A Letter to UNSG on Peace and the Illegality of War

Posted on 27th June 2015 in Peace, Peace Pedagogy, Practice, Theory
by h. Gibrain

Dear Mr Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

I write to you as a brother in humanity and to implore you to exploit your privileged position as Secretary General of the United Nations to promote and extend the principles and practices of peace as a formal discipline for civil societies at large – beyond the normal scope of the traditional means and mechanisms of the United Nations. During this time of intensifying global conflict and violence there is an equally pressing need for a more coherent and broader reaching education in conflict transformation, the prevention of armed international conflict and the illegality of war. To satisfy those needs there needs to be a corresponding transformation in some of structures, principles and practices of those entities which serves as stewards and enforcers of peace – the United Nations being the preeminent body established towards that end.

When the function of a body and its collective organs do not properly carry out their function it is time to evaluate the structural flaws that lead to that dysfunctionality. While there are numerous reforms to consider regarding potential structural changes of the UN and its organizations, I wish to offer the following change and addition to the United Nations which I believe would have a profound impact on global political affairs and the level of violence perpetrated around the world by governments for purposes beyond that of self defense.

The basis for this change comes, in fact, from the very name of the United Nations. Nations are, essentially, ethnic communities and the United Nations is in fact not a collective of nations but a collective of states. Thus, the very name itself suggests that their should be a representation of nations at the United Nations – a collective of organizations made up of the world’s ethnic communities and civil societies that can express and exercise their will and intentions through a voice at the United Nations. Some of the impediments to the United Nations carrying out its mandate may be countered by these voices.

Perhaps the first international treaty to incorporate an extensive consensus on the fact that war was not the answer to international conflict was the Kellogg-Briand Pact – essentially outlawing war as recourse to settle international disputes. It was this very principle from which the United Nations eventually emerged – as espoused in Article I of the UN Charter. These principles have been violated by parties to these contracts. That those parties who are the perpetrators of great violence have a voice at the United Nations and the nations who are affected in the gravest of ways have no voice at the United Nations needs to change.

The United Nations, and particularly the role of the Secretary General, can play a crucial role in the promotion of the principles and practices of peace by advocating for, and exercising the full extent of its authority, the implementation of new structures at the UN which will give a voice to the nations of the world – the respective civil societies of the United Nations. Representation – having a voice at the UN, however, is not enough. These voices must be educated in the principles and practices of peace. The United Nations can expand its role as an educational vehicle to inform nations of what I will characterize, for the sake of brevity, as a brutal history necessitating the formulation of what is, essentially, international law. Additionally, the principles and practices of conflict transformation which transcend the traditional role to the United Nations as peace keeper and peace maker can be incorporated into the practices of UN and be disseminated through an expanded UN education system.

The creation of representation for true nations, “member nations” at the United Nations, along with the respective expanded role of education in Peace Studies is one of the many steps that can be taken to further promote international peace and support the main goal of the United Nations to uphold what, essentially, so many states have agreed upon but themselves do not adhere to: war as a means to settle international disputes is illegal. The United Nations is the entity which should create this body so that it stands on an equal footing with the member states and, therefore, has its legitimacy as a true representation of the will of the nations of Earth.

You, Mr. Secretary General, hold the highest political office representing the international collective of human life on Earth and have the power and authority to promote and support the implementation of these additions which will have a profound effect on transforming the increasing level of violence throughout the world into something moving the geopolitical landscape towards a more just and equitable enforcement of the principles of peace based on the illegality of war.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing your reflections and interest in such a reformation.


In Solidarity,


… by peaceful means, …

by H. Gibrain

“To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;” – Article 1.1 UN Charter


Signatories to the UN Charter are bound by international law to settle disputes peacefully and only resort to force when all other avenues for dialogue, diplomacy, negotiations and other means to settle disputes have been exhausted. The language of the UN charter is, in and of itself, profound in its implications yet fails miserably to live up to its own standard; needless to say this is a function of the member states and not the organization itself – yet the organization lacks the means to hold its members accountable for breeches of this fundamental.


