687 - Peace & Life: Massacre Response/Referendums/Disability - November 3, 2023
Responding to Massacres
From November 26-29, 2008, ten Pakistani men stormed buildings in Mumbai, India, and massacred 164 people. So what did the Indian government do? They were tempted to have a strong retaliation, but they didn’t. Their actions included international diplomacy to pressure Pakistan to make it less likely to happen again.
Had there been retaliation, and therefore war, then India would have obscured the outrage and lost the sympathy toward those massacred. It would become a squabble between neighboring countries. This, along with all the other bloody and economy-draining (and therefore impoverishing) aspects that wars always have. And there was a suspicion that retaliation was what the Pakistani army was hoping for, so it could buttress its own position against the civilian government.
Israel isn’t India, but there are also analogies to be made here. This history provides a model showing that retaliation and genuine defense contradict each other, and should be understood that way.
Referendums Coming up Next Week
November 7 is election day all around the United States, but it’s an off year and so doesn’t have as many referendums as will be on tap for 2024. We’re watching just two.
The one getting the most attention is in Ohio, where the proposal is to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. The results there should get major publicity.
There’s another one we’re tracking in Maine, due to our concern against racism: “Require Indian Treaty Obligations and Other Constitutional Provisions Included in Official Printing.” The official hiding of those obligations by not including them in official printed copies began decades ago due to racist motivations.
For the 2024 referendums we’re tracking, along with topic pages and referendums from previous years, see our project website, Peace and Life Referendums.
Several important perspectives on the rights of people with disabilities have come up recently:
“We were offered a termination 4 other times because my baby was like me.” In a blog post from our member group Secular Pro-life, a woman with spina bifida explains how she was pressured by doctors to end the life of her son in utero because he had spina bifida – just like she does.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition reports that Canada’s “Medical Aid in Dying” is going down the slippery slope to cover those with anorexia, addiction, and loneliness, and also autism and intellectual disabilities.
Our Latest Blog Post
In another in our series on historical voices: Victoria Woodhull – First Woman to Run for U.S. President. She ran in
1870. She and her sister Tennessee Claflin, pictured left to right, were active in several 19th century movements.
Mary Krane Derr introduces them, and we include an article they wrote called “The Slaughter of the Innocents.”
Quotation of the Week
The Washington Post, April 11, 1992
In early January 1991, when U.S. pilots were about to launch round-the-clock bombing runs, Colin Powell vowed to isolate the Iraqi army and "kill it." Not kill "them." That would give the game away: Human life would be taken. The euphemisms of war are like those of abortion. An "it" is terminated, not a life. Whether it's abortion rights that are being defended by Patricia Ireland or war rights by Norman Schwarzkopf, the rights being exercised are those of the strong over the weak.