Often I feel like our whole approach to activism is a reflection of other side. The word is war. Everyone is waging ideological warfare. Trying to destroy the opposition. You can see this in the whole language of many posts here. It's time for a paradigm shift.
This is only a contributor to the problems we are fighting. Activism is often just the other side of the coin of conservatism, and equally vindictive. However justified this anger is, I don't think it will benefit us, only widen divisions. You will find exactly what you seek out- opposition. Sharif Abdullah's perspective of community building as a solution to conflict, injustice and ecology are central to this.
If you really want to stop war, you have to stop waging it and start talking to your enemies in a level forum. So much activism is not about creating a dialog, but waging ideological warfare. Laying down your ego is the hardest thing to do, but without that there can be no dialog, no consensus, no peace.
It's no wonder we face failure- look where our focus is. We are focusing on victims, injustice and irresponsibility. Forget about all that. It's water under the bridge. Instead we should actively promote success, justice and responsibility. If someone is pro war, it's clear where the problem is and where your energy is best applied- exactly with those people. Don't ask who is against Bush- we are not the issue. Ask- who is FOR Bush, and how can I meet them? And talk reasonably? A moderate, inclusive approach, getting in bed with the enemy, a willingness to compromise, is a critical element of consensus. We surely expect that of the other side, and should we willing ourselves to set an example and show good faith. We don't have to do it in a pacifist, weak way, but we have to do it.
I propose that all we need to do to promote peace is to bring those who would support war together with those whom they would kill. For a movie. Tea. Anything. Above all, we must not antagonize or alienate conservatives in this aspect of the process. That may have a use somewhere in cultural dynamics, but not in the peace process, that's for sure. We are excluding the very people we must communicate with. If we can only get destructive forces together with whatever they would destroy and merely acknowledge the other as real, we can end wars, environmental destruction and injustice.
Find the absolute most conservative Bush supporters you can. Gain their trust and get them to meet a polite group of Iraqi's. You will change everything. It might even be fun.
Peace must be facilitated, not waged. That is arrogant war talk.