The Need for Détente and Bridge-Building in today’s world

Lord Hylton

I spoke in the House of Lords debate on Syria and the Middle East on 1st July at cols 107 – 109 of Hansard.  What I heard and said then convinced me that we need détente just as much now as during the worst   times   of the 20th century Cold War.

An obvious example is between India and Pakistan, both of whom are nuclear powers.  Trade between them could be greatly increased which would help indirectly the poorest people in both countries.

Iran and Western and Arab States are another.  For hundreds of years Iran has never attacked its neighbour though it suffered a terrible onslaught by Saddam Hussein.  The new Iranian President and the release of some prisoners give grounds for restoring at least basic diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran.

Israel and Palestine are perhaps the most obvious cases.  Because of the Wall and barrier, together with occupation of most of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, normal person to person contacts are almost impossible.  This has led to fear, mistrust, and demonization of the other.   Even when official relations are poor, everything possible should be done to multiply cultural, school, academic and sporting occasions.

14 comments for “The Need for Détente and Bridge-Building in today’s world

  1. Frank W. Summers III
    02/07/2013 at 4:01 pm

    Syria is of course where the term Christian was first used. The Apostolic Succession of the Roman Pope, The Patriarch of Constantinople and the Coptic Pope all go back to Apostles who spent time in Syria.

    It is difficult to wish peace to Islam and not to hate all that one is as a Christian. Their ill deeds have been virtually limitless and sustained from the start of the religion. The Islamists of the modern Islamic states are worse than average today:

    The only peace gesture a Christian or group of Christians can make that interests many millions of these people is suicide. But yes, peace must be attempted nonetheless.

    • MilesJSD
      03/07/2013 at 7:39 am

      I see the Whole Human Race Survival-Thrival Problem & Imminent-Threat,
      to have been begun at The Top

      and to be not simply continuing because of ‘laggardlinesses’ at The Top, but to be exponentially-worsening due to a certain widespreading ‘Laggardliness’ not just throughout all the component-rulers of The Top but downwards through the so-called ‘essentially-burgeoning Middle-Classes’ also.

      Universitie4s worldwide are not carrying these new advances in their libraries simply because, as Lord Norton replied to a question, (“) they are not ‘teaching’ them and that is because they can not afford either the cost of these publications or the library=space to accommodate them all(“).

      (therefore) all one can do is to keep on publicising whatever one finds that appears to be vital, or just plain ‘common-good’:

      but ‘unfortunately’ each of these “good and emulable human-life leaders’ published work” seems to be only another “lone voice crying in the wilderness”.

      Here are just three such:
      (1) “Let’s Do Theology” by Hugh Green (Anglican would-be ‘cooperatively-participatory ‘people-upwards’ theologising, [in contrast/conflict with the traditionally-prevailing Top-Down ‘professional’ and ‘God-Given Apostolic-Succession dogma and theologising hierarchical dictates];

      in short even this ‘quantum-leap’ would still fall far short of being “informed & cooperatively-participatory democracy, worldwide”.

      (2) “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss
      (how to achieve best and optimum self-and ‘neighbourhood’ management of the Sevenfold Innate Sacred human Energies)

      (3) “How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth” Eden+1 TV documentary facilitated by Sir David Attenborough; this shows how we are all, from Top to Bottom and Below, failing in both self-thrift and Earthlife-Thrift [and in the words of Professor Jonathan Stone Australian-Environmental-Studiesd before the turn of the millennium:
      “We humans have become a Plague upon this Earth”).
      One of the comforts I turn to is the CD guidance into “mindfulness” by Professor Mark Williams, following the Professor Jon Kabat Zinn findings from the USA’s worldwide ‘outreach’.

      But still there is no association I can turn to for likemindedness in as it were learning and applying the essential ‘new’ enablements and “co-sustainworthinessing” skills

      and still there is no “Method III of cooperatively ‘win-win-win’ problem-solving” happening and accessible.

      • Frank W. Summers III
        03/07/2013 at 12:11 pm


        Mohammed seeks Obedient adherents to the Prophet– among other terms. Jesus seeks committed disciples subject to the Master’s teaching. Different visions which both require the humble coming forward to be formed. Perhaps instead of judging religions you should consider the idea pf judgement and seek to allow one to teach you.

        I believe even the most strict and correct interpreters of Anglicanism are wrong in the role of your Monarch. On the other hand I think most Christians have dvalued the role of Royal Monarch’s in faith and Church too much. Therefore since I do believe she is among The Lord’s Anointed in this Earth I pray your long service to her may bring you some grace as you enter eternity. I feel sure somehow that the universe and its maker will more judge you than be judged by you in the end . . .

