Beyond September 11th
In the days, weeks, months, and now years following the events of September 11, 2001, the faculty and staff of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding asked each other: “As professional peacebuilders and educators, what do we have to contribute to a world in the shadow of these events?” This series of articles and responses, Beyond September 11th, is but one answer to that question.
Reflections on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and beyond can be found at the Peacebuilder Online blog, tagged with “Beyond September 11th.”
A Long-Term Strategy for American Security:
by Jayne Seminare Docherty and Lisa Schirch, November 9, 2001
A Visit at Camp Unity: First Person Reflections: The following article presents the author’s personal reflections of her September 24th trip to Camp Unity, the area near the Pentagon where investigators and search and recovery workers eat and take breaks from their work.
by Hannah Mack Lapp, November 4, 2001
At The Fork in the Road: Trauma Healing: As peacebuilders, we must learn to recognize and examine the trauma that often smolders beneath conflict. We might be able to provide a quick fix, but we can’t transform the presenting conflict without uncovering — or somehow attending to — the underlying trauma. The conflict can actually worsen. Victims are re-traumatized and, if the trauma goes unhealed, the victim may become the aggressor; the abused may become the abuser.
by Nancy Good, October 10, 2001
Communicating with the Terrorists and Their Supporters: To send a well-crafted message that can actually be heard as it was intended, we need to pay attention to all three elements: message, channel, and recipient.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 19, 2001
Creating a Big Circle for a Difficult Discussion: Keynote address for first teach-in at Eastern Mennonite University given by Jayne Docherty on October 15, 2001.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, October 15, 2001
Difficulties of Confronting Unconventional Warfare: Strategists of unconventional warfare have for decades sought to turn the anger and might of a military giant against itself. Thus, the September 11 attackers stand in a tradition of unconventional warfare with a considerable track record of success.
by Ron Kraybill, September 26, 2001
Four Reasons to Use the War Metaphor with Caution: Given our reliance as a nation on a war metaphor for describing many difficult situations (e.g., war on poverty, war on drugs, war on crime), it is natural that we would talk of our current situation as a state of war, even if we do not envision an immediate massive counter-attack. Nevertheless, this metaphor should be used with great caution.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 16, 2001
Frameworks Other Than War: As we have listened to the TV commentators following the plane crashes at the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, the metaphor of “war” has been used over and over again. When thousands of people die in a planned disaster, few commentators seem to have any other frame of reference. Metaphors are powerful because they subtly define what we know, what we see, what we can’t see, and what we can imagine.
by Frank Blechman and Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 14, 2001
How Might Peacemakers Respond to Terrorism?: The events of September 11 may leave those of us committed to non-violent methods of conflict resolution puzzled about how to respond. As military and intelligence forces mobilize around the world, what is our responsibility?
by David Brubaker, October 2, 2001
Is U.S. Policy Being Driven by the Pentagon’s Hardware?: If this really is a new kind of war against a new kind of enemy, shouldn’t our leaders be taking the time to develop the necessary tools before “ramping up” a war effort to the point where the military hardware and tactical needs drive policy rather than the other way around?
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, November 9, 2001
Keeping Our Options Open: Waco or Apollo 13: Crises are marked by events that do not easily fit into existing organizational and conceptual categories. During a major crisis, we discover that:
- We cannot easily understand the meaning of the events.
- We struggle to define the problems exposed by the crisis.
- Even when we think we have some idea of the nature of the problem, we do not have the language for expressing our ideas.
- We have difficulty mobilizing resources to deal with the problems arising out of the crisis.
- We need to create new organizational structures and new organizational relationships in order to address the crisis effectively.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 17, 2001
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, October 2001
Pacifist Response: To speak to this issue we do not have to go back to an imagined debate between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington. It was our own revered general and former president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who observed that war never settles the problems of the world; it only exacerbates them. This does not make Eisenhower a pacifist, but it does lend considerable credibility to their contention that war is not an effective solution!
by C. Norman Kraus, October 1, 2001
Peace Activists or Concerned Citizens?: It is gratifying to discover that someone in the media acknowledges that not everyone is giving unequivocal support to President Bush’s call for a war against terrorism. It is also disconcerting to see how those urging caution are being rhetorically marginalized even as their activities are being described.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 20, 2001
Reframing Terror from the Perspective of Conflict Resolution: The events on September 11, 2001 that overtook our daily lives and reoriented our national and global priorities pose significant challenges for our newly emerging century. They leave us with the question — Quo vadis — where are we headed? Where we are going and how we get there depends a great deal on how we define the nature of our journey, its challenges, and ultimately its proposed destination. We might best understand our destination as a horizon, visible as a guidepost but never removing the need for continued journey.
