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George Bush's "Just" War« Thread Started on Jun 7, 2004, 8:0

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:17 am
by admin
George Bush's "Just" War« Thread Started on Jun 7, 2004, 8:07pm »--------------------------------------------------------------------------------June 4, 2004George Bush's "Just" War recent poll asked Americans whether or not they believed each of the major wars in the past 100 years was "just." The results are predictable: 90% believe World War II was just, 66% believe the Persian Gulf War was just, 33% believe the Vietnam War was just, and the country is evenly divided -- 49% to 49% -- on whether the war in Iraq is just.It's a disturbing concept, this idea that sometimes war is justified, that it is necessary and right to send armies against each other to fight and die. But some wars do seem more just than others. World War II, for instance, was fought to save the world from the tyrannical axis powers, and because America and its allies fought in self defense, they seem justified in doing so. Contrast that to the Vietnam war, which was more civil war than world war, and which was sold as a way to stop communism. Remember the "domino" theory, that said that all of Southeast Asia would go communist if Vietnam did? That theory, even at the time, made little sense, which made it an unpopular war then, and causes people to see it as unjust now. In WW II we had a real threat -- advancing armies -- while in Vietnam we had an ideological one -- the threat of creeping communism.Earlier this week, Bush attempted to draw parallels between the Iraq war and World War II, and this week he visits Italy and France to honor the sacrifices of soldiers sixty years ago. He will also be trying to win support for the Iraq war and mend fences so severely damaged during the run up to war. In short, Bush has spent much of this week trying to convince the world that the war against Iraq was just.But what is a "just" war? According to Vincent Ferraro, professor of international politics at Mount Holyoke College, these principles are generally recognized: war must be the last resort; it can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered; the violence must be proportional to the injury; and the weapons must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.George Bush has a lot of convincing to do. His war against Iraq was clearly not the last resort. As we are all painfully aware, Bush did everything he could to thwart the efforts of the UN inspection team, while ignoring the pleas of the world. Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, repeatedly asked for more time to finish his job. We also know that Bush began war planning immediately after 9-11, which makes it exceedingly difficult to argue that war was a last resort; instead, it appears to be Bush's first and only choice.If a just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered, then we must ask what "wrong" Iraq inflicted on America. In spite of Bush's rhetorical tricks to convince us otherwise, Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda terrorists, and certainly had nothing to do with the attacks of 9-11. And given that there was no injury inflicted on America the idea of proportional response makes no sense.Finally, a "just" war must make every effort to protect civilians, yet thousands of Iraqi women and children have been killed. While Bush may toss this off as "collateral damage," an unfortunate consequence of warfare, bombing cities where civilians live clearly does not discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.Bush's war simply does not withstand the test of a "just" war. But that should surprise no one. His "doctrine" of attacking first, before the threat is imminent, flies in the face of such a concept. Sources: ... ustwar.htm