In a dangerous world, we need to seek COMMON SECURITY

The Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security (CPDCS) advocates for peace and nuclear disarmament within a framework of common security among nations. People and populations can only feel safe when their counterparts also feel safe.

Security can't be achieved against a nation's rival, but only with it

Security can't be achieved against a
nation's rival, but only with it

Security can't be achieved against a nation's rival, but only with it

Speech at Dual Ceasefire Rally – Downtown Crossing, Boston, Feb. 24, 2024

by Joseph Gerson

Let me tell you why I am here. I am Jewish. I was born in 1946, just after the Holocaust. My parents taught me three lessons from the Holocaust. “Never again to anyone.” And anyone means anyone. “Never participate in the crime of silence” by turning away from injustice. And “There is a direct correlation between respect for truth and who lives, and dies, and how.”

Something akin to Genocide, certainly mass murder and an unconscionable and illegal campaign of mass ethnic/national cleansing is under way in Gaza. In Europe, with Ukraine increasingly on the defensive in what promises to be a long war, we face the dangers of horizontal or vertical escalation. Amidst something like a politically unstable stalemate, the war could still precipitate us into a NATO -Russia War (there are calls in the German parliament to take the war to Russia) or into a deepening crisis with Russian resorting to nuclear weapons as Medvedev, the former prime minister and head of Putin’s Security Council,  continually threatens.

An estimated 30,000 Gazans, more than 1 in 100, and the vast majority children and women, have been killed in Gaza. That’s roughly 20 times the number of Israelis killed in October. Proportionately that’s the equivalent of more than three million U.S. people…. Think about that and what that means for Palestinian society.  70% of Gazan homes have been destroyed, and at least 85% of Gazans displaced. The UN Humanitarian chief describes Gaza as uninhabitable with water, food, and fuel still in desperately short supply, and hospitals no longer functioning,  Hundreds of thousands face death from famine, thirst, disease, and lack of medical care. And there remains the danger of possible expulsion into the Egyptian desert.

As we see from the continuing Hezbollah-Israeli exchanges along the border with Lebanon, bombings and targeted assassinations in Lebanon, Syria and  Iraq, and the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the danger remains that the war could explode into a regional cataclysm.

President Biden’s embrace of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the massive U.S. weapons htransfers to Israel have made the genocide possible. Instead of insisting on ceasefires and pressing diplomacy for as just a peace as possible, the U.S. continues to provide the extreme right-wing, racist, and expansionist Netanyahu government with the weapons and diplomatic cover it needs to pursue its futile and self-defeating war

Biden and his Congressional apologists have led the U.S. into international isolation with its complicity with genocide in Gaza and this week’s defense at the International Court of Justice of Israel’s illegal colonization of territories conquered 57 years ago. We  see this isolation in the UN general Assembly votes and in the 13-1 vote with the United States casting its third veto in the Security Council against  an immediate ceasefire.

.Regardless of how outrageous the  October 7 massacres were and the losses suffered by Hamas since Israel’s efforts to reconquer Gaza, Palestinian nationalism will endure. And the war, and Israel’s international isolation do not bode well for Israel’s long-term security or even its survival

In Europe, with the failure of Kyiv’s counter offensive, the casualties its military has suffered while having only half of Russia’s population and GDP that is just a quarter of Russia’s,  the Ukraine War’s momentum is turning in the direction of Russia’s brutal military devastation. Trump seems to be doing all that he can to deliver victory to Puttin, And tragically Biden still refuses to insist that the Zelensky government face reality, opt for a ceasefire, and quit while Ukraine is ahead. Ukraine won a great victory in resisting Putin’s effort to conquer Ukraine and transform that long tortured borderland nation into a client state. Biden and Congressional Democrats are encouraging Zelensky’s dangerous fantasy of restoring Ukraine’s 1991 borders, including  the 18% of eastern Ukraine that Russia has seized, including Crimea, a Russian district since the 18th century and long its strategically vital warm water port.

Almost a year ago General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was clear that there could be no military solution to the war. But Zelensky just fired army chief Zaluzhnyi who came to the same conclusion about the stalemate and was engaged in back channel explorations with the Russian military about ways to bring the war to a mutually beneficial end before he was ousted. With political opposition to drafting 500,000 Ukrainians to be the last man to die for 18% of 1991 Ukraine, Kyiv’s inability to match Russia in artillery shells and missiles, and growing war fatigue, makes  it is more than in Ukraine’s interest to face reality and enter negotiations while it has the chips and leverage of controlling 82% of what was called Ukraine.  A deal was close at hand a month after Putin’s invasion. It reportedly provided for a neutral Ukraine with security guarantees and a path to E.U. membership. A ceasefire and negotiations can restore that possibility.

President Biden  will probably go down in history as the president with the third greatest legislative achievements after FDR and LBJ. But  he has very little time left to shed his identity as a war president which is opening the way for a Trump dictatorship and the end of U.S. constitutional democracy. Imagine a president who has promised a dictatorship, has encouraged Russia to invade NATO countries who don’t meet the 2% GDP military spending goal, who is a convicted rapist, and who is planning the deportation of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of immigrants.

The  U.S. National Security Strategy tells us that the Post-Cold War era is past, gone, kaput, and that the contest is under way to shape what will follow. Not only have Biden’s war policies isolated the United States and opened the ways for greater Chinese and Russian influence across the world, they have  alienated the Global South. These are nations with increasing influence diplomatically, and in terms of the climate emergency, human capital, trade, investments, and technological development.

Friends, thinking about the climate crisis and growing U.S. isolation, in my bones I don’t want my children and grandchildren to suffer the consequences of the stupid, selfish, and short sighted policies of the white Christian ethnonationalists. billionaires, imperialists, and anxious office holders of those in power today.

In closing, let me repeat that I believe that Ukrainians are entitled to peace and national self-determination which can now be best achieved via a ceasefire and diplomacy which entails compromises. And what Israel has and is doing must be absolutely condemned and the killing stopped, something which President alone may have the power to do.

No to killing. No to war! Ceasefires and diplomacy now.

Leave a Comment