Boy is this thread cynical.
Can't we just agree that conflicts always have two or more parties with the exact same ability to get hurt? Mutual respect and love instead of hate, greed and ignorance... wouldn't that be nice?
Defence is one thing, retaliation something completely different. Isn't that just what separates aikido from the rest?: Defence with a mininmum of agression.
And please, could someone show me how O'sensei could ever be described as anything else than a real passifist at heart when he had gotten all things together at the end of his life.