Showing posts with label preemptive aggression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preemptive aggression. Show all posts

Monday, January 5, 2015

Standing up and fighting back is not Violence

~When fighting for justice,

a passion for zero-conflict is hopeful. But sometimes human beings are walking contradictions. Social justice depends on commitment and resolve. There will be no peace until we have justice because freedom hangs in the balance. -tmf

Concerning non-violence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.”
― Malcolm X

~ Malcom was right; self-defense is not violence. A retreat to an ivory tower of intellectual pacifism can be selfish and leave unnecessary blood in the streets. This preserves
injustice and oppression by rewarding those who initiate conflict.

Martin Luther King Jr. framed the issue well from his cell in the Birmingham jail:

" I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in
Atlanta and not be concerned about what
happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere
is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught
in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a
single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider
anywhere within its bounds."

...In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.

... Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.

..there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.

...We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well-timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that
"justice too long delayed is justice denied."

...Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and
in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published in:
King, Martin Luther Jr.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

War & Peace: Can we hope for change?

Since that fated day of September 11th,
this nation has been set on a perilous
course. Before that date we endured,
survived, and prevailed over threats
more visceral and immediate than
those we face today. But we had not
resorted to overt, unprincipled,
"preemptive aggression." We rejected
such action as immoral, unconscienable,
illegal, and beyond the pale. And then
came the "Bush Doctrine."

The Bush Doctrine is a proposal that America
has some inherent "right" to attack, invade, occupy,
or destroy any nation. This abomination betrays our
most fundamental values and beliefs. Such tyranny
flies in the face of our laws, traditions, and values.

The sad transgressions of the Bush/Cheney administration
should have been roundly rejected by the Obama administration.
Unfortunatley, this has not been the case. Barack Obama has
embraced these unconstitutional claims and seems willing to
violate extant US treaties and international law if it fits the
purposes of Robert Gates and other hangers-on.

It is time for the American people to move beyond hope to
demand real change in America. The misuse of our forces to
attack soverign nations who have not attacked us is illegal,
immoral, and does not serve this nation well. Since January,
our nation has participated in unprovoked attacks on a number
of nations. These attacks have precipitated civilian casualties,
made untenable situations worse, and sullied our reputation
and credibility.

"The New York Times reports that "The outrage over civilian
deaths swelled again over the weekend. Hundreds of angry
villagers demonstrated... after an American raid on a village
in the province on Friday night. The raid killed at least 16
villagers, including 2 women and 3 children, according to a
statement from President Hamid Karzai." ...Our attack
wasn't in self-defense; the Taliban isn't massed on our border.
They'd not been indiscriminately lobbing missiles, on a daily
basis, into Los Angeles or Chicago or Dallas. President Obama
approved the unleashing of the drones, recognizing that there
was a high probability civilians would be killed, including
women and children."

If Mr. Obama continues this extralegal behavior, our nation
will be seen as a rogue state and our current decline will
continue unabated. "Karzai warned the killing of innocent
Afghans during US military operations was "strengthening
the terrorists."
If we hope to find peace in our time, we must
establish a cabinet level department of peace, reject the
corporate enforcement tactics of the previous administration,
and demand that our leaders in congress and the White house
honor the letter and intent of constitutional and civil
law. We must rejoin our brothers and sisters as part
of a community of civlized nations who reject violence
and aggression as first resorts.

Mr. Gates has got to go. His history of abuse during eight
presidencies, has established that he is willing to lie to
congress, presidents, or the American people to advance
his personal agenda. We cannot afford such irresponsible
acts. These are tantamount to treason against the state.
The interests of the American people must trump the
interests and ambitions of corporate transnationals
who may often have little if any loyalty to this nation
or our people.

We need not suffer war. We can restore the peace.
But these goals require that we embrace the rule of
law and reject the Bush doctrine of unprincipled
aggression, in favor of a more hopeful movements
towards international peace, transnational
reconciliation, reconstruction, rebuilding, and in time...
we may find redemption for the atrocities perpetrated
in our name in recent times.

Tim Flanagan, Portland writer, teacher,
and facilitator at
Box 22, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034


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