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Could this be a 'just' war?


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#1 LifeisGood

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:57 AM

Can war with Iraq be justified? The historic "just war" theory states that war is never good but it can be a lesser evil to doing nothing. So, how does it apply to the current crisis?
Originally devised by Greek and Roman philosophers, the "just war theory" was developed by Christian theologians. With some variations, it is widely cited and applied by various religions today.

Here we outline the six steps to a just war and square them with the issues at stake.

1. The war must be for a just cause


eg. A pre-emptive strike - attacking an enemy to prevent an anticipated attack.
George Bush has consistently portrayed Saddam Hussein as a threat to the West. "The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today - and we do - does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger?"
But the UN charter appears to side against pre-emptive strikes, stating "all Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means".

2. The war must be declared by a lawful authority

As an elected democracy, the US government is a lawful authority. JUST WAR THEORY
Force can be used as a last resort

Defines conditions for declaring war & limits to conduct in war

Some Muslims claim it's similar to 'jihad' - spiritual warfare


Click to find out more on 'just war'

But some believe that today the UN, as the highest world authority, is the only "lawful authority" with the right to sanction war. And, through its charter, it requires all members to refrain from use of force. But in practice the right to wage war remains with individual states.
It could also be argued that if public support is against a war, as seems to be the case in Britain, a government lacks the lawful authority to go to war.


3. The intention behind the war must be good

Washington and London claim war would be waged for the right motives, finally putting right the UN resolution to strip Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
They have also cited Iraq's poor reputation on human rights - something they would hope to improve on by getting rid of Saddam.
Critics claim these are side shows to the real issue - oil. Iraq has massive reserves of oil and, mindful that not all is well in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producing country, the US wants a more secure supply in the Middle East.

4. All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried

It's 12 years since the UN demanded Iraq scrap its weapons of mass destruction; time enough, says Tony Blair, for Saddam to have complied.
The UN has passed numerous resolutions against Iraq, but Britain and the US claim it has consistently snubbed them.
France has been leading calls for more diplomacy. It has always opposed a draft UN resolution threatening the use of force against Iraq. It wants to see more time for the weapons inspections and French President Jacques has asserted a diplomatic solution is still possible.

5. There must be a reasonable chance of success

This comes from the idea that war is a great evil, and that it is wrong to cause suffering, pain, and death with no chance of success.
There seems little doubt in the West that the US alone can win the war. As the world's only superpower, its military might dwarves that of Iraq.
There are doubts over the loyalty Saddam Hussein can expect from his army, if their backs are against the wall.
But some experts caution it will not be a "walk over" for the US. General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the US military in the first Gulf War, has said it's "not going to be an easy battle".


6. The means used must be in proportion to the end that the war seeks to achieve

In other words, it would be wrong to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
We don't yet know the military strategies of both sides, but there are fears war with Iraq could turn nuclear, and so cost many thousands of lives. In 1991, the US warned Saddam they would respond with nuclear force if he used chemical weapons.
Even with conventional weapons, critics warn that hundreds of Iraqi civilians could be killed in bombing raids.
Some of your comments so far:

The intended use of depleted uranium munitions that leave eternal air, water, and soil contamination and cause serious adverse health effects mean the concept of "proportionality" is wilfully ignored.
Dr. Doug Rokke, US

War can only be justified for self defence. Any pre-emptive action should only be taken when there is a clear and immediate danger. In the case of Iraq, I think this is far from proved.
Rob, UK

The nature of warfare has changed since the undeclared attack by our enemies on September 11th, 2001. Gone is the era of "just war" and "the rules of war" (even Adolph Hitler resisted using chemical weapons during WWII). Our enemies now must be destroyed as they have no such compunction.
Paul G Overend , American in UK

The conditions have not been met. We should act as if our own brother or sister will be killed in the war. With this attitude, the eventuality that all other options be exhausted becomes impossible.
Kate Lee, UK








HEY! You elistist Bozos are living in todays world. Nuclear bombs, chemical terrorism. The worlds moving very fast and it's time for you clowns to get your act together.
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#2 MirrorMan

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 12:47 AM

''. All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried

It's 12 years since the UN demanded Iraq scrap its weapons of mass destruction; time enough, says Tony Blair, for Saddam to have complied.
The UN has passed numerous resolutions against Iraq, but Britain and the US claim it has consistently snubbed them.
France has been leading calls for more diplomacy. It has always opposed a draft UN resolution threatening the use of force against Iraq. It wants to see more time for the weapons inspections and French President Jacques has asserted a diplomatic solution is still possible.''

The French were right.
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#3 LifeisGood

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 09:45 AM

Azov- If I could have change anything, it would be for the U.S. to invade sooner. I don't find no embarrassment in this post, you should buy me a beer for freeing the Iraqi People.
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#4 Tokyoman

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 10:13 AM

"I don't find no embarrassment in this post, you should buy me a beer for freeing the Iraqi People."

If the war was based purely on removing Saddam to benefit the Iraqi people, it wouldn't have happened. That was the carrot because a war based on securing national interests, as promoted by PNAC before the Bush admin. took office, was unacceptable. In their own words, "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.?h

This was the stick:

"The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today - and we do - does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger."

I think Salam Pax summed it up nicely when addressing a member of the shut up and say thank you club...

dear jack
Duh yourself ! since you obviously have not been to Baghdad you are not an authority on where the bomb shelters are. These shelters, I think around 30 of them, were built during the Iraq-Iran war. Yes some of them were part of military complexes but many were built in civilian neighborhoods, they were built during a time when the government would give huge loans to people building shelters in their own backyards and bomb shelters became part of the building code for any public building. Jack that statement is simply not correct.
Has anyone been able to prove that on the night that shelter has been used as a C&C center, that there was anyone of importance beside the obligatory Party members? Bad intelligence? Shit happens? Well you pooped on me buddy, don't expect me to be all ah-great-america-we-love-you, and your government will be pooping on me some more, now how does that make me feel?
I am not taking any of that the great liberators ?Ehelp others to be free?Etalk because I do not believe there is such a thing in politics called altruism, there are no free lunches and no one does *anything* without some personal motives. So if your government is going to go to war it is not because they are helping others to be free?Eit's because a hundred other reasons and this one just happens to be a nice one to throw to the public. And no, I will not say its the oil, because it is not only oil, although it is a nice little extra thrown in.
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#5 LifeisGood

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 11:12 AM

Tokyoman,


If the majority of Iraqis are ungrateful for U.S. involvement that has little affect on my ego. Whats important to me is that a brutal dictator is down for the count of ten. This is more than Nationalism, it is about what is right. Was the Vietnam wrong in their invasion of Cambodia, I say no.

The invasion has had many implications throughout the world. Libya have given up their wmds agenda and United Nations oil for oppression is kaput. Islamic freaks and dictatorships world over are now cowering with submissiveness.

I'm not looking for a thank you from anyone, just a beer from Azov.
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#6 Tokyoman

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 12:49 PM

"I'm not looking for a thank you from anyone, just a beer from Azov."

Sorry, I thought in the absence of WMD you were just falling back on the humanitarian argument. A lot here have after their house of cards collapsed.

"Islamic freaks and dictatorships world over are now cowering with submissiveness."

Maybe. It would seem a lot of the Islamic freaks are currently carbombing Iraq. Iran seems determined to develop nuclear weapons and the clergy are capitilising on the nationalist fervour stoked by outside demands.

Americans feeling good about removing Saddam is fine. I'm sure most Iraqis were grateful, but lets not delude ourselves on what the real reasons were for the Iraq invasion.
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