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The Aesthetic Dynamics of Peace – International Peace Coalition Meeting #46

The Aesthetic Dynamics of Peace – International Peace Coalition Meeting #46

by Kevin Gribbroek

I think the whole concept of the Oasis Plan is exactly to interrupt forever this cycle of Intifada revenge. The whole point is that if there is no justice in allowing a two-state solution and the full equal rights and right to development for all, then the violence will continue…. You have to switch and leave the past behind you and have a beautiful vision of the future, which gives hope to all the participants in the conflict….

This principle of hope and having a beautiful vision is what has to elevate people out of the pit. And art and music and poetry are absolutely important–we are suffering as a humanity of a terrible flatness—of a two-dimensionality in the thinking—which has come along with the monetarist outlook, and just thinking in terms of profit. All of this is just flattening the Earth to two-dimensions, and we must urgently get to a much more beautiful world.

Helga zepp-larouche

April 19—The 46th consecutive meeting of the International Peace Coalition (IPC) was convened today, less than a week after the historic Schiller Institute “Oasis Plan” conference. Although the main focus of the meeting was the Oasis Plan—as a feature of an overall policy of peace through development—an important theme developed towards the end of the proceedings on the importance of beautiful art to inspire and ennoble people; to lift them “out of the pit.” In fact, what became evident, was that beautiful art and economic development are in reality integral parts of the same whole, with power to bring about true, lasting peace by creating for people the vision of a beautiful, more prosperous future.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute and co-founder of the IPC, began the proceedings with her assessment that “we are experiencing one of the most traumatic shifts in the alignment of the world” driven by the emergence of a new world order. As this process unfolds, one can expect “major seizures, and effects, and dramatic convulsions,” including the danger of global war, until we have reached a more peaceful level of cooperation among nations. The IPC is unique in that it’s not simply against war and for peace, but presents a blueprint of how peace can be achieved—peace through economic development. She highlighted the fact that high-ranking diplomats from four nations, Palestine, South Africa, Russia, and Belarus, at the April 13, Schiller Institute conference, openly endorsed the Oasis Plan. However, that same day, Iran launched a missile and drone attack against Israel in retaliation for Israel’s April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, demonstrating just how close we are to World War III.

The next speaker, Terry Lodge, lawyer and long-time member of Veterans for Peace, described a recent letter sent to President Biden, the State Department, and the Department of Energy. The letter summarizes the history of Israel’s “very troubling” nuclear weapons program, and details the fact that under U.S. law, financial aid must be denied to any country not in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This, of course, would apply to Israel. With no “delusion” that the U.S. will cut aid to Israel, nonetheless he expressed his hope that the IPC will serve as a vehicle for generating international discussion about the Biden administration’s inability to follow its own legal standards. According to Lodge, Benjamin Netanyahu was directly involved in the smuggling operation that resulted in Israel acquiring nuclear weapons technology.

Jack Gilroy, of Pax Christi, gave a report on recent direct-action activities targeting the military-financial complex. On April 15, tax day, Gilroy and his collaborators conducted demonstrations outside three arms manufacturers in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area: General Dynamics, producer of 155mm artillery shells; Lockheed Martin, largest defense corporation in the world, and producer of the laser-guided Paveway bombs; and finally to BAE Systems, producer of the M777 Howitzer.

Jose Vega, independent LaRouche candidate for New York’s 15th District Congressional seat, reported from the Bronx, where he is currently leading a petitioning drive to get his name on the ballot. Vega characterized his campaign as “flooding the Bronx with optimism—spreading a message of hope and peace. Despite the fact that his district in one of the poorest in the nation, with 30% of residents way below the poverty level, his opponent, Congressman Ritchie Torres, is campaigning as a “champion of Israel.” We all must emulate the IPC through a “dialogue and discussion process”:

The residents of the Bronx should be coming together to discuss foreign policy, to discuss international conflicts as well as what’s happening in their own neighborhoods, because it is all one thing. Our foreign policy is our domestic policy, because what’s happening in Gaza, how we treat other countries, is a reflection of how we treat our own country; how we treat our own neighborhoods.

Jose Vega

Ray McGovern, retired CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, spoke about the April 17 opinion piece by Joe Biden in the Wall Street Journal. Biden made a pitch for billions of dollars in supplemental funding for Ukraine, trumpeting its tremendous benefit for the U.S. economy. McGovern called this the Military Industrial Complex on steroids, which will only benefit the rich.

An interesting dialogue emerged as a result of a report given by a leader of the Mexican LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) during the discussion period. She recounted her experience at a recent pro-Palestine, where a planned showing of the “Oasis Plan” video was preempted by the event organizers in favor of a “horrible, harsh” video showing the gory images of people suffering and dying in Gaza. The event organizers seemed uninterested in discussing solutions, despite their good intentions. The question was asked: How do we get people to understand that these violent, horrific videos do not ennoble and empower, but rather dehumanize and desensitize the population?

Zepp-LaRouche addressed the question by expressing her belief that it is necessary to expose the death and suffering, dwelling on that “breeds hatred and violence and desperation; pessimism” which is counterproductive. What needs to be accomplished is to evoke humanity, “to strengthen that in people which is the divine spark; which makes them reject any such violence forever.” One of the ways to accomplish this is through a truly artistic treatment of the subject. She offered an incredibly moving 3-minute video featuring Dieter Hallervorden, a famous German actor, reciting his poem “GAZA GAZA,” against a video panorama of the destruction of Gaza, and other images, during which he addressed the people of Gaza directly, by turning his back to the audience who thus saw him talking to Gaza, and would turn from time to time back to the audience, invoking compassion and passion for peace.

In her closing remarks, Zepp-LaRouche came back to this theme of aesthetic beauty, tied integrally to the “Westphalian” approach of peace through development–the only way the “cycle of violence” in Southwest Asia can be interrupted. Although this may seem impossible, to survive, people must make an “intellectual jump,” to “leave the past behind, and have a beautiful vision of the future, which gives hope to all participants in the conflict.” She cited Friedrich Schiller’s poem “[[Hope]]”:[[]] “We are born for that which is better!” and concluded by insisting that building the momentum for a development solution is “the dynamic that can move mountains.”

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