The world is much vaster than our intellect can imagine. In this infinite space, the history of human civilization has its place, even if infinitely small, in a world that regenerates itself thanks to the action and reaction of its own contradictions. The greatest epic in this history is the challenge of nature, whose result expresses itself across our knowledge and our concept of the different aspects of existence. This distinguishes our planet within the solar system, whereas for centuries we considered it the center of the existential world. Moreover, it allows us, thanks to technology and technique, to draw the different points on the globe closer together, transforming the latter into a village, a village that no longer needs former conquerors or to be conquered.
However, parallel to this victory at the service of civilization and of regeneration of human life, our system of governing has not evolved. In effect, knowledge acquired in the human sciences conflicts with regimes that dominate the progress and evolution of society. These regimes have obstructed civilization’s harmonious advances towards the globalization necessary to acquire knowledge and to advance technologically.
It’s clear that today’s world needs a new “rebirth.” Regimes issuing from the previous “rebirth” have become sterile. The new “rebirth” cannot come about through ethnic, racial, and religious wars and conflicts or by military powers. The monopoly of power is disastrous, even for sacred men and powerful figures. The only way to tame power and monopoly is via a globalization of power. The skeletal framework of this power was set up after the Second World War by the United Nations Charter. However, global will must grant to this skeleton the soul, will, and capacity for the task of establishing the new order.
The world started the third millennium in a tempest of financial crisis in the United States and in the West in general, along with a prelude of “preventive wars” that have dragged the United States, NATO and the United Nations into the Iraqi and Afghan quagmires. Despite the spending of billions of dollars, these wars have not remedied the financial crises in the West. Today the future still remains obscure.
The Middle East which throughout the 20th century has played a primordial role in world geopoli- tics has remained, with the start of the 21st century, the main area of impact of international strategies. The destiny of war or of peace and the passage into the future are played in this region which, for reason of its diverse and varied capacities, constitutes the nerve centre of the contemporary world: the Palestinian question, energy resources, the evolving strategic role of the region since the 20th century, the impact of traditionalism in its confrontation with the West, the world's strategic opposition forced by the West onto the region’s geopolitics, and the rise of anti-Americanism among the impoverished populations of the region.
This territory has enormous petrol and gas reserves and other important mineral deposits, including uranium. It has further been the natural thoroughfare for the flows of civilization and barbarism between Asia and the other continents.
To quench the fire in Palestine and to put an end to this odious adventurism in contemporary his- tory is a first step towards resolving the crisis in the Middle East. It is evident that Israelis and Palestinians wish to live in peace and quiet and transcend their daily anguish.
The second step to take is the establishment of regional cooperation to confront fundamentalism and religious or ethnic sectarian propaganda.
The third step is to propagate awareness among the people in the region, by their leaders and by social, scientific, political and religious figures, of the necessity to institute durable regional collaboration for defending security, peace, and cooperation.
Peace guaranteed in this manner throughout the region would be one of the foundations of durable peace throughout the world. It could empower an international movement to suppress nests of crises across the globe.
At a time of growing populations, when relations between people are becoming increasingly narrow and the distances separating countries are diminishing thanks to technological miracles, it is natural that exchanges of ideas within a framework of mutual respect is of crucial importance. Reason must win over fanaticism among the leaders and shapers of the cultures of the different religions.
Conferences and seminars must reinforce this conjunction of various religious concepts. Leaders must use their influence to curb violence and political rancor and not forget that by definition theology aims to permit knowing oneself, the world, and the correlation between the one and the other.
Author: Professor Ali Rastbeen
President, Academy of Geopolitics of Paris, France
Mr. Ali Rastbeen is author of several articles and publications bearing on international geostrategy and geopolitics, specialist of Iran and of the strategic and energetic questions of the Middle East.