Aikido is a martial art indeed and i practice it as a martial art.As a martial art that is giving you the choice to be simply in control of the oponent or even deadly and every stage in between,according to the situation or what you want to do.
But being a martial art,it cannot be violent.Aikido is the way of controlling, neutralizing or even destroying your opponent,while you maintain a calm, non-agressive state of mind.It is therefore the exact opposite of violence!
If one is a real martial artist,even though his body has to physically fight,his mind and the essense of his core are in peace.
If one is a real martial artist his body also remains calm even though he is physically fighting.
The correct state of mind during a fighting situation is "mushin" which could loosely mean "no-mind".You don't hate your attacker,you simply deal with the situation at hand at the best of your abilities using aikido techniques and if the outcome is somehow violent,if your techniques were correct,it is more the relult of the attacker's actions.
An aikido warrior can be destructive by choice,but he cannot be angry or violent...
I agree with what you have written here except your definition of violence. You seem to be saying that violence requires a lack of control, or thought, to be violence, and I do not think that is true. I see a lot of calmly premeditated, controlled damage inflicted upon others that anyone would call violence having seen it. Who is more violent, a person who plans, carefully arranges, and methodically executes a mall shootup, or someone who comes home to find the missus in the sack with the neighbor, loses his temper and proceedes to uncontrollably knock the snot out of all involved? I dont know. I think they might both be considered violent.
Claiming the moral high ground in a fight because you are calm is questionable. Assigning blame to the attacker if I use my skills to injure someone in a fight is perhaps understandable, but ultimately not reasonable. I am held liable for my actions in any and all situations, and my mental and emotional state have little bearing on my liability. Sometimes I can say that I was honestly afraid, and had little idea of what my atttacker had on hand and what their intent was. Even that doesn't get me far, sometimes.
For me, studying a martial art is about uncovering, working with, and learning to control my capacity for violence. I am not going to pretend that my participation in the art of love and harmony has actually made me less violent. I am more aware of the potential I have for violence. Which is good because like we are both saying, violence is better controlled. I'm just admitting I have the capacity for it, and you seem to be hiding your capacity under a label of a "non-violent" martial art.