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Satish Kumar has been able to express in very few words exactly how I feel on the issues of terrorism and Iraq. Perhaps his words can be used to influence the behaviour of our political leaders. Michael Wolff Thought for the Day, 23 November 2002 - BBC Radio 4 Satish Kumar President Bush speaking in Prague this week has reiterated his view that we are engaged in a “new war”. It is a war against terrorism. Our Prime Minister Tony Blair agrees with him. Some time back Mr Blair used to say, “ that we must be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”. In the wake of terrorist attacks in New York, New Delhi, Moscow, Bali and continuous events in Israel it is time for us to think how to be tough on the causes of terrorism. If we look at the history it is clear that terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone. Although we may never be able to abolish terrorism altogether, in order to keep it in check we need to apply political and philosophical means as vigorously as military ones. >From the Buddhist perspective the deepest cause of any conflict is rooted in the idea of dualism: the notion of “us” versus ”them”; “good” verses “evil”. Seeing things in separate boxes. But as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian novelist said “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being” Once the world is divided into “the self and the other” we are forced to act in self interest and self defence. We create artificial concepts like “National Interest”. The British national interest then clashes with Iraqi national interest and Iraqi national interest conflicts with American national interest. All wars and disputes stem from this dualistic conviction that there is always a divergence of interests among nations, races and religions. Be it Israelis and Palestinians, Russians and Chechens, Indians and Pakistanis, Americans and Iraqis. The present day politics is dominated by the idea that the pursuit of self interest is a natural force of progress. But if every person and every nation is ruled by self interest then there can be no end to terrorism. Therefore, it is a security imperative to move from the idea of self interest to the idea of common interest. If we are serious about dealing with the causes of terrorism then a fundamental shift is needed; a shift from division to dialogue where there is no “us and them” instead there is just “us and us”. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk