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Articles by Scott Simon

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Editor's Note: While Mr. Simon's views were originally published in The Wall Street Journal, they are particularly relevant and cogent for our readers in light of recent calls from some Christian leaders for peace at any cost.

Pacifists often commit the same mistake as generals: They prepare for the last war, not the next one. Many of the peace activists I have seen trying to rouse opposition to today's war against terrorism remind me of a Halloween parade. They put on old, familiar-looking protest masks — against American imperialism, oppression, and violence — that bear no resemblance to the real demons haunting us now.

Pacifism has never been exactly popular. But when I became a Quaker as an adolescent in the late 1960s, pacifism seemed to offer a compelling alternative to the perpetuity of brute force. Mahatma Gandhi had overthrown an empire and Martin Luther King had overturned a racial tyranny with nonviolent marches,...