I recently listened to a fascinating interview with Johan Galtung on the radio program Democracy Now. Galtung, a Norwegian mathematician, is widely regarded as the founder of international peace studies.
In speaking about trouble spots in the Middle East and Asia, Galtung foresaw regional solutions, all of which would require A LOT of dialogue it seems to me. For example, he said that “The only viable solution [in the Middle East] is a community consisting of Israel and the five bordering Arab states, meaning Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine – fully recognized according to international law – and Egypt.” A model for this process, he said would be the integration of Germany and the Allied countries in Europe since World War II. He said, “I think Israel could get peace with open borders, free flow, and perhaps the possibility of Jews settling in the neighboring countries….”
Asked about the possibilities for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, he said in part, “They are going to withdraw from both of them, because it is a mission unachievable. They are going to withdraw and I think the most likely future for the U.S. in both countries is to become neither a winner nor a loser, but irrelevant, and that the whole area will be managed by cooperation between Turkey and China and the countries in-between, the countries in between being Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan.” He sees a possibility of China’s building a railroad between Xinjiang, China’s western province, and Istanbul.
At the time of the interview, Galtung had just returned from a visit to China and he had a lot of interesting things to say about China’s vision for itself in the international arena and its view of the U.S. Listen to the entire interview at http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/16/johan_galtung_on_the_wars_in.
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