A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

March 17, 2007

Gandhi’s Way, Not the American Way, What about ROP Trying it?

Hydralisk posted this about Sen. Fred Thompson’s radio commentary about the Indian Statesman’s policies of non-violence, and whether it should be applied by the US.  I agree that this would not be a good strategy for the US to employ, but I wonder if it were employed by elements of the “Religion of Peace” (codeword for Islam).

Hydralisk’s comments are noteworthy to Sen. Thompson’s views.  He states:

“Gandhi deserves our praise for showing us the optimal way to approach certain situations that in reality arise less often than some people think. Churchill showed us the way to approach the rest of them. Ergo I can respect Gandhi a little and I can respect Churchill a lot.”

This is the correct assesment, but I would like to add a situtation where Gandhi’s approach would work, and that is particularly true within areas of the Middle East, most notably within Israel.  Considerations must be given to the similarities of the two situations between India during colonial rule, and the situation that Palestinians and the Arabic minority find within themselves in today’s Israel.

Consider that in India, the indigenous population. There was no way that 250,000 UK officials/soldiers and bureuacrats could maintain control in governing 750,000,000 Indians if they refused to be governed.

Also, the relative military/industrial/economic power of the UK made a military insurrection distasteful given the opposite factors of India. It would have been a bloodbath of the first order in world history.  Finally, the nature of the UK in a relatively liberal nation from the perspective of human rights, civil liberties and a free press made change possible. Had this been a dictatorship’s colony, the results of civil disobedience would have been one sided violence, and not effected a solution.  Much of the same can be inferred towards  today’s Israel and the Middle East region.

Different circumstances require a different strategy. If the Islamic radicals “want to be effective” they would endorse a non-violent approach in Israel. Can you imagine the response in the US and in much of Israel, if in Isreal Palestinians were being shot at with tear gas, or real weaponry while singing the Arabic equivalent of “We Shall Overcome”.   Can you contemplate the way the mainstream media, with daily video feed would influence public opinion both in the US and Israel?  Significant pressure by the US, and it is highly likely this would occur,  would almost guarantee that the Palestinians would have a favorable agreement within a year.



  1. You’re so right. But for Palestinians to do such a thing, they would have to not be Muslims anymore.
    The big joke on all of us in the West has always been that those folks don’t want peace at all. They want to get rid of those pesky Jews once and for all–every last Jew–and then move on to the rest of us. As you so rightly pointed out, Gandhi’s approach works with people who are fundamentally civilized, whose hearts are capable of being touched by the plight of the Other (or who are at least rational enough to act expediently in their own long-term interests). The ROP practitioners don’t have that, and don’t want any part of it–it would mean betraying their religion.

    Comment by lewdandlascivious — March 18, 2007 @ 3:25 am | Reply

  2. Sadly, I think you hit it on the head, they may not really want peace and coexistence. It just seems that there are some people you can’t reason with.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — March 18, 2007 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  3. Let’s be careful about painting with a broad brush; they’re not all that way (ROP practitioners, as we’re calling them). The real tragedy of the Palestinians is how their situation gets exploited by the leaders of other ME nations as a way to shift attention away from their own failed states.

    Anyway, it’s a neat idea to apply Gandhism here. I also think it would work…if it were tried.

    Comment by hydralisk — March 18, 2007 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

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