[OPE-L:7420] FW: : Eine Welt der Gerechtigkeit und des Friedens sieht anders aus.

From: Howard Engelskirchen (lhengels@igc.org)
Date: Sat Jul 13 2002 - 22:47:48 EDT

> Subject: Eine Welt der  Gerechtigkeit und des Friedens sieht anders aus.
> A World of Justice and Peace would be Different
>   translate
>  Monogrfico: Guerra justa?
> A response to What We're Fighting For: A Letter from America.  
> Published originally in the  "Frankfurter Allgemeine" May 2, 2002 as Eine
Welt der  Gerechtigkeit und des Friedens sieht anders aus. 
> Ladies and gentlemen, 
> The mass murder by the terrorist attack on September 11th in your
country, and the U.S. war in Afghanistan as a reaction to that terror also
affects Europe, the Islamic world, and the future of all of us. We think it
especially important that an open and critical dialogue take place
throughout the world among intellectuals of civil societies about the
causes and consequences of these events, to assess them and judge their
significance. Please consider our response to your "Propositions: What we
are fighting for" as a contribution to this. 
> There can be no moral justification for the horrible mass murder on
September 11th. We agree with you wholeheartedly about that. We also share
the moral standards that you apply, namely that human dignity is
inviolable, regardless of sex, color of skin, or religion, and that
striving for democracy is an important foundation for the protection of
human dignity, of individual freedoms, of freedom of religion, and of the
human rights specified in the UN Charter. 
> But it is precisely these moral values, which are universally valid in
our eyes, that cause us to reject the war that your government and its
allies (us included) in the "alliance against terror" are waging in
Afghanistan - and which has cost the lives of more than 4,000 innocent
bystanders to date, including many women and children - with the same
rigorousness with which we condemn the mass murder of innocent bystanders
by the terrorist attack. There are no universally valid values that allow
one to justify one mass murder by another. The war of the "alliance against
terror" in Afghanistan is no "just war" - an ill-starred historical concept
that we do not accept - on the contrary, it flagrantly violates even the
condition you cite, "to protect the innocent from certain harm". Democratic
states possess sufficiently developed means under the rule of law to combat
crime within their sphere of influence, and to call the guilty to account.
What we need to do is to extend these pr!
> oven means globally, in close cooperation with other states. 
> We cannot understand why you do not devote a single word of your appeal
to the mass murder of the Afghan civilian population resulting from the
bombing campaign conducted with the most modern weapon systems. The
inviolability of human dignity applies not only to people in the United
States, but also to people in Afghanistan, and even to the Taliban and the
al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo. In your appeal, you invoke the
universality of your moral standards, while at the same time applying them
only to yourselves. By this selective usage, you call precisely their
universal validity into question drastically, thus evoking great doubts
about the genuineness of your own avowal. How can the doubts raised about
these moral standards in other cultures be dispelled, if - of all people -
the elites of U.S. civilization, who see themselves as advocates and
guardians of these values, bring the belief in the universality of these
values into discredit? Can we expect other nations and cult!
> ures to perceive the application of dual standards as anything but the
expression of continuing Western arrogance and ignorance? 
> And, in view of the overwhelming evidence of the historical facts, we
cannot follow you when you write that your country "At times ... has
pursued misguided and unjust policies". The United States made an
outstanding contribution to the liberation of Europe from the yoke of
Naziism. However, as a leading superpower during the period of East-West
confrontation, it was also largely responsible for grave abuses in the
world. By numerous covert to directly military interventions, such as in
Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, in the Iran-Iraq
war on the Iraqi side, and many others, the United States supported regimes
which ruled by state terrorism and million-fold murder of opposition
forces, and prevented democratization processes. Frequently enough, freely
elected governments fell victim to these interventions. 
> Many of the undersigned hoped that, after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, a new era of disarmament, international understanding, dialog
between cultures, and hope for the billions of people suffering from and
humiliated by hunger and disease would begin. After four decades of hate,
mutual threats, and the arms race, we expected and worked for the Western
industrialized nations to put their creative potential in the service of
overcoming poverty and environmental destruction, and developing democracy.
But these expectations were disappointed. Instead, the United States
concentrated its imagination and its scientific, technical, and economic
capacities on strengthening its position as the sole remaining superpower
in the world, and establishing a unipolar world order. In that order, it
attempts to decide the fate of peoples largely on its own authority. Much
evidence, such as the systematic establishment of U.S. military bases in
the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia,!
>  supports this assessment. 
