The Power Of One
One man, One Sign…..
Bomshel – The Power Of One
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Questions peace group’s objectives
The drama of Courthouse Corner … the confrontation between love for nonwar and love for a successful conflict. Two movements are locked in a struggle … Peace and Victory. The latter’s objective is a military success in Iraq by supporting all that will make it happen. The “Peace” objectives are not clear to all. A dictionary definition, one that appeals to this lifelong Quaker, is “freedom from strike or dissention,” a concept that can be equated in social or philosophical terms.
One might ask questions about the Peace Movement’s premise. Is its platform one of isolationism and/or peace as the byproduct of nonviolent conflict resolution? A number of the movement’s supporters center their protest to reinforce the principle of nonviolence. If this is the case, how can they back a leader’s comment about their heckling opponents as “old men who are still living the dreams of their youth … now fulfilled only by sending young men off to die.” Is this stating a principle for peace or is this a judgmental statement saying, “I am right and you are wrong!”?
Another movement member says, “ … a gang of thugs on motorcycles started showing up and harassing the vigil attendees. And when I say thugs, I’m not exaggerating.” Are not these aggressive, judgmental, violence-inspiring remarks?
Shouldn’t the soldiers for peace through nonviolent conflict resolution be willing to pay the same price as their fighting brothers? Shouldn’t they be willing to learn the discipline and seek appropriate conditioning as do the soldiers of war? Shouldn’t they have the inner conviction/strength to withstand the verbal abuse of their opponents? Our Iraq soldiers not only face physical violence but verbal abuse too. Doesn’t the stand for nonviolence start with each of us and demand the courage to face whatever the consequences?
As an old man who served nearly five years in the military, I continue to struggle toward the ultimate goal reached by martyrs King, Ghandi and Jesus.