Sendungsbewusstsein

Kritische Auseinandersetzung mit den Medien

Robert J. Aumann: Spieltheorie des Friedens Sonntag, 23. August 2009

Zu der Debatte über den „Friedensprozess“ im Nahen Osten passt sehr gut, was Robert J. Aumann in einem Interview sagt. Für seine Arbeit auf dem Gebiet der Spieltheorie hat er seinen Nobelpreis 2005 bekommen. Ursprünglich in einer israelischen Wochenzeitung am 23.6.2009 veröffentlicht, dann ins Englische übersetzt und im „American Spectator“ am 2.7.2009 publiziert (Link):

Throughout history, peace was never achieved — neither from a scientific-theoretical perspective, nor from a common sense perspective — through concessions and demonstrations of flexibility — never. In conflict situations, it has first of all been necessary to demonstrate resolve, and only afterwards to sit down at the negotiating table — but not in the wake of concessions. […] If you’re succeeding in whatever business you undertake, it’s obvious that you’ll step up your efforts. If you’re succeeding by blowing yourself up, you’ll continue to blow yourself up. That is to say: the young people who up themselves and us aren’t crazy; they’re idealists. They’re people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for something they believe in. I don’t share their beliefs, but they do believe, and there’s a certain insight from game theory here, that in order to play a game effectively you need to understand what the other side is doing. If you’re playing chess, and the other side makes a move that you don’t understand, if you say: „I don’t get it, it’s all nonsense, I’m going to continue my attack“ — you’ll lose. First of all, you need to ask yourself why he made his move and after you’ve understood, you need to adjust your behavior accordingly.
And it’s not just in chess, it’s in everything. If you think that the other side is irrational, blowing themselves up for no good reason, so let’s ignore their behavior and keep making concessions for the sake of peace — you won’t achieve your goal. Because all those tales about 70 virgins and such-like — they’re nonsense. The young people who are prepared to lay down their lives to advance what they regard as an exalted goal are idealists — let’s understand that.[…]
We’re threatening ourselves, and that’s the greatest threat; we, and our insane race after peace, that’s what brings war. When Chamberlain returned to Great Britain from Munich in 1938, he said, „I have brought peace in our time.“ Back then, too, everyone was racing madly after peace, and Chamberlain brought war. […] What will bring peace is our readiness for war. The Romans already knew this: If you want peace, prepare for war, not just materially, but also psychologically. You should be psychologically prepared for war, and not go around all the time yelling, „When will peace finally come?“ The other side wants war? Fine, bring it on! Only then will peace come, only when the other side is convinced that we mean it. We’re not doing anything to convince them. On the contrary, we’re doing precisely the opposite, which is why we are the greatest threat to ourselves.

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