POLITICAL: The Just War criteria


Thursday, September 02, 2010

If this were a war we’d have objectives and strategies to evaluate

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If the problems in our economy were a war the public would want to know: (a) What’s at stake?; (b) What will it take for victory?; and (c) What will victory look like? From those answers would follow the tactics we’ll be employing to win the war and a forecast as to how those tactics will play out.

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I managed to get my heroic children to consider the “The Just War Doctrine” in my novel. (I tried to stuff the book with anything I learned. My whizdumb!) Reference: CHURCH 10●19●62 Volume 1 Page 326

We did discuss this in 8th Grade Grammar School (“Gentlemen, you may love war movies, but Holy Mother Church has some standards for what is a just war.”) Did it again in High School “Religion” and College “Theology”.

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The strict conditions, for legitimate use of military force, require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

* the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

* all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

* there must be serious prospects of success;

* the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

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At one time, I thought “Viet Nam, Republic of” satisfied all the conditions. Now that I am older and I understand that, to misquote Doctor House, “Politicians lie!”.

In considering the Iraq War, I thought that the conditions were again satisfied.

The damage point (i.e., Bush lied us into war) was really covered by the WMD.

One thing that everyone chooses to overlook is that: “We KNOW Sadaam had them.” We sold the poison gas to him in the 70’s and he used that gas on “his” minority, the Kurds. As far as not finding those weapons, there was six months to move them to Syria. Unfortunately, no one can prove that.

As a little L libertarian, there was no justification that would convince me that we should have done this.


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INTERESTING: A stunning flash of the obvious


The Way It Used To Be
by John Taylor Gatto

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The Art Of Driving

Now come back to the present while I demonstrate that the identical trust placed in ordinary people 200 years ago still survives where it suits managers of our economy to allow it. Consider the art of driving, which I learned at the age of eleven. Without everybody behind the wheel, our sort of economy would be impossible, so everybody is there, IQ notwithstanding. With less than thirty hours of combined training and experience, a hundred million people are allowed access to vehicular weapons more lethal than pistols or rifles. Turned loose without a teacher, so to speak. Why does our government make such presumptions of competence, placing nearly unqualified trust in drivers, while it maintains such a tight grip on near-monopoly state schooling?

An analogy will illustrate just how radical this trust really is. What if I proposed that we hand three sticks of dynamite and a detonator to anyone who asked for them. All an applicant would need is money to pay for the explosives. You’d have to be an idiot to agree with my plan – at least based on the assumptions you picked up in school about human nature and human competence.

And yet gasoline, a spectacularly mischievous explosive, dangerously unstable and with the intriguing characteristic as an assault weapon that it can flow under locked doors and saturate bulletproof clothing, is available to anyone with a container. Five gallons of gasoline have the destructive power of a stick of dynamite. The average tank holds fifteen gallons, yet no background check is necessary for dispenser or dispensee. As long as gasoline is freely available, gun control is beside the point. Push on. Why do we allow access to a portable substance capable of incinerating houses, torching crowded theaters, or even turning skyscrapers into infernos? We haven’t even considered the battering ram aspect of cars – why are novice operators allowed to command a ton of metal capable of hurtling through school crossings at up to two miles a minute? Why do we give the power of life and death this way to everyone?

It should strike you at once that our unstated official assumptions about human nature are dead wrong. Nearly all people are competent and responsible; universal motoring proves that. The efficiency of motor vehicles as terrorist instruments would have written a tragic record long ago if people were inclined to terrorism. But almost all auto mishaps are accidents, and while there are seemingly a lot of those, the actual fraction of mishaps, when held up against the stupendous number of possibilities for mishap, is quite small. I know it’s difficult to accept this because the spectre of global terrorism is a favorite cover story of governments, but the truth is substantially different from the tale the public is sold.

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It’s so obvious, it hurts! The assumptions are wrong!

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