Having started a conversation in my previous post on peacemaking and warmaking, especially as it relates to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I'd like to continue these thoughts.
One thing that occurred to me is that it may be useful for us to consider that our support for the nuclear bombing of two civilian cities helps us get an insight into the terrorists' mind. After all, the terrorists believe that sometimes there are legitimate reasons to kill innocent men, women and children. Those who support the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki believe the same thing.
I'm not making a judgement call, there, just pointing out a fact: Both parties mentioned believe that there is a time for killing civilians. In fact, there are several similarities.
Both American (especially religious American) war-supporters and modern terrorists believe:
1.That war can be God-ordained, indeed, they believe in the concept of a Holy War
2.It is permissible to kill innocents in the course of war IF the war is just
3.It is permissible to target thousands of innocent civilians IF the cause is just
4.It is okay to lie – even if people are dying as a result of the deception – as long as the cause is just
5.That "the enemy" are godless and/or the Great Satan and must be killed
6.That those who die in the war against terrorists are heroes who might be destined for heaven
7.That torture (in one form or the other) is a legitimate tool to obtain information from captured enemies
The difference then, between those who believe in violence as a solution and those who don't, is that violent solution supporters have some of the same logical starting points and pacifist/non-violent resisters don't. We (pacifists) believe in a different sort of logic.
We believe that wrong-doing must be stood up to, but not using the same tools or methods that the wrong-doers use. Where they say, sometimes it's okay to kill innocent people, we say, NO. Where they say, sometimes violence can result in a positive end, we see that violence leads to violence. Where they say, sometimes bombs can save lives, we know that bombs have one purpose only.
I say this not to belittle those who disagree with me. I know that all the folk whom I've talked to who do support war do so for, in their minds, positive reasons. They want to save lives. Protect the innocent. I acknowledge the similar goals between "us" and "them" and I praise the lofty ideals.
Where we disagree is how to obtain these goals. We'll continue that thought later. For now, I just hope that we can make deliberate decisions about what sort of logic we want as our starting point.
While not a Just War Theory supporter, I'd be glad if we could even reach that level of agreement. It would, at least, be a starting point and a starting point is no small thing.