I don't know what the "Free Tibet" bumper sticker crowd must be thinking these days, but I can assure you it most certainly doesn't involve the 101st Airborne, tanks, guns, or any of that other "culture of violence" stuff.
I guess it involves something along the lines of everyone focusing -- I mean really focusing -- their energy, and the ensuing global vibe snapping the Chinese out of their misguided ways. This would be followed immediately by a retreat, apology, and later, some really cool sharing and cultural appreciation between the two.
Gandhi -- the poster boy of non-violence -- had this to say about the Jews, and how they should properly respond to the unenlightened Nazis.
"The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife," he said.
"They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."
Louis Fisher, Gandhi's biographer asked him: "You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?"
Gandhi responded, "Yes, that would have been heroism."
To the British:
"I would like you to lay down the arms you have which are useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession.... If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."
So much for the moral high ground...
Any extended discussion with a pacifist almost always reaches the point where they sigh and say, "But I want to live in a world without violence." To which I respond, "I want to live in a world where I can breathe under water." What we want generally does not change things. You think people in a nursing home want to be there? I'm sure they would rather "live in a world without aging." Look how much good that does them.
We see in the car bumper which shares the "War is Not the Answer" and "Free Tibet" stickers the ultimate expression of leftist adolescence. The failure to acknowledge the glaring contradictions between what we "want" (a free Tibet) and the only viable way to get it, (violence against the thugs currently occupying the country).
The pacifist's belief that his conviction changes that of others -- "the heroic Jewish suicides" of which Mr Gandhi spoke -- in the end is nothing more than adolescent narcissism elevated to the level of cosmic truth. Try telling a mugger in the middle of a shakedown that you "really don't believe in taking peoples money by force" or that you "want to live in a world without mugging." After he's done laughing, and taking everything he wants, if you can get him to stick around for a minute and offer an opinion on you it would probably be something along the lines of, "You're the perfect victim. I wish they could all be like you"
And so it was sadly that I listened to the Dalai Lama pronounce last week that if the violence didn't cease he would have no option but to quit being Tibet's spiritual leader in exile. Whoa! I'll bet that really gave those Chinese generals a couple of sleepless nights!
To all those out there with the "Free Tibet!" stickers, here are a few facts that will help the world make sense:
- There will always be bad people.
- Bad people don't care about hurting good people. Appeals to shame, empathy and guilt don't work on them. That's why they're bad people.
- Bad people respond to force. They don't like it and will change their behavior to avoid it.
- Good people need to use force to stop the bad people from hurting other good people.
- It's not the same when a good person uses force to stop a bad person as when the bad person uses it to harm a good person.
- Not letting good people use force against bad people encourages more bad behavior.
- Good people using force against bad people should be encouraged. This will make the world a better place.
To all the pacifists out there who think guns are the problem, all the moral lightweights harping about the "cycle of violence", please remember:
Guns liberated Auschwitz and violence ended slavery. The world you "imagine" is not here on Earth but in the next life, and you're really gumming things up for the rest of us by confusing the two.
Free Tibet - Hell yes! But to whom do we send the weapons?