This is a martial art! It's about hurting people! Yes, aikido always offers a way out, so that hurt is a choice... but it's not always the receiver's choice. A boneheaded attacker can pretty much always get themselves hurt.
I agree Hugh, aikido is a martial art and it has to work. I wouldn't say that it's about hurting people though, but my "objection" is not about the essence of your post but the choise of words, so it's no big deal, i find your opinion very valid. With aikido you have the choise of hurting and the choise of not hurting but sometimes it depends on the specific factors of a conflict and not on what you would like to do. The way i see it applying aikido techniques is about harmony and becoming "one" with the attacker. So if you do a technique like that, it is consistent with aikido regardless of where the attacker is gonna...land! It could be safely on the pavement causing a couple of bruises, it could be through a glass window or even right on his fellow attacker's...knife! But if you move in harmony in a non-resisting way i find no inconsistency with aikido's teachings.