- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 1, 2009

In his Friday Commentary column, “What is peace?”, Austin Bay indicated that peace is an illusion because of certain innate traits of human nature such as greed, pride, an inability to trust and other human weaknesses. Though this may be true for individuals, it does not necessarily apply to countries.

For example, the European Union demonstrates that countries that have hated each other for generations (France and Germany) can live together under a common system of governance. Today, global trouble spots are well-known, but the U.N. system is such that resolutions seeking peace in Congo, Sudan (Darfur), North Korea, Zimbabwe and elsewhere have largely proved ineffective.

A few years ago, under U.N. sponsorship, major members signed on to Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which requires as a last resort that military action be taken to bring about peace. The time has come for the signatories of R2P to take necessary actions, including military action, to resolve situations in which thousands are dying or threatened with death in the countries listed above.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, whom the United States removed from his homeland to a federal prison, was a model of propriety when compared with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il of North Korea. The time has long passed for R2P to be implemented. May one of the first changes under the administration of President-elect Barack Obama be a new life under a system of law and order for the failed and fragile nations of our world.



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