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Objectively Pro-Terrorist Pacifists
Mercurial Times ^ | November 8, 2001 (but more on that below) | Aaron Armitage

Posted on 11/12/2001 12:06:18 PM PST by A.J.Armitage

During WWII, George Orwell observed that pacifism was objectively pro-fascist because it weakened the war effort and thus was, in its effects, in favor of the other side. Honesty compels us to the same conclusion about some of our fellow countrymen: they are with the terrorists.

There are two wrong ways to react to the terrorist attacks on September 11, neither of which, fortunately, is being pursued by our government so far. One is to create a wider war between the West and Islam, which we would win in the end, but at too high a cost to ourselves. A lesser consideration against it is that it would punish many innocent Middle Easterners. Such a war may ultimately occur, but it's an outcome we should try to avoid. The other is to do too little. Bin Laden probably expected one of these two reactions, either of which would have played into his hands. The first would radicalize relatively moderate Middle Easterners in his direction, and the second would make our nation look weak and increase his prestige. Bush has wisely steered between these two, following a policy of attacking the terrorist and their supporters, but not taking unnecessary action.

Neoconservatives, who've been spoiling for a fight since the end of the Cold War, are supporting the first wrong way. On the other side is a certain pacifistic segment of the Left. Only pacifists can oppose our current actions, because it would be hard to imagine a situation that more justifies a military response than an attack killing thousands of people and biological warfare against the American people. If you don't support action after this, you can never support it. A typical pacifist sentiment was expressed by Alice Walker when she said of bin Laden, "But what would happen to his cool armor if he could be reminded of all the good, nonviolent things he has done? Further, what would happen to him if he could be brought to understand the preciousness of the lives he has destroyed? I firmly believe the only punishment that works is love."

She doesn't understand that they aren't like us. Some of the things Americans consider essential to humanity turn out not to be so: they are alien to Islamic fundamentalists. This fact ought to be evident from the fact that they consider killing innocent people a meritorious act (which in itself destroys her "argument"; she presumes bin Laden shares her moral universe, and he doesn't). Even the non-terrorist Islamic fundamentalists aren't like us. Look, for example, at the way they treat women. In large parts of the Islamic world, they mutilate girls' vaginas to prevent them from having sexual pleasure when they become women. In Islamic fundamentalist countries, even ones on our side, women must have their faces hidden and are often denied education or the right to work. No man who has ever experienced romantic love for a woman could ever tolerate such customs. The Taliban outlawed music. The things that compose our daily lives and our whole life experiences are unknown to them.

The most fundamental problem with pacifism is that it makes no distinction between aggression and defense or retaliation. Pacifism cannot but place a rapist and a woman who kills a would-be rapist on the same moral level. No doubt many, if not most, actual pacifists would never do that, but this is their common sense overcoming their ideological principles. By hampering defense and retaliation, pacifism is always on the side of the aggressor, and as such is fundamentally immoral in its effects. It is an ideology dedicated to making good men do nothing, or at least nothing effectual.

Pacifism means passive victimhood before anyone who cares to assert himself by force. No wonder so many of the same people support gun control. Left unsaid, of course, is how gun control is to be enforced without the use or at least threat of violence. I suppose gun owners are supposed to see the "light" and turn their guns in. This will happen about the same time Osama bin Laden understands the preciousness of the lives he destroyed. Pacifism is dangerously disconnected from the real world; in order to work, everyone would have to abjure any and all violence. There is such a thing as evil in this world, and there are evil people who must be resisted.

Pacifism would do to nations what gun control does to individuals: leave them helpless before masked men with dark intentions.


TOPICS: Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: libertarians; paleolist
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The owner of the site I was at has been too busy to update his site, so now I'm at Mercurial Times. Maybe I'll ultimately be at both. This one was written a few weeks ago, but it's only just been posted. Here it is.
1 posted on 11/12/2001 12:06:19 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: *Paleo_list; *libertarians; OWK; Anthem; Publius; diotima; Aristophanes; CatoRenasci; Romulus...
.
2 posted on 11/12/2001 12:07:26 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Bump it, Dano
3 posted on 11/12/2001 12:12:05 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: A.J.Armitage
Bump!!
4 posted on 11/12/2001 12:17:43 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: A.J.Armitage
bump for later perusal. Thanks for the ping.
5 posted on 11/12/2001 12:19:19 PM PST by Protagoras
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: A.J.Armitage
I'd like to pin this article to Lew Rockwell's chest....With an air nailer.
7 posted on 11/12/2001 12:23:40 PM PST by 11B3
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To: A.J.Armitage
Nice one.

