In the olden days, the idea of peace for any nation was, at best, temporary. Sooner or later, another nation or the nations own discontented citizens would cause some kind of trouble and it would be off to war for the menfolk (or even womenfolk as well in other societies) to put a stop to all the mess in general. In those days, life was simple but primitive. Settling arguments often boiled down to who had the biggest fists, pointiest sticks and the most mooks. Yep, compared to what life was like with the Greeks, Romans and the barbarians that surrounded them, the life of a modern citizen would be absolute heaven.
With the turn of the 20th Century and its changes, people’s sentiments changed. When once, war glorified and encouraged, war is now detested and avoided at all costs. The horrors of World War I in the trenches, the nightmare that was the Vietnam War and the grueling Falkland Conflict proved to people all over the world that war is not pretty. When Mahatma Gandhi, a self-professed pacifist, helped end British influence in India without inciting any kind of conflict, he was widely held as the man who popularized pacifism and that violence is not always the answer to a problem. He became one of the most celebrated figures in world history and is often cited by the hippie movement to be their inspiration for non-violence (which would probably horrify the man if he ever found out about them).
But while I am in awe of Mahatma Gandhi and generally believe that violence is not always an intelligent way to approach problems, I will also state that “Pacifism” doesn’t always mean “non-violent”. When Gandhi and his allies were protesting against the British government, he made it clear from the get-go that he was prepared for trouble. He stated that pacifism was about standing up for your beliefs regardless of what people did to you. When you hear the phrase “turn the other cheek” in this day and age, people tend to think it means letting offenders get away with their transgressions. However, what it actually meant was refusing to be talked down to or intimidated even if you were arrested, beaten or killed. To be a real pacifist requires a stomach of steel and gonads of brass because standing up to tyrants and murderers without weapons and only your resolve to protect you is not something you will find in your common citizen. The hippie movement and their ideas of free love and marijuana probably wouldn’t fit with Gandhi’s idea of pacifism as they are opposites in every sense of the word. Pacifism, which Gandhi calls “passive resistance” is about taking a stand in matters without the willingness to shed blood for your beliefs while the hippie movement is more about drug-addled oblivion.
I will also go on to note that “Pacifism” is not a sure-fire solution to problems. Sure, violence isn’t exactly a sure-fire solution either, but having a gun or even just a simple club is better than nothing. If any of you have read Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (I even wonder if many people know that the protagonist of the piece was supposed to be a Filipino), it has been said that the author’s opinion is that non-violent options are mostly just wishful thinking in some situations. Sure, there are few people who want bloodshed if they can at all help it but what about the rest? There’s the sad fact that not everyone is good at heart or aren’t willing to follow the good in their hearts. From the heartless monsters that include Albert Fish, Elizabeth Bathory, Josef Mengele to Osama Bin Laden, it’s quite obvious that not everyone is open to quiet negotiations and are perfectly willing to hurt innocent people to further their goals. Now tell me, do the aforementioned people seem like the type who you’d be willing to negotiate with?
Anyway, my point is, there is a clear difference between pacifism and outright cowardice. Pacifism means continuing to fight for what you believe in through non-violent means and being prepared for the backlash, physical or otherwise. Cowardice, on the other hand, is just running or hiding from the problem or having a marijuana-induced high while the world around you burns.
Now, let’s go to the point regarding Muslims. I have friends who are Muslim and I respect their beliefs to a certain degree. I have read parts of their Qu’ran and I can attest to the fact some of it is quite interesting, if not beautiful. However, regarding these latest insurgencies south of the country and the aggressive actions against our people, all I can say is that they are criminals and must be dealt with firmly. Cracking down on them is not an act of discrimination but an act of justice. I, for one, would not care if these same terrorists are fellow Catholics, cousin Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Scientologists, Atheists, Discordians or Worshippers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That they are terrorists, murderers and kidnappers squarely sets them apart from society and requires their immediate arrest and prosecution.
This latest post by Benign0 is proof that these scum are not willing to negotiate and that any attempt at reasoning with them further is pointless. While our government continues its fruitless efforts of making a peaceful agreement, it’s quite clear that these people are not really at all interested in a peaceful resolution. Now, we all want peace for our children and struggle to reach a mid-point with the insurgent elements of the country, it’s apparent that they’re not even listening to what we have to tell them. In order for there to be any kind of talk, all parties must be at least willing to hear one another out. It’s not that these Islamic extremists don’t understand what we are trying to say, they just don’t want to understand.
As far as I can tell, the terrorists of Mindanao have been a problem for this country for many long years because we tolerate them. Like a thief who has seen that his crimes yield some profit, these insurgents will continue to plague us for as long as we allow them free reign over the island. So long as we simply stand by and let them do what they do (kidnapping, stealing and murdering), they will continue to do so until the world ends. Signing any kind of peace treaty is pointless because these scoundrels aren’t interested in peace, they just want us to let our guard down so they can continue to kidnap, rape, rob and butcher the populace. Like hoodlums, they simply wait for the police to ease back on patrols so they can continue committing crimes and what not.
And no, before you start on the dangers of Islamophobia, let me ask you this: Have they done anything to alleviate our fears of them? Wouldn’t you be intimidated by a large man dressed in a black coat who fits the look of a serial killer?
I praise the Muslims who side with our people and only want understanding and harmony with our society but the terrorists down south are simply that: terrorists. We should stop thinking of them as the occasional friendly Muslims we may meet but as the enemies of the country. The people deserve peace and justice and dealing with these insurgents with necessary force and aggressive negotiations is key to eliminating the problems of Mindanao and NOT giving into the demands of terrorists who hold our fellow Filipinos (and the occasional unlucky foreign national) at gunpoint.
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