Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

So it's been a while since I posted anything.

I've been in a processing stage, and have been suffering from a sort of writer's block because my thoughts and feelings, and political positions, have undergone a radical change. Basically a paradigm shattered, and it has taken me a while to pick up the pieces and construct a new one.

I've been a peace activist for a little over a year, and have become quite active in participating in protest actions, lobbying congress, and generally trying to help make the public more aware of the cost of this awful war, and the cost of our losing many of the basic rights guaranteed us in the constitution.

The last several months have been a whirlwind, and it's been difficult to keep up and stay focused, both at work and in my activism, while I've been trying to adjust to a completely new worldview. The thing that's changed is that I no longer believe in violence. It's taken me a while to completely accept that position. For most of my life I have accepted the partial truth (as I see it now) that most war is bad, and that only rarely do situations occur that require the use of national force. I now believe that all violence is inherently wrong, on every level, and that there is no such thing as a justifiable war.

I've been doing a lot of reading. The first thing I learned is that nonviolence is not passive, and that it does not mean submission. Nonviolent action is often aggressive, and should be considered, in many cases, a form of conflict. True personal and political nonviolence is courageous, and is not only an effective alternative to violence in resolving conflicts, but is potentially more effective, especially in its effects.

My writing has been stalled because it has taken me almost five months to completely wrap my head and my heart around not only nonviolent political action, but also around a personal commitment to nonviolence. I hereby make a personal commitment to nonviolence in my personal life, and in my political actions.

Still eluding me is a complete understanding of the strategic aspects of nonviolent political actions, but I am learning. My long-term interest in strategy and tactics is helping me with this. Curiously, my background in market research may also be useful, but more about that in later posts.

Today was a good day. Arlington West went very successfully, with a very positive reaction from the public, and from the local press. Several local news stations were represented, and local Fox channel 6 apparently is doing a retrospective with past Arlington West memorials, comparing them to today's event, including the difference in the public reaction and support of the memorial and the change in attitudes towards the war.

This video was recommended by Sally, a Vets For Peace member from Texas, that I know only online from the VFP National Recruitment committee. I include it because it is Memorial Day, and it expresses sentiments about the current administration that I share.

I've made some decisions recently, and having made those decisions, I feel more at ease with myself about a great many things. My writing now will resume, though my take on things will be a bit different perhaps. I am not a Satyagrahi. Yet.