The Common Good
September/October 2011

Please continue to address the importance of promoting and building peace ("The Things that Make for Peace," by Jim Wallis, July 2011), whether in Afghanistan, Palestine-Israel, Libya, or right here at home, rather than simply opposing our nation's current wars.

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American military violence, especially against innocent civilians (whether or not intentional) only breeds potential terrorism in the hearts of others. But I am troubled that some Afghans and many Libyans have asked us, and the NATO nations, to protect them from further terrorism. Is it right to simply withdraw all military intervention? Is it not right for people of faith to at least respond, wherever possible, by nonviolent means? Might it also be important to promote international "armed service" organizations (as in an effective and responsive United Nations) that could, if necessary, respond to such concerns more justly and effectively than the U.S.?

Or is it best for people of faith to simply promote Jesus’ own way of nonviolence, at home and abroad, and withdraw our support from all forms of violence by any government, for any reason?   

Grant Bakewell, Jr.
Sacramento, California

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