> This makes analyses seem plausible according to which the United States,
contrary to official proclamations, is not mainly pursuing humanitarian
goals, combating terrorism, or seeking to prevent the spread of weapons of
mass destruction, in the Middle East and in Central Asia, including
Afghanistan, but rather is guided by geostrategic motives. Indeed, its
access to the oil wells of this region, that are essential to the world
economy, and to the oil transportation routes, considerably increases the
United States' geostrategic options for strengthening its hegemonic
position not only vis--vis the weakened superpower Russia and the rising
regional power China, but also vis--vis Europe and Japan, for the next few
> Despite disputes about such assessments, we all largely agree that the
concentration of vast power potentials in a single country, and the
military capability of imposing one's own will on others are an important
source of instability in transnational and transcultural relations. It has
also become a source of the feeling of impotence and of humiliation in
particular for those people who feel themselves to be victims of this
imbalance of power. The presence of U.S. troops within reach of Islamic
holy sites in Saudi Arabia, for example, which is obviously regarded by
many Muslims as a thorn in their flesh and an attack on their own culture
and self-esteem, symbolizes this imbalance of power that is felt to be a
threat. Their own inferiority, perceived as unjust, evokes an affective
loss of inhibitions, mobilizing a huge potential for reaction, up to the
willingness to sacrifice one's own life, too, in suicide assassinations.
Such reactions, as a consequence of the instability o!
> f the balance of power in the present unipolar world order, are not
specific to one culture. They could be triggered in any other part of the
world and at any other time in new forms. A war of the winners against the
suicide attacks of the losers is an anachronism. It eliminates scruples and
mobilizes even greater willingness for terrorist attacks and terrorist
military operations, as in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The current form
of globalization, which heightens social inequalities and destroys cultural
differentiation, contributes to the instabilities and tensions that erupt
in violent reactions. 
> We are concerned to see that prominent persons in your President's
entourage are demanding more and more aggressively from Europeans total
obedience to America, and seeking to stifle any criticism from Europe by
means of blackmail, with statements such as "Europe needs America, but
America does not need Europe". The "unlimited solidarity" of our, and many
another European government with the United States, and their willingness
to support the War on Terror uncritically, is perceived by many people here
as weakness and a deprivation of the right to decide for oneself. The
political class in Europe has obviously not grasped that its obsequious
submission to the superior and sole superpower is not only a policy without
prospects, but is also creating a favorable climate for agitation by forces
of the radical Right. And, to our regret, the governments of the EU member
states have until now neglected to develop an independent EU foreign,
security, and peace policy for the Near and !
> Middle East, for Central Asia, and for their relations to the Islamic
world, based on cooperation, and on the indivisibility of human dignity and
human rights. Indeed, we must fear that, due to their lack of any clear
vision, and despite their criticism, they will in the end be willing to
give moral legitimacy to an American war on Iraq, or even participate
> Many of us feel that the growing influence of fundamentalist forces in
the United States on the political elite of your country, which clearly
extends all the way to the White House, is cause for concern. The division
of the world into "good" and "evil", the stigmatization of entire countries
and their populations, will tend to incite racist, nationalistic, and
religious fanaticism, and to deprive people of their ability to perceive
living reality in a differentiated way, and of the insight that differences
and cultural variety are not a misfortune, but a blessing for all, and that
even the most powerful persons on earth will only prosper in the long run
if the world is seen as a whole, whose richness and beauty consists in the
differences. Fundamentalism begins with declaring one's own culture to be
the only true, good, and beautiful one. Fundamentalist reactions to the
real conflicts in our world close our eyes to civilian and nonviolent
solutions for these conflicts, and on!
> ly speed up the mutual escalation of terrorism and war. 
> With dismay, we have also heard from our American friends and
professional colleagues that scholars and journalists are being put under
pressure and denounced as traitors if they discuss critically or reject
their government's war policy. Make sure that the pluralism of thought and
liberal tradition of your country are not impaired under the pretext of
combating terrorism. Help to halt the advance of the fundamentalist
mentality in the United States. Those American values which you refer to
with pride are being tested. 
> There are certainly various ways to combat terrorist suicide attacks. We
have different opinions on the subject. But we are all deeply convinced
that respect for human dignity is a basic precondition for all approaches
to a solution. Only if the view that the West, as the most economically and
militarily powerful group of cultures, is serious about the universality of
human rights and dignity, that this is not merely a phrase trotted out when
it is convenient, becomes accepted throughout the world, and in the
economically and militarily weaker nations and cultures, only then will the
likelihood increase that terrorist suicide bombings will not find the
intended response, but encounter vehement rejection in all countries. Only
if the weaker people of this world feel certain that no state, no matter
how powerful, will injure their dignity, humiliate them, or arbitrarily
harm their living conditions, only then will these people find the strength
and willingness to open their eyes!
>  and hearts to the moral values of other cultures. And only then will the
preconditions exist for a genuine dialogue between cultures to begin. 
> We need morally justified, globally acceptable, and universally respected
common rules of play for the way people live together, which emphasize
cooperation instead of confrontation, and undermine the anxieties created
by the accelerating changes in our surroundings and the constantly growing
potentials for violence, as well as the security obsessions resulting from
them. This will provide opportunities to structure the mainly
business-oriented globalization more justly, to tackle worldwide poverty
effectively, to defuse the global environmental hazards together, to
resolve conflicts by peaceful means, and to create a world culture that can
speak in not just one, but many tongues. 
> We call on you to engage in an open dialogue with us and with
intellectuals from other parts of the world about this and other
perspectives for our common future. 
