Courage of one's convictions

Exactly what I’ve come to expect from certain groups. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Human shield Britons leave Iraq

Up to a dozen Britons who travelled to Iraq to form a human shield against military action are returning home amid safety fears.
The anti-war campaigners are on their way back to London in two of the double-decker buses which took them to Baghdad last month.

About 12 other Britons will stay on as part of the 200-strong international Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action Group.

But a spokesman for those remaining said they may now act as witnesses, rather than as human shields.

Christiaan Briggs, a coordinator for the action group in Baghdad, said those returning had always planned to do so before any bombing started.

He said many had run out of money or were concerned about safety, after Iraq started dictating which sites they could “protect”.
Mr Briggs said: "Now we are being told we cannot go to certain sites, such as hospitals, so we are reassessing our strategy.

"I must stress the people on the bus were always intending on going back.

“The aim was always a mass migration and if we had had five to ten thousand people here, there would never be a war.”

The two buses left Baghdad on Saturday and could now be travelling towards Syria.

On 17 February, a multinational group of 75 people arrived in the Iraqi capital, after the marathon 3,000-mile bus journey from London.

It was led by former US marine and Gulf War veteran Ken Nichols O’Keefe.
A few days later, about 100 other protesters arrived from Heathrow to join them.

Mr Briggs said about a dozen Britons were still in Baghdad and that they may now concentrate on acting as witnesses to any military action.

Explaining the group’s change of heart on the original human shield aim he said: “I said right from the start, I was prepared to die but when I knew I had a chance of affecting change.”

Sort of like a group of guys who decide to kick some other guy’s ass, only to find out that he’s a lot tougher than they expected.

“Wull gee, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Or maybe they just ran out of weed.

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”

Thomas Merton

“I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”

Mohandas Gandhi

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”

Thomas Merton [/quote]
Let me get this straight. Merton decided to become a monk in 1941. OK. Now I understand where his ideas of “heroism” come from.

:unamused: :laughing: :laughing:

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]“I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”

Mohandas Gandhi[/quote]
Very nice. I doubt very seriously if we would have to endure quotes from Gandhi if India had been a Soviet/Nazi/Communist Chinese colony. Democratic Britian would tolerate people like Gandhi…he was VERY lucky.

BTW, out of curiosity, how many people did Gandhi free from Dachau and Auschwitz?

OK, so you don’t believe Merton or Gandhi. Here’s a few more:

Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence. Mahatma Gandhi

One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. Nelson Mandela

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not organized. Aristotle

There is no way to peace, peace is the way. A. J. Muste

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. Dalai Lama

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. Buddha

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. Bertrand Russel

Anything that creates understanding in the long run makes for less violence. If there is understanding then you don’t have to solve your problems through violence; you can solve them by just talking it over. If there was understanding, in fact, there would be few problems. Aung San Suu Kyi

Non-violence is a very powerful weapon. Most people don’t understand the power of non-violence and tend to be amazed by the whole idea. Those who have been involved in bringing about change and see the difference between violence and non-violence are firmly committed to a lifetime of non-violence, not because it is easy or because it is cowardly, but because it is an effective and very powerful way. Cesar Chavez

All we are saying is: give peace a chance. John Lennon


Since you like Aristotle and Russell…

“We make war that we may live in peace.” - Aristotle

“Terrible as a new world war would be, I still for my part would prefer it to a world communist empire.” - Bertrand Russell (Sept, 1953, New York Times Magazine)

“Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.” - Benjamin Franklin

“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.” - Ulysses S. Grant

“You may either win your peace or buy it; win it by resistance to evil; buy it by compromise with evil.” - John Ruskin

“Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for peace it shouldn’t be peace at any cost but peace based on principle, on justice.” - Corazon Aquino


MT, the absence of war does not necessarily equal peace. Peace is an ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. There are reasons for why we keep armies, and they’re not all wrong reasons.

Maybe the absence of war doesn’t necessarily equal peace, but the presence of war certainly does not.

As for the human shield idea, when I first read of it I was overwhelmed with the extraordinary courage and devotion of these people, and if I weren’t tied down to a good job I might have considered joining them. Regardless of whether one believes in their cause, one has to admit they are truly brave and devoted. How many people have the courage to stand, unarmed, in the line of attack to prevent its occurence?.

Reminds me of an incident with Aung San Suu Kyi. As she was walking down the street in the midst of a peaceful protest once, soldiers raised their guns and pointed them at her, ordering her to stop. But she continued forward till the soldiers finally lowered their guns.

To mock such courage and devotion to peace is a clear sign of immaturity, ignorance or just plain stupidity.

But it can. Look at Germany and Japan. Those countries have had 50+ years of peace following their unconditional surrender. They transgressed international boundaries (and norms), the allies said that they would not let this stand, they fought against it without compromise, and peace, democracy, freedom and prosperity followed. If the military gov’t of Japan were still controlling the Pacific Rim, and if Hitler’s dictatorship had continued unopposed, how peaceful would Europe be? :?

“Peace? Oh, peace off!” - Monty Python.

Sorry MT, but I think you give these people way too much credit. How do you know that they are couragous, devoted people? Where is your evidence? How can you possibly provide an objective assessment of individual motivation(s)?

Okay, so you perceive these people to be worthy of respect. Some of us perceive them differently. To me, they seem ill-informed and possibly media-hungry. So who’s right? I’m not entirely sure, but am I calling you a childish, ignorant, idiot because I disagree with you? Strange behavior for one who advocates peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

I’m all for the ideal of peaceful resolution of conflict, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes it takes just as much courage, or more, to stand up and fight as it does to oppose a fight. If in fact some of the Human Sheilds are killed in a battle, who decides who is responsible?,2933,80955,00.html

[quote=“Report”]Five volunteers who went to Iraq to serve as “human shields,” including two Americans, were forced out of the country because they were critical of the government’s choice of sites to protect, the head of the group said Wednesday.

They had chosen locations “essential to the civilian population,” such as food storage warehouses and water and electricity facilities, said Ken O’Keefe, of Haleiwa, Hawaii.

But the Iraqi government wanted the shields in more sensitive locations, he said. He did not elaborate, but some earlier activists have also left Iraq, reportedly after being told they would be posted at potentially strategic targets, such as oil refineries and power plants.[/quote]

Sorry, MT, but I have a problem with these guys. Where did they expect Saddam would place them? And I find it insulting that they wanted to be placed at civilian sites, such as orphanages… as if the US is going to purposely target such locations. These people may have demonstrated strong conviction, but they also showed incredibly weak judgment, IMO.

Halleluja! The man has had a revelation!

Not half as stupid as you, Mr. O’Keef.

After 12 years of Iraqi failure to cooperate, this guy is surprised???