by John Paul Lederach, November 16, 2001
Revisiting the Original Blueprint of Terrorism: “Terrorism will persist so long as oppression, poverty, and injustice persists.” This statement, spoken by my political science professor at George Mason University, Joseph Conley, is quite reflective and profound because it requires us to understand terrorism in a different perspective. It requires the victim of terrorism to understand that the terrorist perceives the victim as being responsible for the violence that was inflicted against him. The victim is responsible because of his injustice, his oppressive behavior or his insistence on keeping a society in poverty.
by Jennifer Kimble, December 2001
Revisiting the War Metaphor: Sept. 25, 2001: During times of uncertainty – when no easy policy answer or response is apparent – we must resort to analogy to make sense of the new problem facing us. These analogies are expressed through metaphors.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 25, 2001
Strategy in Afghanistan: Initial responses to September 11 focused on the question of how to eliminate Osama bin Laden and the threat of terrorism. In recent days a broader set of related questions are emerging. First, how do we relate to the people of Afghanistan? This is a key question. Second, how do we gain support of Afghanis to apprehend bin Laden and take him to trial? This is an immediate question. A longer-term question, but nearly as important to the success of efforts to address terrorism and support the emergence of stability in the region is, third, how do we assist the creation of a credible government in Kabul?
by Ali Gohar and Ron Kraybill, October 5, 2001
The Challenge of Terror: A Traveling Essay: Though natural, the cry for revenge and the call for the unleashing of the first war of this century, prolonged or not, seems more connected to social and psychological processes of finding a way to release deep emotional anguish, a sense of powerlessness, and our collective loss than it does as a plan of action seeking to redress the injustice, promote change and prevent it from ever happening again.
by John Paul Lederach, September 16, 2001
Trauma Recovery and Justice: September 11 and its Aftermath: What form of justice will continue and sustain a recovery process for the families of those lost in this tragedy, and for all of us as we seek security in our world? Is it only the punitive kind that uses the rule of law and possibly violence to ‘right the wrong’ or is it justice that leads to transformation of unjust circumstances through the development of just relationships?
by Barry Hart, September 16, 2001
What Motivates the Terrorist or Potential Terrorist?: Our instinct is to assume that anyone who would fly a passenger jet into a building, killing himself, everyone on board, and thousands of other people in the building must be deranged. This judgement often finds expression in claims that such individuals are evil. If this is the case, then crafting any kind of a preventive or cautionary message for individuals who might take similar actions is futile.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, September 24, 2001
Win the Battle But Lose the War?: Yes, we are at war. But it’s a different kind than some think. This is a battle for the heart and soul of humanity. If we lose, our grandchildren will inherit a world more miserable than our own. How the United States responds to the atrocities it has experienced will have a big impact on that future world.
by Ron Kraybill, October 20, 2001
A Call for Thoughtful Response: Finally, as the full magnitude of the horror of these events becomes apparent, the repercussions are going to be personal as well as political, social, and cultural. We will each experience this trauma in our own way and our responses will be shaped by our past experiences with war, violence, and terror. It is important that we each find places where we can process our personal horror. We also need to be particularly mindful of the impact of these events on our neighbors whose lives have already included violence and terror in the United States and around the world.
by Jayne Seminare Docherty, Ron Kraybill, Howard Zehr, September 12, 2001
The Wall and ‘Supply Side Security’: No words can capture the pain of these 12 months past or reveal the meaning of the events still unfolding around us. But speak we must, each in our own voice, for in speaking we re-draw the shattered threads of our communities and find strength and healing for the work at hand.
by Ron Kraybill, September 2002
Them’s Hornets, Fellers, Not Bears!: Let’s just get one thing straight. This ain’t a bear hunt anymore, it’s a journey for survival. We’ve got hard work and lots of learning about our fellow critters to do if we’re gonna make it.
by Ron Kraybill, October 2002
Sparse words from the journey: No words can capture the pain of these 12 months past or reveal the meaning of the events still unfolding around us. But speak we must, each in our own voice, for in speaking we re-draw the shattered threads of our communities and find strength and healing for the work at hand.
by Ron Kraybill, September 2002
Overview of the War on Iraq and Strategic Alternatives: This overview details: