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Journey 20 - IS THERE ANY END TO WAR?

Nuclear weapons add nothing new to the problem of war. Even in Neolithic times, it was possible
for war to destroy a community, with all its inhabitants wiped out, its buildings burned and leveled
with its language and traditions utterly lost and forgotten. Nearly every "tell" in the Middle East,
tells us just such a dreary and dreadful story. War is not new and neither is total war. Strategies for
conflict avoidance or conflict survival have not changed either. All the known strategies have been
tried many times. There are consistent patterns in the success or failure of these strategies. The
solution to the nuclear madness is the solution to the problem of war. We know the solution. It is
the ideal of higher community. What it means is those two formerly warring communities combine
into a larger community stronger than any one of the factions. This is not an idealistic pipedream. It
has happened many times.

Remember Romeo and Juliet? This is a true story from medieval Verona. The story of the young
lovers is set against the backdrop of a clan feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. Each
clan built its own tower, trying to build one taller than anyone else’s. These medieval towers still
exist in some small Italian towns. Medieval city-states were plagued with armed clashes between
clans in some periods, and clashes between classes in other periods. For instance, the Guelfs and
the Ghibellines were political factions in Italy who fought each another in the last 200 years of the
medieval period. The Guelfs represented the free merchant class of cities like Florence, whereas the
Ghibellines were the Imperial Vicars of Italian cities controlled by the Holy Roman Emperor, and
their followers.

Stable city-states were finally achieving success everywhere in the time of Machiavelli. Naturally,
he approved of this. Peace is always preferable to chaos. THE PRINCE is part observation of the
process at work and part prescription.

As soon as baronies and city-states became strong enough to keep peace between clans and classes,
they began waging war on one another. Perhaps you have read about the war between Genoa and
Venice when Genoa captured Marco Polo? If Genoa had not captured him, we would not have had
the book of his travels. He dictated it to a fellow prisoner. Genoa and Venice were always fighting.
Florence, Siena and Pisa were often at war with one another.

Hundreds of years of war between France and England make up the medieval history of those two
countries, retarding the Renaissance in both places. Crecy, Agincourt, the Hundred Years War, the
Thirty Years War, and the Napoleonic Wars are just a few names that swim up from the dismal
history of France and England from the Norman Conquest until World Wars 1 and 2. It is only now,
with the Chunnel and the European Economic Union that we can at last be sure that the major states
of Europe have ceased their bloody and pointless feuding.

World War Two was the last of the global wars between states. The reason is the appearance on the
scene of a larger political unit, the nation of states. For a time, there were two "United States," the
United States of America and the United States of Soviet Republics. Now there is only one, the
USA, since the USSR unfortunately came apart at the seams. This is always unfortunate, because
the internal states are soon at war, as in Chechnya. Soon, there will be two nation-states again, as

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the EEC and NATO evolve into a European nation of states. No individual state can stand up to a
nation.

Not only are NATO and the EEC steadily growing more united, they have gained new members,
and many of the former communist states of Eastern Europe have now joined, and there will be a
de facto United States of Europe that may include all of linguistic and demographic Europe.

Dissolution of the USSR and of Yugoslavia as well as the US Civil war sounds a cautionary note.
The temporary union of a group of sub-communities does not mean they have formed one
community. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn't. Before our own Civil war, we had one
government, but two communities. Only recently can we really call the USA a single community of
states.

Can we integrate the fanatic hate-filled masses of the Middle East into this global harmony? Not as
long as they believe the mad Mullahs of Saudi Arabia, teaching the Jihadist doctrine of Wahhabism.
The Mullahs are still living in a medieval world, when Islam was the superior civilization. Moslem
peoples will have to forget these dreams of returning to a past paradise. They will either join the
21st Century, and become secular nations, with a clear separation of church and state, or they will
be nuked out of existence.