The most fundamental problem with pacifism is that it makes no distinction between aggression and defense or retaliation.

I've heard it described (really!) as an opportunity to turn the other cheek. Taken to its logical end, this would require us to abolish all police forces and dismantle the entire criminal justice system.

It would work fine "if everybody would just...." But of course they don't.

She doesn't understand that they aren't like us.

Absolutely correct. There are those for whom a recitation of our "unalienable rights" will simply cause them to chuckle before they shoot.

8 posted on 11/12/2001 12:25:15 PM PST by r9etb
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To: tex-oma
So does collectivism, A.J. We've learned that, haven't we?

Exactly, except that the masked men are sent by your own government with your own money.

9 posted on 11/12/2001 12:25:54 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: A.J.Armitage
Add me to your list s'il vous plait!
11 posted on 11/12/2001 12:28:05 PM PST by Maelstrom
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To: A.J.Armitage
the only punishment that works is love...

does this person understand the difference between law and gospel?
12 posted on 11/12/2001 12:28:44 PM PST by mlocher
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: tex-oma
By "cost to ourselves", I mean cost in lives, both of our soldiers and of people getting killed in the terrorism it would inspire. The government's purpose is to protect innocent Americans, so that's the highest consideration. Of course innocent lives, of any nationality, are more important than monetary cost.
14 posted on 11/12/2001 12:32:51 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: tex-oma
No, you miss my point. Americans were helpless before terrorists, despite our elaborate, exorbitantly expensive, collectivist "defense." The individual is disarmed by the government, and left vulnerable, yet we are told to trust the government to do what it most emphatically cannot do....protect us.

You're right, at least about terrorism. The government indeed has failed to protect us from it.

15 posted on 11/12/2001 12:35:08 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: mlocher
the only punishment that works is love...

Ridiculous statement to begin with..."love" a punishment?

Anyways, who is she, the "6th" Beatle?..."Love, love, love...".....Get real, moron.

FMCDH

16 posted on 11/12/2001 12:36:43 PM PST by nothingnew
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To: A.J.Armitage
Oh, leave the Amish alone. They are hardly a threat. Their pacifism is a deeply held and sincere belief based upon their religious understanding as Christians. They believe that if the result of their pacifism is death at the hands of the attacker, so be it; death is not threatening to them as Christians. If, as Christians, they believe they are living righteous lives that will lead to after-death rewards, I don't think their view is that unsound.
17 posted on 11/12/2001 12:44:09 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
I didn't have the Amish in mind.
18 posted on 11/12/2001 1:01:31 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Good comments. It's my opinion that to resist and combat evil even by force is a noble endeavor. To remain silent and pacifist in the face of it, is evil.

Thank you.

19 posted on 11/12/2001 1:02:58 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: DoughtyOne
To remain silent and pacifist in the face of it, is evil.

Oh, Amish folks ain't evil. They just mind their own business trying to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs, one of those beliefs being pacifism.
20 posted on 11/12/2001 1:07:38 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: A.J.Armitage
I didn't have the Amish in mind.

But they're pacifists. Can you tell us who the good pacifists are and who the bad pacifists are?
21 posted on 11/12/2001 1:11:02 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
The Amish, both in their pacifism and in their avoidance of technology, can exist only in the context of a society that doesn't share these traits. I don't know if they take non-combatant roles in the military, but there are some who do, and I certainly didn't mean them. I meant the people who are attempting to stop the United States from retaliating. That is, the ones on the left.
22 posted on 11/12/2001 1:22:39 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: BikerNYC
If my wife were being assulted and I didn't use force to stop it, I'd say that was evil.
23 posted on 11/12/2001 1:24:38 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Cavalry
So then what should we do?
25 posted on 11/12/2001 1:35:19 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: mlocher
Does this person understand anything at all?(Alice Walker)
26 posted on 11/12/2001 1:38:22 PM PST by cardinal4
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To: Cavalry
Why don't you go change your diapers, then come back to discuss this rationally. Armitage had it right. You aren't even close.

