In a world punctuated by civil and global conflict, it seems almost quaint to promote peace as a weapon of choice. Even in more progressive quarters, an explicit identification with pacifism seems to evoke nostalgia for a time when the enemy was obvious and the mission supposedly self-evident. But in recent decades the threat has become more nebulous, as has the relationship between defence, government, and the arms industry. Ideological differences, rather than territorial disputes, are much harder to resolve. A drone strike, regardless of its intended specificity, will always incur – to borrow from army parlance – a significant amount of ‘collateral damage’.
Two unconventional pacifists
Loving This Planet: Leading Thinkers Talk about How to Make a Better World
by Helen Caldicott
New Press (Palgrave Macmillan), $24.95 pb, 382 pp, 9781595588067
Waging Peace: Reflections on Peace and War from an Unconventional Woman
by Anne Deveson
Allen & Unwin, $29.99 pb, 248 pp, 9781743310038
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Gillian Terzis a writer and editor based in Melbourne. She has written on the mining industry for the Guardian and Meanjin.
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