Easier to prove Gray wrong | AspenTimes.com

Easier to prove Gray wrong

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

There is often so much to respond to in a single Sue Gray editorial, but the ideological hub of her viewpoint is no better summed up than in a single statement provided in her April 6 letter: “We will never know whether Hitler or Hussein could have been deterred by non-violent means.” History might be useful in subjecting such wayward theory to actual evidence:

Nazi Germany: Hitler’s military power did not materialize overnight. It took place over the course of several years, in which France and Britain capitulated to one violation of the Treaty of Versailles after another (all in a desire for peace that Hitler was more than willing to exploit). The horror of World War I left much of Western Europe with an experience-based antipathy for war (far more heartfelt than the theoretical protestations of Ms. Gray) that resulted in a decade-long policy of “non-violence” she embarrassingly alleges was never attempted. The result? A massively armed Nazi Germany based in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Holland, France, Russia and over the skies of Britain.

Baathist Iraq: In his bid for the approval of the United Nations and other non-violent “moderates” in 1991, George Bush Sr. chooses sanctions over invasion, and inspires Saddam’s slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds and Shiites, not to mention the slow, gradual destruction of Iraqi infrastructure and human life.

Some other “non-violence” success stories range from Stalinist Russia and Maoist China to the more minor leagues of Tojo Nanking and Hutu Rwanda.

The list goes on an on. Of course, “put a flower in the barrel of a gun” types often retort with confused yaks from behind a self-induced cloud of relativism that renders one incapable of distinguishing the Bataan Death March from Doolittle’s Raid. As crass as civilized discussion can permit, there is no shame in characterizing such analysis as idiotic. Gray hasn’t even brought herself full circle on the “cycle of violence” metaphor, which would inevitably require protest over the attacks on the Taliban. Apart from “research” to determine what the United States did “to merit” 9/11, Gray has yet to muster one letter or publicized visit (which is, obviously, no visit at all) on Afghanistan’s behalf.

What do we get instead? In a case study of greenhorn narcissism that mistakes tenacity for veracity, Gray chides me for responding to her editorials “when everyone else appears to have given up trying to prove [her] wrong.” Yes, bowing to Ms. Gray’s superior wisdom and virtue, everyone has stopped their attacks when I “frantically” come apart at the seams trying to assassinate her character in lieu of responding to standard “win without war” theory. Call me a dead-ender, but it strikes me as much easier to prove Gray wrong than it is to just shut her up.

Jay Pate

Snowmass Village