No Easy Answers

The questions raised in my mind and soul by the U.S. intervention in Somalia and proposed intervention in Bosnia are not questions about the use and importance of nonviolence. The violence of colonialism and the Cold War, in those areas as in Iraq, has begotten more violence. We have sown the wind, and people are reaping the whirlwind.

The chaos and violent confusion left behind by the end of the Cold War simply affirm again what we already know: Violence doesn't solve problems, though it may for a while control the results or channel the response.

As a faith-based person committed to nonviolence, I have two sets of questions. The first are practical ones: In a country both naive and ignorant about world history and politics, how can we share an analysis of these events that is comprehensible and makes our position understandable? How can we adapt our nonviolence, which is often simply a method of protest, to join others in active global problem-solving?

Is it possible that the United Nations could escape the domination of the Security Council and become a democratic organization? If so, could that organization sponsor a true peace institute for study and for training of nonviolent workers? Could those people then become a peace army that could intervene at the request of the United Nations in world situations?

Is it possible to imagine a U.S. mentality so changed that we would give up our self-assumed responsibility for maintaining order in the world -- particularly when that "order" is our own profit? How could peace activists go about inviting and building such a global change?

To ask that set of questions is to become aware of deeper questions. Is it possible to hope? In what do we put our faith? Do we still have the ability to dream, to give our hearts to the dream, to keep going?

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