Iraq war is not a long term solution: resources should be used for healing and development

Letter published in Business Day, Cape Argus and Cape Times, 3 April 2003.

Many of the letters I’ve read in recent weeks have been about the war in Iraq. Most of the writers have either tended to blame George Bush or Saddam Hussein for the war.

However, this war is a manifestation of the way in which these two leaders and their countries have interacted over the last few decades. It is a results of the short-term solutions that have been employed on the problems in Iraq.

The leaders of both these countries have sought win-lose as opposed to win-win solutions. But in reality everyone loses. War destroys people and breeds hatred.

History has shown us that when leaders act without integrity, as both the leaders are currently doing, the original problem almost always gets worse in ways that were not anticipated.

The way in which World War 1 was concluded set the conditions needed for Hitler and World War 2 to evolve.

The manner in which the 1990/1991 Gulf War was concluded, and the way in which the leaders of the US and Iraq have since managed their relationship, have set the conditions for the present war.

At the same time, the way in which this war is being conducted may create the conditions needed for the escalation of this conflict at some unknown date in the future.

The only real long-term solution is the development of people and their countries. Destroying, for whatever the reason, is never a solution. It only serves to increase the violence and hatred that is already on our planet.

Imagine what would happen if the considerable resources that are being used in this war were used for healing and development.

I suspect the outcome would be surprising, and it would almost certainly be good for everyone.

Cultivating strategic clarity.

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