Another good opinion piece from Barbara Kingsolver, this one in the LA Times: "No Glory in Unjust War on the Weak." I still think that some of her proposed solutions are a little naive; and yet, I have to admire the fact that she's actually looking for alternatives to dropping bombs on people, something I can't say for any of our leaders.
And a key point that I think a lot of people are missing: perhaps peaceful approaches like Kingsolver's won't work, but the approach we're currently taking also won't work. If I've got to choose between two approaches that aren't going to work, I'd much rather take the peaceful idealistic one that strives toward doing Right, rather than the military one that kills a lot of people but gives folks back home a vague sense that Something Is Being Done About The Situation. But then, I've always been a naive idealist.
As with her piece in the Chronicle that I pointed to the other week, this one engendered lots of letters on both sides. Plenty of sneering letters that say that she (like everyone on the left) is delusional and dangerous, that she obviously wants to ignore this wanton attack on our way of life, that These People Must Be Stopped At Any Cost. (My paraphrase.) And plenty of praising letters, thankfully, saying that she's a rare voice of reason, which is more or less how I feel about it.
More letters a couple days later pretty much reiterate the same points.
I guess I just don't see how dropping a whole bunch of bombs on Afghanistan is going to solve this problem. But then, I'm not sure that the folks in charge have any real belief that they will solve the problem of terrorism through these means; I think the problem they're trying to solve is that of scared Americans who want reassurance. And that problem can best be solved by whomping on someone and coming home victorious. The best summation I've seen remains the Onion's line that I quoted last month: "A Nation Looks Around For Someone To Hit."
Still not up to writing a coherent piece about pacifism. Will try to do that this weekend.