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Towards a nonviolent civil defence : 1 An alternative to armed defence

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Slideshows about nonviolence and nonviolent resolution of conflicts, economic alternatives, ecology, social change, spirituality : www.irnc.org , Slideshows in english

An alternative to armed defence
Defence, a vital function
Dealing with new threats
Alternative to armed defence
Conventional defence
Armed popular defence
nuclear defence.

Published in: Education
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Towards a nonviolent civil defence : 1 An alternative to armed defence

  1. 1. Étienne Godinot Translation : Claudia McKenny Engström 16.03.2015 Séries “Towards a nonviolent civil defence” 1- An alternative to armed defence
  2. 2. Towards a nonviolent civil defence Sources - Jean-Marie Muller (Vous avez dit « Pacifisme ». De la menace nucléaire à la défense civile non-violente, Le Cerf, 1984 ; Désobéir à Vichy Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1994; Dictionnaire de la non-violence, Relié Poche, 2005; L’impératif de désobéissance. Fondements philosophiques et stratégiques de la désobéissance civile, Le passager clandestin, 2011, etc.); - Brochure Armée ou défense civile non-violente (by Olivier Maurel and a group of civil and military, éd. Combat non-violent, 1975) ../..
  3. 3. Vers une défense civile non-violente Sources (suite) - Jacques Sémelin, Sans armes face à Hitler. La résistance civile en Europe, 1939- 1943, Payot, 1989 - La dissuasion civile, Christian Mellon, Jean-Marie Muller and Jacques Sémelin, Fondation pour les Études de Défense Nationale, 1985 - MAN publications, including brochures * Se défendre sans se détruire, Gilbert Girondeau, François Vaillant, Hugues Colle, 1982 * Non violence : éthique et politique, éd. Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le progrès de l’homme, 1996 - Les stratégies civiles de défense, Acts of the international Colloquium organised by the IRNC in Strasbourg, éd. ANV 1986, etc.
  4. 4. Towards a nonviolent civil defence Contents • Slide 1. An alternative to armed defence • Slides 2. Historical examples of non-armed civil resistance to military aggression: the Second World War and Czechoslovakia 1968 • Slide 3. Nonviolent civil resistance against communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe • Slides 4. Non-armed civil resistance against dictatorships, coups and terrorism • Slide 5. Definition and schema of nonviolent civil defence • Slide 6. Conditions of a nonviolent civil defence • Slide 7. Transarmament
  5. 5. Diaporama 1 An alternative to armed defence Contents - Defence, a vital function - Nonviolence is neither pacifism nor antimilitarism - Is armed defence really efficient ? - Different forms of armed defence • Conventional defence • Popular armed defence • Nuclear deterrence
  6. 6. Defence, a vital function Defence is a vital function of all living organisms. All existence is a fight for life, a struggle that implies means of defence against aggressions. This necessity concerns societies just as much as living beings. It would be wrong to believe that we could live in a world without conflict. Coexistence between men and people must become pacific, but there will always remain a conflictual part. Photos : - Cells organising their defence against a virus - The illusion or the pious wish for Peace and Love. “Rather pious wishes than impious ones, but that does not change reality” teases J-M. Muller. Peace and love are far reaching spiritual objectives. Nonviolence aims at a political objective : ensuring law and justice in a respectful balance of power with ones opponent.
  7. 7. Looking for an alternative War is a method of action, and its finality is just when it aims at defending or rehabilitating human rights. The method is detestable, but the action no less necessary. To promote a policy for disarmament, it is necessary to conceive “the functional equivalents to war” that will allow nations to defend themselves using other means than war. Peace is not what most matters : it is first Justice, which supports dignity and freedom.
  8. 8. The functions of defence A defence policy must anticipate situations which are not probable nor predictable today, but that may occur tomorrow. It must organise a national reaction in case of external or internal aggression. It must also dissuade the aggressor, by showing him that the damages and difficulties he would face would be far greater than the benefits he hopes to gain with his aggression.
  9. 9. Dealing with new threats The new and real threats that weigh on our societies are no longer army invasions seeking conquest or enslavement. They are of a completely different nature : - fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, -economic, oil, food or ecological crisis, - social disintegration in societies struck by mass unemployment… Photos : - Genocide in Rwanda, 1994 - Attack against the Twin Towers in New York, 11th September 2001.
  10. 10. Nonviolence is not pacifism The pacifist is the one who wants peace at all price, be it at the price of justice, who prefers whatever peace to whatever war. There can be a shameful peace, such as the one gained with the Munich agreements and denounced by Gandhi. Pacifism can be a “criminal mistake” (Simone Weil) if the community does not prepare an alternative to armed defence against aggression and oppression. But we share with the pacifists that war is madness and absurdity… Photos : - Munich Agreements, September 1938 - Slaughter in Verdun trenches, 1916.
