Day 3 Issues Spring 2003


1. Names. Notes on responses: I prefer emails, not attachments, single-spaced, name at end.


Sheet on WORTH and UMADAOP, again, with contact info.


Been browsing the news sites? How many have three bookmarked? What have you noticed so far?


Saddam in exile?,0,197869.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dworld


William Pfaff, “Moral Clarity”:


The Bush economic plan (three views):



Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.


[the attribution says:]

"The quote (dated April 18, 1946) appears in the book Nuremberg Diary (Farrar, Straus & Co 1947), by Gustave Gilbert (an Allied appointed psychologist). Gilbert visited daily with Goering and his associates in their cells, afterwards making notes and ultimately writing the book

about these conversations.”



Some Varieties of Nonviolence:

Christian pacifism

Anabaptist nonresistance

Civil disobedience

Nonviolent resistance

Just War Theory

Reframing the Discussion

“It is sweet and fitting to die for your country.”


“War is inevitable because some people just cannot get along.”


“Is war ever justified?”


“What ways can we find of dealing with our adversaries besides killing them?”


“How can we construct a world where violence is reduced to a minimum?”

OR . . .

3. Into Missing Peace


Introduction: The stuff about “redemptive violence” is especially crucial.


“The U. S. is a great and free country, we are to conclude, because Americans have been effectively violent.” (11)


Is it true that we have fallen under the “tyranny of our violent imaginations”? What examples or counter-examples would you offer? Cf. Zinn on the choices we are offered. The idea of “thinking outside the box” has become a cliché, but it’s still not deemed possible in certain areas, it seems. What about the idea of “mimetic” violence, 11? The best example, I suppose, is the death penalty, implausible as a deterrent, incoherent as an ethical response to violence, impractical and costly, at bottom only explicable in terms of the primitive urge for revenge. Popular mainly in the U.S. Bible Belt and in countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and a few other bulwarks of democracy and enlightenment. Gov. Ryan of Illinois, a Republican and no flaming liberal, commuted the sentences of all 167 people on Death Row in Illinois, saying that the death penalty there was simply not being administered with anything resembling justice . . .


What about Wink’s claim that the myth of redemptive violence is far more influential than Judaism or Christianity in the U.S.? How does this fit with the idea of the U.S. as a “Christian nation”? Is it possible to tell the story of Jesus in terms of “the victory of order over chaos by means of violence”?


 “Few people remember these details of history, but we all carry a very vivid history that has been absorbed, rather than processed, and so remains unconscious.” (11) Think so? How do we operate in the world? We imagine most of it, because what we actually see and hear and touch is quite small. That imagination is based on--what?


“We believe a new historical self-understanding is essential . . . a new vision which transcends national boundaries and generates the capacity to resolve conflicts nonviolently both within and among the nations.” (14) What do you think?


What’s happened in terms of “mutuality” post-Sept. 11? What do all those “God Bless America” signs mean? I saw a sign outside a church in Toledo that said “Allah is not America’s God.” What do you think? Does America have its own God, one that loves us more than anybody else? What kind of God would love Americans more than Africans or Poles or Chinese?


My point, really, and I think their point as well, is that between absolute pacifism and utter warmongering there’s a large space for negotiation. You don’t have to be a pacifist to conclude that it’s better to get through a situation without having to kill anybody, if that’s possible. What they want us to do, I think, is to consider whether violence really is as effective as we’ve learned that it is, and second to explore nonviolent alternatives that have been more viable and possible than we may have learned.




Student Responses


Before coming to Bluffton College, I never really considered what it meant to be pacifist.  I, like many people, thought that violence and wars were just a part of history and will always be a part of the future.  Basically, I never considered that there were people throughout history that promoted peaceful solutions to problems in times of troubles.  Now that I am here and the idea has been repeatedly addresses, I find myself taking more time to consider the issue of pacifism and non-violence.  Today's readings provided yet another chance to reflect on this issue; more particularly, about peace and its role in American history.  The Missing Peace brings up some very valid and important point with regard to peace and history.  I agree with the book when it says that throughout our educational experiences from early childhood all the way through even college we are presented mainly with material relating to war and violence.  America's history is presented to students in relation to battles and war heroes.  No stress is ever put on teaching students about individuals throughout history that believed in peaceful means to war and conflict.  I really liked the fact that in the Preface of the book it is clearly stated that the intent of the book isn't to be a history of peace movements in the United States, but rather the intent is to survey United States history in general from the viewpoints of peace values.  In other words, the book isn't trying to push the idea of peace, but it is just