One of the major flaws of the structure of the United Nations is that it is in fact not a united nations at all – it is a group of states – and does not have any body that represents nations of peoples. If the settling of disputes were left to nations, be they ethnic groups or imagined groups, I think the world would be in a much better state than it is now – where our collective fate is determined by a global corporate mafia that call themselves governments.


For starters, most normal members of civil society know how to party in the tradition sense as opposed to the sense implicit in the phrase “political party.” People would settle their disputes through drinking – which could lead to sex, sleep, vomiting, brawling and brotherly love; a far cry from settling disputes with bunker busters, tear gas, white phosphorous, hellfire missiles and the be-all-that-ends-all: nuclear war.


Sports are a very physical way to incorporate competition with cooperation with some minor injuries and the occasional fatality though nothing like that of war. The Olympics are a perfect example of settling disputes by peaceful means; may the best person/team win based on their dedication, discipline and an intelligent strategy.


The arts are also a wonderful means by which people can explore their differences. The display and performance arts are a great playground for our commonalities as well as our differences: theater, dance music, painting, sculpture, and so on are a great way of exploring differences in culture which offer an opportunity for appreciation rather than disdain.


The culinary arts, too, should not be underestimated as a means by which nations can settle disputes. Exploring flavors – what could be better.


If music is the universal language of humans then numbers are the universal language of nature. Why are there so many languages and only one set of numbers (except for the Romans)? We all speak the same numbers and live on the same planet with the same paragon of flora and fauna. Why do we not learn to play peacefully with numbers to explore the vast realms of organic organization. This would keep us busy for a long while – as it has.


We don’t see too many natural scientists and mathematicians calling for war, going into battle, or bludgeoning each other in the streets. Similarly, short of a battle of the bands, musicians tend to be a peaceful lot not smashing in each others skulls and taking fingers as trophies. Chefs, dangerous as they may seem, are clearly out for the betterment of society providing blood and soul sustenance. Similarly, athletes are all about the competition and victory but most sporting events tend to end with fewer deaths than wars.


The world needs to be run by an organized civil society transcending the idea and reality that nation states have been able to muster in terms of creating a peaceful planet devoid of blood lusting greedy murderous corporate fascist war mongers: megalomaniacal psychopaths. When the United Nations becomes a forum for the united nations of peoples from the respective civil societies of what are now nation states perhaps the prospects for human peace will be realized. I’m sure our plant and animal sisters and brothers are longing for the day when they are no longer subject to our collective insanity.


Scientists Finally Unable to Disprove Slow Bang Theory

Posted on 18th January 2015 in MSMBS, Science, Theory

by H. Gibrain

In recent years, a team of French and Swiss natural philosophers – led by Gray Schwartz (no pun intended) – have been able to disprove the existence of the beginning of time; however, this has recently changed! In early January, a group of six teams of scientists conducted simultaneous experiments in different locations on earth and in space to to show that any one particular matter/anti-matter (matter’s inseparable bed buddy) pair were linked together by an energy field that extends across the entire space-time continuum. The existence of this all permeating field disproves, or more precisely, eliminates the need for verifying the existence of the Higg’s boson since it adjusts the energy field tensor in a way that compensates for its extra missing momentum. This astounding result conclusively shows that they are unable to disprove the Slow Bang Theory (SBT) which, up until this time, was basically discounted by the scientific community. Much like Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity, the implications of Slow Bang were at first considered absurd and for this very reason SBT was ignored for the better part of a century.


Ironically, it was also Einstein who defined insanity as “repeating something and expecting different results.” It was Gray Schwartz who revisited SBT as an undergraduate studying at Berlin Technishe Universitat and revived an interest in it.


Well, I was contemplating the nature of the Higg’s particle when I thought, if theory hasn’t been proven empirically at this point we’re either too stupid to invent a device that can measure it – which I don’t think is the case – or the theory is wrong and the better part of the physics community is insane – looking in the same place over and over for something that just doesn’t exist. I mean, so few people understand this stuff to begin with that those of us who, say, make it up that hill are following the route set by very few explorers – which is to say we are followers and not leaders and have lost the courage to make up something new since there space, at the summit, is, essentially, isotropic.”


