'Unifying Peace' Only Solution To Stop Terror

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'Unifying Peace' Only Solution To Stop Terror

Terror and terrorism are words that have been used frequently after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York. But while the United States and its allies focus on military reprisals, Johan Galtung thinks there are better solutions.

The Norway-born Galtung - director of the Transcend Peace Network, recipient of many peace awards and a professor of "peace studies" at several universities - is on a 50-nation tour in which he lectures on alternative approaches to terrorism and global security.

At 71, Mr. Galtung spoke in a quiet but firm and compelling voice at Chungbuk National University on Monday and at Dongguk University in Seoul on Tuesday.

Mr. Galtung said that for acts to be considered terrorism, they require three ideas: it is impossible to know when and where the acts will occur in advance; civilians are killed; and the people behind the acts are fanatics. In other words, terrorism requires demonizing those who commit the violence.

Using an overhead projector, Mr. Galtung presented two photos - one of the damage in Kosovo caused by the United States, and another from the Sept. 11 attacks in New York. His purpose was to make claim that both attacks were terrorism.

Realizing his words are controversial to some, he said, "I do love America and the American people.... What I hate most is the foreign policy of the United States. I am a friend of America, so that is why I give this harsh, bitter advice to the United States."

Mr. Galtung firmly believes that a police response, not a military response, should be enacted to bring those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks to justice. But he was also firm in his belief that the foreign policy of the United States is the main reason for the many terrorist attacks against U.S. targets and the general hatred toward the United States that can be found around the world.

During his two-hour lecture, Mr. Galtung said the international community needed to work together for peace if there was ever to be a long-term solution to terrorism. He called for a "giant peace movement" of peaceful, mass protests and "globalization-free zones" to protect the poor communities in the world.

Mr. Galtung has visited Korea regularly over the last three decades, pushing for peace between South and North Korea, as part of similar efforts around the world. He has also searched for solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Gulf region and the former Yugoslavia.

by Kong Seo-hee

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