48 peace and justice organizations…

On the Friday before the war commenced, the students at Minneapolis South High School sponsored a forum on Iraq at which I was one of five speakers. Student teacher and Iraqi exile Adnan Shati, profiled by Kay Miller in last Sunday’s Star Tribune, was the first of the five speakers; he simply told his life story and took no position on the (then-coming) war.
One of the two antiwar speakers was Phil Steger of the Committee for a Non-Violent World. Having to listen to Phil speak at any length could convert even the most reasonable folks among us to believing in violence for its own sake; both what he says and how he says it are profoundly grating. You can sample his train of thought, so to speak, in the Star Tribune this morning: “Regime change didn’t have to come via war.”
In response to one of the students’ questions, Steger alluded to the role of “resistance” to be assumed by the “peace movement” once the war began. In his column this morning Steger concludes with a prediction that sounds to me like a similar deniable threat: “The time is coming when regimes that threaten the peace and security of the world’s people will be promptly and peacefully removed from power by the nonviolent, political force of the people. It might have happened in Iraq. It will happen in America.”
Incidentally, Steger wrote his column “on behalf of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, consisting of 48 peace and justice organizations and associations in Minnesota.”


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