It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
How then are we Greens to respond in what we are told is a "time of war?" We should, and do, respond as patriots.
A patriot has been defined as "A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country, sometimes excessively." Like everyone else, we Greens can go overboard with out patriotism, but we usually are more even keeled than that. Blind faith in the president or the government is not patriotic to Greens. Quite the opposite. Questioning our leaders as they march our children off to die and kill is our duty as responsible participants in the American Experiment.
When we stand and ask the Pentagon to answer for their abuses of prisoners we do so not to do damage to our country, but to preserve for our children and yours an America worth fighting for. The founders of the nation understood the value of citizen participation and included it directly in the Constitution's first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, to make it ever clear that the government serves the people and not the other way around. Asking the captains of industry to justify war profiteering is as American as apple pie. Holding military recruiters to the highest standards of honesty is not wrong, but how we protect our children from deceptions which might send an unsuited child to the front. Demanding that the president comply with the Supreme Court and Constitution is not un-American; it is as right as rain.
The bottom line from our perspective is this: Violence is bad, and should be avoided when possible. The spiriting away of three Israeli military men and the killing of others does not justify the Israeli attacks which have killed untold hundreds of civilians in Lebanon. Israel has violated agreements with the United States. They agreed to not use weapons bought from us to invade another county. We Greens called internationally for the Israeli military to stand down and end the war.
Weak we may be. But we have a spine. That's more than you can say for either the Democrats or Republicans, who stand always at the ready to support any scheme crafted by pro-military forces in business, academic, or government circles. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. A Patriot's Standard. A Green Standard. How about you? War in self-defense, or war without end?