War with Iraq - a "just" war?

Looks like we are going to war. Is this war “just”? Indeed, can any war be “just”?

I believe war can be just, and I believe removing Saddam is a worthy and just cause. He has killed thousands of his own people with chemicals, and if he ever gets nukes, he will use them. I believe we will also find that he has helped al-Quida. He is a threat to the United States. (Evidently, the Germans have been supplying him with parts to construct long-range missles.)

What say ye?

How is he a threat to the US?

I think you’re right that wars can be ‘just’ - it’s just in this instance I would feel better if he’d done something that warrnated an invasion…


To belabor the obvious, it does not appear the OP is concerned with just war theory.

i.e. - having just cause, being declared by a proper authority, possessing right intention, having a reasonable chance of success, and the end being proportional to the means used.

Is the world justified in wanting Saddam removed from power? You bet. Are we justified in killing possibly thousands to achieve that? No. IS Iraq a threat to the US or anyone else in the world today? No.
Is Iraq likely to become a threat in the near future (5-10 years) No.
Has Iraq threatened anyone or made any aggresive moves since the Gulf war? No.
Why are we going to war? Because our country is being ruled by a criminally stupid little thief, and because so many in our country are so anxious to watch the pretty fireworks, they are willing to set aside every moral principle that has guided this country over the last 225 years.

I am ashamed of our government and of the people in this country who can support such morally corrupt actions.
I pray for an impeachment, but I doubt our representatives in congress and the senate have the balls to stand up for what they know is right.

If “justice” is synonymous with “legality” then you will find few experts on international law who say so. There is no clear mandate for acting in self defence. Resolution 648 was specifically about Kuwait, and resolution 1441 was absolutely unambiguous that “serious consequences” did not authorise military action.

As to whether an illegal war such as Kosovo can be termed so: IMO, a war can be termed “just” if it causes less death and suffering in the long run than had it not occurred. I believe Kosovo has fulfilled this criterion. (Another point in Kosovo’s favour was that the military force itself comprised several countries and was openly supported by the EU and NATO. The current force comprises the US, a few Australians and a British force which might be withdrawn if Blair loses his job over this, and the war is openly opposed by as many countries as support it.)

I believe the coming war would decrease suffering over the next decade compared to no action at all. However, I believe that to say it must occur now or never is to present a false dilemma.

Personally, until I can hear this statement without cringing, I have my doubts about how “just” this war really is.

I can’t help noting that America has 31,496 tons of chemical weapons which it is committed to destroying at a pace slower than the timetable imposed on Iraq; that a certain American “dissident” was recently facing the prospect of execution; that the U.S. freely admits to using interrogation tactics which are considered by some to be torture, and “renders” other captives to other nations which have documented reputations for using torture.

Then there is the rhetoric about going into a “preemptive” war in Iraq without the direct support of the UN. I notice this administration is stridently trying to point out the difference between “preemption” and “aggression.”

I am not saying that America is behaving in the same–or even a similar–way as Iraq is, but I do notice an element of duplicity in that statement which very much concerns me.

I love my country and want the best for it, but dammit, I’m not convinced that this war serves my interests, or the interests of my family and friends, or the interests of the world as a whole. If I were, I’m sure I would consider such a war to be “just.”

Since I am not, I watch events unfold with trepidation.

Did Kosovo get the blessing of the UN Security Council? I don’t believe that it did. I agree that war does not have to occur now, but it will occur, sooner or later. Why should we wait until he has acquired nukes? To think that Iraq will not be a threat in 5-10 years is, in my opinion, wrong. He will, sooner or later, get his hands on ICBMs, and he will, sooner or later, equip them with nukes.

Iraq (aka Saddam) is a threat to his own people. How many Kurds has he killed? Why won’t he do it again? You think he might repent? Please.

To suggest that Bush be impeached for protecting our national interests is absurd. Please remember that the Govt knows a LOT more than we do about what Saddam is doing.

I hate war, but I do believe this war is just. Saddam can stop it by leaving Iraq. Isn’t it his call?

You may be interested to know that this morning Uday Hussein pointed out that the war can also be stopped if Bush resigns and leaves Washington with his family.

