The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


These are halcyon days for anti-war activitists. The war in Iraq is going poorly -- American military deaths and injuries continue, thousands of Iraqi deaths occur due to in Muslim on Muslin violence, the American public is exhausted and just wants the war to end, and even some of the administration's supporters are asking for a plan that will enable us to extract ourselves from the conflict.

Maybe we should follow the suggestion of Bill Maher, interviewed last night on CNN who suggested "Let's just get out and see what happens." Yeah, maybe we should do that. What could possibly go wrong?

It's difficult to criticize folks for being anti-war because all of us are. Anti-war sentiment runs the full spectrum from those those who believe that force is never justified -- true pacifists -- to those who believe that force trumps futile diplomatic efforts in virtually every case (even though they recognize that war is hell).

Today, I ran across an article at Pajamas Media by Richard Fernandez, the truly brilliant essayist, “Wretchard” of the Belmont Blub. In it he relates something Gandhi once said that I had never before encountered:
In 1940 Gandhi advised the British to act thus towards Hitler: “You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions…. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.” To the Jews just emerging from the concentration camps in 1946 Gandhi said: “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” Only a religious pacifist — or a Jihadi — could say that.

If Gandhi were alive, I have to wonder how he would advise us today. I also wonder how many modern anti-war activitists would applaud Gandhi's point of view? Hopefully, not too many. But for those who do, I can only suggest that they be first in line to martyr themselves, their friends, and families for their ideals.

It's kind of ironic that jihad means "submission." For those anti-war people who subscribe to Gandhi's view, I suppose pacifism means "submission" as well. The Islamofascist aggressor wants it, and the true pacifist provides it. It's a perfect storm.