If you’re a pacifist, feel free to bash me for holding that fighting is sometimes an unfortunate necessity in order to repel greater harm. To be anti-war is a good moral stance, in my book. I’ll grant you free rein to argue your case in full.
But if your pacifism only extends to one party, demanding that your enemy turns the other cheek, while you grant the most powerful military powers on earth the right to rain bombs down on innocents in their homes, I think probably, on reflection, I’d just say, “Bog off.”
For the record, I hold that terrorism is nothing but a tool of imperialism. But we’re not talking about terrorism here. We’re talking about the right of collective or individual self-defence, as granted by international law.
I regularly get harassed by trolls, demanding that I make a pacifist declaration on behalf of peoples suffering immeasurable oppression. They want me to say that those people over there — whose lives I really know nothing about and whose struggles I do not share — have no right to self-defence.
If they applied their apparent principles of pacifism to all, I might heed their call, but they never do. In one breath they demand their enemies lay down their arms, while in the other demanding that their own side be armed to the teeth, to show no mercy and eradicate all they hold to be lesser human beings. That’s hardly a very consistent worldview, if you’re claiming a moral stance.
War is not a good thing. Sometimes it is both inevitable and necessary, but we should avoid war at all costs. We should never support anybody who supports the targeting of civilians, be that a lone-wolf vigilante or a celebrated politician. We should always strive for peace as far as possible.
That’s my position. You’ll find I’m pretty consistent. What’s yours?