Pacifism and the real world.

PositionLetters to the Editor - Letter to the Editor

Thanks for publishing the piece by Faleh A. Jabar ("Opposing War Is Good, but Not Good Enough," January issue). As well as articulating a sane and humane reaction to the situation in Iraq, he has also expressed my own frustrations with the antiwar and pacifist movement in general. I know that many Progressive readers are very firm about their pacifism and I admire those convictions. However, situations arise where pacifism serves no purpose but to create martyrs. Growing up on the streets of Richmond, Virginia, I learned the practical importance of self-defense. I am still essentially nonviolent, but I am also prepared to do the unpleasant to assure the safety of myself and my family.

The same truth applies on the world stage. Yes, let's oppose the un-President's blood lust. But let us also keep in mind that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a killer and as long as he is in power he will continue to be. Pacifism is a fine ideal, but this is the real world and as long as humans are imperfect, there will be violence and the unfortunate need to meet it with violence.

Vail Ryan Pottstown, Pennsylvania Joe Stork ("What Solidarity Requires," January issue) implies a moral "opportunism" on the part of pacifists indistinct from...

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