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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/11/21

9/11 to Afghanistan - If we learn the right lesson we can save our world!

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9/11 to Afghanistan

If we learn the right lesson we can save our world!

Twenty years ago, in reaction to the horror of September 11th, the whole world rallied behind the US.

That worldwide outpouring of support gave us a golden opportunity to take a leadership role -- to rally the world together and create the underpinning for a true system of human security for all of us human beings on the planet.

But instead we fell for the "Hero with the Big Gun" myth peddled in movies, TV shows and even video games - if you can just kill enough of the bad guys you'll be a hero and save the day!

But the world doesn't really work like that. Military power doesn't really have power. What???

I'll say it again: "Military power" doesn't have power!

None of the missiles, none of the bombs -- the most powerful military in the world could do nothing to stop hijackers from hitting the Twin Towers.


Scene from
Scene from
Image by Arthur Kanegis)   Details   DMCA

The "mighty" Soviet Union fought tribesmen in Afghanistan for 9 years and lost. The "super-power" U.S. military fought for 20 years -- only to give rise to the Taliban and strengthen them.

Bombing Iraq and Libya brought not democracy but failed states.

Apparently we failed to learn the lesson of Vietnam. Even though the U.S. dropped twice as many bombs as were dropped in all of World War II -- we couldn't beat them either. France tried before that and failed. And China, way before that.

Since 9/11/01 the US has poured 21 Trillion Dollars into a War on Terror -- a "fight for freedom" that killed nearly 1 million people. But did it make us any safer? Did it give us more freedom? Or did it just generate many more enemies, militarize our own police and borders - and leave us in greater danger?

Is it time to finally recognize that no amount of military power really has any power? That bombing folks can't make us safer? That it can't protect the rights of women? Or spread freedom and democracy?

If "military power" can't enforce the rights of women and others, if the US can't be the cops of the world -- punishing "bad guys" into submission, who can protect rights and freedoms of the people of the world?

How about a real system of enforceable World Law?

The United States led the struggle for the very cornerstone of evolving law to protect the human rights of everyone on the planet -- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted unanimously by the United Nations in 1948.

Yet since then the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify crucial advances in international law, even those adopted by the vast majority of the worlds nations and legally in force -- such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ratified by 189 of the 193 nations in the UN. Or laws on the rights of the child, or of people with disabilities. Or the court set up to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Only seven countries voted against it -- United States, China, Libya, Iraq, Israel, Qatar, and Yemen.

Maybe it's time to change course -- for the U.S. to cooperate with the vast majority of the world in moving toward creating enforceable world law - binding on the heads of state of all nations, rich or poor.

An evolution to world law is key to giving the world the real power needed to save not only women, oppressed minorities and victims of aggression - - but also our entire planet!

The Earth can't be saved from the crimes against the environment by any one nation. Fires set to burn the Amazon end up causing fires to rage across U.S. Western States. Such ecocide crimes threaten the very continuation of life on earth. As do nuclear weapons -- already banned by international law, but sadly not the U.S.

We need real power to save us from such threats -- and the superpower that can do it is the combined will of the world's people embodied in a system of enforceable law.

That the power of law is greater than the power of military force is proven by Europe. For centuries nations tried to defend themselves from one another by war after war -- and even a world war didn't work -- it just led to a second world war.

What did end up protecting European nations from attack? Law! Since the European Parliament was formed in 1952, no European Nation has fought a war with another. There have been civil wars, and wars outside the union - but inside the Union disputes are settled by taking them to court.

It's time for us to finally learn a much-needed lesson: Despite costing trillions of dollars, military "power" can't really protect us or others. It can't protect against terrorists hijacking a plane, or viruses invading, or cyberwar or catastrophic climate change. A new nuclear arms race with China and Russia can't protect us from nuclear war.

What it can do is endanger the whole human race.

Now is the time for a major national and global conversation on how we can, from the bottom up, evolve new and improved systems of democratic and inclusive enforceable world law to enhance human security and protect the rights, freedoms, and very existence of all of us citizens of planet Earth.


Garry Davis touts World Law in
Garry Davis touts World Law in
Image by Arthur Kanegis)   Details   DMCA

Arthur Kanegis directed "The World Is My Country" presented by Martin Sheen. It's about World Citizen #1 Garry Davis who helped spark a movement for World Law - including the unanimous UN vote for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bio at

(Article changed on Sep 11, 2021 at 9:11 AM EDT)

(Article changed on Sep 11, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT)

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Arthur Kanegis Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Arthur Kanegis is a film director, podcast host and writer published in The Nation; The New Republic; The Washington Monthly and more. Kanegis directed "The World Is My Country." -- playing on PBS affiliates (more...)

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