Posts by: World Peace Foundation

In this posting, we present a voice from the African American community, from a slightly later period, but which we think speaks strongly to today. Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was an American author of poetry, plays, novels, short stories and essay—one of the brilliant writers to emerge as part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1936, he published “Let America Be America Again,” a poem that articulates a vision of a country that excluded his own community of African-Americans among others–the Native population and the poor–and that transforms an illusion of past greatness into a call to action to forge the country we would yet want to see.

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Those who are interested in the outlawry of war are not interested in it as a panacea, but as a supplement to all other means of obtaining peaceful settlement of disputes, and we all know that there is going to be no one way out, but we must put war outside the sanction of law. We have built up this human institution and we can tear it down much more quickly than we have built it up. By the nation saying that we have come to the conclusion that this human institution is futile and stupid, and therefore we will not sanction it legally, then we can proceed unhampered toward organization to take care of the problems that confront us as a nation in our international relations.

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As we near the end of 2016, we turn to voices from the past who inspire us in our work. As a toast for the new year, we are launching a short series of excerpts from writing authored by those who worked for peace and social justice in the early twentieth century, broadly around the time of the founding of the World Peace Foundation (1910). Their work is not necessarily a blueprint for ours today, not only in how the problems were defined but also in its membership and the articulation of solutions. For instance, the movement was dominated by voices of people of European descent, whether resident in Europe or North America, a limitation in the imagination and scope of the movement. Nonetheless, their eloquence, even as they struggled for a cause that at times seemed hopeless, remind us that we are part of larger community historically and today committed to building more just and less violent world.

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We are pleased to draw to your attention a new report by Sam Perlo-Freeman, project manager for our program on the Global Arms Business and Corruption. The report, “Special Treatment: UK Government support for the arms trade and industry,” was authored by Perlo-Freeman while he was at SIPRI, who describes it thus: “The arms industry and market, in the UK as in most other significant western arms-producing countries, has a unique status. Although its production capabilities are privately owned, it has the national government as its primary customer. Unlike other industries, especially in the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ economies, it is the subject of active government industrial policy.”

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We are adding to this discussion by highlighting some key foreign policy debates that we would have liked to see discussed–and which we hope might still enter the public debate under a new administration. Our goal is to use this blog as a platform for a wide-ranging discussion of how U.S. foreign policy could be reshaped to contribute to peaceful international relations, while rising to today’s global challenges. We seek an exchange of ideas from those who are in favor of committed internationalism, but support a range of policies and approaches. Please feel free to join in the comments or via Facebook, and add the questions you wished had been seriously debated in the Presidential elections.

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In the of the 3 November 2016 edition of the London Review of Books, Alex de Waal reviews From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda 1990-94 by André Guichaoua, translated by Don Webster. Below are excerpts, the full review is available from LRB.

There was certainly a determined effort to kill every Tutsi […]

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