed mostly in the destruction of the infrastructure of cities.

Moreover, such pain is also seen in the killing and maiming of tens of thousands of innocent people, in particular women, children, the elderly and the sick. In every era of history, every government, regardless of its nature, always claimed the responsibility to look after the welfare of the people, which is revealed in providing them with a good health care system, adequate housing facilities and good education. But as long as government officials in general continue to be addicted with wars, such goals cannot be easily reached.

If we were to study the military powers that emerged in this world over the last two to three hundred years alone, we will soon find out something which is fully in common. The governments that attached priority in piling up weapons and in promoting more and more wars, ended up neglecting their people who suffered immensely as a result. Just a study of the Portuguese, Spanish, British and American empires makes us realize that the more they concentrated on the invasion of other countries and the promotion of wars, the more their respective native population suffered all kinds of deprivation.

Sources of Destruction

Nowadays, we all know that the manufacture of weapons and the military industrial complex have emerged into becoming a very lucrative business. To turn an insult into injury, the United States’ big corporations take the initiative to finance the elections of various politicians. They want to make sure that after election such politicians would do anything to boost their products, regardless of how lethal and detrimental they may prove to be to society. In the USA all the major news media are now being controlled by big corporations.

The corruption that emerged in the US government as a result has become virtually out of control. It explains why millions of people do not have enough food to eat, are deprived of adequate home facilities, and do not have easy access to vital medical needs. From a careful study of history we learn that a nation could be termed to be strong when its people are healthy and highly educated, in addition to having adequate home facilities. When this takes place then such a nation is fully self-sufficient since all the vital needs are fully there.

However, since the US government as a whole views the strength of the nation merely in military capabilities, it explains why such a nation puts top priority on the continued manufacture of weapons and military equipment. It explains why the United States, in spite of the fact that it was advised otherwise, chose to become involved in more than 30 wars following World War II. The most recent ones, all of which proved to be a disaster may be enlisted as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In each of such wars, thousands of young Americans lost their lives or became maimed for life, not to mention those that committed suicide. All these tragedies occurred literally needlessly. Besides, the United States was responsible for the destruction of the infrastructure of many cities which included not only the destruction of people’s homes but also the annihilation of many schools, churches and other vital sources. Besides, we may add the millions that became refugees and who led very miserable lives afterwards.

Every nation that views its strength in military terms and not in people’s health and education always ends up punishing itself severely. The US economy today is in a state of collapse because of its continued wars. The Iraqi war alone cost the USA $2 trillion dollars in debt, money that could have been used to give Americans adequate home facilities, good health care, and excellent education. A substantial number of government officials, mostly republicans, had the guts to propose the solution of the debt problem by cutting money from the vital needs of the American people, like health care, education and social security.

Deception at Work

Ironically, a number of these same government officials when they talk on radio or television, they sound like they are concerned with the welfare of the American people in general. But, as the Italians say, parole si, fatti no – words year, facts no. This means their apparent concern for the welfare of the American people as a whole is merely bla, bla, bla. The US government officials must follow the example of President Truman when he set the US President’s office for two terms of four years each.

The US Senators’ term must also be set for two terms of five years each, while the US Congressmen’s terms should also be limited for five terms of two years each. We have many young brilliant people in the USA but their chances of serving the nation in a governmental office is not that easy as long as the big corporations continued to finance their governmental buddies to remain in office for ever. Moreover, all news media must give a substantial percentage of time to cover all those running for office free-of-charge.

As the preamble of UNESCO states: Since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. As we may all know, this acronym stands for United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The eventual implementation of this preamble is of paramount importance. It enables us to understand the wisdom of having periodical changes of individuals in the government. This way we may take care of the traditional saying: You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

When individuals serve a long time in a governmental position, their mind-set about anything becomes so deeply trenched that it may need a miracle like that of raising Lazarus from the dead to make them see things better and into a truer perspective. In view of what has been stated, we still have hope of not having to spend another 6,000 years of recorded history going through one war after another. The human nature is subject to corruption at one time or another. Our job is to take the first steps toward providing a better future for posterity.


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.:
– President, International Association of Educators for World Peace, Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament.
-Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University.
-Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich.
-Member, TRANSCEND-A Network for Peace, Development and Environment.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Dec 2013.

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