Lt. Col. David Grossman (retired Army Ranger and now consultant to
many military, law enforcement and peace groups).
As many of you know, I have a lot of contacts in the "peace"
community (my book, On Killing is used as required reading in many
"peace studies" programs in many universities) and I have a lot
of contacts in the military and law enforcement communities (where my book
is also being used as "required reading").
Many individuals in the peace community see me as a "bridge"
between them and the military, and I try to be worthy of their trust,
without compromising my own values. On both sides of the issue (peace
& military) people tend to stereotype each other, and (in general)
these stereotypes could not be more wrong.
I am always looking for points of consensus. Searching for the area
where you disagree with someone and then emphasizing that point may be
emotionally satisfying, but is generally counterproductive in all other
aspects. And so, to attempt to find this "consensus point," I am
sending this out to my "Media Violence/Peace" list, my "Law
Enforcement Trainers" list, and my "Military" list. This
amounts to nearly 700 activists and leaders in their field.
My friends, the peace movement did itself GREAT harm during WWII. We
had an evil enemy. We attacked, occupied, and pacified them. It worked.
Today Japan and Germany are, for the most part, giants of pacifism and
productivity. The peace movement ended up looking foolish and
In WWII the extreme element of the pacifist movement was truly set back
by their unwillingness and inability to take anything but a position that
looked very much like appeasement. I say the "extreme element"
because many Quakers and Mennonites were willing to serve in WWII, as
medics, etc. It was only a small handful who were not willing to find a
compromise position, but that small handful did the peace movement great
An attack is GOING to happen. Our nation is very, very, angry. We have
not even BEGUN to plumb the depths of our anger. The cockpit recordings of
the pilots being brutally murdered WILL come out. THOUSANDS of dead,
compacted, charred, crushed, suffocated, brutally murdered Americans wait
at the bottom of the World Trade Center, like the charred remains stuck to
the bottom of a burned casserole. And these bodies WILL be photographed
and those photos WILL eventually be released. THEN you will see America
when she is REALLY angry.
The polls say that the vast majority of Americans are more concerned
that we will UNDER react. Anyone who gets in the way of the charging bull
is going to be seriously damaged, and for no purpose or accomplishment,
whatsoever. Our job is to GUIDE the attack. To help direct the charging
bull away from innocents. To make sure that we do it humanely, without
violating our principles. And THEN (here is the hard part) be SURE that we
are in this for the long run. Which means doing to Afghanistan what we did
to Japan and Germany, complete with Marshall Plan, etc.
Included below is one of the best things I have seen written on this
topic. The author makes it clear: Afghanistan is a broken nation, being
run by criminals. If we go in as liberators, they MIGHT welcome us. We ARE
going in. Any effort to stop it will simply discredit the whole concept of
peace. But (perhaps) if we go in as this writer outlines, helping them to
reclaim and rebuild their nation, then (perhaps) we can do this in a way
that will not cause us shame in the years to come, and will add one more
nation in the community of democracies.
I had the privilege to do some work in Switzerland with the
International Committee of the Red Cross. I think that they may well be
the greatest Peace Warriors on earth. They know that wars are going to
happen, and their goal is to be sure that war is fought humanely, with
deep and abiding consideration for noncombatants.
For the peace community to call for "restraint" is to wave a
red flag in the charging bull's face. (Heck, a whole herd, a whole NATION
of charging bulls.) NO ONE wants to be the "Jane Fonda" of this
VERY popular war. BUT, if the peace movement calls for a
"compassionate model, complete with a Marshall plan" then THAT
may strike a real, historical chord in the American people, and move them
in a productive direction.
Here, written by Bill
O'Reilly, is one useful "take" on those
who want to "understand" those who murdered 6,000 of our
citizens. Whether you like it or not, I believe that his perspective
represents the views of the vast, vast majority of Americans. Those who
are calling for "peace" (appeasement for terrorists?) may well
be doing themselves and the cause of peace great harm, for many decades to
come. This view (as so well written by O'Reilly) will only harden as more
information comes out.
Below the piece by Bill O'Reilly is another piece, the important
a call for a campaign that is humane, and integrates a powerful
"Marshall Plan" for Afghanistan. As the author (Richard Kidd)
puts it. "we must show a level of compassion probably unheard of
during war." I sincerely believe that this document deserves maximum
distribution. THIS, is a plan that everyone interested in peace can take
to the table, as a reasonable starting point for discussion.
Click here to
see the Bill O'Reilly piece.
Note from Rod: