Coercive Peacemaking

Dennis Sandole

Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

He is still Armenian and he is still possessed by that paradigm, and it is his sense of outrage, A) because Ottoman Turkey did this to the Armenians who were citizens of the empire and B) present day Turks refuse to acknowledge it. You get a double edge sense of outrage. A) They did this to me. B) They don't even admit they did it. C) They are a member of NATO. D) They are negotiating entry in to the EU. How the heck can that be allowed?

Q: So

A: So the conflict stays fixed as the Germans say ???. ??? is fixed, it doesn't move. It rigidifies, it becomes what Louis Diamond calls a "conflict habituated system." We get used to it and that's it. Northern Ireland may never change. The Middle East may never change despite what is happening now with the Road Map. You know what is needed in the Middle East? The Quartet, or the authors of the Road Map. They are from the UN, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United States. They have got to put together a very robust international coercive peace making force to separate the Israelis from the Palestinians, to prevent suicide bombings, take causalities, and to prevent the Israelis from attacking the Palestinians. Only then will they be able to have negotiation, without any terrorism and counter terrorism to work toward a viable Palestinian state and neighborly relations between both sides, and to join economic development and other projects, etc. Until that happens we are going to go back and forth in this zero-sum, none-zero, lose-lose, and action-reaction process which is what we have. No one is standing up to the plate to do that.

Again in part, I think what is wrong with these people? Well, they are angry and you can't really talk you can't really offer money, you have to deal with the underlying sense of grievances which applies to the Israeli-Jews as well who came out of the Holocaust. Now they are imposing their own victimhood on Palestinians and don't see that. They don't see it because they see what they feel. What they feel is I am at risk therefore I kill you. They don't see I am killing you and you are trying to defend yourself and are killing me, therefore we have a common problem here. They don't see that because the emotion is overwhelming the cognition.