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Source: (consider it) Thread: Pacifism AGAIN!
Martin60
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What a day.

mdijon has shaken my neo-pacifist paradigm on the Remembrance thread.

BUT just now I saw the Oxfam GB FaceBook page on British bombs murdering Yemenis. I'm in sodding angry tears:

"The last I heard the government were denying this. What a moron I've been. I'm so bloody angry and I don't get angry. At myself above all. And my FUCKING government. Owen Jones reported this in the Guardian in January apparently. My head is spinning over my armchair Christian pacifist stance, hard acquired after nearly 60 years, shaken today in strongly argued debate elsewhere, where an interlocutor convinced me that regardless of ALL the wrongs in a situation, particularly Rwanda, opposing the genocide with force was correct. And now THIS! My moral pendulum is all over the bloody place."

as I posted on Oxfam.

mdijon's argument STILL applies, I feel totally schizophrenic, strongly running both taps now, creating an overflowing, lukewarm sink.

I seriously need to know what my one way liberal mentor, guru Brian McLaren would say, but from past experience, unless he's said it in a blog somewhere, he won't respond.

mdijon has convinced me using the example of the Rwandan genocide, but I'm too immature to be able to deconstruct from that and apply it to ISIS, the bombing of which I've opposed. Even though my gut is rooting for the fall of Mosul.

Then as for Yemen, I've WEPT for those people. I've made myself watch their children die. And I paid for those FUCKING bombs.

Incoherent tangent: I understand utter bastards like the Saudis and Assad, fuckers, what I DON'T understand is the armed insurrectionists willing to starve and burn their own people's children - never their own, like Palestinians in the Intifada and Gaza - by calling down OUR bombs.

FUCKING STOP IT!

Honest to God, what would Jesus do? What would He have us do?

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Love wins

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mdijon
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Sorry for precipitating a crisis. On the tangent I think some armed insurrectionists do see their own children and own families burnt. And blindly fight on.

Although I once heard a very moving interview with a Lebanese Phalangist militia leader who had given up his armed struggle when his young daughter asked him in childlike innocence if he really killed people, and said she was scared the children of the people he killed would want to kill her.

I believe Clinton said one of his greatest regrets was failing to intervene in Rwanda. He had chosen not to intervene because of the experience in Somalia. Then on the other hand I'm sure intervention in Libya was prompted, by some, with the very best of motives at a time when Gaddafi looked like slaughtering the population of Benghazi. That hasn't gone so well.

It is easier to retrospectively declare that what happened in Rwanda was wrong than to predict the outcome ahead of time. And it isn't just hawkish/dovish thresholds, Clinton was quite a hawk but still didn't intervene for Rwanda. The discrimination is key and seems really hard to get right.

Is the morality of these interventions determined in retrospect by the outcomes? Or by the polluted motives irrespective of the outcomes? Or, more plausibly, by the quality of the judgement given the information available at the time.

[ 23. November 2016, 07:04: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Martin60
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I'm grateful mdijon. To you personally. You challenged me, iron to iron. The confrontation with self was initially DESPITE you [Smile] I disagreed with everything you were saying AND the way you said it. But something niggled. My failure to be courteous in Purgatory, confronted by our Host, was the pivot. And below the surface, from the beginning, years ago now, something niggled. I just repressed it. The Christian pacifist narrative of McLaren is an intrinsic part of liberal orthodoxy and I bought in to the absoluteness of it.

McLaren won't be able to address this until there's a head of steam that gets through to him. I'll correspond with Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and the Quakers, see what they say.

Western intervention in Libya, as in Iraq, was a catastrophe. Despite the lessons of failure in the far greater catastrophe of Iraq. The failures weren't accidents or inevitable regardless, they were guaranteed due to utter incompetence. A few Toyota pickup trucks with HMGs weren't going to annihilate Benghazi. Bosnia and Albania and Sierra Leone were handled better in ascending order.