        • MilesJSD
          04/07/2013 at 10:45 am

          I apologise; I made a submission yesterday of over 400 words
          which should have been less than 250.
          Here is what I intended to send:

          What is being put forward here,
          by certain named advanced-knowledge and know-how educators and emulable lifeplace-leaders

          (and by familiarisation therewith by myself as one of the as-yet-merely-non-establishmentarian-notional-and-virtually-scattered-and-still-isolatedly-lone would-be sustainworthy-civilisation learners)

          is “findings”

          and newly-appreciated ‘wholesome or holy’ enablements;

          Not “judgements”.

          [I suggest that this latter was a somewhat ‘destructively’ competitive-term, inserted ‘against’ those greater-findings and myself, by FWS III].

          When FSW III then breaks off, feeling sure somehow “that the universe and the maker (sic) will more judge you than be judged by you … “, I have little doubt but that the Universe and the Divine-Maker have been and are long-since already judging me;

          and I am even more sure that They alone are
          “mature” enough (as it were) to tolerate any attempts by me, or by any-one, to notice and nurture constructive dreams, ideas, judgements, searchings, and questions.
          But Lord Hylton has put up a multi-faceted Topic here;
          and it’s ‘hidden’ predicamental-contexts, ultimately and imminently life-threateningly grave, need to be made-known and be worldwide participatively and urgently scrutinised;

          one of which is that India’s population is irreversibly set to overtake China’s and become the biggest in the whole-world by 2050,
          all regardless of “How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth”.

          • Lord Hylton
            Lord Hylton
            09/07/2013 at 11:26 am

            Try reading “Just and Unjust Peace” published Oxford University Press 2012, by Daniel Philpott. He discusses the secular and religious arguments about political reconciliation in, I believe, a very constructive way.

  2. MilesJSD
    02/07/2013 at 5:10 pm

    1. How

    (i) do you Lord Hylton define
    “a normal person”,
    “normal person-to-person contact”,
    “cultural, school, academic and sporting occasions”,
    “at least basic diplomatic relations”,
    “fear, mistrust and demonization …” ?

    (ii) how do Other Powers-That-Be and ‘Players’ define those same key matters ?

    (iii) how could we
    (ordinary and low-income citizens)
    especially in the multifaceted hostile face of ‘politically-correct terminology’

    such as “Ethnic Cleansing” when it is plain to the veriest Dunce that what is happening is bloody persecution and even brazenly-blatant genocide ?

    How could your own favoured Roman Catholicism provide an holistic conciliation reconciliation, or way forward
    when it only briefly mentions the Seven Innate Sacramental Energies to student priests ?

    And does effectively nothing to complete both the Knowledge thereof and the Practical Priestly Know-How,
    of both living that sevenfold-sacramental lifestyle
    and educating each and all members of a ‘flock’, ‘nation’, ‘community’ or ‘sanctuary’
    in that sevenfold-sacramental Godliness ?

  3. Bumble Bee
    08/07/2013 at 5:30 pm

    But yes, peace must be attempted nonetheless.

    Nonetheless Islamism has as little to do, and as much, with religion as the Conservative party/government in the UK.
    Is that not objectionable too?

    Cairo and Egypt are the pivot for political life in the Arab world and middle east, are they not?

    I am firmly of the view that Turkey will become much more involved both eastwards and westwards than they have been since before the time of Attaturk.

    It may intially take the form of more Turkish blue hatted UN troops for peace keeping areas, if that is possible. I should think SHAPE/UN is working on it now.

    Like all broad political movements they take time to crystallize, but crystallizing they are, like a good big lab copper suplahte crystal made by a school boy, sheer chance but getting bigger and bigger.

    • Frank W. Summers III
      09/07/2013 at 7:41 pm

      Bumble Bee,
      AS a Christian I must aspire to honor certain values and to seek out certain good results. Those include Justice, Peace, Truth. These are sometimes quite apparent conflicts for those of us who happen not to be Almighty God. I for example am not Almighty God — I also suspect that none of us in this current stream of comments are Almighty God. Our attempts to do and be good are less than perfect and endemic success.

      The History of Islam in Syria,among Christians and in Egypt and Turkey looks differently depending on who is looking. The Conservative Party also is subject to perspective but they are not much alike. In the 200 year following the birth of Henry Tudor one could argue that Britain got in enough civic religious violence to fill its historic quota. But none of that creates a debt to Islam. Giving the money you owe me to someone else is not justice merely confusion.

      I would do many things if I could that few would approve of and without qualm but I do not want to kill off all Muslims nor do I put any other country in the same category as Egypt, Greece and Turkey. Would I impose a regime in those countries that would preserve ancient rites and peoples and seek restitution? Very possibly I would do that, if I were strong enough. However, What I object to here and now is pretending that Christian historic wrongs against Muslims add up to more than a token of their wrongs against us.