Murderous? Whew! What propaganda outlet are you subscribing to? The northern alliance just took Mazar-il Sharif. The first thing the occupants did is drop their veils and shave. Sounds like a bunch of people who dearly loved the Taliban doesn't it? What about those fifty men women and children who were gunned down by the Taliban. Do you think their families are angry at the US?

Just because CNN and the leftist press from Great Britain feed you stories you can sink your teeth into, don't sell your soul to them. They are about as propagandist as they come.

Buy a clue.

27 posted on 11/12/2001 1:40:53 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Cavalry
I don't mind if they're "embittered", just so long as they are detered.

As opposed to where we are now, where the muslim street hates our abundance and society and acts to kill us when they can, I'll accept 10% more hate if they are afraid of the price they will pay for actual actions and therefore simmer in their own juices.

28 posted on 11/12/2001 1:48:15 PM PST by KC Burke
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To: DoughtyOne
Just because CNN and the leftist press from Great Britain feed you stories you can sink your teeth into, don't sell your soul to them. They are about as propagandist as they come.

Is a network leftist simply if they have reports that do indeed have content that is labeled leftist? Or is it their whole philosophy? Someone point me to a news source that reports everything as it really is, unbiasedly. Anyone out there have a particular news source they always trust?

29 posted on 11/12/2001 1:52:23 PM PST by jiggity
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To: cardinal4
does this person understand anything at all?

point well taken. she clearly understands how to agitate intelligent, logically thinking people.
30 posted on 11/12/2001 2:04:47 PM PST by mlocher
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To: A.J.Armitage
Bump...........and a major one at that.
31 posted on 11/12/2001 2:19:15 PM PST by curmudgeonII
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To: A.J.Armitage
Excellent article. Thanks for the bump.
32 posted on 11/12/2001 2:33:21 PM PST by E.G.C.
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To: jiggity
Is a network leftist simply if they have reports that do indeed have content that is labeled leftist? Or is it their whole philosophy? Someone point me to a news source that
reports everything as it really is, unbiasedly. Anyone out there have a particular news source they always trust?

If a news outlet produces their presentations in such a manner as to reflect the leftist viewpoint, they're leftist.  Yes most news outlets do produce leftist presentations on occasion.  Where the problem comes in is when that leftist viewpoint excedes 50%.  For my taste, it's a problem when they excede 10%, but that's my own taste.

You asked if anyone has a news source they always trust.  I don't.  I do have sources I trust more than others based on my observances of their past presentations.  I try very hard to judge every single news presentation I hear.  Even FoxNews and other sources I like slip false statements through.  But they are better than the alternatives.  CNN is nothing but propaganda most of the time.   And if you don't like what they're selling, you're the problem according to them.

Here's an example of story from both viewpoints.

Yesterday the Red Cross warehouse was the victim of US bombing in Kabul.  The manager of the facility was angered by the bombing and condemned any nation that would do such a thing.  "The Red Cross is a humanitarian agency, and should be out of bounds for such attacks", he stated.  Local Taliban officials sited this as still another example of United States sponsored terrorism.  Local families lives were disrupted and joined in the condemnation of the United States' actions.

Yesterday the Red Cross warehouse was struck by US bombs during the night.  There was no loss of life.  The manager of the facility was angered by the bombing and condemned any nation that would do such a thing.  "The Red Cross is a humanitarian agency, and should be out of bounds for such attacks" he stated.  Local Taliban officials and neighbors of the facility joined in the condemnation.  The Taliban stated that this was another example of US sponsored terrorism.  When reached for comment US officials noted that the Red Cross warehouse facilities were being used to store Taliban weapons.  As such they considered the warehouse to be a bonified military target.

They can give the leftist viewpoint as long as they balance it off.  Some news sources seldom do.  One of my favorites is the newspaper article that gives a false headline trashing the US or a conservative viewpoint, then during the last couple of sentences of the article, reveals the real truth.  This happens all the time.  There's an example on the forum right now.

