The War for the Extinction of Saddam Hussein |
Confronting evil and the doctrine of lethality in politics
by Clay Edwards (12/25/2002)
M.A. Education; B.A. Political Science and Communication; American Bar Association approved Certificated Paralegal;
Graduate Certificate, Geographic Information Systems, 11179 Camino Ruiz #67, San Diego, California USA 92126
E-Mail: edwardsclayton at hotmail.com
(1) The desirability of eliminating killing to secure just and lasting peace
Opponents of lethal warfare against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq should be prepared to embrace a paradigm shift that opposes all human killing by pushing a rational transition to non-lethal philosophy, methodology, and technology for the purpose of settling political disputes. Unless this is a core value of the movement, an uncompromising stance against all killing, generating a rational plan for a transition to non-killing culture, the movement can be manipulated to support evil as expressed in injustice, violence, and killing. (2) The Culture of Killing: killing against killing
Whether or not war with the Hussein regime can be averted in our present killing culture is at present an unknown although the pressure for war continues to mount. Killing and threats to kill have long been used in an attempt to achieve political goals that may include the creation of a non-killing environment. With world-wide mass killing technology available to man, the lethal risks to mankind as a whole mount. Waging political struggle without the expedient of lethality available for any party puts a different face on politics and human culture. I am convinced that the mosaic of human culture will be enriched by expanded political participation, more honest and free communication, opportunities to amass wisdom, and concomitant ethical value- based decision-making more free of intimidating cynicism and fear.
The peace movement should do everything possible to build confidence in peaceful, non-lethal action designed to implement the strongest moral imperatives for a peaceful, secure, just world community. Assuming Saddam Hussein is a killer tyrant, would it be wonderful if Saddam Hussein and his killer followers could be incapacitated from killing and threatening to kill? Would it also be wonderful if man is able to prevent killer leaders and followers from attaining political power over political substate networks and nation states?
Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1976 defines culture as ""The concepts, habits, skills, art, instruments, institutions, etc. of a given people in a given period; civilization". Additionally, "The study of culture must be seen …as one of the keys to the understanding of man's place on earth and in the biosphere." L.L. Langness (1977) (3) The vacuous efficacy of a continued existence of Killing Culture
Unfortunately, killing of people by people is a concept, a habit, a skill cultivated by man, expressed in man's art, refined by man's instruments, reviled but also justified and even glorified by mans' institutions. Killing ping-pongs between individuals and groups, between individuals and between groups. Whether killing is legal or illegal, people have a wide variety of reasons, justifications, and rationalizations for killing and continuing to kill. Thus there are legalized executions, killing in war, criminalized killing, and excused killing. Disapproval of killing is generally qualified. Because of the wide range of reasons, techniques, philosophies and technologies that may be used to engineer killing behavior, all humans living on earth are at risk to human inspired and engineered killing and improper intimidation.
The Bible indicates human killing began as a volitional act arising out a spirit of disobedience and rebellion against God in Genesis. After the flood, God covenanted from each man an accounting for the lives of his fellow men and warned that men who shed blood would themselves have their own blood shed by man. I suspect this consequence would be family, clan, intergenerational, etc. of the perpetrator. On the flip side of the consequence continuum, the Quran sets forth the idea that a human life is so precious that saving one life is like saving the entire people. (4) The killing culture and the tyranny of Saddam Hussein
Congruent with the character of a killing and death oriented culture, the behavior of killing operates as an expedient in settling immediate disputes among men and women. However, Man acts out the consequences of rebellion and disobedience against God in killing, whatever the motive. Thus, killing does not affirm or reaffirm a moral value in itself but expresses man's suffering and continuing suffering arising from exercise of lethal choices.
God's desire is that Man exercise his volition making the change from a death oriented culture to a life-oriented culture. "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O House of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and Live!" Ezekiel 18: 31.
The technology of killing makes fewer and fewer people more and more dangerous to greater numbers of people in this killing culture. As it appears that a world wide war is developing between the United States, the world's most advanced industrial/military power and enemies seeking global guerrilla warfare against the United States, people talk of dirty radiation bombs, manmade smallpox plagues, suitcase nuclear weapons, lethal nerve gas attacks. Man is becoming so dangerous to himself that some fanatic killers talk about killing everyone in the world if they think it would advance a principle. Killing simply cannot be tolerated over the long term as a solution to human problems and must be regarded as a universal mortal menace to mankind.
