Franklin D Roosevelt made a very profound statement in 1938. He said: "You cannot organise civilisation around the core of militarism and at the same time expect reason to control human destiny." This wisdom is lost on the Americans and there lies the reason why the world is turned into an arena of violence, terror and conflicts, as if God had ordained this planet called Earth to be an abode of the humans, to perpetually engage themselves in antagonistic struggle against each other and transform the planet into a killing field. Anthropologists have differed that violence is an integral aspect of human existence. Freud, however, had propounded that human beings were endowed with two opposite instinctual predispositions - life instinct (Eros) and death instinct (Thanatos). Einstein exchanged many letters with Freud and argued that humans have to learn to be violent and that peaceful co-existence could be achieved through effective learning. Freud was not convinced and he postulated his hypothesis of death instinct, similar to the Buddhist philosophy of 'Nirvana', which maintains that life ultimately seeks its own destruction. Even if it is accepted that aggression has an instinctual basis, it can be channelised towards productive ends. Even lions are trained to act against their 'instinct', and be friendly towards their trainers. Aggression, therefore, may seek its expression in sports activities - wrestling and boxing and a whole lot of other aggression catharsis activities. The western developed countries showed a predisposition for colonising nations, who are endowed with nature's gift of oil, gas and mineral resources. They are targeted for outright occupation (classical colonialism), through excessive military power and then subsequently install a regime of its own choice to serve as its stooge (neo-colonialism). Those who defy the invasion and put up a strong resistance are semantically degraded and stereotyped as "extremists, fanatics or terrorists." They are typical 'bad guys'. Those who comply to serve all their demands are not only protected but are characterised as 'good guys' - "enlightened moderates" and often overblown as great 'statesmen', the worst outcome being that the 'lackeys' accepting the implanted identities start behaving as if they are really very gifted and must pour out their 'wisdom' to the prestigious think-tanks and institutions - a prize for servility. This so-called 'good guy' destroys the grace and dignity of every institution of his own country and rules with absolute power under the pretext of 'Unity of Command' and a mindset not different from that of Hitler and Stalin. Killing innocent young female orphans in the name of anti-terrorism, without any qualms of conscience, is the attribute of this 'good guy' (General Pervez Musharraf). Moreover, pushing the country towards utter destabilisation and squandering the wealth of the country for self-aggrandisement, lavish living and frequent visits to the centres of global power to reassure his loyalty and this ironically is what is characterised as "good governance." USA's strategic demands on Pakistan have often been quite contradictory in nature. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, the US had to avenge its defeat in Vietnam. The mujahideen were used to resist the aggression and Pakistan's then military ruler (General Ziaul Haq), very well known for his 'fundamentalistic orientation to Islam, and incidentally, far different from the vision of the founders of the state, was a 'good guy' for the US. In order to extend his own tenure, the military ruler was all out to support whatever was demanded of him. While the mujahideen, the major chunk of who were the Taliban, were eulogised as 'freedom fighters', Osama Bin Laden was not at all a 'bad guy' as long as he was supporting the Afghans resistance. After the Red Army had to quit the Afghan territory and the great Soviet Empire started disintegrating, the mujahideen who had played such a crucial role in the defeat of USA's great rival power, their fate dramatically changed. No government was instituted where the freedom fighters could get their legitimate share. Nothing to fall back upon, internecine conflicts erupted and warlordism practically ruined all the institutions of stability. The Taliban were erroneously equated with Al-Qaeda. They are the 'bad guys', but those who are tormenting, humiliating and killing the Palestinians - the Israelis and the Indians in Held Kashmir, are not the recipient of any negative epithet. The former President of USA, George Bush even called Israel's President Ariel Sharon an apostle of peace. The 'macho-national pride' and rather exaggerated fear of being attacked by a contrived enemy and simplistic construct of 'good guy, bad guy' are the main determinants of war. Every nation based on social constructionist point of view, builds an image of 'self', as a 'good guy'. These are essentially very narrow in nature but overly generalised as if they are absolute truths. Perceptions are often faulty. As Ralph White aptly remarks: "A more realistic perception of one's nation and its potential antagonists, involving large departure from the stark 'Good Guys/Bad Guys' caricature that presently is fastened by politicians, educators and the mass media, all of whom realise that their rapport with their publics depends partly on making the public feel good about themselves, with a general avoidance of any approval of their country's opponents." Demonisation of Muslims is also a biased construct. Why are the Muslim countries the main target of the West? In fact, the real extremists and fanatics are the 'evangelists', the 'neo-cons' and the 'Zionists' who are far more dangerous than Al-Qaeda. President Barack Obama would do well to open a dialogue with the Taliban of Afghanistan and workout a respectable exist. Adding military strength will be counter-productive. The limits of militarism have been amply proven in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Transcending the construct like 'War of Necessity', Obama must accept the necessity for "engagement and diplomacy with adversaries." That would justify the Nobel Prize he has earned. The writer is secretary general, FRIENDS. Email: