by Johan Galtung, 24 Feb 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service
Few, if anybody, today argue this so forcefully as Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, for 22 years. He compares what we do when one person kills another to all we do not do when millions kill millions in aggressive wars. We have clear laws, we apprehend the suspect, weigh the evidence for or against in court, and, if found guilty, the murderer is punished. There may even be a system of compensation for the bereaved.
But in wars among states the murderers get medals and honors, and if victorious relish a post-glory exuberance disorder, nourishing a new aggression. And the bereaved are left with their grief and a post trauma stress disorder, nourishing the idea of revenge. Madness, irrationality, a social evil of top rank, to be abolished. As Mahathir says: “Peace for us simply means the absence of war. We must never be deflected from this simple objective”. An important reminder for all who broaden the concepts of violence and peace: remember the essence!