Path of the Friend

Writings related to ‘Non-violence’

Does the U.S. Military belong in Afghanistan?

January 20th, 2010

Recently I traveled to Kabul with a small peace delegation because I wanted to experience for myself what is happening there and what the people say they want and need from my country.   I have spent 40 years protesting war and working for peace in conflict areas and I assumed I would return from […]

The Fate of the Jewish State

December 2nd, 2009

WEST BANK, PALESTINE I have just returned from my eighth trip to the Middle East in as many years. I had read news reports to the effect that conditions in the West Bank had improved since my last visit to Palestine – that the Israelis has reduced checkpoints and made travel easier in the West […]

Confessions of a Peace Activist

October 1st, 2009

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN Kabul: armed guards, machine guns and sand bags at every intersection and at the door to my guest house – open sewers and fecal dust – traffic jams of SUVs, military convoys, bicycles and pedestrians – six-story buildings amidst crumbling houses and filthy refugee encampments – men, lots of men everywhere, and street […]

Iran and the Feather of the Simorgh

June 1st, 2009

IRAN I would like to step back for a moment from the compelling drama occurring now in Iran to look at this drama with a long-view question in mind: what does it tell us about the evolution of human societies? What does the conflict in present-day Iran reveal about what is seeking to be born […]

To a Soldier in Iraq

March 19th, 2005

Last fall my nephew Danny was sent into combat in Iraq . He is there now. A tall and gentle young man in the reserves, he has been accompanying Iraqi foot patrols in Fallujah and Mosul . A couple of weeks ago a mortar round blew a hole in his foot. He is recuperating at […]

A Dream from the Holy Land

December 24th, 2003

ISRAEL-PALESTINE Consider the Holy Land, trampled and fought over for thousands of years, blood splashing on its stones, tears soaking into it, temples razed, Christ crucified, crusaders vicious and defeated, Turks, Egyptians, British, French, Arabs, Israelis – consider the lineage of enemies who have claimed this place and how their agony and antagonism lives in […]


July 30th, 2003

GAZA “What reign is worse than that of militant virtue?” – Amin Maalouf The taxi drives south toward Gaza through the pleasant Israeli countryside. There are well-kept farms, villages, fields, and forested hillsides. After leaving the taxi at the heavily militarized border crossing into Gaza, my colleague (the Jerusalem Representative from the American Friends Service […]

Creating a Nonviolent Culture

March 19th, 2003

COLORADO “After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future of the world depends.” – Wallace Stevens Elias and I returned to the United States from Iraq in time to permit me to attend the first five-day meeting of the International Governing Council of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. My work with […]

What About Saddam?

March 7th, 2003

COLORADO A couple of days after we got back from Iraq we were on a Denver “drive time” AM radio program speaking about our experiences. It was a call-in show, and the telephone lines were full, about equally divided between people who thought we were saints and people who thought we were traitors. One man […]

Shock and Awe

February 24th, 2003

AMMAN, JORDAN Last week my Iraqi friend Fais told me how he used to take his son fishing. “I liked to sit there doing nothing, I liked just to watch the river go by. But we don’t go anymore. No one relaxes now. We’re only nervous about the war coming.” Yesterday morning Fais and I […]