The threat (real or imagined) of Saddam Hussein to engage in international mass killing is an issue for which credible non-lethal intervention action is sorely missed. A MORAL PARADIGM SHIFT IS PART OF THE NON-LETHAL TRANSITION
The whole philosophical underpinning of this upcoming conflict is that Saddam Hussein is a killer who threatens more killing in the course of satisfying Hitler-like political ambitions. Yet the killing of Iraqis in Iraq alone would require the international community to leave this man alone to continue his brutal rule.
A major justification given for war in Iraq is the possession and threatened use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction, either directly by the Saddam Hussein regime or through proxies such as Hezbollah or Al Quaida.
There are differences of opinion as to whether Saddam Hussein poses such a double barrel threat. Yet man's differences of opinion scarcely provide comfort as to the lethal inclinations and capabilities of a dictator seeking a redistribution of political power.
The peace movement cannot rest its arguments against forcible lethal regime change targeted at the Hussein regime on a bare unsupported argument that Hussein is not inclined to mass killings and is not behaving as though he was so inclined.
On the other hand, the lethal potential of war activated by speculation as to current capacity and future threat of killing can generate a witch- hunt creating a phony threat and shallow pretext for lethal action. Hitler fabricated a border incident with Poland as an excuse for invasion of Poland in 1939 and triggered World War II.
A secondary justification for war would be the killing already done or threatened internally. As previously indicated, this justification should be seen in the light of the historical ambivalence man has for politically motivated killing confined to the borders of a country afflicted with the plague of tyrannical human rule. During the 1990s, the world ignored genocide in Rwanda and eventually NATO and the United States were politically embarrassed into intervening in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia to stop the slaughter of Muslims in Southeastern Europe. Somehow, priorities must shift to address and stop localized killing as a matter of principle, a matter of world- wide safety and security, and as machinery of a non-killing culture.
The peace movement should be in the forefront of confronting localized perversions of human rights, pushing for equitable systems of human rule and justice as the most immediate and pressing political issue faced by mankind. The metaphor is that of prevention of death by cancer - to diagnose and treat early in the process. When localized killing spreads it becomes a more perceptible threat yet much more traumatic and painful for the world to combat and defeat. World War II is often cited as the most notorious example of localized tyranny turning the world into a cauldron of killing behavior because the tyranny and its killing behavior was not addressed early and decisively.
An antiwar movement against U.S. military action against the Saddam Hussein regime seemingly does not countenance lethal action taken against a killer and international aggressor. If the movement has its way, a killer tyrant may owe his future killing capability - at least in part - to the anti-war movement.
This is not an attack on the peace movement. It is simply an observation that man is deficient in providing credible, non lethal philosophy, methodology, and technology to predict, address, and defeat killers and their threats to kill.
Unfortunately, it would seem that the peace movement is in a reactionary position, off balance, objecting to the use of lethal force, but not dealing with killing and threats to kill as predecessor activities to President Bush's threats and preparation for war. Consequently, they are unprepared to deal with the spread of such horrible behavior.
The peace movement must utilize sustained action aimed at influencing an intellectual and moral shift to non-lethal political action to facilitate change to a culture where lethal action is not a viable policy option. THE PEACE MOVEMENT MUST PREPARE TO MEET ADVOCACY OF LETHAL ACTION ON ANY LEVEL BY ANY POLITICAL LEADER OR FOLLOWER WHATEVER REASON, JUSTIFICATION, OR TRADITION OR CONCEPT OF JUSTICE DRIVES THE CALL FOR KILLING
The opposition must: (1) discredit lethality as a moral, logical, efficient, and effective means of accomplishing political goals and meeting their supporting objectives and (2) promote rational non-lethal political thought, method, and action to compete with and eventually overtake and supplant lethal political culture.
