In 1969, John Lennon wrote the song Give Peace a Chance, with a very simple message addressed to those who protect themselves religiously through movements; those who promote revolution: intellectuals, ministers, bishops, and rabbis; and also to the United Nations. “All we are saying is give peace a chance”, was sung by millions of young people in many parts of the world.

The year before Lennon's composition, in January 1968, the Vietnamese forces had taken advantage of the Chinese Lunar Year celebrations to launch the so-called Tet Offensive, which for 15 days subjected the U.S. forces that had invaded the southern part of Vietnam to a relentless attack in the fields, ports and cities. Later, the war was extended to the neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia. In those two weeks, and despite the gigantic military superiority of the United States, the government of President Richard Nixon and his military advisors lost the war because of the psychological effect caused in the United States by watching the television deliver news of the death of their countrymen and women and the arrival of corpses in plastic bags. The war lasted until 1974, with more than two million casualties, but it was those two weeks that politically defined Washington's greatest defeat in a war conflict.

The same happened to the French, who fought the Vietnamese from 1946 until the final battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, which ended 100 years of colonial occupation.

A similar story happened to the Soviet Union with the invasion of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1982 where the immense Soviet military superiority faced a people determined to maintain their identity and independence and ended up humiliating the Soviet power.

These examples show that military might is not enough to subjugate peoples struggling for independence and to preserve their dignity.

Once again, the world watches helplessly as adults and young people, women, and children lose their lives: Ukrainians, Israelis, Russians, Palestinians, Yemenis, Syrians, Kurds, Iraqis, and so many others. Russia and Ukraine have been in a conflict for two years that reminds us of the horrors of the trench warfare of World War I, where the only winners are death, destruction and, of course, the war machines of NATO and Russia, which produce weapons day and night to keep the conflict going. More money for weapons, and less for health, education, science and culture. The number of victims is reaching numbers that we do not know, but which will surely lead us to ask ourselves in the near future how this could happen and where were the organizations that were in charge of maintaining peace in the world.

On the other hand, we are witnessing a real genocide of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, where the State of Israel is trying to eliminate the terrorist group Hamas, which is responsible for the murder of more than 1,200 people, and to rescue more than 100 hostages who, after almost five months of war and more than 30,000 victims, are still in the hands of the Hamas militias. Hundreds, if not thousands, of young Israeli soldiers, have also fallen in this drama and horror, which we are informed of almost live through television channels and social networks. At least two-thirds of the victims are Palestinian children and women. This war will have no winners, only losers, and will continue until a Palestinian state is established in accordance with the resolutions of the overwhelming majority of the countries that make up the United Nations.

It is no longer acceptable for the international community that Israel's refusal to comply with the mandate established in 1948 has been maintained for 75 years, and that the world must accept this imposition, which has provoked wars, deaths and instability, along with the drama of a diaspora spread throughout the world. Israel, a military and economic power, with the open support of the United States and the major European powers, has disregarded all the rules established by international law and is seeking to expel the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not seem to realize that, despite all its military might, it has already lost the war politically in the eyes of world public opinion, and probably of its own country as well.

The question that comes up more and more often is what the use of the United Nations is, or what can we, the citizens, do besides expressing our indignation and sending declarations of solidarity. A fallen soldier is in itself a drama for the deceased and his family, whether he is Ukrainian, Russian, Israeli or Palestinian. Although it may seem utopian and idealistic, we must promote a great movement for peace and disarmament at the planetary level and demand that international organizations, especially the Security Council, comply with the obligations established in the Charter of the United Nations.

The great upholders of humanity must be mobilized: decent politicians, intellectuals, artists, writers, Nobel Prize winners, environmentalists, scientists, responsible politicians, sportsmen, women and men of goodwill, that is, all those in whom we recognize a special value for their contributions to a better life. The only weapon we citizens have is the vote, which can also be very powerful. It is not only the lives of those who are at war that are in danger today but also the lives of the entire planet that are threatened by the damage we are doing to nature by not respecting its need for sustainability.

John Lennon shook the consciences of millions of young people with a song in 1969. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in 2019 did the same at the United Nations by calling for concrete action for the environment. We must again give peace a chance by demanding from the remaining decent politicians and governments an immediate limitation of military spending, resumption of disarmament agreements, curbed interests of the arms industry, and promotion of environmental protection before it is too late.

You never know what spark may ignite the fire. The escalation of war is dangerously increasing, and humanity could face a third world war, which could also be the last.