14 June, 2017

Cowards, Not Warriors

Zealots usually have some rationale for the atrocities they perpetrate. In their minds and the minds of some others, this makes them warriors for a noble cause. The fact that they almost always attack unarmed, unsuspecting people give the lie to their pretensions.  Just in the last few weeks, the following rationales have been offered by zealots of various persuasions.

1.    A widely-circulated propaganda message put out by the group on social media urged its followers to attack civilians in the West using trucks, knives or guns during the Holy Month of Ramadan. 

2.     Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who media outlets quickly identified as a known white supremacist and right-wing extremist. “He calls for a homeland for whites, he has anti-Semitic statements praising Nazis,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center after examining his Facebook page.

Christian also participated in the “March for Free Speech” in Portland on April 29 with a baseball bat in tow to attack left-wing protesters. Police took the bat away, but Christian spent all day yelling racist slurs and giving the Nazi salute.

3.    A purported Sanders supporter attacked Congressional Republicans practicing for the charity baseball game against the Democrats. 

Bernie Sanders condemned the action, saying: “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”

None of the perpetrators knowingly confronted armed opposition. All of them attacked people they thought to be defenseless. Not a one of them was truly a warrior. All of them were demonstrably cowards with a pretentious and spurious rationale for their atrocious actions. 

While I oppose the Neoconfederate Reactionary Agenda of the contemporary Republican Party, I condemn in every respect the use of violence against any of the Republicans now in power. Ballots, not bullets, are the proper means for depriving them of their power to harm America and planet Earth. Arguments, peaceful demonstrations, phone calls, letters to Congress and Editors are all legitimate means and measures. Violence and incitement to violence are not justified in any circumstance. 

Sectarian creeds do not convey legitimacy on cruelty, aggression, murder, and mayhem. Authoritarian political ideologies are abhorrent on their face, and they do not confer honor on adherents who attack others in their name. Unless there is an actual war in which people risk life and limb in combat with armed and aware opponents resorting to force does not make one a warrior in the service of any cause noble or ignoble. Violence against the defenseless is an act of cowardice and covers the perpetrator[s] with shame.

Therefore, let me state emphatically and without qualification that the moment one resorts to aggression against peaceful people of differing views or hues one confesses and demonstrates the total illegitimacy of one’s positions and ideological professions.  

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