Non-lethal social, behavioral, and physical sciences and their accompanying philosophy, methodology, and technology have not been given the intellectual and material support needed to create real impetus for a paradigm shift from killing politics. The consequences of this neglect have been a horrendous waste of human lives and treasure of this earth, an unnecessarily prolonged torture of the human spirit, and in the twenty-first century, the unrestrained development of increasingly lethal technologies that terrorize and may indeed ruin life on this planet.
Seemingly no one has come forward to defend the human rights record of the Hussein regime. Nothing can discredit a peace movement faster than any toleration of killing behavior by killer tyrants.THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A PEACE MOVEMENT IS TO HELP MAN CULTIVATE NONLETHAL CAPABILITIES THAT ENABLE MAN TO IDENTIFY, REPUDIATE, RESTRAIN AND TERMINATE KILLING BEHAVIOR WHEREVER IT OCCURS
Such toleration is no better than the moral depravity of the supremely arrogant Usama Bin Laden, who couches his killing network in a rubric of defense against who he describes and slanders as killers of Muslims. Some say this viper poison justification resonates among many of the Middle East who can be recruited into tomorrow's legions of killers under Bin-Laden's Lethalist inspiration.
Indeed, Usama Bin Laden calls for the killing of non-combatants of any age, gender, or capability, making distinction between killers a monstrous joke played on mankind. A baby with a social security number may pay taxes to the Great Satan America and help kill Muslims and a devout non-killing Muslim in the wrong place at the wrong time can be killed in an Al Quaida killing operation. This latter collateral damage is dismissed as martyrdom... There is no clear connection of effect between the lethal action of his followers and the preservation of any human life, Muslim or Non-Muslim. In fact, there is a deliberate expenditure of human life including the lives of his followers in the process of killing others. Since saving a single life has high value in Islam for its effect in saving multiple lives, it would seem that Bin-Laden's terror war is reflective of the politics of despair and a messianic/theological fraud on mankind.
But this is not simply Bin-Laden's moral default in black hole politics. The history of civilized nation states has shown many failures of civilization to protect people from mass killing behavior. This needs to change.
The opposition must assist political leaders and followers in identifying and developing credible non-lethal policy options adaptable to all situations and circumstances to enable political leaders to solve even the most dangerous problems without killing. It would indeed be tragic if in the twenty-first century, the opposition cannot refute the charge it is morally bankrupt because it is unprepared or unwilling to confront and defeat evil. The struggle against evil cannot be separated from the struggle against injustice, violence and lethality. TRANSITION TO NON-LETHAL SOCIETY REQUIRES SUBSTANTIAL AND SUBSTANTIVE THINKING DRIVING WELL CONSIDERED ACTION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE NON LETHAL TECHNIQUE TO AVOID KILLING
So many of the opposition arguments against lethal regime change in Iraq focus in the wrong direction. Many of the arguments against regime change rest on procedural matters, i.e., getting approval from the United Nations and not moving unless such approval is given. Others argue that the weapons that Saddam Hussein claims not to have will be used as far away as San Diego, California if Hussein is provoked and the President of the United States should not be allowed to endanger their lives. Still another argument is that there are plenty of other immoral regimes that kill in the Middle East or there is North Korea - rhetorically, why don't we pick on them first? Finally, there is the charge that in attempting regime change using lethal force, the U.S. has selfish motives - acting like a big bully - the imperialist, colonialist charge from the Cold War reincarnated.
None of these arguments can be effective because they fail to address the struggle against evil. They simply are demands that action (probably lethal) should not be employed against the Hussein regime regardless of unrefuted charges of mass killing by the dictator. They provide no real strategic or tactical recipe for confronting and defeating the evil this man is associated with in his rule over the people of Iraq. Thus, they are not convincing in dissuading of the threat that this regime poses to others outside Iraq. Bad faith charges against President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld and their Republican backers merely reflect an opposition bereft of constructive ideas for dealing with killing or threatened killing.
In a world where killing is not an option, evil loses much of its coercive power to enslave man. Man cannot compromise with killing and expect to confine it to a class of people who "deserve" or "require" being killed or are otherwise "expendable" for "peace in our time". All men and women share mortality and all are vulnerable to human engineered killing, as we are to other disease and plagues.