Since that time, Schwartz’s team have essentially been working in the closet trying to come up with an approach that eliminate the need for the Higg’s particle yet retain the basic features of Quantum Statistical Relativistic Fluid Dynamics and the Big Bang Theory which accurately predict all of the basic features of the universe that we are able to perceive.


Their approach is contained in these three Lemmas


  1. There is no why?
  2. Probability exists in redundant simultaneous states of zero probability and infinite probability (otherwise know as the “zero probability/infinite probability duality” or “zero equals infinity parity”)
  3. Matter and Anti-matter are held together by Slow Light which permeates the known and unknown universe (commonly referred to as the Multiverse).


The first of these three Lemmas is the equivalent and corollary to Einsteins first postulate in the Special Theory of Relativity which states that there is no aether, that light is the same in all inertial frames. As there is no preferential direction for light to travel, there is no reason for light to travel. It is just something that happens: “ignota originem ad infinitum” as the saying goes. It is a principle violation of causality which is the limitation to natural scientific progress – the assumption that things happen for a reason or that they must even if it can not presently be determined. The current working theory is that if we can determine causality at this time, we are to assume there is a cause and there is no reason “and we’ll see what we get,” as Schwartz put it. “Like gravity,” Schwartz adds, “we have books on gravity too big for even Atlas to carry in a book bag that describe how things behave in the presence of a gravitational field yet no one understands why gravity is what it is. Well, we’ve given up trying to understand why some things are the way the are, like gravity and Slow Bang, and make the general assumption, as a result of the principle of slow light, that the entire universe is just on infinitesimally small point covering the entirety of time-space and everything else, that is, the inner workings, including you and me and ants and bosons and quarks and atoms, are nothing more than part of an energy exchange of the internal dynamics of a one-body system and, in fact, we’re kinda like the glue that holds the whole thing together. Or, another way of looking at it is that the whole thing is the glue which holds the glue together.”


The second postulate is an extension of the first and is, in its essence, corollary to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the correspondence principle with a little bit of Murphy’s law. While hard to put words to the actual mean of the second lemma of Slow Bang, it can be thought of by the following crime thought experiment:


Consider a party that you’ve invited your closest friends to. Each of these friends brings their trusted partner (trusted to them but not necessarily to you). Late into the evening you notice that one of your possessions has been absconded and you are wondering who might be responsible this inconsiderate act. You realize that it can’t be your trusted friends so you eliminate them from the probability pool of those who could have committed this infraction. This of course, increases the probability that it was their trusted partners – the most obvious choice since your close friends wouldn’t steal from you. However, you realize that the very fact that those who are most likely to commit the crime couldn’t commit the crime because they know that they would be more suspect than your trusted friends so they wouldn’t do it. Which immediately points the finger back at your trusted friends. The least likely to commit the crime is the most likely to commit the crime which then makes them the least likely. Schwartz describes this as “mobious probability” or “double suicide.”


To deal with Lemma III we must define slow light. “Slow light is the extreme fringe of probability beyond the boundaries of matter,” according to Professor Schwartz. “It is like the empty space of an atom, or the space between the earth and the sun, or that slight pause in between beats of a heart, or a rest in music. It is where matter emerges from anti-matter and anti-matter consumes matter. It is the nascent property of the multiverse “ignota originem ad infinitum. What is important to keep in mind when thinking about slow light, is that it is a unifying energy between everything in the universe. This idea is, in fact, illustrated by the nature of the photon and, as we say “orchestrated by the spiriton” which is the term we came up with to deal with both the lack of causality yet a clear and present presence in time-space. The spiriton is what I call the “god particle”. It is the anti-why things happen. It is the very consciousness of matter itself and is the unifying property of all things in the multiverse which is to say, quite literally, we are all one body.”

The Zero State One Nation Solution: Terra Nullius

by H. Gibrain

A viable solution which would respect the human rights of all concerned and which would solve the problem of borders and resources, as well as demographics and the right to return for all peoples, Palestinian and otherwise, would be to declare the geographic boundaries defined by the Palestine Mandate as terra nullius – no one’s land.