Before my conversion to pacifism I argued here for MORE intervention, earlier. That would have stopped Hitler in his tracks in the Rhineland. Does this mean one has to accommodate WWI somehow? Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Hamburg and Dresden? I'm well in to a superb biography of Lincoln, an awesome man, and all the while have been proclaiming to myself how unnecessary the US Civil War was. Now?

It's issues like these that have to be fully addressed in acceptance of the problem.

Complemented presciently for me now here.

I can't believe I'm countenancing Just War! That no matter what one does, proclaims 'Not in my name!', one will have blood on ones hands.

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Love wins

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IconiumBound
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quote:
Originly posted by Martin60
It's issues like these that have to be fully addressed in acceptance of the problem.

I would like to recommend a book that convinced me of the futility of seeking a change in humans always seeking war. It is "Humanity" by psychology professor Jonathon Glover. His stance is that nations inevitably "slide into war" by beginning to build up "defenses" that ultimately are poised to begin a war.

[fixed code]

[ 23. November 2016, 13:26: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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lilBuddha
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A problem with the pacifism debate is that people always point to a result of the lack of pacifism as if it were the beginning of the question.
Seeking peace as a nation is not precipitating events which will end in conflict.
Rwanda, WWII, etc., are the results of choices, not the question determining whether pacifism is possible. For nations, at least.
It becomes more complex and difficult for individuals.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Thanks IB, lilB. Yeah, we have to deal with the world as it is. That Huff Post piece chimed with something I thought decades ago when I was completely down on historical Christianity: the Christian subversion of the Roman Empire by the C4th cracked it wide open for Gothic invasion in the C5th, but I don't think we can blame Christian pacifism for the Crisis of the Third Century. And I don't see pacifism as a factor from the C4th on, once it was institutionalized.

I'm going round in circles here. The Huff Post piece infers that Christianity weakened Rome, fortifying my prejudice from 40 years ago that they weakened each other.

For the first time I see that as ... just another narrative. And a weak one. So I fall back on another. We learn barely by suffering unavoidably hugely.

I think I'm straining for a still radical Christian situation ethic.

Was the preservation of the union and emancipation worth a million dead in the US Civil War? Which became the first 'moral' war? Which it wasn't to start with: it was about the union.

I cannot think of a single war that a Christian would have been justified in going in to from the start still for any but one cause. But now I see that there is a duty, that even Von Clausewitz believed, in Total War, to minimize all casualties. So the Christian warrior has THAT cause.

Fight for peace with all your might.

What a bloody mess.

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Love wins

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
the Christian subversion of the Roman Empire by the C4th cracked it wide open for Gothic invasion in the C5th

That was Gibbon's idea when he wrote Decline and Fall. I don't think it is the only factor and not even the main one in other historian's views. For instance the Eastern Empire was every bit as Christian and carried on for another 7 centuries. The decadence, the act of conferring citizenship on all in the Empire by Caracalla, economic conditions... there are many potential factors.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Thanks IB, lilB. Yeah, we have to deal with the world as it is.

Yeah, but that wasn't my point. We always use that as an excuse instead of changing why the world is as it is.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Good luck with that. Ten thousand years.

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Love wins

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Good luck with that. Ten thousand years.

That is exactly the attitude that allows this shit to continue. But, I suppose Jesus didn't expect anybody to put in any effort so...

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Yeah, it's all my fault.

For me still, for the next Sunni insurgency, for Palestine, until we address inequality, social justice everything else is irrelevant. I can't think of an attitude that needs changing more than the attitudes that perpetuate inequality, social injustice.

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Love wins

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Yeah, it's all my fault.

It is the fault of those who do nothing to change it. But throw out a comment like you did and be prepared to be called on it.
quote:

For me still, for the next Sunni insurgency, for Palestine, until we address inequality, social justice everything else is irrelevant. I can't think of an attitude that needs changing more than the attitudes that perpetuate inequality, social injustice.

