From the particular (that’s you and me) to the general (that’s large groups of people, crowds, states, countries), deductive/inductive reasoning brings them all together.
It is no news that individuals declare war on each other, either politely or perhaps in (civil?) court.
To plead that there would be no war if only nations were sensible and settled their differences by negotiation is a waste of breath.
To argue that the solution lies in world federalism, well, that’s not going to happen. A friend just back from a visit to his homeland tells me that even in the United Kingdom today, you will not see the Union Jack being proudly flown outside homes any more. (The Union flag comprised the individual flags of England, Scotland and Ireland superimposed. Wales was never represented, but do have their own flag.) Instead, the flag you see will depend upon where you are in the U.K. I was quite shocked!
So, countries don’t want to merge, and individuals love to fight, and if you don’t agree, spend a little time observing behavior in family courts across the land, or your nearest bar, and nothing will change that. It is in our nature.
Another useful argument is that we should ignore leaders who bring about war. The problem with that argument is that leaders have followers who obey unquestioningly. If only the followers had personal consciences and morals, and would refuse to fight. Nice thought, won’t happen.
I’ve already written on the theme of war and how history shows that fought to a conclusion, it is a healthy part of human development and brings about life changes that are accepted by all combatants, unlike a negotiated peace (check the Treaty of Paris, or the first Gulf war).
So, I believe that combatants should be allowed to have at each other under watchful eyes. That current fierce combatants should be allowed to declare open war on each other.
Weapons of Mass Destruction would be banned. Defined as any weapon that can have an effect on the rest of the world’s population. Didn’t that happen already, with mustard gas during WWI? Wasn’t it banned under the Geneva Convention?
As for suicide bombers – did that change the rules? No, that’s nothing new. Both sides were happy to exercise that choice, and did, during WWII.
The answer is that the rest of the world could join together, armed with strong, superior, punitive measures to target all sides. The U.N. could but won’t be that union. They prefer words.
Perhaps this solution is happening now, even as we speak. Just so long as the big powers who possess the superior weapons stay out of it.
And now, let us pray . . . .