On December 15, 2015, a one-day conference was organized jointly by the Batthyany Society of Professors, the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the Danube Institute in the Great Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The purpose of the conference was to explore the causes, aims and strategy of Islamic radicalism, to examine the inability of the West to grasp the extent to which it poses a threat to our security and values, and to consider appropriate responses. The speakers included former ministers, academics and journalists. One of the guests was Dr. Csaba Mohi, Former Hungarian Ambassador to Algeria.
The title of the former diplomat’s lecture was “International Terrorism and the New World Order”. At the beginning of his presentation, he spoke about the new world order which is determined by two risk factors: one of them is international terrorism; the other one is “the millions of migrants that are invading Europe”.
He mentioned the example of the Romans: “…the Roman Empire was the longest existing power in world history, for nearly one thousand years. Its legal regime, Roman law, set a model of order for nearly all European states. The Romans were wise and believed nothing was more dangerous than chaos, the lack of order, as it made men irresponsible and dangerous”.
According to him, “the primary cause of chaos in the international order is the status of certain states that have been crushed recently, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt and Libya in the first place. For thousands of years the political regime in these countries have been based on authoritarian control held by a single person, called pharaoh or dictator, whichever way you prefer. Before the second war in Iraq strategic analysts unanimously warned that, while Saddam Hussein was a dictator himself, he kept order in his country, so the overthrow of his power would result in an unprecedented massacre between the Shiite and Sunni populations. The attackers ignored these words of caution”.
Dr. Csaba Mohi criticized the Western intervention in the Arab states, saying the so-called Arab Spring brought only chaos. “It is fair to ask the question: was it worth crushing these political regimes under the false slogan of “Arab Spring”? And, by the way, does any world power respect today the established basic principle of international relations, the “inviolability of state sovereignty and the prohibition to intervene in the internal affairs of other states”, enshrined in the UN Basic Charter? An Arab spring would be needed first and foremost in Saudi Arabia, which exerts the most ruthless internal repression between the Arabic states in the region. Clearly, the powers crushed were those that refused to meet the new requirements set by the masters of the “new world order”; to put it simply, those that followed an independent and/or pro-Russian policy” – he said.
The former ambassador did not consider the Western bombardment, that responded to the Paris attacks, positively. “We should realise in the first place that we can achieve nothing by bombing. No one can tell from the air who the guilty terrorist is and who the innocent civilian. This turns the relatives of innocent people killed by bombs into new terrorists. Those who commit the acts of terrorism and those who become targets are in two basically different positions. Most of the time, terrorism indiscriminately aims for the most helpless people and these targets are well-known. By contrast, a terrorist prepares in secret, attacks from an ambush and it is unpredictable whom it rushes upon and when it does. The recent events have shown that each destroyed “terrorist” is replaced by many people. They will always reproduce themselves at a greater pace than the biggest military powers can increase their military capacities”.
However, he also proposed a solution for the problem: “Consequently, the only reasonable solution is to explore, analyse and eliminate the causes of terrorism. A wise politician primarily searches for the causes to identify ways to eliminate the effects. When a doctor reduces his patient’s fever, he only suppresses a symptom. When we bomb and kill a few terrorists, we only do away with some perpetrators as symptoms.” Another very important statement of him is that nobody is born to be a terrorist; politicians should understand the problems of others and they should make the “necessary changes until it is too late”.
According to the international lawyer, the unsettled Palestinian situation is very dangerous to the world peace. “The United Nations Organisation adopted a resolution as early as in 1947 to “immediately establish two stable welfare states in the territory of the former British mandate, the autonomous Israel and the also autonomous Palestinian State”. While Israel recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, apparently there is not even a realistic opportunity to create the Palestinian State”.
He mentioned other examples, where the situation of certain nations was not settled. The Kurds, Kashmir, the Basques, Catalans and Irish also belong to this group.
Dr. Csaba Mohi said there were examples when terrorism could win autonomy for its nation. It was like that in the case of Jura, Switzerland and South Tyrol. However, he hopes that “the Hungarians living in Southern Slovakia and Transylvania will win their long desired autonomy in a peaceful way within the European Union”.
One of his finishing thoughts was quite interesting and thoughtful: “Let us remember the law of determination: if you deny and take everything from a person, he will become irresponsible as he can no longer lose anything. On the other hand, if you humiliate and drive a person to the wall, he will be forced to attack. Maybe it is not a sin to quote Karl Marx, who wrote that the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, therefore they constitute the most revolutionary class of society. After the world war, capitalist democracies accepted this message and annihilated the working class, not by physically exterminating them but by giving them something, so that they would have something to lose. Workers got a home, a car, a fridge and an umbrella. This is called “umbrella socialism”. A person who has property and can send his children to school will not attend mass demonstrations to overturn power with violence”.
The professor stood for the Palestinian state, because “property pacifies people, calms them down and makes them responsible”.
He also said that we have to take the provocative caricatures of Charlie Hebdo into account, if we analyse the events taken place in Paris over the past year.
As for his final thoughts, he said: “I want to conclude my thoughts with some wise advice from the Scripture: “Hate will generate more hate. Vengeance cannot be the basis of peace as it will only result in further vengeance. The fruit of righteousness will be peace. Try to tolerate each other”.
based on the lecture of Csaba Mohi
Copy editor: bm