Mindless violence is a human trait from time immemorial and also retribution through war, a monstrous violence. The world is always in a state of war. The sad fact is innocent lives are lost as they are used as pawns by the leaders. One gets a feeling, some leaders are afraid of peace! For them, once peace is achieved, their writ will cease to run; otherwise, why should endless peace initiatives fail, as the leaders stick to their guns, while the man in the street yearns for peace?
Gandhi’s fight for freedom, using non-violence as a tool, worked and saved many lives. Mandela, likewise, worked through non-violence to heal the hurt. But violence is the norm and mostly does not achieve lasting peace. Many lives are lost and there is little progress. The ongoing Afghanistan & Iraq situations are mired with lack of progress, despite the heavy loss of lives & billions of dollars down the drain.
For non-violence to really work there should be a higher moral authority to direct the efforts. Also, armaments, traded as a business, will put paid to any aspirations for non-violence as an option for peace. What use buying all the weapons while the intention of everyone in the game is a dead give-away! Even touting nuclear weapons as a deterrent against war sounds hollow; why test the limits and hope that all will behave? The world has worked on certain assumptions and we hope that it would hold, but are we not playing with the proverbial fire?
The bottom line is we are not serious about peace initiatives; and let the guilty go scot-free. They get way with violence as a tool to stay in power, even hood-winking innocents! The moment peace is achieved, the fissures will show-up, and divide the leadership. So fight for imaginary grievances and thereby deny real aspirations for peace. Some know they are just heroes while violence prevails, but peace time failures; so they do not want peace!
The only viable solution to lasting peace is non-violence that has to be promoted and accepted as a creed. The successes of Gandhi & Mandela are proof enough. But the military supplies, by whomever and to whomever, have to be nipped in the bud; mostly they end up in the wrong hands, anyway! We never learn the bitter lessons of history and look for short-term gains; the long-term costs will be humongous to society and mostly borne by the innocents!
The world is lacking in sincerity about nuclear non-proliferation, while many are in the process of gate-crashing into the exclusive club! Once sincerity prevails, with accord reached, non-violence will gain more acceptances. Why wait for a great disaster to happen and then buck-up on the whole peace process? It is definitely not business as usual with weapons of mass destructions falling into the wrong hands; anyway, they do all the time, even if shipped to the ordering party! The big powers prove to be hypocrites; competing to make profits on armaments, while millions are on death throes due to violence, poverty and natural disasters from unsustainable lifestyles. Non-violence has to be embraced by the powerful; they have to stop stoking the fires and take the lead in this highly workable and practical way to achieve peace. Those in the arms business can use their expertise in productive ways than on destruction. For that to achieve, the major powers, like those in the august assembly of Permanent members of the UN Security Council, should sit across the table and thrash out an accord. What use being members of this exclusive club but act as hypocrites; Rome burned while Nero fiddled. This happens all the time; only thing is the whole world can burn, not only the city of Rome, with nuclear weapons everywhere. But the basic human nature of one-upmanship and outwitting others will doom as into misery. We need not just leaders in war time, but those who can fight for peace, the real super-heroes for entire humanity!