Deconstructing Max Boot’s latest bad-Orwellian (war criminals are the real peacemakers, while pacifists actually enable wars) polemic made me think of another hater-of-pacifists, Christopher Hitchens, whose perhaps most annoying conceit is that he thinks he’s always on the good side of George Orwell.

In actual fact, he’s not. Zizka’s classic takedown of the late Michael Kelly equally applies to Hitchens, Instayokel, Boot.. all the wingnuts who argue that peaceniks are the scum of the earth but warmongers are angels among us.


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Ever so slightly off-topic, but if I don’t post this now, i’ll forget forever.
Shorter 101st Fighting Keyboarders:

Though I like 82nd Chairborne better, though…


I think his logic is pretty obvious. Remember, it takes only one aggressor to start a war. It takes two to tango. Three is company, and what are 4 and 5? Nine, of course.

There are four horsemen, and five senses. Six geese-a-laying, and seven words you can’t say on television. I could go on and on, but I believe I have supported Das Boot’s point in as coherent a manner as is possible.


You know, it’s not just the wingnuts. Every time I read some war-related post on Kos its gotta have some line confirming that the author isn’t a pacifist. Sorta like when someone says, “I’m not gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

I consider myself a pacifist, and it isn’t because I’m a coward or a wimp. I have seen my share of violence – certainly much more than the spoiled wingnut crowd whose only brush with violence has been a scuffle on the polo field. I’ve had a .45 automatic pressed against my back. I’ve engaged in, or threatened people with, violent acts in my youth. I’ve been in fights. I know how to handle a gun and used to I carry a switchblade around with me. I’ve stood up to many bullies, loud mouths, and assholes. I’ve *been* a bully, loud mouth, and an asshole. I’m not saying this because I’m proud of it, but because I’ve learned from it.

My definition of pacifism is that you consider violence to be the worst of all options. A pacifist forced to resort to violence out of necessity or weakness knows that he has taken the worst possible path – that violence only leads to more violence, hatred leads only to more hatred. The violent path does not reward the aggressor any more than it rewards the victim. It is a path only taken when one has proven himself to be a failure. I don’t fear violence, but I know that no good comes of it, except perhaps in the most extreme and rare of circumstances. My position is based on compassion and mercy, guided by the wisdom of sages like Jesus and the Buddha. It isn’t based on cowardice or weakness.

And yet, for that I’m despised as a traitor and enabler of war. Nice. Whatever, sorry for the rant. Just had to get that off my chest.


Every time I read some war-related post on Kos its gotta have some line confirming that the author isn’t a pacifist.

Not every time. There are plenty of genuine pacifists on Kos.

It’s just that the number of people opposed to the current war is far, far greater than the number of people opposed to all war, but somehow the conventional shorthand wraps them all together with the term “antiwar.” So the folks in the former group but not in the latter like to clarify where they’re coming from.


So the folks in the former group but not in the latter like to clarify where they’re coming from.

Maybe. But it always sounds like macho crap to me. Female writers/bloggers rarely seem to feel the need to clarifty that they are only against the Iraq war. When I read stuff like Kos’ “I’m anti-this-war” statement, it seems like they are really saying, “Please don’t think I’m a pussy for opposing this war!”


I find it hilarious when conservatives try to make Orwell one of their own. As for Hitchens BOOZE, does he think writing about BOOZE yellowcake makes him contrarian, in the sense BOOZE every other sensible person in the world has moved BOOZE on? Also, he also used to excoriate BOOZE Clinton for triangulating important social issues, but he BOOZE has never said a thing as far as I can tell about BOOZE anything Bush has done domestically.

Inspired by this, if you scroll down a bit.


Sohei, that was very well said. Personally, I’m a pacifist and a wimp, and I’m not ashamed of either. Humanity’s got to start finding options other than blowing people up to solve problems. You can’t fight fire with fire.


