Thursday, October 06, 2005

Blue eyewash


TheBlueRaja said...

It's probably also apropos to point out that many who advocate a just war perspective are hopelessly unfamiliar with both in bello and ad bellum requirements of just war, at least in their Augustinian expression. Modern rhetoric about war and its justification often uses the language of the Augustinian tradition while misconstruing and misapplying the historic Christian conception of it. The war in Iraq, according to strict Just War principles, is not a just war. The targeting of civillian populations (commonplace by western liberal democracies since World War II) is unjust and unchristian.


i) We are not targeting civilian populations in Iraq. We are targeting military assets nested within civilian populations.

ii) In addition, if the civilians were more cooperative in tipping off our troops, we could do this with more surgical precision.

iii) You can’t tie the hands of a field commander. You can’t be so restrictive that he is unable to defeat the enemy. Any theory of just-warfare that renders it impossible to win is a charade.

iv) Also, in a situation like WWII, I don’t know why the Nazis should be free to bomb the English with impunity, to make the English live in fear while Nazis maintain a peacetime standard of living, reducing English cities to rubble in the morning while enjoying a leisurely meal of beer and bratwurst in the evening.


The dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were manifestly evil according to the just war tradition. Justifying the murder of civilians by calculating the possible lives lost had "the bomb" not been used is a distortion of Christian reflection on the Augustinian requirements.


i) This is one of those airy oracular pontification that has no rational or moral authority. To the contrary, it would be immoral not to minimize the loss of life consistent with the strategic objective.

If the lost of life is inevitable, the least you can do is to calculate the fatalities for different battle plans and select the plan that is most effective consistent with the lowest projections.

ii) In addition, a commander would be fool to sacrifice his own troops in order to minimize enemy fatalities.

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