Skip to comments.Objectively Pro-Terrorist Pacifists
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.
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.
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!
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?