“My position is based on compassion and mercy, guided by the wisdom of sages like Jesus…”

that’s my favorite part; in a supposedly “Christian” nation, pacifism is reviled by the same people who rant against anti-Christian blasphemy.

Just more evidence for my theory that modern Christianity has only the most tenuous connections with the bible.


I’m also a pacifist. And an open coward. Not a coward in the sense of the braggart jerks in wingutville who bluster and bray racial/ethnic slurs and call for the deaths of thousands as long as they don’t have to do it, but a blatant running-away-from-danger coward.

My saving grace then is that while a coward, I don’t assume that others should die on my behalf. So the best option is to just avoid wars that I have to avoid and that other people have to die in.


I’ve become increasingly pacifistic as time goes by. Largely, aside from better becoming aware of the various effects of even medium-scale mechanized war to civilian populations since WWI, the deciding factor was my growing awareness of the shitstorm of lies usually told to us to get us involved in one of the senseless things.
For example, let’s look back at one of the most recent wars we were involved in before our current brace: the Gulf War. At the time, having only newspapers and television news to rely on for information, it seemed a pretty cut and dried–Iraq had invaded Kuwait, and a colition of the world’s “good guys” were gonna kick them out. Why, the Iraqi soldiers had even thrown Kuwaiti infants out of incubators, to die on the cold hospital floor! It was outrageous!
It also, as it turned out, wasn’t at all true, The Kuwaiti “nurse” who testified before congress was, in actuality, the kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter. She had been coached in her testimony by a PR firm. The tale she told was an utter lie–no premies had been killed.
And even the situation leading to the war wasn’t as black-and-white as it seemed. Kuwait had been drilling at an angle, across the border, and poaching from Iraq’s oil fields for some time. Iraq had warned them, repeatedly, but Kuwait had thumbed its nose at Iraq. Saddam met with our Ambassador and asked what we would do if he crossed the border. She told him that the U.S. wasn’t interested in intra-arabic squabbles. A case could be made that Saddam wouldn’t have been stupid enough to invade if we had told him we’d come after him in that case. A case could be made that he was tricked into doing it–it was a low-casualty war for the U.S., and GHW Bush’s approval ratings immediately after the war were flirting with 90%. He seemed a cinch to win reelection. But, Bush’s approval ratings didn’t survive an ill-timed recession.
In the war’s aftermath, quite a number of lies and misinformation came to light. For instance, during the war, the cabal new channels really played up the role of Patriot missile banks protecting Israel from a sporadic pelting of SCUD missiles from Iraq. Only thing was, Patriot missiles can’t hit the side of a barn, and probably didn’t shoot down a damn thing. Etc., etc.
More recently, the internet gave one a fighting chance to fact-check the pro-war propaganda. I didn’t like the way it smelled, not even Afghanistan, though one of my greatest concerns there was that we were pulling the same bone-headed moves the Soviets did–and look what happened to them. Plus, those poor Afghan bastards had been in a more-or-less constant state of war for decades, and I felt sorry for the fuckers. But, at least there was a fairly cognizant reason for invading Afghanistan, and I had really hated the Taliban for a good long time.
Then they started laying the groundwork for Iraq.
It didn’t take too long to track down enough information online to see that Dubya’s neocon advisers were blowing smoke up our collective asses. There didn’t seem to be even one thing they were telling the truth about–a few things were kinda questionable (and in the end were, yes, lies, just like the rest!), but it really didn’t seem they had an adequate case for war. Worse yet, their pie-in-the-sky, rosy outlook for the post-war period was plainly a delusion. We would be welcomed as liberators? It would cost no more than $1.6 billion? By fall of 2003, troop levels would be reduced to below 30, 000?!? it was all horseshit, and I was certain, before we’d even started!
And now, pretty much everything I thought would happen has happened. The one thing left is the incredibly vicious civil war, which may-or-may-not spread to become a regional war, or even a World War. I think that’s coming, but I’m not sure how bad it’ll be. Seeing these numbnutz’ response to the Israel/Lebanon thing, I’m not too hopeful.


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