Submitted by M. D. McDonald
In the martial art of Aikido, an attacker’s directed energy is used against them to take them down, while an individual or society that remains balanced — remains protected in that balance. Some are concerned that the stands of preemptive war that have become so popular and vigorously supported in the United States since 9/11 and in Israel in recent days, make these societies particularly susceptible to enemies that can use our own imbalanced momentum against us. The U.S. and Israel now have no lack of enemies that would like to initiate, and would celebrate, our fall.
There is a concern that the “War on Terrorism” has such a blind momentum that a “patriot” can only follow in lock step — no longer able to live by the broader principles upon which our democracy was founded. Some practitioners of Aikido believe that a society which would label those that speak of moderation and regaining thoughtful balance as being “cowards” is entering a very dangerous phase in its political trajectory. If those that are exercising freedom of speech to suggest alternatives, especially those that have demonstrated their heroism, are further labelled as “traitors,” it may be wise to consider the possibility of significant danger ahead.
At a time when world opinion is now galvanizing against further atrocities catalyzed under the rubric of the war on terrorism, it may be wise for Americans and Israelis to recenter themselves. The underlying principles of Aikido would indicate that prudence would warrant a shift back to a more defendable and morally justified balance. It may be time to regain a broader situational awareness in a rapidly changing environment.
Perhaps, we should be considering the possibility that our recent string of counterproductive actions and reactions that have led to such destruction in Iraq and Lebanon may make us particularly susceptible to more devastating loss. If unwise actions remain unchecked by the broader principles of democracy and humanity, societies lost in their own martial aggression run the risk of becoming what they are fighting against.
Is this an appropriate time to consider the possibility that the concept of the “war on terrorism” may have become blindly counterproductive? Our enemies that stand balanced for the time being on the sidelines, are certainly hoping that we do not regain our balance. Otherwise, they may have to face us while we still have the strength, the will and the humanity to check their unilateral, imbalanced aggressions, when they decide to make their move.