As the US and UK pursue a policy of encouraging violent resistance by the Iraqi population in Basra and Baghdad, the Christian think-tank Ekklesia has proposed that it is not too late to pursue alternative strategies. In a second interview for the BBC, Ekklesia's director Jonathan Bartley suggested that in a climate of fear created by the regime and perpetuated by Allied bombings and UN sanctions, insurrection could end in disaster. Historical precedents suggest that insurrections can be successful and take place with minimum casualties - but only when a population is empowered to overcome its fear of the regime. In September last year Ekklesia set out on Radio 4's Sunday Programme, a strategy of pursuing non-military regime change in Iraq which would involve resourcing and training the Iraqi population to act against the regime in a manner that would prioritise protection and safety for the people of Iraq. In today's interview Ekklesia's director suggested that it was not too late to abandon the current military strategy in favour of non-military alternatives. Experts in non-violent resistance such as Gene Sharp have suggested up to two hundred non-violent tactics that can be employed in resisting a regime. Such an approach, resourced and supported by the West, would work to reverse the climate of fear, and encourage the population to resist the regime whilst minimising its exposure to danger. Under "Just War" criteria if all non-violent alternatives have not first been explored, a war can not be considered "just". The interview was for the Colin MacKay Programme on BBC Radio Scotland. For more details visit: www.ekklesia.co.uk
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