Which is what I have been saying.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
the Christian subversion of the Roman Empire by the C4th cracked it wide open for Gothic invasion in the C5th

That was Gibbon's idea when he wrote Decline and Fall. I don't think it is the only factor and not even the main one in other historian's views. For instance the Eastern Empire was every bit as Christian and carried on for another 7 centuries. The decadence, the act of conferring citizenship on all in the Empire by Caracalla, economic conditions... there are many potential factors.
Yeah, AIUI from The History of Rome podcast, a major factor was that joining the army was a bad option, so the Romans just let the BarBars do it. It wasn't convinced pacifism, just better options.

Now that I'm too old to get my birth date pulled from a barrel, I'm pretty hawkish. Conscientious objection is fine, but I barely pay lip service to the long-broken sop to Christian conscience called just war theory. But [Overused] to Martin for the OP. I love your full body posts.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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mdijon
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Personally I think refusing to recognize that we have to deal with the world as it is can be used as an excuse for not engaging. It can be easier to have a simple obvious answer if one doesn't engage in the world as it is.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Personally I think refusing to recognize that we have to deal with the world as it is can be used as an excuse for not engaging.

Not what I am advocating. The world is what it is and the problems/situations exist and must be dealt with. But we continue to deal with them the same way and perpetuate the problems.

quote:
It can be easier to have a simple obvious answer if one doesn't engage in the world as it is.

There is no simple answer. The answer is fairly obvious, the solution is not completely so.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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lB. As on the Israel thread, it seems there is nothing we can do to implement a solution to give us the answer we want. Nothing.

Settling down, it seems I'm left with the same pacifism as before, which included self defence and defence of others in civil society, plus. If I call the cops, which I have many times, if knives are involved (which they haven't been yet) I'd expect them to come armed and so be it. I have pulled that trigger. I am part of the civil response including lethal force. So far, so ... good.

I say plus, because I suspect that some part of me was not accepting full responsibility for any civil power trigger being pulled, I was washing my hands. And there was no way I'd actually pull a trigger. Chance would be a fine thing, but if one were deputized, one WOULD have to accept that civic responsibility.

A common fictional dilemma.

But war? Just war?

Do I need to apologize to the ABoC, the Pope, the Moscow Patriarch and others for accusing them of warmongering?

I feel this bespeaks lack of depth to say the least.

I want to retain the neo-liberal confrontation with power abuse whilst accepting full responsibility as a citizen, with rigorous rules of engagement.

My mind floods with examples going back just this century:

ISIS - are nasty
Syria - Assad is nasty
Libya - Gaddafi was nasty
Iraq - Saddam was nasty
Afghanistan - nasty 911 war criminals

all can and should be vehemently critiqued.

All are running sores. What is our responsibility? They may all have been entered in to not in our name (well yours ... the bottom two were in mine in the name of liberal interventionism which I UTTERLY repudiate). But the resolution IS in our name.

And ... there is none.

So what SHOULD we be realistically advocating as disciples of Jesus?

And am I actually hovering on a full circle, a stepping in to the same stream twice, differently as ever one does; accepting that the state DOESN'T wield the sword in vain, that it is to be held to account, challenged, respected, civilly disobeyed, passively resisted and ... endorsed, obeyed even in a call to arms?! Not martyrdom.

How far?

'strewth!

And another big one. If the state goes too far, further than Rome ... how much further? ... can Jesus' disciples take up arms against it? Again, when is the time for martyrdom?

Roman Catholics did in Mexico a hundred years ago. With Papal sanction.

I have always recoiled from that before. I can't now can I?

Yet NOTHING in Jesus' calling of disciples endorses civil obedience to war and does endorse submission to His kingdom first.

Did the early Christians correctly discern that being a career soldier was counter to His kingdom where and when it was blatantly imperialistic in virtually every way, kingdom denying, Christ denying, idolatrous, blasphemous ... but somebody had to police the empire and its borders?

