Re: First Strike Philosophy - Sensei Darren Friend.
Aikido does not carry a ethos. It is an education. The philosophy of people who practice aikido is varied and that philosophy is the ethos of the education.
I think when we talk about this kind of thing, it is important to understand that our personal philosophy crafts our perspective and that perspective may not be the same as others. I think the problem of aikido is when loud voices declare what is aikido. This article seems to be a declaration of one perspective of aikido. To Rupert's point, I think part of aikido is the freedom of movement; to limit yourself to reactionary movement seems counter-intuitive to the art (since it is limiting your freedom), but I understand there are many people who strongly feel that you cannot do aikido until somebody does something to your first.
O Sensei used to teach his curriculum with shite initiating the technique. If my aikido is based upon "intent leads mind, minds leads ki..." then the origin of my attack is logically the same origin as my response, intent. Right now, I am of the mind that the attack begins when my opponent intends to attack me. So for me, whether I am initiating or receiving, my intent leads everything.
To Walter's point, my perspective is that I am always prepared to move however I want. While typically a conversation killer, I am not sure Germans (and even many within the party) shared Hitler's real intentions and aspirations, nor would I cast aspersions about a strategic perspective because of a individual who clearly never intended for "peace" as we like to think of it. I think his intentions were probably more along the lines of "For war, prepare for war. But lie about it until no one can stop you" - I don't know the Latin for that phrase. I think your criticism is better-aimed at the naivety of the population in their consumption of that fraud, not the perspective Hitler used to veil his plans. My dad grew up in Skokie, IL, where a lot of Germans moved before and after the war. In their older age, when they would talk about it, a lot of these immigrants expressed true regret about being beguiled by that administration. Which kinda leads back to Rupert's comment that we [should not] need to argue the point because a greater population is not knowledgeable about such things...