Substantive thinking is a predicate for substantial action to prevent and end politically motivated killing. The kind of thinking reflected by the anti-war arguments identified above is insubstantial and merely argumentative. These criticisms carry nothing of hard substance that a political leader with mortal responsibilities in the position of President George Bush can use to resolve a political dispute peacefully.
1. Killing by Majority or Unvetoed UN Vote
Getting specific United Nations approval for the use of lethal force is a legalistic argument that really displays no clear moral ground - right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter how many or how few pick or reject a given course of action.
The peace movement would do well to avoid getting bogged down in interminable procedural arguments and keep its eye on the prize, the abolition of killing politics.
2. The killing confined by geography swindle on the anti-war movement
How selfish, petty and trite it seems that opposition could be primarily based on what will happen to a person in San Diego if any move is made against Saddam Hussein in far away Baghdad. If Saddam is a killer tyrant and the argument has the effect of convincing people that they are safe in not doing something about torment to fellow human beings in apparently far away and out of sight and out of mind places, then this basis of opposition to lethal military force lacks moral force itself.
A long time ago, when I wrote an English friend about killing by the Irish Republican Army in her hometown area (Woking Surrey) and remarked unfavorably about it, she wrote me telling me I was not involved. How can anyone think that ignoring evil practiced against another human being is not his business due to Geography? How can any human being place relative values on human life based on geography? The worldwide reach of Usama Bin-Laden's Al Quaida killer network, the apocalyptic potential of the Cold War and the virtual world wide scale of violence in World War II should provide ample warning that mankind cannot afford not to care about evil that is out of vision, hidden by physical distances, and not readily apparent to the senses.
In Genesis 6:
The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time……11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was filled with violence.
If the magnitude and scale of violence and evil in the world prompted God to flood the planet, can any one human being be any less concerned about the existence and spread of this virus of human violence and killing?
3. The idea that evil is everywhere does not permit man to refuse to take action against any individual component of the menace of evil
The argument of opponents of Iraq regime change that the world has many regimes that practice evil does not address the moral choice of doing nothing or something about evil. It raises a tactical issue possibly for the purpose of protesting the specific action planned at the time and questions motive for the contemplated action of regime change. How often have drivers stopped for speeding violations protested that they were tagged and all those other scofflaw drivers escaped tickets? The objection has nothing to do with the morality of their conduct in endangering safety on the road. The selfish concern is that justice is overly selective. The rejoinder by law enforcement has been prosecutorial discretion. In selecting targets of evil to confront, President Bush was given the power to develop and implement a plan to systematically disable threats to the national security, giving each threat a priority commensurate with that discretion and take action according to that judgment. If his discretion is to be questioned, opponents should set forth sound reasons to show that action, lethal or not lethal, against Iraq is an abuse of his discretionary power. Unfortunately, this argument does not get at the root of the problem of lethality that gives any leader including President Bush power to order actions that will result in killing.
George Bush identified three regimes as part of an "axis of evil", Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Also goes the opposition, moves against Hussein could interfere with the "War on Terror" i.e., against Al Queda, possibly Hamas, Hezbollah, and a panoply of sub-state killer groups and individual freelance killers. The mass media calls it "spreading ourselves too thin".
This argument has the effect of dividing killers into classes of dangerousness and may fail to understand killers in freelance roles or more formal networks. It can be applied worldwide to delay action against killer regimes, substate killer organizations, and freelance killers. It impliedly moves Saddam Hussein down the dangerousness scale and makes him relatively benign. From the point of view of Saddam's victims, he certainly is not benign.
Again, we are faced with the moral issue of deprioritzing victims of killing. Who in America should care about turbaned bearded herdsmen and their women and children in Kurdish villages or Shiite towns or Arabs in Baghdad compared to business executives, office workers, and firefighters in the World Trade Center towers in New York? Such insensitivity to the problems of others is morally indefensible and as a practical matter, an invitation to others to behave callously in the face of human suffering in America.