33 posted on 11/12/2001 2:44:55 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: A.J.Armitage
I've served in the military. I'm currently in the process of recruitment for the Rockford Police Department (and on a slightly different note that may interest you, I'm taking the testing this Friday for the NIU Police). It would be difficult to call me a pacifist for these reasons.

I'm not opposed to wars for the right reasons and I would have to agree that having four jetliners hijacked and intentionally crashed into buildings would constitute the right reasons. But (you knew it was coming), I still reserve my right to feel uncomfortable about bombing targets in a nation where culpability has yet to be established. Unlike many Freepers, I didn't stop questioning the government and its motives when an R was elected instead of a D. I still maintain that there is precious little difference where the important things are concerned. Maybe Afghanistan is the right target, maybe not. Maybe it's about getting bin Laden, maybe it's about oil. I haven't seen enough evidence from our intelligence community to be sure either way.

Sure it feels good that we're doing something, but I won't just assume that it's the right thing just because I'm told that it is. The federal government doesn't have much of a track record to leave me feeling assured.

34 posted on 11/12/2001 3:04:06 PM PST by Equality 7-2521
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To: Equality 7-2521
But (you knew it was coming), I still reserve my right to feel uncomfortable about bombing targets in a nation where culpability has yet to be established. Unlike many Freepers, I didn't stop questioning the government and its motives when an R was elected instead of a D.

But hasn't bin Laden finally gotten around to admitting it was his guys who did it? I would think that would settle the issue, presuming bin Laden's still in Afghanistan. It's always possible he left secretly. I guess we'll find out when the Northern Alliance takes the rest of the Taliban's territory.

35 posted on 11/12/2001 3:30:27 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: Equality 7-2521
And wecome to DeKalb. :-)
36 posted on 11/12/2001 3:31:57 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage; tex-oma; Lurker; OWK; Diamond
A lesser consideration against it is that it would punish many innocent Middle Easterners. A lesser consideration? Innocent human lives are a lesser consideration than cost? These things struck me right off. Back later.... -- tex-oma

The government's purpose is to protect innocent Americans, so that's the highest consideration. Of course innocent lives, of any nationality, are more important than monetary cost. -- tex-oma

I agree with, and will here amplify, Aaron's point:

In the prosecution of a Just War (the analysis herein naturally depends upon the War in question being a Just War of retaliatory defense), the State's priorities are as follows:

1.) The Lives of domestic Civilians (Principle of Covenant)
2.) The Lives of domestic Soldiers (Principle of Covenant)

3.) The Lives of enemy Civilians (Principle of Charity)
4.) The Lives of enemy Soldiers (Principle of Charity)

These priorities are ordered thusly, not on the basis of any disparity in the values of the respectives Lives (life = life = life = life, period), but on the basis of a disparity of respective Duty. State is Covenanted to provide the defense of the Lives and Rights of its Citizens -- indeed, that is its only legitimate reason to exist.

All the foregoing is predicated upon a simple maxim -- Covenanted Duties must be performed prior to the extension of Charity. The State has a Moral duty to every single life of its Covenanted Citizens before it has a Moral duty to even a million lives of its enemies -- period.

If I owe tex-oma $1,000 dollars, and I see A.J. Armitage starving and destitute for want of $100 to food and shelter, my first duty is to repay tex-oma the $1,000 which I owe. It does not matter how much I may wish to extend Charity to AJ; that money is not mine to give (unless, God willing, tex-oma should release me from my debt to perform Charity). Likewise, State's first duty is the Defense of its Covenanted Citizens; State does not even have the moral option of extending Charity to the enemy in War unless its duty in this regard is fulfilled. (For the same reason, all Foreign Aid is illegitimate -- no matter how Charitable, State has the primary duty not to tax even one dollar away from a single taxpayer for any duties other than those it is Covenanted to perform.)

