Article "Nations Should Consider Responding Non-Violently To Future
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Fri Mar 4, 2011 10:03 am (PST)
" Nations Should Consider Responding Non-Violently To Future U.S.
People the world over must find non-violent ways to oppose American
military force lest they suffer the fate of the Vietnamese and the
Iraqis. In response to the menace of the U.S. military-industrial
complex, non-violent soul force needs to be considered in international
conflicts just as it was used by Mahatma Gandhi in India and by the
Reverend Martin Luther King in the U.S.
Egyptian Revolution 2011
The Vietnamese lost four million civilians and the Iraqis to date have
lost perhaps one million or more civilians as a result of U.S.
aggression. Such losses—mainly of unarmed women and children—are
unacceptable, as is the horrific physical destruction inflicted on those
nations. Viet Nam has yet to recover from Pentagon bombing and the
spread of Agent Orange. And Iraq may be centuries recovering from the
ravages of U.S. radioactive ammunition, euphemistically called “depleted
To this day, some Americans believe the U.S. “lost” the Viet Nam war
when the U.S. in fact emerged physically undamaged with no civilian
deaths while its military lost but a fraction of the combatants lost by
the Vietnamese. Still, the losses suffered by American families were
devastating and those by Vietnamese families more so. In the future, a
non-violent response by other nations could spare them the fate of the
Viet Namese and save the lives of U.S. soldiers as well.
Ominously, the Pentagon has spent over a trillion dollars in recent
years on the refinement of deadlier killing instruments and the
militarization of space from which it can control the planet with even
greater authority than from its 800 foreign military bases.
In an interview recorded in 2003 and published in “Imperial
Ambitions”(Metropolitan Books), MIT philosopher Noam Chomsky says the
U.S. is arguing “the only way we can have security is by expanding into
and ultimately owning space.” And he further points out, “The
militarization of space means, in effect, placing the entire world at
risk of instant annihilation with no warning.”
Referring to the doctrine of former President George W. Bush, Chomsky
said it means plainly “the United States will rule the world by force,
and if there is any challenge to its domination—whether it is perceived
in the distance, invented, imagined, or whatever—then the United States
will have the right to destroy that challenge before it becomes a
threat.” This, he said, is “preventive war.”
And this shameful, “preventive war” doctrine is being carried forward in
Afghanistan by President Obama, who is widening the conflict into
In response to the menace of the U.S. military-industrial complex,non-violent soul force needs to be considered. Satyagraha needs to be
brought to bear in international conflicts just as it was used by
Mahatma Gandhi in India and by the Reverend Martin Luther King in the
Nations faced with illegal physical assault by the U.S.—here Iran is an
example as the U.S. has even criminally threatened to use nuclear
weapons against it—could announce they will not fire back or oppose an
invasion. If this seems like a lot to ask, consider the alternative: the
futility of stopping U.S. “bunker busters” and “daisy cutters” or
missiles fired from offshore warships (as columnist George Will has
recommended the U.S. employ against Afghanistan).
It should be obvious the best way to fight fire is not with fire but
with water. And the best way to oppose violence is not with more
violence but with non-violence. While each situation is different, a
nation facing illegal assault might consider the following steps:
Declare before the United Nations and to the media that it will not use
force against any invader. In such cases, an invader that comes in
shooting will betray its criminal intent before the world.
Request that the invader submit its grievance to international
Request that spokespersons for religious groups and other public figures
take up vigils on the rooftops or inside likely targets of U.S. attacks.
Prominent clergy and leaders from other countries could be invited to
Nations opposed to aggression by the U.S. could be urged to shut downtheir ports and airports to Americans. Its citizens could organize
sympathy rallies and marches.
A global boycott could be launched against American exports.
An aggressor state that is a member of the UN Security Council could be
removed from that body, which was, after all, created to prevent wars.
Surely, there are other, and probably even more effective, steps that
could be considered but these suggestions are made to convey the idea of
how soul force might be put to work in a global setting.
About the Author: Sherwood Ross formerly worked as a reporter for the
Chicago Daily News and as a wire service columnist. During the Sixties
he worked in an executive capacity in a national civil rights
organization and served as press coordinator for the non-violent James
Meredith March Against Fear in Mississippi in June, 1966. The Rev.
Martin Luther King praised him in public for all his work in the
non-violent civil rights struggle. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org