Friday, March 16, 2007

WWGD: What Would Gandhi Do?

Well, it seems Gandhi would don a burqa and lean over to have his head ceremoniously sawed off.

Fred Thompson isn't even the President yet, and he's already teaching me something I didn't know...

I learned the same lessons about Gandhi that everyone else did in high school/college -you know, the class about him and MLK when you are assigned to read "Letters from a Birmingham jail" and "Satyagraha" and discuss their views on non-violence and civil disobedience. The thing is, much like those monks who are being eaten alive by ants because they won't kill them, Gandhi was a bit of a kook.

Fred Thomson recently said that "Mahatma Gandhi's way isn't the American way." He commented on how the anti-war crowd carried posters with "what would Gandhi do" and answered:

"And that’s a pretty good question, at what point is it okay to fight dictators like Saddam or the al Qaeda terrorists who want to take his place? It turns out that the answer, according to Gandhi, is NEVER."

He goes on to state some examples my professors seem to have left out of the discussion:

Gandhi’s "Open Letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis."

"Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings," Gandhi had written to the British people. "You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds."

"Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka," Thompson writes regarding an interview Gandhi had with his biographer, Louis Fischer, in June of 1946 in which he called the Holocaust "the greatest crime of our time," but suggested that "collective suicide" by Germany's Jews may have been a better strategy.

"But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife," Gandhi told Fischer in 1946. "They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."

Fischer asked, "You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?"

"Yes, that would have been heroism," Gandhi said.

Thompson continued: "The so-called peace movement certainly has the right to make Gandhi’s way their way, but their efforts to make collective suicide American foreign policy just won’t cut it in this country. When American’s think of heroism, we think of the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives to prevent another Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein.

Gandhi probably wouldn't approve, but I can live with that."
(source, radio discussion)

This goes to the heart of what we are always asking of the anti-war crowd...Is there anything that warrants war? If not to protect your country, then your children? Your way of life?

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