  11. 11. Nonviolence is not anti-military Sentencing the military staff is always an injustice and a mistake. War is always deadly, but military contingents are not necessarily assassins. Partisans of nonviolence respect the military and those who believe war or military actions might be helpful to secure peace and law enforcement. Photos : - Maxime Leforestier and the song “Parachutiste” (1972) - Military intervention in Libya after UN authorisation on 17th March 2011, following the Arab League’s request, to protect the population of Benghazi threatened by M. Gaddafi. Alain Juppé was the minister of Defence at the time. The problem is that international intervention was only military, and not political, economic or social (elections with no process of reconciliation), and thus, political chaos succeeded Kaddafi’s dictatorial regime…
  12. 12. Dialoguing with the military While refusing militarism and militarisation (nuclear testing or simulating, arms sales, military budgets…), partisans of nonviolence dialogue, contradictory yet respectful and most often cordial, with the military and politicians - on the dangers of the race to armament - on the possibilities offered by strategies of non-collaboration and civil intervention for peace.
  13. 13. Does a defence army protect the territory ? - In 1814 - 1815 - 1970 - 1914 * - 1940, In each of these conflicts, France was invaded each time. • *in 1914-1918, the Germans who had almost reached Paris by 100 km, were stopped by a trench war and the disasters we know. Photos : - Siege and Paris bombing by Prussians, 1870 - German army entering Paris, 1942.
  14. 14. Does a defence army protect the population ? The proportion of civilians among war victims increases to reach absurd numbers : - 1914-18 war : 5 % civilians - 1939-45 war : 45 % civilians - Korea, 1953 war : 60 % civilians - Vietnam war : 85 % civilians - Nuclear war : 100 % civilians Photos : -1914-18 war - Hiroshima, 6th August 1945
  15. 15. Conventional defence It consists in pushing or destroying the armies of the aggressor by military terrestrial, maritime or areal action, led by professionals or conscripts. - It defends the territory very badly - It is costly in human lives - It rests on a body of specialists or a limited fraction of the population, most of the time men aged 18-50 and in good health. Photos : Armament during 2nd World War : - American tank Patton - English plane Spittfire - German cruiser.
  16. 16. An armed popular defence It consists in arming a population, in reference to the Chinese, Indochinese, Algerian wars of liberation, Mao Zedong or General Giap engineering constructions, Swiss defence systems or in Yugoslavia during Tito times. Photo : General Giap (Indochinese War) It does not consist in defending borders, but harass the enemy until he abandons. It implies two conditions: vast natural shelters difficult to penetrate and an essentially rural population. ../..
  17. 17. An armed popular defence - It is very costly in human lives - It is inconceivable in a largely urbanised country : it is easy to deprive an entire city of water, food, electricity. Civilian population will be reduced to having a passive role and a hostage. Such a defence cannot be democratic. The fight against a modern army implies : a hierarchical, pyramidal and centralised system of decision-making, military secrecy, clandestinity, military and technical competence. Photo above : Algerian war (1954-1963)
  18. 18. Nuclear deterrence, suicidal and totalitarian It makes no sense to take, in order to defend oneself, the risk of destruction. Nuclear threat is the equivalent of taking a population hostage. Nuclear deterrence implies citizens giving up their destiny to the sole decision of the Head of State. - Albert Camus (photo above) : “Mechanical civilisation has reached its last level of savagery″. - George Bernanos (photo below) : “To the world of atomic bombs we can only oppose a movement of consciences, by the greatest number of consciences possible”.
  19. 19. Nuclear deterrence is inefficient Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former French President, wrote in his Mémoires, in the hypothesis of a mass soviet invasion in Western Europe during the “cold war” : “A conclusion has been gradually reached : neither from afar, where I stand, nor on the field, where our military forces fight, does the decision to launch an atomic bomb seem opportune (…). Whatever happens, I would never take the initiative of a gesture that might lead to the destruction of our country”. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Power and Life, vol. II, L’affrontement, Le Livre de Poche, 1992, p. 196 and following.
  20. 20. Nuclear deterrence is dangerous - because of weapon proliferation in the world (USA, Russia, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.) - because of the risk of causing accidents. For ex. : a head of the Pentagone revealed on 27th October 2010, that US forces had lost contact, 4 days earlier and for 45 minutes, with 50 intercontinental nuclear missiles of a 5 500 km range. An electronic breakdown was the cause. (Source : Le Monde, 29th October 2010). Photo above : Countries with nuclear weapon.
  21. 21. Nuclear deterrence demobilises the population on matters of defence Akin the Ligne Maginot erected before Nazism, (photo above) the principal risk presented by the nuclear weapon is its tendency to demobilise the population on the matter of defence, leaving it completely helpless in case of aggression, wherever it comes from. On this topic, see also the series of slides on “The Nuclear Weapon”. ■

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