Re: MD The Quality of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Tue Feb 18 2003 - 07:56:17 GMT

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism"

    Dear Erin,

    You asked 16 Feb 2003 15:45:54 -0500 for my comments -as a pacifist- to
    'High Noon' which you summarized 17 Feb 2003 12:07:33 -0500 with:
    'This Quaker woman is in a position forced to choose between violence and
    saving her husband. ...
    It's starts off with their wedding and their plans to leave town when the
    new sheriff arrives the next day:
    His new bride has firm, pacifist Quaker convictions that deplore violence,
    and he will be putting away his marshal's star in his last act in office.
    ... they get word that somebody the sheriff had put in jail is out coming to
    get revenge. ...
    Quaker wife wants to leave town, sheriff doesn't want to run.. there is a
    lot of struggling with this:
    Kane: Look Amy, this is my town. I've got friends here. I'll swear in a
    bunch of special deputies and with a posse behind me, maybe there won't even
    be any trouble.
    Amy: You know there'll be trouble.
    Kane: Then, it's better to have it here. I'm sorry, honey, I know how you
    feel about it.
    Amy: Do you?
    Kane: Of course I do. I know it's against your religion and all. Sure I know
    how you feel.
    Amy: But you're doing it just the same. Oh Will, we were married just a few
    minutes ago. We've got our whole lives ahead of us. Doesn't that mean
    anything to you?
    Kane: You know I've only got an hour and I've got lots to do. Stay at the
    hotel until it's over.
    Amy: No, I won't be here when it's over. You're asking me to wait an hour to
    find out if I'm going to be a wife or a widow. I say it's too long to wait.
    I won't do it...I mean it. If you won't go with me now, I'll be on that
    train when it leaves here.
    Kane: (resolutely) I've got to stay.
    No one is willing to help the sheriff and his wife waiting for the train to
    leave hears shots and ends up helping him:
    Kane's wife is the only one to risk her life, putting aside her pacifist
    beliefs to kill one of the gunslingers in order to protect her husband and
    save his life.
    There is no time for triumphant celebration - there's is a hollow victory.
    Kane helps Amy board their packed buggy, brought to them by the faithful
    teenage boy. Then, he disdainfully looks around, reaches for his "tin"
    badge, takes it off, contemptuously drops it into the dusty street, and
    turns to leave. '

    My comments:
    Well, such is (part of) life, if you just paint the static patterns of value
    and only point 'beyond' to something like a dramatic 'fate' or 'karma'. Once
    having chosen to be sheriff, you can expect such things and even a pacifist
    cannot usually escape the force of the biological and social patterns of
    value demanding that violence be met with violence. They're only human after
    all and these patterns of value wouldn't be 'static patterns of value' if
    they were easy to get round.

    I don''t know what I would do in a comparable situation. I can only refrain
    from formulating rigid principles/plans/possible ways of reacting that I
    would choose, in order to stay as open to Dynamic Quality (alias divine
    guidance) as possible if ever I happen to find myself in such a situation.
    Speaking about the past I can express my trust that following DQ (divine
    guidance) will mean acting non-violently.

    By the way, the lesson of this film to the Quaker women and those who
    identify with her may be, that just avoiding having to face violence (i.e.
    leaving town before ...), is not real non-violent action.
    Even an arch-pacifist like Gandhi participated in war, as can be read in his
    Autobiography 'The story of my experiments with truth': for his choice and for his 'excuses'.

    With friendly greetings,


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