From 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 deluded. 

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 harm. 

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 piece: 
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.

Stay staunch!

Dave Grossman

Click here to see the Bill O'Reilly piece.

Note from Rod:  Check out Dave's bio, books and history at


 RFFM Home