New times, and then? The right questions could bring good answers. How
long should things last? How long, for example, should SFOR and the
international commmunity stay in Bosnia?
Maybe more interesting is to ask which conditions should be matched, or even better, which arguments should be used from which the choices and decisions flow into reality.
A lot is said about ideology and the fact that this is still strongly
present in the western societies, although these are not defined and in
general this is often denied. In the Volkskrant (one of Hollands daily
newspapers) there was a serie of articles about this. I remember Anet
Bleich who was modest, alert and therefor fantastic again, but there was
published so much it became impossible to read it all. Many famous
journalists, scientists and writers put a lot of effort to put it all on
paper. Also the politicians joined in but Big Bill couldn't do more than
glorify recent history of his own country en there weren't others who
had the ability (or guts) to beat him. A fenomenem in which you can see that
ideology, connected with time related culturcaracteristics indeed still
plays a big role.
By the way, pretty interestinbg to save all these articles written and published in connection about the millennium change and it seems to me a fantastic collection of articles, written in a short period, written by wise people who tried to discribe elements of the future. Finally some visions were discribed.
Probably a collection like this could be published easily (and in case you know about publications like this, on paper or on the web, please inform us about it.)
To explain a bit more the remark I made in the beginningabout 'which
arguments should be used' I would like to say the following; at this
very moment, january 2000, the choise how long (English) soldiers must stay
in Bosnia is presented through the (English) media as a choice of
politicians with the headline: 'Many fellow countryman not at home with Christmas.'
In case soldiers were really complaining I think it had more to do with
the millenniuncelebrations but what so ever, it has nothing to do with
Bosnia (Or Kosovo, East Timor, Northern Ireland or Germany, other countries
where English soldiers are stationed and the government would like to cut the
number of troops and expanses.)
You could wonder if they really ever will leave at all because, for example, they are still in Germany 50 years after that war, but this side of the discussion were are not going to explore, this time.
Because of this radical onesided argument the faith of Bosnia is (partly) pointed out plus the (English) public is shown that the importance of Christmas is far bigger than the importance of the future of the 'people in need we came to help'. NOt a good lesson if you ask me.
Because the politicians and world leaders do not make clear where this
world should be moving towards, you could make the conclusion that the
new world order is still experimenting. That is assumable and probably we
can also live with that. That is to say, of course we hope that finally
everybody is able to say they can live with it. In case the christmasholiday of the employees becomes an influencing
factor, I'm not joining in anymore.
Hundreds of arguments are used all the time, and finally the money one, which all ignore the 'why of the when question' completely, and even the honest and sinsere journalist becomes unhearable and therefor almost powerless.
The dialogue must be expanded with a third factor. A world senate in
which independent scientists, NGO's, environmental groups,
healthcareorganizations and so on take part and cooperate to give
advises, to make studies, give permissions and veto.
The schizofrenic dialogue between politics and business (and it's media) with the dead end ideas must be broken. As it is with the Black - White relations or the man - woman relation, it will not dissapear with a solution. This change will only appear when the thinking will be different. The third path. I think that Kok, Blair and Schroeder just simply stole this frase and used it for their own good, just like many rulers in the past used cultural and historical symbols and slogans for their own benefit. A triangular powerstructure avoids simplistic black and white thinking and decisionmaking.
The WTO meeting in Seattle made also clear that the there is a great concern among a big part of the audience that (so far) is having the most profit of the current world relations. These people want sustainability in a peacefull society. It seems to me we can do nothing else than do the same thing over and over again and keep on shouting our message around.
You can join shouting if you like
Greetings and good luck