Friday, October 26, 2007

A plan for Iraq

I have a plan for bringing peace and stability to Iraq. I conceived this plan after reading Is There No Other Way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future. by Michael Nagler.

First, the United Nations trains maybe ten thousand or more volunteers in Satyagraha, Gandhi’s nonviolent “soul force” tactics of winning justice. This Soul Force Brigade moves in as the Coalition Forces leave for home.

Next the Soul Force volunteers start patrolling the streets. They will not need body armor, because the brave exposure of themselves to danger is key to their strategy. Soul force is a combination of courage, generosity, and justice.

Most Iraqis will understand that the Soul Force is there to help Iraq and its people. They will not fear the Soul Force. They will not suspect the Soul Force is there to rob them of their oil.

The Soul Force will recruit a sister force of Iraqi volunteers from all religious factions. After training, the Iraqi Soul Force will patrol in units with mixed religious and ethnic backgrounds, now trusted friends. They will not be involved in ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods, nor revenge killings. They will be welcomed in all neighborhoods.

The violence will not disappear overnight. There will be casualties. Al Qaida and other like groups will struggle to keep the violence boiling.

Victory for Satyagraha will not be certain. Violence and hatred are now so entrenched in Iraq that only a great effort by a well-led Soul Force can overcome them.

But this is certain. Even if a Satyagraha campaign falls short of its goal, some great good will result. In contrast, even if violence accomplishes its goal, some great harm will result.

Many will call this naïve. But how much good has violence accomplished in Iraq?

1 comment:

Devin said...

This is the long version of a letter-to-the-editor I submitted to the Fresno Bee. The actual letter I submitted was squeezed down to 200 words. The letter was not published.

I'm a little more skeptical of non-violence than this letter implies. I want to be better persuaded. Mainly I'm trying to get some dialog going.