Monday, January 21, 2008

Peace and Martin Luther King

As Canada's New Government and Mr. Harper await the results of the Manley Report which will recommend that Canada stay in Afghanistan for another three years - after all, his hand-picked panel could hardly come out with any other result - I think about some words from Martin Luther King Jr. on his day.

From Juan Cole's "Informed Comment":

They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal.

We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.

...' More recently I have come to see the need for the method of nonviolence in international relations.

Although I was not yet convinced of its efficacy in conflicts between nations, I felt that while war could never be a positive good, it could serve as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force. War, horrible as it is, might be preferable to surrender to a totalitarian system.

But now I believe that the potential destructiveness of modern weapons totally rules out the possibility of war ever again achieving a negative good.

If we assume that mankind has a right to survive then we must find an alternative to war and destruction.

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