Friday, July 25, 2008

What if War was Outlawed?*

July 22, 2008
11:25 a.m.
Phiippine Airlines (PAL) Domestic Airport/Centennial 2 Departure Terminal

I'm at the Philippine Airlines (PAL) domestic terminal right now writing this, as I wait for my 2pm flight back to Bacolod. I have just come in from the 2008 International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Conference in Leuven, Belgium, which theme is "Building Sustainable Futures: Enabling Peace and Development".

The experience was wonderful--intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching, although seeing all those Europeans holding hands everywhere, especially the old couples, drove me crazy with admiring envy and longing for my own holding-hands partner to be with me too!

Sigh.... oh, well, maybe someday soon...

Anyway, one idea which grabbed me during the Conference was the suggestion proposed by two groups of participants, when we were asked to workshop on the peace research agenda for the future via open source technology (THAT is another topic I hope to blog about soon, too!): that Peace IS a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, and if so, then we must outlaw war!


Truly, it got me thinking: how come we make a criminal out of a person who has murdered or even just violently attacked another person, but how come we don't make criminals out of a person or group of persons who decided to hurt, maim, kill an entire people in war?

What if we do, indeed, OUTLAW war?

What if we make it a crime for any body, any state leader, any nation for that matter, to wage war against another? Wouldn't that law and structure itself IMPOSE non-war at least, and force people to seek other options, other methods of resolving their conflicts? Even if its coercion, wouldn't it at least coerce people to seek more peaceful means because they are obliged not to wage war?

We outlaw murder. Why not outlaw mass murder in war?

*Originally, a New Tomorrows post
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