Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Just War"

Question: Is there such a thing as a 'just war'? In his Nobel speech, was President Obama right to speak in these theological terms about war? He also stated that 'no holy war can ever be a just war.' Do you agree or disagree?

It is interesting that the December 11th Wall Street Journal headlined “Obama Defends ‘Just War’ as Oslo,” but never addressed what a just war was. The war in Afghanistan is a just war in that it is a war of last resort, waged by a legitimate authority, to redress the wrong suffered in the United States on September 11, 2001. There is a reasonable chance of success to re-establish peace, and the violence inflicted is proportional to the injury suffered. Also, the weapons used in this war discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. This war effort is not a crusade or “holy war,” blinded by jingo-ism or nationalism. The preceding is not true in black-and-white terms, but after President Obama’s speech, we should be willing to trust the information in front of him and the decision he felt obliged to make.

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