This is a rebuttal to:
"Even Pacifists Must Support This War"
published in the Wall Street Journal October 11, 2001
by NPR's Scott Simon.
I'm suspicious of an article titled "Even Pacifists Must Support This War". It seems to fall into the class of statements, "Those who disagree with me must now come to their senses and admit I'm right". Condescending yet silly. What motivates such a piece? Are pacifists dominating the debate? Are they in the debate? Has anyone heard from one?
Scott Simon tells us he's a former pacifist. It seems insincere, but we give him the benefit of the doubt. He doesn't explain what it was about his experience covering the Kosovo conflict that persuaded him to abandon his convictions, but he gives us his revelatory conclusion: "All the best people can be killed by all the worst ones." I guess nothing in the speeches and writings of his heroes Ghandi and King addressed that notion.
Simon asks, "what price would those who urge reconciliation today pay for peace?" Are pacifists calling for "reconciliation"? I've heard calls for a foreign policy based on justice, democracy and human rights -- as a pragmatic solution above and beyond moral considerations. What's the price? I don't know, probably a few more dollars per barrel.
"Those of us who have been pacifists must admit that it has been our blessing to live in a nation in which other citizens have been willing to risk their lives to defend our dissent." Er, no Scott, that would be the other guy's argument. The pacifist believes that risk and danger are ameliorated by breaking the cycle of violence, not by perpetuating it.