Tell it to SunStar: The need for patience, respect

SunStar Tell it
SunStar Tell it

By Peter Trankner

I feel compelled to reply to Mr. Valenuela’s letter.

In a free and open society, it does not matter if someone is foreign or Filipino when exchanging different opinions. What matters is mutual respect.

Instead of treating another opinion with respect, Mr. V. has once again resorted to an offensive choice of words: Traitor !

I urge Mr. V. once again to change his hurtful choice of words and come to an objective, emotion-free judgment; this is called reason.

I don’t want to be misunderstood, I also condemn China’s actions in the South China Sea. But I have a different understanding of this conflict: Not power and muscles will make China give in but reason and diplomacy. Diplomacy needs patience, a lot of patience. What is the alternative? Going into a military confrontation with a military superpower?

A look at the history books teaches us that a military confrontation always leads to human disaster.

Just one example: I refer to World War I (1914-1918) which was also triggered by a trivial cause and excessive nationalism.

The assassination of the heirs to the throne of the ruling family of Austria-Hungary in June 1914 triggered a disastrous chain reaction and led directly to the catastrophe of the First World War with endless human suffering and destruction.

The book by Christopher Clark “The Sleepwalker: How Europe went to war” has perfectly analyzed this catastrophe.

This was completely avoidable and unnecessary, but instead of reason and diplomacy, an exaggerated national pride and the fueling of hatred gained upper hand.

The world is full of rabble rousers and preachers of hatred. Words can also be weapons, because those who harbor hatred will always harvest violence.

A war can be started quickly, but it is difficult to end. The best example is the terrible war in Ukraine.

Mr. V. is talking a lot about truth. Obviously, Mr. V. is in possession of the only truth but forgets that insulting rhetoric does not resolve conflicts, it never did, but rather intensifies them. That, too, is the truth.

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