pointing out how peace values aren't always stressed as much.  After reading the first chapter, I can say that I learned a considerable amount about the Native Americans and their peace traditions.  Each individual sections talking about the specific Indian tribes or groups brought about awareness of the legacy of peaceful means that the Native Americans practiced and experienced during European expansion throughout North America.  The actual Native American population, 72 million, amazed me (p.16).  The rate at which they dies due to disease and illness also was amazing.  I don't ever remember learning that in any textbook.  One particular Native American peacemaker that I thought was vary interesting was the Cheyenne Peace Chief, Black Kettle.  His story is one that amazed me.  The fact that his peaceful village was attacked even though he was clearly flying the American flag was

disheartening.  The book states that he was cut down along with his wife, but overall they were concerned with remaining faithful to the nonviolent Peace Chief ethic:  "Do not go and seek revenge.  Take your pipe.  Go, sit and smoke and do nothing, for you are now a Cheyenne chief." (p.30)  That deserves a lot of recognition as far as I am concerned.  In the second chapter, I particularly remember reading about how we are always taught about the Boston Tea Party and how it is a major event in our country's history.  This is true; however, we are never taught about the Philadelphia Tea Party which took place at the same time (p.43) as the Boston Tea Party.  The difference between the two events is that the Philadelphia tea party was resolved nonviolently.  Once again, I don't ever remember reading that in a textbook.  Overall, I was skeptical when starting to read The Missing Peace because I really don't konw where I stand in relation to pacifism.  I don't consider myself a pacifist; however, reading materials like this book brings greater awareness of the topic.  After reading only the first two chapters of the book, I can say that I am actually looking forward to reading the remaining chapters and learning more about peace values throughout American history.

-Lesley Johanns          



    I am always interested in how history is told and recorded. Many things have been

misinterpreted through the ages and misconceptions are seen as facts. I found the section

about Native Americans fascinating. At times, one hears of some Native American

people who are not the stereotypical war-like savage, but real examples of specific people

is never given. In grade school, I never learned about historical Native Americans. They

were never discussed. I am glad that this book describes in detail numerous examples of

Native Americans who were not only an important part of history, but people who strove

for peace which goes against the stereotypical Native American seen in old Western


     Having said that, I am hesitant to agree with the section dealing with the American

Revolution. First of all, I don’t like war. It should be avoided at all cost, but I do not

believe that ALL war can be avoided. All war can only be avoided in a perfect society

which will never occur. Humans are too flawed to establish, operate, and live in a perfect

society. The author of the book points out that the colonists had a fairly good life in the

colonies under British rule. I do agree with this. I also agree that the king of England

wasn’t as tyrannical as the colonists seemed to think, but I wonder about what the

colonists truly knew about the king. They were far from England and I know of no time

when the king came to the colonies to show himself to his people. I can see the colonists,

at least most of the population, seeing him as tyrannical when they are taxed more and

more when the treasury had been lowered from a war that never concerned them. I’m not

defending war when saying this, I feel that the author doesn’t admit well enough that

looking back on an event after the fact and deciding what should have been done is much

easier than when it is actually happening.

-Matt Gothard



The Missing Peace

            I read two stories in “The Missing Peace” The Original Peacemakers, and War for Independence.  Both stories tell the perspective on war from all points of view.  And they make you wonder what our lives would be like if wars would not have been fought?

            Before I got into reading the stories, I read the preface, which stated that we only remember heroes that fought in wars or had something to do with a war.  I would have to agree because no one remembers the silent guys.  For example, Albert Einstein was one of the smartest men who have ever lived, yet the one thing we remember him for destroyed so many lives.  He invented the a-bomb that America dropped on Japan in WWII and that is the reason that most Americans remember him for.

            “The Original Peacemakers,” tells about the many different tribes of Native Americans.  To me it seemed like all the different tribes got along pretty well, until us “white people” came and caused all kinds of problems.  The Native Americans were all for having peaceful relations with the Americans, but we promised them things and then never followed through.  Americans were the reason that many Native Americans died; I think they had a good reason to fight with us.  Americans had no right to treat them the way they did, after all the Native Americans were on this land long before the “white people” ever came.

            “ War for Independence,” talks about whether or not it was a necessity to fight the British.  I love having the freedom that I do so I am happy that we fought for our independence.  I think that it was necessary to fight because I believe King George III would have made things tighter and tighter, until there would have been no reason for people to come over here from Britain.  This story is an excellent example of people remembered because of war.  Paul Revere is remembered for telling people that the British were coming, he would not even make history books, if we had not fought this war. 

            Personally, I believe that the greatest people are those who never receive the credit they deserve.  A person that can go through his/her life making all kinds of accomplishments and in the end still be so humble in everything that he/she does.  And these people who are truly the greatest people who have ever lived no one has never heard of them.


