"Nonviolent Resistance and Pacifism Are the Same Thing."
Not at all. When people hear the word "nonviolent," they often think of "peaceful" or "passive" resistance. For some, the word brings to mind pacifist groups or individuals, like Buddhist monks in Burma, who may prefer death to using violence to defend themselves against injustice. As such, they conflate "nonviolent" or "civil resistance" with the doctrine of "nonviolence" or "pacifism," which is a philosophical position that rejects the use of violence on moral grounds. But in civil resistance campaigns like those occurring in the Arab Spring, very few participants are pacifists. Rather, they are ordinary civilians confronting intolerable circumstances by refusing to obey -- a method available to anyone, pacifist or not. Even Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic pacifist, was a highly strategic thinker, recognizing that nonviolence would work not because it seized the moral high ground, but because massive noncooperation would ultimately make the British quit India: "We should meet abuse by forbearance," he said. "Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop."