Can peace be brokered in Iraq?

Question: Can peace be brokered in Iraq?

Gerry Adams: You see these are all matters of political will. Wars don’t happen by accident any more than poverty happens by accident. They’re all curable. They’re all preventable.

There are big interests being served by these conflicts. So it means standing up to the big interests. That means mobilizing, in many ways, public opinion. It means media playing a crucially important role of highlighting, and informing, and educating people in as objective a way as possible.

But yes, there can be, in any given situation, there can be a just and a proper settlement, which means compromise, which means putting yourself in your opponent's position. And you if you want proof of that, the proof does lie in Ireland to a certain extent. Here we have the impeasement and Mark McGinnis – co-managing equal partners in a power-sharing arrangement.

We used to have the USSR, we used to have a Cold War. There aren’t any certainties once shifts appear.

One of the things I learned, and I believe with great conviction, is that people respond to the political conditions in which they live. So if you want to change how people respond or think, change their conditions. Don’t try to attack their core values. 

You can obviously have your own view of it and you can argue the case. But fundamentalism from whatever position is essentially wrong if it’s in some way used to inflict repression or injustice upon other people. So if you want to change how human beings respond, then change the political conditions in which they live.

Recorded on: Oct 8, 2007



Adams believes all conflicts are preventable as long as there is the will.

Malcolm Gladwell live | How to re-examine everything you know

Join Radiolab's Latif Nasser at 1pm ET on Monday as he chats with Malcolm Gladwell live on Big Think.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Innovators don't ignore risk; they are just better able to analyze it in uncertain situations.

David McNew/Getty Images
Personal Growth
Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America's first female self-made millionaire.
Keep reading Show less

Study: Private prisons result in more inmates, longer sentences

The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • After adopting strict sentencing laws in the '80s and '90s, many states have turned to for-profit prisons to handle growing prison populations.
  • A new study in Labour Economics found that privately-run prisons correlate with a rise in incarceration rates and sentence lengths.
  • While evidence is mixed, private prisons do not appear to improve recidivism or cost less than state-run facilities.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Is this the world map of the future?

    A vertical map might better represent a world dominated by China and determined by shipping routes across the iceless Arctic.

    Strange Maps
    • Europe has dominated cartography for so long that its central place on the world map seems normal.
    • However, as the economic centre of gravity shifts east and the climate warms up, tomorrow's map may be very different.
    • Focusing on both China and Arctic shipping lanes, this vertical representation could be the world map of the future.
    Keep reading Show less

    The art of asking the right questions

    What exactly does "questions are the new answers" mean?

    • Traditionally, intelligence has been viewed as having all the answers. When it comes to being innovative and forward-thinking, it turns out that being able to ask the right questions is an equally valuable skill.
    • The difference between the right and wrong questions is not simply in the level of difficulty. In this video, geobiologist Hope Jahren, journalist Warren Berger, experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, and investor Tim Ferriss discuss the power of creativity and the merit in asking naive and even "dumb" questions.
    • "Very often the dumb question that is sitting right there that no one seems to be asking is the smartest question you can ask," Ferriss says, adding that "not only is it the smartest, most incisive, but if you want to ask it and you're reasonably smart, I guarantee you there are other people who want to ask it but are just embarrassed to do so."