Politicians and community leaders condemn violence and killing, as they should. However, the same old answers - imprisonment, executions, repressive political measures, punishment and war remain the main fallback answers to killing. Sometimes, no action is taken, possibly because people fear the consequences of confronting evil, or of getting dangerously involved in someone else's life and problems. Mankind now is confronted with nuclear weapons and biochemical concoctions that could destroy us all, in essence, because collectively mankind has refused to take responsibility for mankind's collective welfare and the dangers posed by lethal weapons, technology, methods, and philosophy.
The true solution, as indicated in Genesis 9 is to confront this evil of violence and killing in all its forms, oppose it with all possible means, to try to reduce, if not eliminate the consequences God warned man about in his covenant with Noah.
4. American imperialism: The use of the morally flawed actors argument to prevent confrontation of Evil
The argument that in taking lethal action against Saddam Hussein, the United States is acting like an imperialistic bully is another way of arguing against a confrontation with evil. It appears to be nothing more than an attack on the motives of the United States and President Bush. It by no means mitigates the evil that President Bush complains about. Nor can it be used as an excuse to fail to confront evil, whatever the historical shortcomings of the actor.
Integral to the attack on President Bush is the implication that President Bush has no conscience about ordering killing behavior and risking the lives of American military personnel and non-combatants for venal political and economic ambitions. This attack implies a land / oil grab and American monopoly over natural resources that fuel American cars, SUVs and trucks and planes and helps keep homes warm or cold as needed and Bush's oil buddies rolling in green from selling black gunk.
This attack on American motives as being selfish really adds nothing positive to the debate and expresses unproductive vitriolic bitterness and hatred of the President. Nothing shuts down communication between human beings faster than an ad homonym assault on a person's character. Our object should be to help our political leaders govern with wisdom and responsibility, seeking justice at all times while working to remove killing as a political option of political leadership and replacing it with a more effective non-lethal context in which to wage political struggle. No matter the defects of political leaders and institutions, the argument of imperialism is a sell-out of personal responsibility to think clearly about problems, processes, and actions that have a reasonable chance of influencing positive change in human behavior.
The imperialism argument again illustrates the dilemma man has in using lethal force to combat a perceived evil - that evil is self-generating because man has trouble focusing on the evil behavior to be corrected or prevented. The politics of hypocrisy, in which the actor's imperfections are used to thwart action against evil, is evil itself and expresses the pervasiveness of the evil man must fight.
America illustrates that human dilemma. - the mixture of evil and good described in Genesis - the torment that complicates any sincere human effort to do what is right, moral and good. This recipe for moral default could have serious implications for the administration of justice in any society and is a prescription for more exploitation, killing and war.
It is legitimate to take action to vindicate human rights including the right to life and liberty - of Saddam Hussein's Arab and non-Arab victims resident in Iraq and those killed in Iran and Kuwait as a result of Saddam Hussein's warlike policies. If that means incapacitating those who kill and threaten to kill without killing them, it is difficult to argue against the morality of such action.
In the case of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, it seems that peace activism is very much on the defensive to the Lethalists, those who have already concluded that lethal war is necessary to stop Hussein's killing and threats to kill. The Lethalists may charge that the complaint of imperialism is a red herring inserted into the argument over the question of war and peace, dangerously naïve at best and potentially encouraging of a most disastrous global conflict between tyrannies and democratic values. Perhaps the most damaging and dangerous charge Lethalists may levy, is that peace movements have fomented cowardice in the face of evil, have encouraged and promoted war by discouraging preventive action against increasingly belligerent, aggressive and powerful tyrants, such as the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 1930s.
For example, the proponents of lethality can point to the problem of sanctions against the regime - that Saddam is using sanctions as a means of whipping up hatred of the west. So long as Hussein is in power, his attitude will drive his behavior for killing no matter what good weapons inspections do in eliminating his current lethal capability.
The Lethalists may go on. If Saddam complies with all demands and remains in power, what will have been accomplished by this armistice that General Schwarzkopf imposed on Iraq in 1991? The Armistice took place when the United States and the coalition decided to stop their slaughter of Hussein's army while it still had substantial punch, leaving Saddam free to slaughter more Shiites, Kurds and other political enemies. Thus, left in power, Saddam exercises the ancient privilege of mass murder by a sovereign, his family getting richer while Iraqis suffer and others outside Iraq feel threatened. In addition, his bitterness and hatred of the United States and the West may cause him to cooperate with dangerous international terrorist groups to facilitate attacks more devastating than the September 11, 2001 hijackings and kamikaze jetliner attacks on New York and Washington.