> [Translated from the German by Timothy Slater] 
> Signatories: 
> Prof. Hans Ackermann, Marburg
> Dr. Stephan Albrecht, Hamburg
> Dr. Franz Alt, Baden-Baden
> Prof. Elmar Altvater, Berlin
> Carl Amery, Munich
> Prof. Klaus J. Bade, Osnabrck
> Prof. Hans-Eckehard Bahr, Bochum
> Tobias Baur, Berlin
> Franz J. Bautz, Munich
> Prof. Jrg Becker, Solingen
> Dr. Peter Becker, Marburg
> Dr. Wolfgang Bender, Kronberg
> Prof. Adelheid Biesecker, Bremen
> Michael Bouteiller, Lbeck
> Prof. Elmar Brhler, Leipzig
> Dr. Dieter Bricke, Bergen
> Dr. Nikolaus und Nedialka Bubner, Berlin
> Annelie Buntenbach, Berlin
> Prof. Andreas Buro, Grvenwiesbach
> Prof. Wolfgang Dubler, Dusslingen
> Gerhard Diefenbach, Aachen
> Hermann H. Dieter, Trebbin-Blankensee
> Prof. Klaus Drner, Hamburg
> Tankred Dorst, Munich
> Prof. Hans-Peter Drr, Munich
> Dr. Matthias Engelke, Trier
> Prof. Andreas Flitner, Tbingen
> Helmut Frenz, Hamburg
> Prof. Georges Flgraff, Berlin
> Prof. Bernhard Glaeser, Berlin
> Prof. Ulrich Gottstein, Frankfurt
> Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald, Munich
> Jrgen Grsslin, Freiburg
> Bernd Hanfeld, Hamburg
> Dr. Dirk-Michael Harmsen, Karlsruhe
> Prof. Bodo Hambrecht, Berlin
> Prof. Heinz und Brigitte Hberle, Herrsching
> Irmgard Heilberger, Neuburg
> Christoph Hein, Berlin
> Prof. Peter Hennicke, Wuppertal
> Detlef Hensch, Berlin
> Prof. Wolfgang Hesse, Marburg
> Prof. Helmut Holzapfel, Kassel
> Ina Hnninger, Weling
> Prof. Willi Hoss and Heidemarie Hoss-Rohweder, Stuttgart
> Prof. Ferdinand Hucho, Berlin
> Prof. Jrg Huffschmid, Bremen
> Otto Jaeckel, Wiesbaden
> Prof. Siegfried and Dr. Margarete Jger, Duisburg
> Prof. Walter Jens, Tbingen
> Heiko Kauffmann, Meerbusch
> Prof. Wolfgang Klein, Berlin
> Irmgard Koll, Mllheim
> Hans Krieger, Munich
> Prof. Ekkehart Krippendorff, Berlin
> Helmar Krupp, Weingarten
> Nils Leopold, Berlin
> Herbert Leuninger, Hofheim
> Frauke Liesenborghs, Munich
> Volker Lindemann, Schleswig
> Prof. Dieter S. Lutz, Hamburg
> Prof. Birgit Mahnkopf, Berlin
> Prof. Mohssen Massarrat, Osnabrck
> Prof. Ingeborg Maus, Frankfurt
> Prof. Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich, Essen
> Prof. Klaus Meschkat, Hannover
> PD Dr. Klaus Metz, Berlin
> Prof. Dietmar Mieth, Tbingen
> Reinhard Mokros, Mnchengladbach
> Dr. Till Mller-Heidelberg, Bingen
> Prof. Norman Paech, Hamburg
> Gunda Rachert, Osnabrck
> Prof. Horst-Eberhard Richter
> Dr. Fredrik Roggan, Bremen
> Prof. Rolf Rosenbrock, Berlin
> Prof. Werner Ruf, Kassel
> Peter Rhmkorf, Hamburg
> Prof. Fritz Sack, Hamburg
> Dr. Gerd Dieter Schmid, Fischbachau
> Horst Schmitthenner, Frankfurt
> Prof. Jrgen Schneider, Gttingen
> Dr. Schiltenwolf, Heidelberg
> Friedrich Schorlemmer, Wittenberg
> Prof. Herbert Schui, Buchholz
> Prof. Randeria Shalini, Berlin
> Tilman Spengler, Ambach
> Prof. Dorothee Slle, Hamburg
> Eckart Stevens-Bartol, Munich
> Prof. Harmen Storck, Hannover
> Frank Uhe, Berlin
> Peter Vonnahme, Kaufering
> Dr. Reinhard Vo, Bad Vilbel
> Peter Wahl, Bonn
> Gnter Wallraff, Cologne
> Dr. Rainer Werning, Frechen
> Christa Wichterich, Bonn
> Walter Wilken, Hannover
> Frieder-Otto Wolf, Berlin
> Dr. Herbert Wulf, Pinneberg 
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> ltima actualizacin (mes/da/ao) 07/13/2002 15:08:50  filosofos.org 2000/
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