Can you be a good - Christian - soldier in a bad war? In a bad state?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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John the Baptist seemed to think so, and he didn't mince words when it came to changing lifestyles.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mdijon
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Rejecting pure unsullied pacifism does not necessarily mean opening up to the position that the UK ought to stride around bombing places where there are nasty people.

For me it means remaining open to the possibility that in some specific instances... despite knowing that the majority of military interventions end badly and cause more problems then they solve, and that "collateral damage" (AKA killing civilians) is inevitable, that radicalizing the survivors is also inevitable, nevertheless... there are some specific instances when there just might be more good in intervening than not.

I would put the Rwandan genocide in that category, and also Yugoslavia. I cannot see a way of helping in Syria at the moment. Or in Libya or Afghanistan.

How one decides is pretty impossible: It seems to me to depend on the local political situation, the possibility of a power vacuum, the degree of polarization already present, the resilience of systems that will be left, the danger of what is threatened versus what might result. But I think we should sometimes try.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Martin60
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Thanks to your persistence, I have to agree.

I suspect that this is therefore the best of all possible worlds. That there are no shortcuts whatsoever to the Kingdom, i.e. to social justice. That generous, liberal Christian orthodoxy; transcendent humanism is just part of it.

A brave new world indeed!

Therefore I do need to apologise to the ABoC and the Pope at least. I have to be inclusive and included where I wasn't.

I'm moved at this moment by the thought that this is of God. That God actually endorses this pragmatism of extreme tensions. That He hasn't abandoned us to our own devices but does, as St. Brian said, will us to work it out for ourselves.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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I take 'comfort' from Uncle Brian in the final line from this.

Answer: I've written a bit more about this in my book A Generous Orthodoxy. If you'd like to read a strong case for pacifism, I'd recommend you explore The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder. In Christian history, the majority of Christians have not been pacifists. In theory at least, they have held to what is called just war theory. Whether you ultimately choose Christian pacifism (I actually prefer the term Christian peace-making) or just war theory, I think you'll agree that Christians should never rush to war, never be happy about it, never take it lightly, never see it as something to be engaged in lightly.

Where that leaves Christians in the military I don't know.

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Love wins

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Callan
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IME, both Christians and non-Christians in the military would agree wholeheartedly with that particular sentiment. If only out of enlightened self-interest.

I think that there was a serious problem a decade and a bit ago where politicians and commentators who had little experience of or understanding of warfare were intoxicated by Western military success to the extent that they thought that there was no global problem that could not be solved by sending in the boys. Who regarded a declaration of war in much the same spirit as they regarded a condemnatory motion at a student union debate. I think nowadays the converse is true. The temptation is to stand aside when people are being slaughtered on the grounds that the Iraq War didn't do much good.

I was opposed to British non-intervention in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and equally opposed to British intervention in Iraq in 2003. I was also opposed to intervention in Libya and Syria and AFAICS, bad as the situation in Libya is it is not as hellishly bad as Syria. So my caveat to the above principles are: If we are discussing this it is bloody difficult, people will die and it may not work. This applies equally to intervention and non-intervention. I think that you could, potentially, deduce from this that trying to judge cases for war on some kind of consequentialist basis (which, just to annoy eminent supporters of Just War Theory is what Just War Theory boils down to) and say War Is Wrong. Or you can support Just War Theory and do so in fear and trembling. Whatever you do, you do in the knowledge that people will die and that, if you get it wrong, you will make things worse. For most of us this is theoretical, of course, so spare a thought for the poor buggers who have to make, and live with, the decisions.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Martin60
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Well put as ever Callan. The only difference now is that I supported - utterly wrongly - Iraq in 2003. I blame my intoxication on Michael Ignatieff. I then became party to unintended consequences in Iraq which made me ... literally scream out loud. Unhinged me a tad. Which explains why I vehemently repudiated it all and perhaps went an nth more than Uncle Brian intended, although you wouldn't know it from A Generous Orthodoxy. Well I didn't. Know that is. The radical pacifism - not a just war in sight - of Jesus seemed obvious to me when I read it in 2012.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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OK chaps. So, on our own recognizance and before God we HAVE to engage in just war.