The true line of attack on Lethalism takes place when the peace movement develops the moral fiber to declare that there is a point where human beings will have to stop killing and refuse to cooperate with systems, individuals and political leaders that kill, for the safety of all. Sometimes people who kill recognize this and stop killing beyond a point. Yet the true war is against violence and killing in toto, not an argument over who is permitted to practice killing and when. The fact that lethal means may be employed to eliminate the Hussein regime is part of the continuing tragedy that ties human societies to war and killing.
The Lethalists themselves advocate irresponsibility when they fail to take affirmative action to join with a peace movement to help develop non-lethal thought, philosophy, technology and related means to prevent or terminate killing behavior. The technology that man can turn to lethal purposes in the 21st century create stakes that are too great to continue to tolerate killing.
6. Killing as a last resort is a homicidal fraud perpetuating rationalizations for irresponsible and dangerous to life misconduct
Some argue that killing should be employed only as a last resort. Unfortunately, this apparently attractive ideal is not a rejection of killing but a description of circumstances that would justify killing with all the same old problems. It is difficult to ascertain how people can reach a universal consensus of when that point of last resort arrives. A last resort timeline might range from pre-emption to hostilities where one is in an immediate life and death lethal emergency with a bayonet lunging for the chest. The timeline could be stretched into interminable argument. Thus, Usama Bin-Laden can command killing of taxpaying babies with social security numbers to defend himself and his fellow Islamists or Muslims from being killed. Non-lethal politics may change the whole dynamic of defense because the correction of injustice in defense would be more elastic without the permanence of death to perpetuate an injustice and motivation for revenge, retaliation, or worse.
Some people facing violent death try to cooperate with the killer hoping the killer will relent from killing. They may miss opportunities for self-defense and defense of the lives of others or the opportunity to escape. Many people may have believed that if Hitler was permitted to swallow Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, "there would be peace in our time". Yet it seems clear in retrospect that Hitler wanted war and killing. By the time the world mobilized effectively against him, his armies trampled all over Europe and much of the Soviet Union and North Africa. His partner in crime, Japan, occupied and tormented much of China and most of Southeast Asia before being defeated in a prolonged bloody conflict. The point of last resort was a dangerous time indeed and has raised serious questions about the efficacy of such thinking where last resort almost became synonymous with "last extremity".
Thus, lethal options in politics make man a mortal danger to himself, whatever restriction man tries to place on the application of the killing option. The doctrine of last resort is so vague that it is difficult to assess its reliability as a political tool to avoid killing. Conflicts need to be identified when they can be resolved peacefully. War and killing terminate lives but do not necessarily terminate a dispute that may transcend the life spans of multiple generations.
With the specter of lethality hanging over man's head, good faith and fair dealing is especially important in avoiding killing. However, managing those hell-bent on killing to prevent an exchange of killing behavior among potential and actual combatants is a formidable task. There is no margin for error where killing is an option to settling disputes.
7. Saddam should not be forcibly removed because we don't know what devil may follow him is a rationalization for irresponsible inaction against tyranny.
Another argument worth discussing is the complaint that no one knows what will come after Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the implication is to leave him in power, regardless of his killing behavior. Such an argument makes no sense. It is nothing more than a refusal to take the responsibility that we will have to take anyway. If killing is a consequence of our past failures to prevent killing, we still have the obligation to make every effort to prevent or terminate further killing behavior. CONCLUSION
A paradigm shift that rules out killing as an "any resort" and identifies and employs effective non-killing means of preventing and terminating killing behavior is desperately needed in a world that has so long been tormented by the curse of killing.
Man faces an unavoidable war with evil. It is a life and death struggle. Evil generates violence and killing. Killing itself must be killed. We either act in partnership with each other in this struggle or we default on perhaps the most sacred covenant we have that binds us to all that is good, decent and moral, and protects us from evil.
