Page One

Pacifist offers no insight

James K. Sayre
Saturday November 24, 2001


Your recent page 1 article (Nov. 22-23) about the lecture by Ms. Ann “bombs are illegal” Ginger was a real hoot. She asserts that our American constitutional civil liberties are somehow derived from the Charter of United Nations. Wrong. Our constitutionally-protected civil liberties date back over 200 years to the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The first 10 amendments, aka, The Bill of Rights, were added to the United States Constitution in 1791, over 200 years ago. Our American rights are also derived in part from English common law, which in turn dates back to the Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215.  

The United Nations was created by the United States and England in World War II as an umbrella to unite the forces fighting the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. The term “United Nations” sounded better than “the two biggest English-speaking imperialist powers” to the peoples of rest of the world. The Charter of the United Nations was formalized in 1945 in San Francisco. 

Having been an anti-Vietnam war protester in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, I believe that I have some perspective on the present situation of international terrorism. However, I don’t believe that the current Berkeley pacifist anti-war movement has much wisdom to offer us. It seems that the Berkeley pacifist anti-war movements have had pretty thin pickings in the last decade or so. First they put themselves in the odd position of supporting the invasion of Kuwait by the brutal Iraqi dictator. Now they have seemingly put themselves in the position of supporting the insane Osama bin Laden, his al-Qaeda terrorist network and his Taliban supporters. Waving Tibetan peace flags and chanting “Om” in Berkeley will not stop terrorism across the world. 

One cannot “take them (the terrorists) to court” as Ms. Ginger suggests, if they laughingly ignore a court subpoena. Just recently the Taliban spokesmen have again said that they “do not know where bin Laden is.” 

Of course the Taliban, brutalizers of women, men, and children and destroyers of unique and priceless monuments of cultural history, have a habit of continually lying. The Taliban suggested that we “forget about the events of September 11 (the destruction of the World Trade Center).”  

Funny, Ms. Ginger doesn’t seem to say a thing against the Taliban’s severe oppression of women. Not a word about the cheers of the people of Kabul, the dancing in the street, the playing of music and the flying of kites after the Taliban and their “Religious Police” fled the city last week. It must be painfully galling for Ms. Ginger to realize that our military assault on the al-Qaeda and the Taliban is paying off. The bombing in Afghanistan will stop when the al-Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters are defeated and destroyed as viable political forces. 

It is a very good thing that Ms. Ginger and her pacifist buddies were not in control when we fought and won our Revolutionary War in 1776, when we fought and won the Civil War and when we fought and won World War II against the Axis powers.  

James K. Sayre