Does God?

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Love wins

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Jane R
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Callan:
quote:
I was opposed to British non-intervention in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and equally opposed to British intervention in Iraq in 2003.
I think part of the problem is the tendency to analyse the situation and make the decision (intervention or not?) based on what happened last time. That did seem to be a factor in 2003; there were a lot of people talking about how we had to intervene before it was too late, and they were using Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia as examples to back their arguments.
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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Seeking peace as a nation is not precipitating events which will end in conflict.

Quite a few pacifists I know consider this to be the spring from which all else flows. And not just as a nation, but also as a person.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Callan:
quote:
I was opposed to British non-intervention in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and equally opposed to British intervention in Iraq in 2003.
I think part of the problem is the tendency to analyse the situation and make the decision (intervention or not?) based on what happened last time. That did seem to be a factor in 2003; there were a lot of people talking about how we had to intervene before it was too late, and they were using Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia as examples to back their arguments.
Commentators, like generals, tend to re-fight the last war rather than asking how the next one is going to go.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Seeking peace as a nation is not precipitating events which will end in conflict.

Quite a few pacifists I know consider this to be the spring from which all else flows. And not just as a nation, but also as a person.

sabine

sabine! Where ya been!

The trouble is, history is full of examples where even doing the right thing - improving social justice - will lead to conflict. Often more acute, but less chronic than the structural conflict in the injustice being addressed.

Doing nothing or appeasement are not alternatives to pursuing social justice. Unless they are tactical in that strategy.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Seeking peace as a nation is not precipitating events which will end in conflict.

Quite a few pacifists I know consider this to be the spring from which all else flows. And not just as a nation, but also as a person.

sabine

sabine! Where ya been!

The trouble is, history is full of examples where even doing the right thing - improving social justice - will lead to conflict. Often more acute, but less chronic than the structural conflict in the injustice being addressed.

Doing nothing or appeasement are not alternatives to pursuing social justice. Unless they are tactical in that strategy.

Um, I think you may have read something into my post that is not there. Pacifists I know (and I'm one of them) do not advocate doing nothing or appeasement. But we believe that the start of it all is a commitment to not engage in things that lead to war or conflicts--for example, oppression of a certain group, imperialism, etc; this is not "doing nothing or appeasement".

The appropriate actions will flow from this commitment. Improving social justice may lead to conflict, but pacifists are not necessarily avoiders of all conflict.

sabine

[ 18. January 2017, 14:48: Message edited by: sabine ]

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

sabine! Where ya been! .

Doing nonviolent direct action.

The objective of many of us who identify as pacifists is not to have a world that is devoid of all conflict (after, a difference of opinion is a conflict), but to strive to use nonviolent ways to achieve justice.

And the beginning, IMO, is to refuse to participate in structures and institutions that promote violent means.

Dr. Martin Luther King is a good example. Plenty of conflict resulted, but his refusal to accept the underlying injustices and his belief in nonviolent methods created a way forward.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

sabine! Where ya been! .

Doing nonviolent direct action.

The objective of many of us who identify as pacifists is not to have a world that is devoid of all conflict (after, a difference of opinion is a conflict), but to strive to use nonviolent ways to achieve justice.

Absolutely.
quote:

And the beginning, IMO, is to refuse to participate in structures and institutions that promote violent means.

Aye and for the widest, deepest definition of violence. I now accept the state monopoly of violence to achieve peace for social justice.
quote:

Dr. Martin Luther King is a good example. Plenty of conflict resulted, but his refusal to accept the underlying injustices and his belief in nonviolent methods created a way forward.

sabine

Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement were exactly what I was thinking of.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I now accept the state monopoly of violence to achieve peace for social justice.

