This is the long awaited (sic!)followup post to the Jesus and Peace post. What I'm trying to do is set out a few ideas about how the ideas in that post look like when the theological rubber hits the ground.
But, first, a caveat. When I admit to Christian pacifism (sometimes, it feels like that, what I am emphatically not saying is that evil should be endured, not resisted. That is all too commonly believed because people want to relate pacifism with passivism. That won't work on many levels. The words themselves bear no relationship between the roots of either word, short of the fact that they are both derived from Latin (pacifism from pax=peace; passivism from patior=I endure, I suffer). Nor is Christian pacifism about being led to the slaughter for the sake of suffering.
The point of Christian pacifism is that we emulate what Jesus did. He confronted the powers and principalities in his day, but refused to use violence against them. Instead, he used his cosmic judo move and let the contradictions of their own evil destroy them.
So, how does this look in real life? On the individual front, I think it means two things. First, it means being willing to confront evil wherever we see it, partly by naming sin as sin, evil as evil in our every day life. That means, being willing to stand up and be counted when we see something happening in our daily life that is wrong, even if that move is risky as far as career or whatever. That is scary and difficult. And God knows that I'm personally not perfect at this, since going along with systemic injustice is the easier root to take. That is setting aside the problem of discernment because most situations do not see a simplistic evil vs good kind of a situation. That may mean that we will have to criticize both parties in a dispute and risk the ire of both sides.
Second, it also means the rejection of violence as a means of human interaction. That means getting into a fight should not be an option, even if provoked into it. This is, of course, difficult and I'm not sure I would succeed at it either. Yet, at the very least, I would say it also means seeing violence, not as a tool of interpersonal interactions, but as a personal failure. Evading violence while maintaining one's integrity constitutes, to me, a greater victory than fighting my way through a situation.
Okay, now that might work, in a relatively peaceful country on an individual basis, but how does it work in the international scene (the last of anglifan's questions). I suspect that, in the world as we have today, quite badly. What is likely to happen to a country adopting a non-violent foreign policy is that, sooner or later, it will be overwhelmed by a more aggressive neighbour. Mind you, in this scenario, the rules are rather skewed to this answer and it shouldn't surprise anyone that sinful humanity would, in these conditions, be unable to sustain such a foreign policy. In a world where sin seems natural, none of this should surprise anyone.
Yet, I think we have to recognize two things. First, non-violent resistance has proven itself to be effective in wearing down even brutal regimes. The non-violent resistance campaigns for independence in India, against apartheid in South Africa and against the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe succeeded where violent revolution could not. Yes, these campaigns are long and often costly, but, sooner or later, evil falls apart when it realizes that its primary weapon (violence) is no longer feared.
Second, a consistent non-violent foreign policy (and here I mean economic and social violence as well as military violence)would aim to resolve grievances between nations before they burst into conflict. That may still not be enough to prevent true evil from attacking a country, but that kind of evil is not common and really need a soil of perceived oppression and hatred to grow in (thus, Hitler's rise to power happened because of the perceived evil of the Verseilles Treaty, acerbated by the Great Depression).
Okay, I think that is the broad outline of what I'm trying to argue. I hope it makes sense.