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Hawks, Doves, and Owls

Reflections on the Eve of Battle.


by Jonathan Wilson
March 20, 2003

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Hawks, Doves, and Owls_Jonathan Wilson-Reflections on the Eve of Battle. If I have to choose between hawks and doves I choose to be an owl.

Choosing middle ground is not a concession or a compromise; it is rather a matter of focus. Thus, those who take middle ground do not establish consensus, often they are surrounded and criticized from all sides.

Middle Ground #1, While hawks and doves argue with each other over Bush's justification, we cannot lose sight of Hussein's guilt.

#2, Peace is an outcome of justice. While justice can be achieved by peacable means, justice is not always achieved by peacable means. When considering the peacable examples of Gandhi and MLK,JR., consider the enlightenment of the governments they opposed. Compare that with the peacable demonstration in Tianneman Square. Yes, the oppression against the followers Gandhi and MLK, JR. was severe. Deaths, beatings, wrongful jailing, fire hoses.... No, the peacable demonstrations never resulted in tanks rolling over squatting citizens. History demonstrates that the restraint of Democracy MAKES A DIFFERENCE to the possibility of peacable justice. Consider 55 years of incredible restraint by the Israelis, the only functioning democracy in the region.

#3, Whether by war or by peace, just outcomes are always incomplete. Think of India's problems now. Think of Watts, the Rampart, Cincinatti, Illinois' Death Row....

#4, The incomplete working out of justice does not exempt anyone from the effort to do justice, whether that effort is peacable or must be assumed with force.

#5, Even if member states of the United Nations choose to exempt themselves from the responsibility of prosecuting UN declarations, member states that do enforce UN declarations should not be punished by the UN.

#6, A nation that invokes UN authority ought to do so in all matters the UN addressses, not just those that the nation finds convenient to a self-interested and unilateral agenda. If the UN warns of "serious consequences," it should be the UN, not one or two member states, that stipulate what those serious consequences are to be. If the UN decides that its agents are being effective and need more time, it is not up to a member state to cancel the UN work.

Remember, I said middle ground. I am not in Bush's camp on this thing. But I trust the "peace movement" even less, and with the correct process, I am all for taking Hussein down and out.

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