Could you explain a little bit about what you mean by this? Thanks.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Martin60
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With the ultimate aim of peacemaking through social justice for all, it may be necessary for the state to use the threat of force as Johnson did with armed troops to end segregation in education. Saint Paul availed himself of the same. Internal military force above essential police force. Justice making, peace making force. Beyond that we have just war. Done under the same ultimate aim. Which is better, best served, yes, through non-violent means. If they are available.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
With the ultimate aim of peacemaking through social justice for all, it may be necessary for the state to use the threat of force as Johnson did with armed troops to end segregation in education. Saint Paul availed himself of the same. Internal military force above essential police force. Justice making, peace making force. Beyond that we have just war. Done under the same ultimate aim. Which is better, best served, yes, through non-violent means. If they are available.

Thank you for elaborating, Martin.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Martin60
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God bless you in your part in that sabine. The better part. Which is dependent on the other.

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Love wins

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wabale
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Hi. I'm a newbie. A fairly old newbie: I reckon I was conceived just about when the Allies took Paris. I'm very conscious of the debt owed to the previous generation, and world peace has been an obsession of mine for many years, even before I became a Christian in fact.

I started with federalism, a concept which has been doing rather badly recently, I believe! However, the idea worked very well for the American colonies when they first got Independence and after a hiccup found federalism preferable to fighting wars against each other for trade and territory. Oh yes, I do love historical precedents.

Apart from federalism I think many other things have to be done simultaneously, such as having regional organisations to monitor and even enforce peace – an idea first put forward years ago by one of the Peace Institutes started in Scandinavia. Groups of African countries have been good at doing this in Africa, but they need much more money and expertise from richer countries - pace Donald Trump. And we need pacifists: I still think the Greenham Common ladies did as much to end the Cold War as Reagan and Gorbochev.

Trouble is, earnest ideals can get forgotten in the heat of the moment, as I proved to myself during a recent Bible Study in our church when the Treasurer more or less challenged each of us to go and join the White Helmets in Aleppo, and the Bible Study collapsed into chaos, and I couldn't think of a simple argument to restore peace. It does sometimes need action – our local URC minister makes his contribution to world peace by going off to Israel now and then and taking photographs of Israeli settlers doing things they shouldn't. We must, I suppose, do all we can, but accept that there is a profound difference between what an individual can do and what a government can do.

Anyway, peace and love to all.

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Martin60
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And to you and welcome wabale.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was like that of a star. Gravity overcame radiation. Bugger all to do with the Women of Greenham Common. As The Telegraph said at the time, they were Upper Volta with rockets. No washing machines. And then we gave the Afghani mujahs Stingers.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
We must, I suppose, do all we can, but accept that there is a profound difference between what an individual can do and what a government can do.

Indeed, there is a difference, but sometimes a concerted peaceful efforts on the part of individuals can move governments to act.

Welcome to the Ship,

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

The collapse of the Soviet Union was like that of a star. Gravity overcame radiation.

Less poetically: The USSR collapsed from lack of resources.
Understanding it was going to collapse regardless, Gorbachev put a face-saving spin on it. The result of that spin is Putin.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Beeswax Altar
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# 11644

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quote:
originally posted by wabale:
I started with federalism, a concept which has been doing rather badly recently, I believe! However, the idea worked very well for the American colonies when they first got Independence and after a hiccup found federalism preferable to fighting wars against each other for trade and territory. Oh yes, I do love historical precedents.

I'm a fan of federalism myself. Unless the United States returns to federalism, we will either have another civil war or peacefully divide into separate nations. Federalism would be the most rational thing to do.

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Losing sleep is something you want to avoid, if possible.
-Og: King of Bashan

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lilBuddha
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So, are you using federalism in the initial US sense of the founders with a stronger central government? The modern sense of balance as is actually the current case with the US or are you actually meaning confederalism in which the states are relatively sovereign but join together for defence and other situations of mutual benefit?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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