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

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

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

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

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

Overview of the War on Iraq and Strategic Alternatives
This overview details:

  • Key concerns about Iraq
  • Arguments for a war on Iraq
  • Problems with using war to address Iraq
  • Alternative strategies for addressing Iraq

by Lisa Schirch and William Goldberg, February 2003

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