Ming the Mechanic:
Just War - or a Just War

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Just War - or a Just War2003-03-09 13:29
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Nice article from Jimmy Carter in the New York Times. (A brief registration is required to access it). Carter is a good man and an intelligent man - somebody worthy of running a country. These days, like Clinton, he's somewhat breaking the unwritten rule for ex-presidents, of not commenting on or critisizing the current administration. But the U.S. has never had an administration like this one, so apparently willing to pour it all down the drain.
"Profound changes have been taking place in American foreign policy, reversing consistent bipartisan commitments that for more than two centuries have earned our nation greatness. These commitments have been predicated on basic religious principles, respect for international law, and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint. Our apparent determination to launch a war against Iraq, without international support, is a violation of these premises."
He goes on to explain criteria for having a "just" war.
  • The war can be waged only as a last resort, with all nonviolent options exhausted.
  • The war's weapons must discriminate between combatants and noncombatants.
  • Its violence must be proportional to the injury we have suffered.
  • The attackers must have legitimate authority sanctioned by the society they profess to represent.
  • The peace it establishes must be a clear improvement over what exists.
And he points out clearly how Bush's war is something totally different from what has happened in the past. The choice of initiating military action is something past American presidents have sweated over, that has kept them up at night, discussing all the possibilities, making sure it is the best thing to do. Despite their flaws, they have always been people with integrity and restraint. But now war appears to be something you plan in advance, and then you go and try to sell people on it, by making up reasons if necessary.

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1 comment

9 Mar 2003 @ 23:31 by jazzolog : In A Hurry?
If that registration is a problem for some reason, I put up a copy of President Carter's message at jazzoLOG a few hours before Ming's excellent review here. It appears as a comment, entitled A Just War, in the entry The Peace Movement. {link:http://www.newciv.org/mem/persnewslog.php?did=63&vid=63&xmode=show_article&amode=standard&aoffset=0&artid=000063-000134&time=1047281220#comments}  

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