Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash

When it Comes to Ending Wars, Mediators Do it Better Than Cheerleaders

It’s very difficult to end a war in peace by picking a side.

5 min readNov 22, 2023


Whenever there is a war going on, it’s easy to get caught up on a side. If you pick a side, you want one side to win. You want the other side to lose. You celebrate when the war is over but only if your side wins. If your side wins, you care nothing about the loser…loser…loser. Is this humanity?

I’ve never really done that. I don’t know enough about the wars I’ve known about to pick a side. I don’t cheerlead for one side or the other, because I have noticed the failed and twisted logic of war. And every war is preventable.

Some people say that defending oneself is not an escalation. But we should wonder if reasonable people go to war. Do they? I don’t think so.

Unreasonable people (ex, Karens) tend to escalate. Reasonable people understand the cost of escalation. Reasonable people understand the uncertainties of escalation. Reasonable people are proactive and avoid situations that lead to escalation.

War is evidence of a deficit of the proactive skills required to avoid conflict at every scale. War assumes that we can simply destroy the other side and we’ll be happy, or at least better off if we had done nothing. The cheerleaders of war have no compunction about killing everyone on the other side of the war. I’ve already heard an elected representative in Congress express her desire to kill all of them. Same thing in Israel. Same thing in Ukraine.

Myth: if everyone on the other side were dead, we could be happy.

The first thing to die in war is the truth. The truth is, no one is better off with war than without a war. Everyone pays a price for war. Wars have long arms and legs. Wars touch everyone.

When there is a war in the news, I know that about half of the news is probably true, and the other half is designed to generate revenue. Wars are great vehicles for transferring and hiding gigantic sums of money. When I think of the billions we send to Israel and Ukraine, I know that someone has a bucket under the spigot, and they’re capturing a slice off the side for themselves.