This past week we were given an opportunity to peer into the soul of the pacifist. And it wasn’t pretty.
Pacifism is premised on the notion that war is always avoidable. There is always a non-aggressive solution to geopolitical problems. The fundamental flaw with such absolutism (absolutism in any aspect is invariably flawed) is that, in war, it always takes two to tango. Pacifism is all well and good in a utopian vacuum, but what if the other side of the conflict isn’t benevolent but rather has belligerent or aggressive intentions. In that situation one is invariably faced with the option of backing down and giving into the demands of the aggressor or standing firm. Here is where the pacifist chooses to simply ignore reality.
The belligerent isn’t really being aggressive, so says today’s pacifist. He is just misunderstood. If only we could understand him conflict could be avoided. Integral to our misunderstanding is the notion that his aggression was ultimately caused by our own actions. Regardless of how obvious the aggression appears to be, it can always be traced back to our own conduct. Ultimately, all aggression is really our fault. The importance of this notion cannot be overstated. For if the root of the belligerent’s aggression is really our fault, then we are in control. What we have done, can be undone. Not only is peace possible. It can be achieved at our behest.
Through this reasoning, the pacifist is able to turn the dynamic of a conflict on its head, whereby the party that seems to be most responsible for the conflict is virtually taken out of the equation. This week we saw this dynamic played out before our eyes.
The pacifists were taken by force, held against their will, threatened with death, and one of them was murdered. Yet the party that was intent on murdering them was excused, while the party that risked death to save them was given no praises, but rather general condemnation.