I had said much earlier that we would eventually need to come down to semantics, and so we have. That's not a bad thing.
If we stipulate that "attack" = "bad," then of course I agree with you. But then we do need words that are appropriate for necessary destructive behavior.
For me, it makes more sense to distinguish between good attacks and bad (or with a bit more nuance, "better" and "worse"). More aiki, or less aiki.
I still maintain that predators attack, that the immune system attacks, and doctors sometimes destroy in order to promote healing. All of these things may be aiki. Yes, this can easily be perverted to justify heinous behavior, but an opportunistic spin doesn't change essential truth.
My question to you: When you are being uke, are you still doing aikido? Is what you are simulating aiki?
I want all my time on the mat, as much as possible, to be doing aikido. I want to be doing aiki as tori, and I want to be doing aiki as uke. In fact, to me it seems that aiki really only arises in the interaction between uke and tori. Neither does it alone.
I used to believe that there was no attack in aikido. For my own personal experience, this came to appear increasingly dishonest. I now know that my aikido must perforce always contain an element of attack, so the challenge to me is to find the most appropriate, measured, balanced, and aiki manner of attack.
It is hard to explain sometimes, because my overarching aim is to be as gentle as possible, to promote fitness and vitality for all involved.
What I said above is not me using semantics although I understand you seeing it as such.
In answer to your question as to if I see me doing an attack as aikido then I will say of itself then the answer is no. Thus I would say that your past view was correct.
Now, as being training in Aikido I would then say yes it is part of training in Aikido. I would then go on to say that the activity called aikido training is a joint activity and from that viewpoint it is thus 'aikido'
Attack is therefore still the word to be understood in it's fullness. Is the purpose or aim of the immune system really to attack, to destroy? Or is it to remove what is unwanted and not welcome or needed?
A purification system of any kind doesn't generally have the purpose of destruction. It does have the purpose of purifying though and thus the functions of removing and expelling as waste.
On the subject of health I am quite well adept at. Apart from ki atsu and restoring energy balance I am well acquainted with the field of and principles of nutrition. Thus the basic theory is that illness due to a lack of some nutrients and that the body is asking for what's missing for it knows how to be healthy, we don't. We don't listen to it.
Thus we once again thing a destructive drug is what it's calling for. We are lazy, we are unaware, we are not wise. That's our problem and thus we turn to destructive things to 'get rid of'.
Just checking certain principles of aikido we can gain insights as to what an attack is and what is not. For example space.
Invasion of anothers' space. That's an attack. That's not a loving or ethical or harmonious thing to do is it? Thus it's not of itself ai or ki or aiki. The fact there there is no invitation makes it an attack. The fact that it is not two agrred upon wants rather than just one persons wants makes it an attack.
Thus we see that something given that is unasked for and unwanted is actually an attack.
That's why I say that in the activity of Aikido training, a joint activity, then it becomes aikido as both parties want it. Hence training in.
Hope this gives an insight into my view.
Thanks for discussing. G.