Is that an accurate statement? Is it a practicable statement?

“The Govt” has failed to share this info you allude to with either the CIA or the Joints Cheif of Staff. Neither group has bought into the immanent threat from Iraq story.

Do you work for the CIA or are you part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? How do you know what our Govt has shared with them? You don’t. I don’t. You know as much or as little about it as I do. I have far, far more trust in our Govt than I do in the UN.

The news is reporting that Iraqi troops - the Republican Guard Unit, in particular - have been given ammo equipped with chemical weapons. That comes from our intelligence (which Clinton gutted).

We will find out what Saddam has when we go in.

Here is an article that came out back in February regarding the Pope’s position on Bush’s so-called “Just War”.

It states, in part:
*Under the principles of “just war”, as formulated by St Augustine of Hippo and later by St Thomas Aquinas, war can be waged only as a last resort and by a “legitimate authority”. It must be fought with “right intentions”, for example in self-defence or to redress a wrong, and with a reasonable chance of success to avoid excessive death and injury. The theory of just war also holds that civilian casualties must be avoided, that the means used must be proportionate and that the ultimate goal should be to establish a peace “preferable to what would have prevailed if the war had not been fought”. *

In my opinion, this is certainly not a last resort, although some people would argue that twelve years of sanctions haven’t really done the job. Also, when I hear stories about plans for raining 3000 smart bombs on Baghdad over the course of the first two days, it seems to invalidate the proportionate force and avoiding civilian casualties principles too.

Even when evidence they use to help justify the war, like the documents that said Iraq bought uranium from Niger, are found to be blatant and obvious forgeries?

Don’t trust the government. Even if they aren’t lying, they believe incredibly shoddily-produced lies when it suits their politics. They are not be trusted, if only for their incompetence.

St Augustine of Hippo? St Thomas Aquinas? Who cares what they thought?

In your opinion, what is the “last resort”? Please don’t say the UN.

See, this is a fundamental disconnect. I think we have to have the smoking gun BEFORE we drop bombs on people.**

How? Even the President hasn’t said this, just that he is a threat to our “interests”. Or are you back into the world where he helps Al-Qaeda? Like I said, you’ve got to show this connection exists BEFORE you can base actions on it.

In a Democracy we’re NOT supposed to put blind trust in our leaders. I DON’T trust our Gov’t any more than I trust the UN, or vice-versa. I want to see the evidence, verified evidence, before I start saying it’s ok to drop bombs on people.


Actually, some of the briefing that the CIA gave to the Senate Intelligence Committee is declassified and available. All you have to do is Google for it. Sometimes when a country is a democratic one the governmet shares intelligences with its masters, the people.
In a letter from George Tenet to the Senate Intelligence committee the CIA specifically said that the likelihood of Iraq initiating an attack in the forseeable future is very low. Unless Hussein is “in extremis.”

Use your computer and your brain and see what you can find.

This may come as a shock to you, but the Govt isn’t going to share certain information with you. Sorry.

What are you Bush-haters going to say when we find out they DO have WOMD? I know: Blame it on Bush!!!

  • Rick

Where is the justification in attacking a sovergn nation that poses no immediate or forseeable threat to us? All this talk about how Saddam might someday threaten the United States is just hot air – the same comment could be made about any other nation on Earth.

As for the notion that the United States’ intelligence agency has some incriminating evidence that we aren’t aware of,

(1) This goes against the very notion of an open and democratic society, which I thought we were supposed to be.

(2) Even if the information is too sensitive to be shared with John Q. Public, at the very least I would have expected our leaders to share the information with the intelligence officials of France, Germany, et al, to persuade them to join our cause. Since they haven’t, I can only conclude that either we have no such intelligence, or it’s not sufficiently convincing to justify a war.

Of course, because
Ignorance is Strength

I don’t know anyone who thinks that Iraq doesn’t have WMD. Everyone pretty much is sure that Iraq does have WMD. This isn’t the issue though. The issue is whether or not a massive invasion and occupation of Iraq by American forces is the best way to deal with the state of the world today.