Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Egyptian people: non-violence resistance won the hearts of the world, and brought down the regime

Sherwood Ross has written in 'Nations Should Consider Responding
Non-Violently To Future U.S. Aggression' that:

'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.

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 participate.

Nations opposed to aggression by the U.S. could be urged to shut
down their 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.'

I found his words compelling. for I am a war veteran; a Marine
Corps rifleman in the Vietnam War. Since I came back I felt pulled
in both directions. I grew up watching the non-violent methods used
in the civil rights movement by African-Americans led by Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King, and many others. It was very successful.

On the individual level I have been involved in many fights...probably
hundreds; most were when younger. In the last twenty years almost all
fights I have been involved in have been in the course of defending
someone else who was being bullied. Other times I was attacked.

I had hardly any regret over damaged that I caused. Yet as time went
by there was a change; I knew that my ways were not right. They helped
me survive, but I did not feel good hurting someone as I did when younger
and just out of the war zone. And I struggle with trying to be non-violent.

But, I have always told my closest friends that there was one situation
that prevented me from responding violently as I might otherwise, and
that was where the other individual refused to fight and remained passive.
I felt bad if I struck such a person, and restrained by something deeper
inside that I could not understand.

It didn't matter what that person had done to me beforehand; if they
refused to fight, then I felt it was a great wrong to hurt them if
they remained passive.

The Egyptian people met every act of violence with non-violence.
They stood firm, principled, disciplined and did not strike back
violently to the many provocations that the Mubarak regime hurled
at it. And, they won the respect, love and the hearts of the world's

I was reminded of the words of the prophet Jesus, (Peace and Blessings
Be Upon Him), who said “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28).

And "Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will
perish by the sword."

And the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) "Faith is a
restraint against all violence, let no Muslim commit violence."
I am beginning the Fourth Chapter of The Holy Quran; I am not sure of
the quote I had to search the internet, and I hope it is right. I'm changing.

I have thought that if if I were in the military now, and called out
to put down protesters, say in Egypt; I could not if they were non-violent.
And, I believe that if the world's people in their quest for freedom,
democracy, human rights, and for a new order which lifts humanity to a
highler spiritual level non-violence must be the means by which we attain
the change.

For sure, it will make many more soldiers reluctant to use force when
they are called out to put the people down.

And, it will make it much harder for governments to use violence when the
'whole world is watching.' twas a chant from the anti-war protest during
the Vietnam war.

The power of non-violent means was shown by Gandhi, Martin Luther King and
many more...and mosr recently those brave and courageous Egyptian people all throughout Egypt. They have taught the rest of us a lesson.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."

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