I truly get that there are times in history when we must rise up and take a bold, active stance. That we must bravely stand up to those who seem to have no respect for human life and say “absolutely not.” But for the life of me I just can’t reconcile how taking a stand by potentially killing more people sends a message that killing people is wrong. What kind of clear message is that? Is it because we used guns and bombs instead of gas? Are we really going to keep pretending that that makes any sense? Either way you slice it, it’s all atrocious.
I keep looking to the examples in history of men who were able to find more effective and lasting ways, like MLK Jr. What he knew, that it seems way too many in power do not, is that when you resort to any sort of violence at all, it doesn’t matter the amount, then all that people will remember about you is the violent act. You have just handed them the excuse not to listen to anything you have to say ever again.
Once you become the perpetrator of such a heinous crime, those on the other side of it no longer care a thing about you. It doesn’t matter who “started it”, what you represent, who you are, who you are protecting, how mistreated you have been, or why you felt you had to do it, they don’t care to know, because you are no longer the victim bravely standing up for the greater good, you have effectively become the aggressor in their story, someone they now have the right to defend themselves from. So while an act of aggression might temporarily quiet a problem, it certainly doesn’t transform it or end it, it actually prolongs it.
MLK Jr. knew that if you really want to create lasting change you have to expose the true source of the problem for all to see and deal with. He did this by actively and bravely standing up for what he believed in, by nonviolently getting right in the face of the enemy, outsmarting and outclassing the enemy, and then making sure the cameras are there when the enemy inevitably exposes themselves as they always do.
MLK Jr. wasn’t wimpy. He didn’t back down or stick his head in the sand. He risked his life and ultimately gave his life in order to expose the truth, as I said before, I get that sometimes that is necessary which is why I am grateful to the men and women in uniform who are always willing to put their life on the line for us like that, but can’t we honor our soldiers heroic sacrifice by empowering them with non violent weapons and tactics that have been proven to achieve greater long term results?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not all proposing that we send our men and women in uniform unarmed in to these extremely hostile situations and have them do a sit in. I am not an idiot. I know they will simply get slaughtered. But I guess what I am wondering is, with all the technology we have today, why can’t we create technologies that make our soldiers essentially bullet proof? Invisible? Uncatchable? Our own real life Iron Men of sorts, fully locked and loaded with cameras instead of guns so that our soldiers can perform their heroic act of exposing and possibly detaining without the need for killing.
If this was the 60’s I’d say go ahead, call me a crack pot for even suggesting such a thing, tell me I’ve watched too many superhero movies, but it’s not the 60‘s, it’s 2013, and I know enough about nano technology and the like to know that I am not so off the mark. Maybe it’s not our solution today but I guarantee you if we put our brilliant minds and technology towards true defense, towards finding ways to keep the physical bodies of our soldiers as protected as humanly possible while they carry out their missions, that it could be our solution of tomorrow.
For that to happen, however, to make that kind of shift, I guess we first have to see that Non Violence truly is the only solution that is ever going to achieve lasting results.
I know many will disagree, or even worse, many are too invested in weapons to even want this type of change, but a girl can dream. And in the meantime, I would love to start an intelligent, thoughtful discussion of what we could do now with Syria that would be more effective in the long run than strikes. (for e.g. Getting undeniable proof that President Assad was responsible for the gas attacks and sharing it with every news outlet in the world would be a good start, because as of right now he is sitting on his high horse denying everything and almost begging us to strike him so he can look like a victim.)