Wednesday, January 19, 2005

All They Are Saying

In last Friday's New York Times, there was a full-page ad (how much does that cost, by the way--wouldn't that money be better spent on tsunami relief, to use the anti-inaugural reasoning so common today?) entitled A CALL FOR PEACEMAKING. I thought great, I'm for that.

So I read their statement. It was from a multi-religious group, full of compassion. Let me quote a pertinent paragraph regarding the "forms of violence" they "condemn":
"That violence has included terrorist attacks on and kidnappings of Americans,Iraqis, Europeans, and others by various Palestinians and Iraqi groups and by Al Qaeda; the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel and of Iraq by the United States; and the torture of prisoners by several different police forces,military forces and governments in the region."
No distinction is being made among very different forms of violence (and, to my mind, some thing that aren't violence). Warm hearts have led to fuzzy thinking.

The solution this groups suggests is we all get together and talk. Everyone's in favor of talking. But you can set all the timetables you like, and pretend that no matter who uses force, it's bad. If you're incapable of making judgment as to which side is worse, or even completely wrong (even though you'll make mistakes), you're essentially ensuring continued suffering. Compassion is a start, not an end.


Blogger Skip James said...

"A queer and almost mad notion seems to have got into the modern head that, if you mix up everybody and everything more or less anyhow, the mixture may be called unity, and the unity may be called peace. It is supposed that, if you break down all doors and walls so that there is no domesticity, there will then be nothing but friendship. Surely somebody must have noticed by this time that the men living in a hotel quarrel at least as often as the men living in a street." (ILN September 8, 1917) Chesterton

12:05 AM, January 19, 2005  

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