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Subject:  Re: OT: On Pacifism & History Date:  9/19/2001  9:39 AM
Author:  FlyingCircus Number:  50893 of 876036

I think pacifists play an important role in our society.

They act as the counter-balance to the hawks. If, in cases as you've pointed out, we can justify our actions, then force is warranted. If, however, pacifists can
raise important issues to which we cannot provide clearcut answers, they have done their part to temper our anger or at least make us pause. Think of the
very men who developed the atomic bomb but has serious reservations about using it.

Agreed, totally and completely. It was the pacifists who, for example, had the conscience, strength and will to stand up for what they believed in and oppose the Vietnam War. There was a shining example of a situation where they raised important issues to which nobody could provide clearcut answers. Why were we there? To fight Communism. Is Vietnam really a threat to the U.S.? Enough to sacrifice our lives over? If Vietnam falls, is there really going to be a domino effect? If they fought the French for 15 years and drove them out, why do we think they'll roll over for us? The answers to all those questions were No and "because they will". Not good answers, not good enough for us to be invading and fighting over.

If the pacifists had been stronger in 1914, perhaps they could have stopped the most useless, pointless, "evil" bloodletting spree Europe ever engaged in. How many millions of lives were lost in the name of "honor" and "courage" to defend what was essentially a feud between the Hatfields and McCoys?

And the anti-Arabism coming up is unfortunately no different than the ugly racism that appears from a sick segment of society that a democracy allows to exist. Japanese interment camps. Confederate soldiers & Union soldiers in swamps.

But this pathetic whining, "I'm gonna move over the border and renounce my citizenship because war is never the answer" is the equivalent of taking your ball and going home. (Hint: sometimes, unfortunately, war is the only answer.) If you really believe it that strongly, then stand up and say so in public. But be willing to be criticized. And try to keep an open mind. If your mind is that closed, then fine. Go. Just please don't come back and demand your "rights".
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