Is There No Other Way in Libya?

Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 09:38 AM

One of the arguments that is being forwarded by proponents of military intervention in Libya is that Qaddafi is literally crazy and therefore cannot be reasoned with or expected to step down without force. In an article for Tikkun, entitled "Libya: Acid Test for Nonviolence?," Metta Center for Nonviolence president Michael Nagler, who I deeply respect and have personally learned a great deal from, makes an argument for war along these lines: We in the nonviolence field will recognize this as a "madman with a sword" analogy. Gandhi said flatly that if a madman is raging through a village with a sword (read: assault rifle -- or Glock Automatic) he who "dispatches the lunatic" will have done the community (and even the poor lunatic) a favor.