      It is grandiose but I am bit more like Jesus about to be executed, “a witness to the truth” rather than one simply proposing a certain policy.

      Lord Hylton,
      I assume you were addressing JSDM and therefore I refrain from comment.

      • Bumble Bee
        10/07/2013 at 12:47 pm

        none of us in this current stream of comments are Almighty God.

        You never know, or Allah/Mohamet. I waas glad to hear the Muslim view on ‘Radio 4 Today’ “Thought for the day” this week.

        What can we say about the history of the human soul, without becoming totally immersed in myth, true or false?

        • Frank W. Summers III
          11/07/2013 at 3:16 pm

          Bumble Bee,
          The word Myth is controversial and complex as to its meanings. I am certain you are possessed of a good dictionary. But I would provide links to certain books if I did not think it might cross a line to advertising. The reason being that a summary would be included.

          I think of Andrew Greeley’s “The Jesus Myth”, Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” and the TV series “Mythbusters” as all offering different and yet somehow valid meanings of the word. The quote is very obscure now and was never really famous but without sources in hand to publicize the attribution I believe it was a famous British writer with family still in this hosting House who said “Mythology is a Corruption of Language” and I believe the late society of Inklings at Oxford had a sort of rallying cry response that “Language is a Corruption of Mythology”.
          Myth is certainly tied into the essence of human experience for better or worse but how it is related to all things can be a bit complicated.

          I am both sincerely a Christian and also tied by family, culture and experience to some values and expressions most Christians would consider in some cases Jewish and in others Pagan. Thus it would seem that I am quite the opposite of the kind of debunker and minimizer who in the nineteenth century laid so much of the foundations of our intellectual institutions and discourse today.

          I suppose this does not answer your question but is as close as I am likely yo get to answering it. The truth is that Socrates was fairly clever in laying out the idea that one must clarify terms to have meaningful discussions about ideas.

          It is the nature of the human mind to use many tools to grasp meaning. One great debate is whether meaning is real, valid and compelling itself. For a view of this topic which I mostly accept see “Meaning”, a book by Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosh. I do believe meaning is inherent in the universe. To paraphrase Holderlin “Myth is a House of Meaning” just as Holderlin said “Poetry is the house of being” .

          • Bumble Bee
            11/07/2013 at 4:01 pm

            If Frank had used the word “truth” at any time I would have been more convinced of his argument (other than “the truth is that Socrates..”)although he does use the word “real” momentarily, reality and truth being very similar.

            Thus the opposite of “The Jesus Myth” would be “The Jesus Truth”, which is surely what he was all about, and so on with the other myth stories he mentions.

            The idea that language may corrupt mythology, and certainly corrupt the truth, is not in question, and indeed the converse may also be …true. Objects and artifacts may provide a better truth than any amount of the spoken word.

            There are two kinds of history; the one which says that “History is bunkum” and the other which says we must go back and re-arrange it in detail, because we know more about the history of the (say) 17thC now than they did in the 19thC, when it was last re-arranged.

            I know the politics prof Lord Norton won’t mind my refering to him as a historiographer of Law. I hope that I am a debunker of it!
            I only ever think of the word “meaning” as a word which stymies any other conversation, so I won’t bother about that!

      • Frank W. Summers III
        10/07/2013 at 2:53 pm

        There are others but where the word “Greece” appears I meant “Syria”. Greek speaking (and other language groups) Christians once occupied all this land and it is doubtless my internal emotional turbulence which caused me to make the error but Syria is the one of the three countries I intended.

  4. MilesJSD
    09/07/2013 at 12:46 pm

    Lord Hylton
    yes I shall read the work you recommend;

    [nevertheless, two ‘moot points’,
    (1) there might be a formal-argumentational and moral-reasoning problem with the task-term “discussion”
    discussed, with whom ?
    and under what principles, methodology, rules and facilitations ? ]

    (2) how justify “reconciliation” when there was no “conciliation” in the first (and ongoing historical) place ?

  5. maude elwes
    23/07/2013 at 2:13 pm

    Only participants truly willing to broach a settlement will ever be able to reach ‘detente’ or build bridges in this ghastly mess.

    The main players in the game suggested here have no intention of seeking that goal as it does not suit their political aims. Does it?

    The answer, therefore, has to be some kind of pay off. What is it they really, really want?

    Religious doctrine flies swiftly out of the window when you find the answer to mans human prayers and hold those desires like carrots in front of their noses. Resistance disappears once what is really on the cards, on an individual level, becomes not only possible but ensured.

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