-Candy Apperson


As I read our class reading assignment for tomorrow many  different events throughout the pages caught my attention and  more than once I was surprised at different things that occur in our society that I never really thought too endepth about before reading the first section of "The Missing Piece."  For example America fights violence with more violence and use of guns and knives in many situations.  The book goes on further to explain that violence is used as protection from violence.  This reminds me of 911 that occured last year.  Our country was attacked by a group of terrorists and return we go into countries where there are believed to be

terrorists and kill people, as well as bomb them.  Through that whole event and to this day, I wonder if we were in the right and if the return of violence from our country made us as bad as the terrorists that attacked us.    


I learned from the reading that many of the Native American people of our coutry were peaceful, that was until the Europeans came over and invaded their land and brought disease that killed many of their people.  Through many history books we do not see the peaceful side of these

people.  In so many case we see them as savages, who attacked innocent people.  We have learned one side of the stories, that of the white man.  We so offen forget there are two sides

to every story and there are going to be facts left out somewhere along the way.  I really enjoyed learning about the lives of some of the Native American groups and their attempts to stay peaceful as well as join together in a union when times were tough. 


  There were some situations throughout history that I believe war was the answer.  One example was when our country was attempting to split away from its mother country.  Our country did not hold much power over the country or government.  However,I do not think violence is always the answer.  If there was a nonviolent alternative that would have worked they people should have tried it first before unleashing a war. 


There were some good alternatives listed in "The Missing Piece."  Over all, I found the reading very informative and enjoyed learning about asspects of history generally not mentioned.



            The Missing peace is an interesting book with interesting viewpoints. The book thus far has promoted the concept of non-violent approaches, and questions historical events that were resolved with violent wars and if war was the correct solution for the situation. The style of writing from the author is unique, the author gets their point across in a fashion that is

not appearing to be recruiting for followers, but tells the story how it was/should have been from their viewpoint. I like that aspect of the book. The book questions many rhetorical ideas from history and provides other possible solutions but fails to convince the success the alternative

solutions would have had had they been done the way the authors state.

            The book mentions how Canada earned their independence gradually from Great

Britain in the 19th century with a peaceful approach. A rebuttal to that would be that the United States was endeavoring independence at a different time in history, the 18th century. Things could have changed significantly during those hundred years. Perhaps Great Britain was more open to negotiations, or perchance Great Britain had no desire nor need for Canada to be under their control so they granted their independence.

It is my understanding that the authors implement the idea of why couldn’t the United States done the same? Once again it was a different time period and I am certain that if the country back then, would have foreseen success using peaceful measures the country would have complied with the authors ideas. I am not at all suggesting that the solution was indeed the correct one, but I am suggesting that the way the situation was resolved was how the

country thought was the best way to gain independence.

The question still remains “Why is war continued to be used today?”, I have

no answer for that question. I don’t think anyone can answer that, and I also believe no one can successfully answer “Why is peace the most effective tactic to use?”


Raudel Hermosillo Jr.



            I’m not exactly sure where I stand on the issues covered in these first two chapters.  On one hand I feel that a nonviolent approach is the best way to handle situations, but then on the other hand it seems as if sometimes violence is the only way.  I didn’t find the arguments in this book to be very convincing, but I do see the point that they are trying to make.

            I thought it was interesting to discover that textbooks often tell of warriors and share their stories, but the peacemakers are hardly ever mentioned (15).  I’ve never noticed that, but looking back it does seem to be true.  The authors said that “the ones most likely to receive attention

in U.S. textbooks, were those whose movements resulted in events of dramatic violence (26).  But what is the reasoning behind this?  Is it to glorify the acts of the violent, as our authors lead us to believe, or is it to learn from history as the old adage says “those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it?”

            Throughout chapter one different peacemakers were mentioned who died for their cause.  But it seems to me that their dying was in vain.  What did it really accomplish?  Would they have lived if they had fought for their rights?  They spoke of White Antelope and Black Kettle (30).  They said one chief was remembered as saying ‘Our children are dead and our property is

destroyed.  We are sad.  But can we bring our children back to life or restore our property by killing people?  It is better not to fight.  It can do no good.’  But my question is would they have lost their property and the lives of their children if they had fought in the first place?  I don’t like

violence, but sometimes it seems to be the only way.  And I do believe in self-defense.  If they were attacked first they had every right to fight back.

            Chapter two spoke of the Revolutionary War, and I must confess that I don’t know much about this topic.  Were the authors correct in assuming that there were other alternatives to war?  I’m not convinced, but neither can I oppose. Although I do have a hard time believing that people would give their lives fighting for independence if they thought there could be another

way.  And I, by no means, will fault them for what they did, because I know that I am here today because they felt that Independence was worth more than the lives that they lived.  Whether it was right or wrong, I can’t say, but I am grateful for the freedom that I have.


