Communication Not Bullets

Why is Jimmy Carter getting so much flak? His mission, it seems to me, is to achieve peace in an area that has seen none in the last 50 years. And he is intent on using communication instead of bullets to achieve this peace. To those who would argue that we should not communicate with those with whom we disagree, I would ask: Isn’t this a better way to resolve differences than killing people? And hasn’t Iraq taught us that military action before talking about it—in this case with those with whom we disagreed as well as with our allies—can only spell disaster? One letter to the editor of the New York Times (4/23/08) put it this way: “It is with one’s enemies, after all—not preferred interlocutors—that treaties ending wars must be made.” It’s one of the most obvious statements that can be made about conflict resolution and yet, it’s denied and Carter is made to look like the enemy. Carter is trying to save lives and make life better for both Israelis and Palestinians and he’s trying to use communication instead of military action.
I can only surmise that those who do not want to resolve matters through communication, prefer to resolve them by killing those with whom they disagree. Is this the kind of world we want—where military action is the only alternative considered? To both Israelis and Palestinians: Sit down and talk (and don't get up until a resolution is achieved) unless you want to continue this senseless and horrendous war, where nobody wins and everyone loses. Surprising as this may seem, communication is preferable to war. Communication not bullets.

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