We have a responsibility to each other to act to save lives. We cannot refuse to take this responsibility just because others seemingly abdicate it. Sun Tzu in Art of War indicated that war without fighting is the highest art form in waging struggle:
III. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them. 2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
In other words, lethal war is nothing for man to ever have pride in. In the end, ideas and ideals engineering change are worth more than killing for an idea, a philosophy, a religion, an "ism", a faith, a belief, a political system, a culture, or to otherwise vindicate ones own life. It is not an act of genius to destroy an opponent but a true act of genius to promote your ideas and beliefs through your opponent, who provides the test for those ideas. Through non-lethal struggle, one keeps the highest moral entreaties of the religions, philosophies, and ideas that man so often concludes he must die and kill for, to preserve ones own life and the life of ones opponent in the struggle of ideas and values.
While the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) may have enabled the former Soviet Union and the United States to avoid direct military action against each other in the Cold War, proxy brush fire wars continued in areas where the two sides perceived a collision of their interests. MAD has little meaning to Usama Bin Laden and others who are convinced of the utility of risking or sacrificing their lives and killing others for a principle. In a world with increasingly worldwide dangerous lethal technology driven by greed, obsession with power, and an assumption of arrogant superiority over others, it becomes difficult to manage conflict without terminating human life, infecting and devaluing human life with an unfathomable bitterness and hatred.
Freedom from the bondage of violence and killing may come as man becomes conscious of a power to refuse to become a part of killing culture and rejects this ultimately unproductive form of behavior when engaged in political struggle. Certainly, tradition indicates that such effort would be looked upon most favorably by powers beyond man. For atheists and theists alike, it should certainly comport with a more ethical, moral and ultimately safer local and global society. Political Scientist Glenn D. Paige in his Book "Nonkilling Global Political Science Page 102 specifically and compellingly states the case:
A preventive political science contribution (to stop the respective emergence of killing-prone leaders supported by killing prone followers) is to identify and help to reconcile vengeful animosities, however recent or ancient, before they erupt in atrocities. To stop the rise of leaders and followers who celebrate vengeful extermination of enemies, political science must clearly commit itself to prevent killing, to reconcile the vengeful, and to create conditions of nonkilling life.
Dr. Paige, pages 103 - 104 sets out the visionary hope that should guide a true peace movement and the broad outlines of a plan to kill killing behavior:
Killing-zone interventions against hitler-type atrocities, of course, pose an even greater challenge to applied nonkilling scientific creativity. But they are not unthinkable, especially in an age of unprecedented capacity for technological innovation. Measures to be considered and tested in problem-solving simulations include microscopic and mass evocation of leader-follower, spiritual-psychological, nonkilling capabilities-inhibitions; global condemnation of, withdrawal of support from, and resistance to killing (not burden of victims alone); provisions for rapid exodus; and space-air-sea-ground interventions by forces equipped with sophisticated techniques for incapacitating individuals, groups, and technologies that kill. Focus comprehensively emergency intentionary pressures, direct and multi-channeled, negative and positive, upon sources of lethality as identified for prevention.
In the aftermath of hitler-type traumatizations, transformative affirmation of nonkilling human capabilities among survivors - killers, victims, and relatives-must be sought. Political science must be engaged in creating processes for recognition of responsibility for atrocity, restitution, reconciliation, and most importantly facilitating preventive and structural changes that favor realization of nonkilling societies in a nonkilling world. Drawing upon every source of spirit, science, and tradition-nonkilling must be celebrated as the heart of future cultural identity and pride among peoples. Practical commitments must be made to ensure that such atrocities will never happen again.
To end the era of mass atrocities from genocide to war, nonkilling political science must engage in three applied science tasks; prevention, intervention, and post-traumatic nonkilling transformation. It must liberate itself from the barrier to creative service imposed by the conventional assumption that such atrocities cannot be eliminated on nonkilling principles.
This essay has set forth the charge upon all of us to develop and implement a plan to terminate human killing. Killing culture is morally offensive, makes man slave to cynical expedience in attempting to terminate disputes, and is dangerously self-generating and a universal threat to human life in the twenty-first century.