March 8th, 2003
To all Peoples of the Earth,
War is the greatest violation of human rights that one people can inflict on another. It brings deaths and injuries, starvation, diseases, millions of people
losing their homes and livelihoods, and massive destruction of property.
Children and teenagers are placed in internment camps, and several are often forced to serve as soldiers. War not only corrupts the morals of soldiers, it leads to a decline
in the morality of the whole nation.
Political and military leaders are always convinced that their particular war is justified. From their point of view, there are several reasons to go
to war: loyalty to allies, religion, a thirst for power, greed, ancient grievances to be settled, or the desire to alleviate suffering among their people.
A non-violent settlement to a conflict would always be more advantageous. War is self-defeating because it cannot secure what it sets out to achieve, protection against attack. The hatred for the enemy
whipped up by war and the desire for revenge among the losers leads to an accursed vicious circle from which there is no escape. The difference between
aggressive and defensive, or just and unjust wars, is ridiculous. They are tags each side adopted to suit its interests. War and militarism destroy civil liberties within a nation.
What happens to a person's conscience when he/she wears the uniform of the soldier? It is enslaved to the state. He must kill when ordered. No government, whether
democratic or despotic, can allow the soldier to decide what to do according to his conscience. That would undermine discipline and the power to fight.
The Earth Community claims that everyone on Earth should be able to live in peace. This peace
movement is about courage. Not the courage it takes to go into battle but the courage
to organize resistance to war when a bloody taste for it inflames the world, and the threat of prison in a nation where the human rights and freedom of expression have diminished significantly. It is
about the courage to say NO to the war industry. It is an industry that destroys life on Earth, corrupts society, and violates morality. Military intervention
in the affairs of other nations is wrong. There are other ways, there are peaceful ways, ways that are not based on profit-making and the gain of power for itself.
We are conscientious objectors, non-resistants.
There are several reasons for objecting to war: religious, moral and political. People have different degrees of refusal to go to war. Absolute pacifists such as the Earth Community will not
cooperate with any preparation for war as decided by the war industry, let alone war itself. Others will accept some kinds of service so long as they are not forced to fight. And others
are willing to fight in "just wars." The idea of the "just war" began with St. Augustine. Late in the fourth century he argued that the good
Christian, barred from doing violence on his own behalf, could take arms in a war that was just. Several theologians now say that the standards for a just war are:
a) War must be the last resort and used only after other means have failed.
b) War must be declared to redress rights actually violated or for defence against unjust demands backed by the threat of force. It must not be fought simply to satisfy national pride or to further economic or territorial gain.
c) The war must be openly and legally declared by a legal government.
d) There must be a reasonable chance of winning.
e) The means used must be in proportion to the ends sought.
f) Soldiers must distinguish between armies and civilians and not killed civilians in purpose.
g) The winner must not required the utter humiliation of the loser.
It can be debated whether any war has ever satisfied all these reasonable conditions.
The people of the Earth Community are dedicated in using our resources to resolve
conflict, promote democracy, and fight hunger, terrorism, disease, and human and Earth rights abuses. In order to bring about the event of peace, the Earth Community
is offering other good organizations around the world to work together to bring warring parties to peace. We can accomplish this task by concrete actions such as:
a) Tracking armed conflicts within and between nations around the world and offering assistance in dispute resolution;
b) Promoting human and Earth rights and democracy;
c) Monitoring democratic elections; and
d) Educating the public about the advantages of a peaceful solution to any conflict.
The Earth Community Organization (ECO) has given
back responsibility to every citizen on Earth. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being
of life within Earth Community. We will work together in working out sound solutions to local and global problems. It would be wrong and dishonest to
blame it all on the leader of a country. Most problems in the world must find solutions at the local and global community levels (and not assume that the
leader alone is responsible and will handle it). There is a wisdom in the ways of very humble people
that needs to be utilized. Every humble person deserves to have ideas respected, and encouraged to develop his or her own life for the better.
Sound solutions to help manage and sustain Earth will very likely be found this way. Everyone can help assess the needs of the planet and
propose sound solutions for its proper management, present and future. Everyone can think of better ideas to sustain all life on Earth and
realize these ideas by conducting positive and constructive actions. When there is a need to find a solution to a problem or a concern, a sound
solution would be to choose a measure or conduct an action, if possible, which causes reversible damage as opposed to a measure or an
action causing an irreversible loss; that is the grassroots process. The Earth Community Organization can help people realized their actions by
coordinating efforts efficiently together.
The responsibility of a peacemaker is to settle differences through compromise and negotiation before they erupt into violence.
Conflicting views do not have to bring about fighting. War is an irreversible solution to a problem. War is never an appropriate solution to resolve
The worst environmental degradation happens in wars. Farm products in fields and livestock are abandoned, there is no more control on toxic wastes, and water, air,
and land are polluted. People are displaced and feel no longer responsible for the quality of life in their communities. Historically, the industrialized nations
have caused the most damage to the environment, with their careless technology and policies. Emissions from factories and vehicles have caused
ozone depletion and acid rain. Leaders of the wealthier nations must be willing to accept responsibility for past mistakes and to help pay the financial burden
for environmental protection of the developing nations. This is the most damaging conflict of interests between the rich industrialized countries
and those that are poor and struggling just for existence. The Earth Community must help wealthy and poorer nations reach a better understanding of each
other's needs. All aspects are interrelated: peace, human rights and the environment. The poor is more concerned with ending starvation,
finding a proper shelter and employment, and helping their children to survive. Environmental issues become meaningless to the poor. In reality, all concerns are interrelated.
As soon as the environment is destroyed beyond repair, human suffering is next. Ecology has no boundaries. All nations suffer the effects of
air pollution, global warming, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, acid rain, ozone depletion, silting of streams, and countless of other
environmental problems. This was the reason for proposing to the Earth Community the Scale of Human and Earth Rights.
The Earth Community wants to provide a forum where international conflicts could be argued and resolved peacefully. Because of hatred and mistrust, disputing
parties always find it difficult to express constructive ideas or proposals. A face-to-face meeting may not even be possible. The Earth Community offers to be a trusted
third party that would carry ideas back and forth, put forward new proposals until both sides agree. When both parties feel they have gained more than
they have lost from the process, the outcome is a win-win settlement for peace.
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Copyright © 2000 Earth Government for Earth Community
Last modified: March 05, 2003