Five Reasons Not to Go to War part 2

Jill Taylor Bussiere jdt at
Sat Sep 22 16:12:58 EDT 2001

    I know you were being sarcastic about Sept 11th "not affecting me" - but
I think this event has profoundly affected the entire world.  And certainly
all of us in the US.
It also has profound implications for the future - which is why we must be
so careful and rational about what our goals are, and how we achieve them.
We have a choice about how we respond.

    We are vulnerable to all sorts of nasty things - chemical, biological
warfare, more destruction of any kind you can think of.  Poisoning the
water - or destroying water systems  as the US did in Iraq.  We were
vulnerable before Sept. 11th.  The difference is that now we know we are
vulnerable.  Perhaps now we can relate to others in the world who have been
bombed, destroyed, killed, etc.  That is one lesson that we can learn from

    The reason I am advocating _other than war_ is because war will not
solve the problem of terrorism.  The motivation for war comes out of
revenge, anger, loss, testosterone, and bulliness.  It is not a solution.
It only exacerbates the problem.  That has been clear from many of our
posts - those of us who are arguing against war - and I am sort of surprised
that you missed it.  Perhaps I have not been clear enough in my writing.

    I agree with you that we have enemies.  Who are our enemies?  How did
they become our enemies?  How do we make enemies into friends?  Why are they
are enemies?  These are questions that we need to ask.  Although George Bush
would have us believe that the terrorists are "jealous" of our wealth and
democracy, if you do any asking and listening of people in the Arab nations,
you will learn that there is a long list of grievances against the US -
valid ones.  And yet the vast majority of those in Arab nations are mourning
with us, and are not trying to destroy us.  We have a choice whether to make
more enemies (by bombing, perhaps nuking, Arab nations at will), or we have
a choice to address the valid grievances so as to minimize our enemy making,
and maximize our allies.

    I want to reiterate that all this is not instead of, but rather in
addition to seeking out those responsible for the destruction of the WTC,
the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania.

Terrorism is only a symptom - of deeper problems.  If we truly want to be
safe, and want others to be safe, then we must examine the deeper problems
until we understand them and can remedy them.  I work toward safety,
security, and a good future for our children, as well as Afghani children,
as well as all others in the world.  Questions and learning are the first
step that must accompany seeking out those responsible for attacking the US.

    I can tell you that terrorism will only increase if you and the rest of
the nation insist upon war.

    The vision many of us share - of justice, equality and peace in the
region, in fact is not an easy path from here.  It is way harder - because
we have not yet, as a nation, chosen it.  The Palestinian question needs to
be answered.  The US needs to think of itself as a member of the world
community rather than a superior to all, etc. etc. etc.  Those alone require
a whole lot of work.  Earlier posts have layed out a vision of what we can
do instead of war - if you want another post on that, I could give you some
of my thoughts - an edited version of an earlier one.

    War, on the other hand, we are all set to go with.  We have done it many
times before.  It fulfills something for a lot of people.  But it doesn't
solve problems, and it doesn't get us closer to peace.  I just saw a quote
today by Pope Paul VI - "If you want peace, work for justice."  (or maybe
the first phrase is second and the second one first - same meaning, anyway.)

    There are many other ways to achieve justice and solve problems than
war.  You might find it interesting to explore some other methods - that
have worked - and then you might not feel so stuck with the one that you
know - war.  Gene Sharp wrote a 3 volume work called The Politics of
Nonviolent Struggle - that might be helpful to you.  Or you can study Gandhi
and his Indian compatriots and see how they ousted British colonial rule
with nonviolence.  Or you can study the civil rights movement.  There are
countless more examples of change brought about nonviolently, and how
violence can be confronted.


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