Since this “disputed” land (annexed and occupied by the UN and Israel and the US and others by proxy) is really the last great colonial product of the British Empire – now perpetuated by the US and the other former colonized British states – let it be the first place on earth where there is no state control based on any discriminatory factor, where no one owns the land and where all people are seen as equal under the moral code of the nation as determined by what could be a stateless nation with a constitution (not defining a government structure, per se, but defining a moral code analogous to the Bill of Rights in the US and other international declarations based on equality, peace, justice, liberty, freedom, truth, dignity, trust and the rest of the virtues.

Such a move will require a great deal of courage from the United Nations organs and member states who are willing to uphold the law through their words and actions, an organized popular resistance from Palestinian civil society – and potentially the PA (as, say, exhibited in Abbas’ speech at the UN (in 2011 I think it might have been), and the international solidarity movement through BDS and other means of non-violent popular struggle.

The UN, in order to overcome the inertia of the security council and other organs that prevent the UN organizations – as an expression of its member states – to carry out its functions as prescribed by international law, the UN will likely need to change the structure since the current structure is not properly carrying out its function. The possibility and effects of a Second UN Charter convention should be seriously contemplated by the General Assembly and other appropriate bodies of the UN. Primarily, a restructuring or elimination of the Security Council, the veto, or how it can be used needs to be evaluated and the creation of some body representing civil society needs to take place – a people’s parliament.

In a Newtonian sense, when there are forces acting on a body creating a certain trajectory, in order to alter that trajectory and get it to go in the direction of an international law and human rights based system, the right actions need to take place from the right forces. In this case, as history has shown, there is no political will or skill from the main stakeholders to change the trajectory, so the Palestinian civil society and the respective civil societies of the world need to learn the principles and practices of non-violent popular struggle – which has shown, historically, to be a much more effective means of conflict transformation. It is not the military might that will win the struggle for legitimacy, it is the struggle for equality and justice from international solidarity with the Palestinians that will usher in a durable peace.



Wall Vaulting: The New Fad Sport of Nonviolent Popular Resistance in Palestine

by Enchanted Prison Guard


There are many forms of non-violent popular resistance – of which there are many types. There is the type in which civil society is simply rebuilding its own identity through the forms. There is the type of direct confrontation between belligerent occupier and the occupied. There is the type in which individuals educate themselves and act with the intention to educate others of the forms and types of non-violent popular resistance. I’m sure there are more. Please send me your thoughts.

Of course, some forms employ a mix of types. Sports for example, no matter where they are played, tend to build relationships of many types, some cooperative, some competitive, some mutually inductive and some mutually restrictive. In any case, so it seems, a new fad sport appears to be evolving in the West Bank of Palestine incorporating a study of the forms and types of Nonviolent Popular Resistance using sport, education, team building, media outreach, and communication with the police and military on both sides which directly engages both occupier and occupied with the intention of having fun and making a point. As you can tell from the title of this piece, pole vaulting the wall/Wall appears to becoming a popular sport in the West Bank of Palestine.

Teams are training in class rooms studying the principles of peaceful beautiful resistance: Gandhi, Sharp, King Jr., Galtung and international law are just a small part of the required reading material for the curriculum. Then of course there is the rigorous training in sport employing a mutually inductive cooperation through competition. These people are strong. Intellectually. Physically. Morally.

People are reaching out to the media to inform the world of who they are and what is their intention. To put it simply, in the words of one of the participants, “simply stated, the wall is not impenetrable. We penetrate it with love… in our hearts and we make it known that we are non-violent and this has a profound effect on any act of physical violence the Israeli Defense Force or Police might take against us. We get arrested. We have lawyers. Some of us spend time in jail. Some of us get tortured. A few of us have been brutally wounded. One of us was killed. We know the risks. We’re Committed. We just turn around and do it again. The word is getting out and it’s making it difficult for the Israeli Army to do anything in terms of physical violence at this point. We have a lot of international support through the media, the internet, and even the Secretary General of the U.N. Has commented in support of our actions.”

The group, of course, calls themselves Palestinian Wall Vaulters for Peace and they work with a group affiliated with security called Fighters for Peace which is comprised of former Palestinian and Israeli combatants who act, essentially as observers and human shields. They also work with “Doctors Beyond Boundaries” for obvious reasons as well as Free Legal Aid, an array of international lawyers working pro bono publico for other obvious reasons.