-Alisha Fought


I found the readings quite interesting. In being Mennonite and a pacifist to a certain extent, I never realized how much violence and war there was in our past. If you think about it, I can try to list all the wars that come to mind: World War I and II, Civil War, Cold War, Vietnam, etc... and we celebrate such days such has Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, and Beorge Washington's Birthday. The present was decided by the past which was war, by fighting. I feel that every part of life has some kind of fighting involved with it, come kind of conflict. There are alway "quarrels" that happen during sporting events, there is always competition, always some

kind of disagreement there, for example, Bluffton and Defiance do not get a long very well, there is always tension between us. Another thing that I found quite interesting is what was said on page 29, I'm not in total agreement with what it says, it says "You chifs are peacemakers. Though your son might be killed in front of your tepee,  you should take a peace pipe

and smoke...." Then it says "The same high mroal standard of nonviolence is continued in the instructions given to new Peace Chifs to this day: If you see your mother, wife, or children being molested or harmed by anyone, you do not go and sek rge. Take your pipe. Go, sit and moke and do nothing, for you are now a Cheyenne chief". I understand that they are all for the

nonviolence but that's a bit extreme. If someone was harming someone I loved, I would definitely fight back, I couldn't just sit back and watch someone harm them.


Amber Fitzwater


I thought the reading last night was very interesting.  At the beginning of the reading I thought about what the author wrote about the 10 people listed and how most could only name 5 and those people being generals or people that used violence to become famous.  When the issue is brought to my attention I do notice that nonviolence acts don’t work as well.  If you take a look at this whole war on terror and the idea of going to war with Iraq you notice we always must use violence otherwise we will not be as strong.  We want people to be afraid of us and the only way is violence.  There has never been any big problems solved with nonviolent acts like there have been with violent acts.  

            The revolutionary war was fought and we gained freedom from that.  That was a war and we did use much violence to get our freedom.  We never would have gained anything if we used nonviolent acts.  One of the headings in the book was, was this war necessary?  Sure all of the wars are necessary.  If there is a war in the near future I am sure it would be for a good reason.  There is no good reason as of right now.  Should we fight over oil, I think not. 

            Over the years there have been many great stands in which people never backed down and got what they wanted.  I believe though that if we are going to do anything with Iraq we must go after them with force.  We can’t be afraid to back down from anyone.  We are one of the most powerful nations in the world and we have to keep it that way. 

            This book has three objectives and I believe that we should not try any of those I believe we should do what we have done in the past otherwise we will lose our edge and lose the power and domination.  The violence thing must stay for us since that is what has worked in the past. 


-Jeff Hinderschied        


Response to The Missing Peace


As I think back to my high school years, one teacher comes to mind.  He was my sophomore American History teacher and his favorite topic was the Civil War.  We spent weeks on the subject with in depth research on the issues and the battles that took place.  He wasn’t the first teacher I had that celebrated the violent history of the United States.  All throughout elementary school, junior high, and high school history lessons would justify the violent actions done by the United States.  No one questioned it either.  We were taught that these events and those like them were necessary in order for good to over come evil.

Meanwhile, home life was centered around the military.  My father had been a sergeant major in the Marine Corps.  His three brothers served in Vietnam thanks to the draft.  My grandfathers served in the Army and Navy.  Many cousins of mine have followed in their footsteps, enlisting in the Army and Marine Corps.  Growing up, patriotism surrounded me.  Memorial Day and the Fourth of July were just as important as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Going to war was honorable and giving your life for your country was noble.  I never questioned this thinking either.

Then, I arrived at Bluffton College.  From the first day of First Year Seminar, my mind became mess.  I never realized that there was an alternative to violence.  I was conflicted inside; understanding and almost agreeing with these new ideologies made me feel guilty inside – as if I were being disloyal to my family.

This first part of The Missing Peace has developed this ongoing struggle further.  Until I read this, I figured that the past had to be that way, that there was no other option.  Nonviolent responses to war, etc. could only be applied to situations happening now.  I felt angered that as a kid, my education was limited due to the fact that we were taught only one side of the story.  Out if the list of ten historically important people, I was only able to identify one that was not a general.  This upsets me.

During the Gulf War, I can remember thinking that there was nothing wrong with what was going on.  The United States had to be there because that’s what our job was – to make sure that those who can’t defend themselves get protection and we fix whatever the problem is.  Granted, I was only on the fourth grade but like everyone else in my class, this was what we were taught.  In light of the situation Bush has gotten us into, I can honestly say that I do not agree with what we are doing.  It doesn’t fit really, almost as if something is not being said.  I get so mad every time I hear on the news that some more of our troops get sent to the Middle East.  It just doesn’t make sense; isn’t there some other way??? 


-Stephanie Elton