An appreciation, by Jamie Arbuckle, with Ingrid Lehmann, for Peacehawks
Since the inception of Peacehawks in January of 2010, we have posted 41 articles, essays and reviews, all on the subject of international peace and security. Recent events: the pandemic, war in Ukraine, Jamie’s 80th – have summoned us to an accounting. Our balance is showing us that we have written not about peace and security, but rather we seem mostly to have been concerned with the exceptions which are not exceptional, but which prove the misrule: unrest and insecurity. While traffic and parking regulations are enforceable and are usually enforced world-wide, genocide is not preventable and is rarely punished – world-wide. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is rampaging over the rubble it has created in a neighboring country; their head of government has been indicted for war crimes.
A deadly combination of apocryphal history (the Battles of the Alamo and of the Field of Blackbirds, the revanchist myth of a just-recently-eclipsed Russian Empire) coupled with the strivings of regents whose crowns sit as uneasily on their heads as do their heads on their shoulders, can make war seem necessary and inevitable – it’s the Milosevic-Bush syndrome. Vladimir Putin was cleary irresistibly tempted but, Ukraine in 2023 having proven to be so unlike France in 1940, he has been forced to stronger measures.
And, as seemingly powerless as the international community is to deal with interstate conflict, it is no better able to manage intrastate conflict, witness the more or less constant uproar in Sudan, as protracted and murderous as it is pointless – and to us, so far, equally unmanageable.
As the late Amitai Etzioni, the founder of Communitarianism, wrote:
… despite my confidence that the message I have hammered out would do the world a lot of good—no one seems to be listening.
We think it time we wrote about something completely different – what about peace?
And, thinking thus, we encountered the art of Mary Gladstone.