I am told there is a website in the works. Apparently some one bought the best combinations of domain names when they heard of the group and the group is not yet in a position to purchase any of them (for not so obvious reasons) and is reluctant to choose amongst the list of poor combinations that might be available.

Needless to say, they’re looking for support. They’re not asking for any money. Poles are cheap and the attire is not well defined yet. The wall/Wall is where it is and it is what it is so there are many locations for practice and performance.  The type of support they are looking for is in the form of acknowledgement (if not solidarity with the same forms and types they are engaged with): that they have the inalienable right to self determine, to human rights (at least at its current theory and practice) and to provide for their human needs unimpeded.

At the moment they are asking not to take or expose any pictures since it just makes it easier to be spotted as they usually set up “flying break points” spoofing on the “flying checkpoints” the Israeli Defense Force might set up. “We hope people will come to Palestine and experience our beautiful culture and experience all there is to experience in the West Bank,” says one of the organizers for the group.

On the Right to Legal Vegetable-hood(edness)

Posted on 24th January 2014 in Reflections, Self Determination, Theory

I have debated such things with some of my vegan friends: should vegetables be given legal person-hood? Of course, an affirmative is founded in vegetable sentience. If vegetables are sentient, then they, according to the UN charter, have the right to self-determine. I ask myself then, should Palestinians not have the right to legal vegetable-hood. Yes, it sounds stupid to even think of at first bite, but if you peel of the skin and pith you begin to realize that the whole idea of legal person-hood is speciesist and we would serve the unambiguous idiology of justice to question the language we bow to.


“But vegetables don’t have neurons” is a common argument for why its ok to eat vegetables and not ok to eat animals. For me, survival is a good reason to eat, period. It’s not what you eat, its why you eat it and where it comes from. That’s my parable paradigm. What is yours? Because plants don’t have the same structures humans do to conduct information is no good cause to assume they don’t have some apparatus to conduct information from one place to another, register it, respond to it – in some cases to engage or avoid things we associate with pleasure or pain.


I know humans are still struggling with legal person-hood for any other-than human species. To ask people to accept monkeys and turtles as people is asking a lot. It is a big stretch of the moral imagination arc somewhere over the rainbow outside of the comfort zone of an identity that exists on its better-ness because of other-ness. Yet, within this context we can see that when it comes time to compare ourselves to wombats and groove billed anis, all of a sudden we are all one as a species and can stand together in solidarity (perhaps as a species belligerent occupant to the earth). This speciesist perspective is then a unifying cause to champion racism, nationalism and, in some very strange sense, is the cause celebre for championing human rights and equality under the law to all those currently under a belligerent occupancy or under and kind of enslavement be it physical or mental.


In any case, what I’m getting at here is that it is way beyond anyone’s intellectual capacity at this point to realize that we might well just apply rights universally to all living beings – make it a part of our common culture and enshrine it in international law. We can think of the right to self determine as universal – and I don’t mean just universal on the tiny universe of earth. I mean, since the universe is vast (don’t hurt yourself trying to think about it too much) and it is a commonly accepted belief (yes, so common that you believe it too, now) that life exists everywhere where it can and that requires two things: a percolating solution (in our case, water), and a thermal threshold for certain reactions to take place that are not inherent to the environment (solution). These conditions exist all over the place and so life exists all over the place. To think otherwise is foolish because it would set your beliefs outside of the norm of indigenous beliefs (which is, by definition, just one small part of being a fool).


Good, Now that we’re all on the same page page we can agree that the words are somewhat interchangeable. I now can claim I have the self evident right to legal kangaroo-hood. You, dear soul, can get down with your vegetables in a state of pure existential existence-hoodedness and, yes, the Palestinian people most certainly have the right to declare themselves as possessing the right to legal vegetable-hood. Why not?


Since corporations have such rights, too, they must have some homologous structure to a nervous system and, I suppose, a set of organs and systems complimenting all those structures necessary for survival. I can see it now, there will be fortune 500 companies filing for the right to legal asshole-hood.

Pass the hummus, please.