A codicil to points #3 and #4 must here be stated -- the "Brutal Peace" codicil. IF State is reasonably confident that a brutal attack (even one of horrific brutality) against 10,000 enemy soldiers or even enemy civilians will so completely demoralize the enemy that a rapid peace will thereafter be acheived -- saving the lives of its Citizens (and, perhaps, many enemy lives also), then the brutal attack is not a "necessary evil", but rather a moral necessity to the performance of its primary duty to secure the defense and Peace of its own citizenry. While I would not class the fire-bombing of Dresden (which was a completely wanton and sadistic orgy of slaughter having no redeeming value, IMHO) among this sort of action, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima -- given the uncertainty of Japanese surrender prior to that action -- arguably fits the bill. (Nagasaki, OTOH, was probably unnecessary, historically speaking. But, hindsight is 20/20).

As always, IMHO.

37 posted on 11/12/2001 4:08:52 PM PST by Uriel1975
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To: Uriel1975
Very nice. Thank you.
38 posted on 11/12/2001 4:30:59 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Yeah, but I flubbed the citation. Italicized quote #2 was yours, not Tex's, of course. D'oh!!
39 posted on 11/12/2001 4:36:26 PM PST by Uriel1975
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To: A.J.Armitage
Pushing to avoid a wider war is not pro-pacifist, it is pro-America. The media and its groupies are pushing for a wider war and are trying to cold-cock Bush by sticking pins into Powell like a Bush voodoo doll.

What is in America's long range interest? Get bin Laden, than over and out for good. Build fortress America and let the world fight their own infinite wars - religious, ethnic, economic or political. Heed George Washington if our nation and its constitution are to survive this century.

40 posted on 11/12/2001 4:43:31 PM PST by ex-snook
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To: Uriel1975
Well, you can't get everything right.
41 posted on 11/12/2001 4:56:36 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: ex-snook
You're right. Your statement that we should "Get bin Laden, than over and out for good," is my middle course, between starting a wider war and pacifism.
42 posted on 11/12/2001 4:58:41 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: DoughtyOne
If my wife were being assulted and I didn't use force to stop it, I'd say that was evil.

Even if you believed that, as a result, she would spend eternity in heaven while you, for using force, would be condemned to hell, never to see her again?
43 posted on 11/12/2001 5:11:57 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC; DoughtyOne; A.J.Armitage; Lurker; OWK
If my wife were being assulted and I didn't use force to stop it, I'd say that was evil. ~~~ Even if you believed that, as a result, she would spend eternity in heaven while you, for using force, would be condemned to hell, never to see her again?

Force in defense of Rights is Moral.

DoughtyOne would perhaps be in danger of hellfire if he were to fail to defend his family; but the employment of Force in defense of his family might well earn him "Good and Faithful Servant" stripes on his "Godly Husband" uniform.

44 posted on 11/12/2001 5:26:41 PM PST by Uriel1975
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To: A.J.Armitage
Well done A.J.! Keep 'em coming. I always enjoy your writing.

I must add, that it is always most enjoyable to read your responses to those that question your thesis. Your wisdom belies your age! :)

Thanks for the bump!

45 posted on 11/12/2001 5:35:35 PM PST by RedWing9
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To: A.J.Armitage
By hampering defense and retaliation, pacifism is always on the side of the aggressor, and as such is fundamentally immoral in its effects.

Pacifism means passive victimhood before anyone who cares to assert himself by force

Pacifism would do to nations what gun control does to individuals: leave them helpless before masked men with dark intentions

A most excellent essay BUMP to you, A.J.Thank you for the ping!
Is it okay if I use this elsewhere?

46 posted on 11/12/2001 7:13:13 PM PST by SusanUSA
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To: BikerNYC
Have you ever heard of a group called the children of Israel? Guy, the Lord God sanctioned their battles. How can you say that I would not be saved because I defended my wife? I think you guys have a twisted vision of what the Lord expects from us. To go out and kill for no reason is not right, but to kill in the defense of what is right, is a noble cause.
47 posted on 11/12/2001 7:14:12 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: susangirl
Sure, just make sure the byline's there.
48 posted on 11/12/2001 7:16:42 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Of course!
And, AJ, really, really good work!
49 posted on 11/12/2001 7:37:33 PM PST by SusanUSA
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To: susangirl
And, AJ, really, really good work!

Thanks.

50 posted on 11/12/2001 7:38:25 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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