Pacifist Humor
 by Margaret Shemo

If Americans wanted to fight somebody to save New York, whom would we fight?

We fight the people Smirk & Powell claim they have proof against.
If they're lying, we should impeach the hell outta Smirk and fire Powell.

What to do if your campus peace rally is attacked by an intellectually limited bully,
to teach him why resort to force can be stupid:

1) Expect the bully to approach you if you talk about "peace" and express any thought
that could be oversimplified into the statement, "There should be no retaliation."

Or, you could say what you mean, denying the bully the opportunity
to state your position for you because you won't say what you mean.

2) Expect the bully to engage you in brief conversation - brief, because
that's about all he can manage - and to ask you if military force is appropriate.

Right or wrong, you should recognize that 4/5 of America disagrees with the position
you're not being clear about standing up for.

3) When you ask the bully, "Military force against whom?" expect him to blather and bluster and finally say
"Everywhere in the world that there are terrorists."  (Of course, he's not thinking of Northern Ireland.)

Catholics - don't get me started.

4) Say something to the effect of  "No, because that would just cause more innocent deaths,
which would be awful and we should not cause more violence."  (Keep it simple for him.)

Or, you could explain yourself instead of repeating that you're misunderstood.
Why is it so difficult for the doves to speak clearly?   Often when I ask a dove to explain himself,
he sends me some URL that someone else wrote.  It's the Nader syndrome all over again.
How can anyone feel so strongly about that which they can't explain?

5) While you're in mid sentence, expect the bully (without provocation) to try to punch you
in the face as hard as he can.  Now, you have a choice as to your next move:

Why are you taking that "punch" as a literal knuckle sandwich?
I think I've twice pointed out that the joke is a TOOL to FORCE those who seem unable or
unwilling to take a stand and define what they're willing to fight for and what they'll conceed.

Saying, "explain yourself" is not an attack.
It's an attenpt to increase communication.

6a) Take the punch and stay down.  Your friends will hug the bully, thereby showing compassion
for him and also preventing his escape, and a campus policeman will be called to the scene.
Press charges against him for assault and battery and sue for damages.  Maybe the judge will
help the bully understand that civilized people don't use violence to win arguments.

Again - I have no idea what the metaphors are suppose to be clarifying.
Have you noticed how much shorter my parable was than yours?

6b) Duck and punch his lights out.  After all, you oppose perpetrating violence against innocent people,
Americans and Afghans alike, and in this case, he's the perpetrator.  You object to aggression against
peace-loving people, Americans and Afghans alike, and in this case, he's the aggressor.
When he comes to, he may have more respect for your point of view.

Hey, did you just take a stand?
Did you just say you'd fight back when attacked?
We might have a breakthru here...

6c) Take the punch and get up.  Swing, but "miss" him and "accidentally" punch his wife in the mouth,
as hard as you can.  (Don't worry.  Your friends will be witnesses to your "mistake.")  Of course, it's
against your principles to hurt an innocent person, but remember, you're teaching him:  you'll make the
bully understand why the indiscriminate use of force in the pursuit of justice usually leads to injustice.
If he won't admit that his wife deserved to get punched in the mouth just because she was standing
next to him after he threw the first punch, what else can he do but agree that you're right?

Oh, I see. You didn't take a stand, you were just musing about your options.

I think YOU should be the voice of the doves tonight at 9 PM CST.
But you have to cut back on the thickly-veiled lengthy metaphors.
I need concrete meat and potatos*, not a verbal fencing match.

I think you know I was trying to force doves to draw the line, but instead of answering the challenge
and drawing the line to reveal your position, you're looking to turn the tables and reverse the charges
and beat around the bush, instead.  Why is that?

On Vietnam, the doves said, "Why should I go halfway around the world to fight
in some jungle for people who don't even want us in their country."

Today, the war is in New York and I'm having trouble getting straight answers.
Why is that?

Since I have no idea what your position is, I'm forced to guess.
My guess is that the debate judges would give you high marks for rhetorical fencing.

Meanwhile, New York is burning.

If I've midjudged your position - please straighten me out.

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