Language is a powerful means of expression. So is violence. War is what happens when words fail to reconcile conflict. Diplomacy, more than ever, needs all the allies it can muster.

Sadly, while the mainstream media now increasingly pens hopeful criticism of the horrific senselessness of the endless cycle of aggression and retribution, the sword continues gaining the upper hand even within the peace community. Sadly, the incessant drums of war have gained new practitioners.

Putin apologists within what remains of a once cohesive anti-war movement have dropped that contentious bone in rallying against U.S. support for Netanyahu’s equally heartless geopolitics. Apparently, Palestine’s vile victimhood is collectively deemed way more sympathetic than that of Ukraine’s brutal injustice.

“Ceasefire now” “ End apartheid” “ Stop genocide” are all righteous pro-peace demands to end this war and hopefully its causation.

“Resistance is not terrorism,” “Resistance against occupation is a human right,” are far less clearly pro-peace and hardly germane if one is unequivocally anti-war.

For someone who opposes all war, such recent pro-Palestine protest slogans are more than a bit disturbing, especially because they so disingenuously omit the word “armed,” which is the type of resistance to which they refer, namely that of Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis in solidarity against Israel.


Even as stated, neither assertion rings true.

Resistance need not employ terrorism and clearly isn’t terrorism when it doesn’t terrorize, when it doesn’t condone violence, but it is terrorism when it does and Hamas plainly employs terrorist tactics against Israeli oppression, aggression and now genocidal-appearing retribution. Oct. 7 was consummate terrorism and a Hamas declaration of its own clearly genocidal agenda is public record.

Resistance against occupation isn’t a human right if that resistance employs violence as a means toward ending an oppressor’s tyranny. Violence isn’t a right, only a choice.

Before Putin’s most recent revanchist invasion, the anti-war movement was totally invested in championing non-violent resolution to conflicts. Now it differs little from other geopolitical side-choosing where violence is embraced as a justified means to an end. Now war is considered OK if sufficiently “provoked” so as to give an aggressor “no choice” but to resort to deadly force. Putin and Hamas are now somehow illogically defended by those still steadfastly condemning NATO and Israel’s believed militaristic wrongness, as illogical as the U.S. simultaneously supporting Zelensky’s heroic resistance and Netanyahu’s fully terroristic “self-defense.”

If you think one side of a conflict is righteous and should prevail via armed resistance or preemptive aggression, then you are like the vast majority of people who wholeheartedly believe violence and superior force is the only means of enforcing peace. However, if you’re a professed proponent of peace through non-violent resistance then that just doesn’t square.

“Freedom fighter” should not be part of any anti-war lexicon. It should be considered the oxymoron that it is by anyone calling themselves a peace activist believing that violence only sows the seeds for more violence. “Go Yeman” shouldn’t be a partisan cheer exclaimed by those that otherwise profess belief in peace being both the means and the end desired.

“Existential moment” is the all-too-appropriate phrase applied to the myriad do-or-die behavioral changes humankind must adopt, starting yesterday, if we are to survive our own planetary genocide.

Resistance fighters don’t need verbal encouragement. They already have enough motivation toward violence. What they and we all need is discouragement toward violence and the courage to pursue a pathway toward eliminating a need for any violent resolution.

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