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If you have bought into the claim that pacifists are identical to passivists, you are not alone. If you have bought into letting the Authoritarians think for you, labeling you, and defining your words, you are not alone. But the majority of American voters in 2000 weren't alone either.

Webster isn't alone either.

  • Pacifism - belief that international disputes should be settled by peaceful means rather than by force or war. [It does not exclude war; it just makes war the last resort.]
  • Passivity - submission
  • Passivism - the principle or belief in being passive
  • Passive - offering no resistance, submissive

The words are similar in sound and meaning so it is easy for hawks and many plutocrats to make no distinction between the words. But even Mr. Bush behaves like a passivist when it comes to North Korea and Pakistan!

Will a pacifist fight? Of course. All you have to do to find out is to attack him/her, invade or seriously threaten to invade his land, home, job, religion, or all these things. One of the clearest thinkers in all of Zionism understood this perfectly. Jabotinsky knew the Palestinians were not engaged in exceptional terror prior to the arrival of the Zionists in numbers. He alone predicted the Palestinian response to Zionism and that Israel could only survive with a powerful benefactor while living behind an Iron Wall. See Iron Wall and Zionism for more detail.

There is another issue to think about. Pakistan is known to harbor both bin Laden and Dr. Khan! Mr. Bush applauds even as Dr. Khan, who sold atomic secrets for personal gain, was pardoned by Musharref. Why did we commit to over a trillion chasing an illusion? Why are we getting an established, self proclaimed, and otherwise well-known association that can be far more dangerous than Iraq and North Korea combined. Dr. Kahn and cohorts visited Afghanistan several times while the Taliban held sway. Who could they have possibly talked to? Yes, that's right. The genie is out of the bottle.

And North Korea is in fact more dangerous to world peace than Iraq ever was. Part of North Korea's threat had its origin in Pakistan.

Why are we tying down so much of our armed forces and plundering our riches and providing additional motive and opportunity for al Qa'ida in Iraq when there are other very real threats afoot? If al Qa'ida have, can, or did buy nuclear arms, then Pakistan is the most likely source; they have already sold missiles into the Middle East.

These realities have replaced the probability of a nuclear threat in recent weeks. Yet, we persist in playing the dangerous baiting game of occupation and humiliation of a once-proud people. But the reality is enough to spur even the pacifist Muslim into action, collective action. So was 9/11. A war became inevitable.

Rush Limbaugh sneers that all passivists / pacifists are chicken, and beneath serious discussion. He lumps them together for he wants you to believe his definition, not Webster's. He has Authoritarian followers who think he is God. But then that should be no surprise; he himself has proclaimed as much. Why do you suppose he would say such a thing? Because there are those who would believe, and there are those ready to be radicalized toward the right. Those who already know how to think, Limbaugh doesn't care or worry about. He just calls them passivists / pacifists (one word) and sneers as he hangs up the phone. Anyone who isn't gung ho for Mr. Bush gets a passive label and shouted down.

The ACLU is not a terrorist group. But when Limbaugh mentions the ACLU it is hard to miss the contemptuous tone in his voice. When he talks about terrorists, his tone is more like aggression or even hate. Why would the terrorists command more respect? Let's say that again. Al Qa'ida is openly attacking the US and its freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment. The ACLU defends those who want to live under the first amendment. From their website:

"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

That sounds like patriotic stuff. There is just one problem: Mr. Bush, Mr. Limbaugh and the Neocons are quite good at labeling people in black and white terms.

There is irony here; the ACLU often defends black or poor people because they cannot afford to stand up for themselves. Could there be both plutocratic and racist elements undertones? What is wrong with that if everyone knows exactly where they stand?

What's wrong is this: Such a view of things leaves no room for the pacifist -vs- passivist, or any other, distinction. The world is black and white (either/or); there are no shades of gray; never mind about Newton's prism, the rainbow, the range of human personality, or dusk and dawn. You can only be "with us or against us." Such a view leaves no room for serious negotiation or the the existence of a third party like Norway or even the UN. Mr. Bush is now inviting the UN back into the Iraqi picture, but not by choice.

Blinders hide all but one small Authoritarian view of the world. Black & white thinking leaves two people, or two cultures, seeing through different sets of blinders. Neither sees the other's point of view. Each knows the other can only be wrong (or evil) and that is that. Well not quite; there is one item they see eye-to-eye on: when either has the other in his/her gun sight, each pulls the trigger. (Visit Zionism and its links for more gun-barrel testimony. See Solutions and its links for a counterpoint.)

There is still another view black-and-white thinkers share: each has God on his/her side! See: Religion and Violence.

The British were not like the Baath party and Hussein when they ruled Iraq and there was no Zionist presence. So, no surprise when Iraqis welcomed a foreign presence--at first. Like any other people, they intrinsically do not want to have their country invaded and taken over by a government not of their own making, especially a democracy that threatens Islam as a governance system.

When things began going downhill within a week of Hussein's toppling, an unavoidable conclusion sank in. Mr. Bush owns this problem, all by himself, even if his entire cabinet falls on their swords. The Iraqi welcome mat is now quite tattered and smeared with mud, or is that blood we see in the news from Baghdad?

Pakistan and North Korea, far more dangerous, fare better than impotent Iraq. This is how "blinder thinking" takes toll.

Mr. Bush is not alone in all this. Previous administrations had some responsibility as well by humiliating Islam and goading its adherents to terror. However, his actions do not indicate that he takes this responsibility seriously. A Homeland Defense Department plus the Patriot Act seem to be very expensive band aids where major surgery is required. Consider:

Act one: the World Trade Center.

Act two: who knows; maybe a dozen American cities atomized! We stop suspicious travelers, while letting ships loads of containers unload daily with hardly a thought. Immigrants penetrate our borders daily.

How can we even think of such a possibility? Well, because when we learn the truth, we discover our interpretations of available intelligence were cockeyed. Either there was no threat, or it was far more serious than imagined. We restrict our own freedoms while humiliating those already oppressed the world over.

The most effective, maybe the only, response to a psychological war is psychological. It seems that history is not yet ready for that chapter.


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