News: Another Christian's view on the war

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Farley, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. Farley

    Farley
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    Would Iraq Be a Just War?
    by John J. Dwyer



    Should America attack Iraq?

    American Christians have not the luxury to ignore this question. Such a colossal action will sow consequences for ourselves and our children. Human history and the Scriptures themselves augur that violence would again beget violence. This compels us, for the sake of future generations of Americans, to confront the issue.

    I am thankful for the Theory of Just War. It is a peculiarly Christian notion, which aims to preserve the moral distinctives of Christianity even during and after war, as well as to restrain the state from establishing itself as an all-powerful God unto itself. It reflects the desire to avoid war as a fundamental idea in the Christian view of politics, as opposed to the romanticization of war as a pagan one that reflects a disregard for the sanctity of human life.

    The failure of the United States government to abide by the consensus rules of just war in its dealings (and proposed dealings) with Iraq is as disturbing as its protestations to the contrary. For Augustine, Aquinas, and others posited that a just war must have a just cause. This one does not. Despite the most extreme attempts of President Bush and warmongering members within his administration and without, no evidence exists that Saddam Hussein’s regime in any way aided the terrorists’ atrocities against our country on September 11, 2001. Indeed, Osama Bin Laden’s organization has at least twice attempted to assassinate Hussein. Hussein has no air force or navy and the United States devastated his army in the Persian Gulf War. If he has weapons or materials that can be transported to America to do us harm, so do many other countries around the globe, many of whom do not like us.

    If the Communists, the Nazis, or any of our other familiar villains attacked a weak country a fraction their size and half the world away, when it had done nothing to threaten them, would we call it a justified "preemptive strike" or naked brutal aggression?

    Just war must also be pursued only as a last resort, after all other options are exhausted. Suffice to say this has not happened. Just ask – shame on us – France, Russia, and Germany. That is assuming, which I do not, we have the right to go "disarm," depose the leadership of, and by force occupy a small country who has not threatened us.

    Let us suppose that President Bush, with whom the decision to attack Iraq rests, does constitute the proper, God-ordained civil authority prescribed in the just war philosophy, despite the Constitution’s demand that only Congress can declare war. Our Founding Fathers, including George Washington in his Farewell Address, declared with resounding clarity their opposition to non-commercial overseas entanglements, favored (or unfavored) commercial trading partners, and permanent treaties and alliances. They knew the history of humanity is replete with the rotting carcasses of world empires.

    Yet, America now has military forces stationed in over 100 countries, our military budget is more than that of the next 27 countries’ combined, and tens of thousands of service families are deprived of their fathers, and sometimes their mothers, for long periods of time. All courtesy of your and my hard-earned tax dollars, but not our permission. Such behavior is difficult to reconcile with the founding document of our nation, the United States Constitution, which disallowed even having a standing army.

    The evil of a just war must be less than the evil to be righted. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a murderer, but what of the potential body count of American and Iraqi soldiers, and Iraqi civilians, not to mention unknown future reprisals by Muslims and others whose hate for America will only grow? Especially when Hussein’s eventual successors might well be, unlike Hussein, militantly Islamic and virulently anti-American?

    Finally, a just war allows no military action to be undertaken that seriously threatens civilians or their property, much less deliberately targets them. Just war adherents mince no words: attacking or otherwise harming defenseless cities, towns, and civilians is a war crime, performed by war criminals.

    I am here reminded that the real problem is not America’s actions toward Iraq. It is habits we have developed going back to the 19th century. We go where we are not invited, or we go where one side invites us to join their civil war against another, and when we fight, we descend as far down the ladder of human decency as necessary to "win." Indeed, this is not just about Iraq, it is about Sand Creek and the 1909 Philippines and Dresden and Nagasaki and unnumbered villages in Vietnam and buses and hospitals and apartment buildings in Serbia.

    It is about our intentional destruction of Iraq’s water and water purification facilities during the Gulf War. This, despite Article 54 of the Geneva Convention, which states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population," including "drinking water supplies and irrigation works."

    And it is about the subsequent American-led United Nations embargo of Iraqi water purification supplies and equipment. In 1998, on-sight United Nations officials reported it was killing 4–5,000 children a month. In 2000, UNICEF’s director for Iraq announced that half a million children under five years of age had died during the 10 years of sanctions.

    Last I heard, the sanctions remained in place, enforced by the American taxpayer-funded United States military.

    Yes, the reasons are always good, especially when explained by a handsome, earnest Christian President from Texas looking you in the eye through your television screen. They were good, too, for all of history’s expanding empires as they dragged their trusting subjects into central government domination, confiscatory taxation, moral breakdown, multiplied foreign enemies, and finally, slaughter and sorrow and widowhood and orphanhood.

    Herman Wouk said it well in his memorable novel War and Remembrance: "...war is an old habit of thought, an old frame of mind, an old political technique, that must now pass..."

    May Christians remember that Jesus Christ and Him crucified was God’s remedy for the evil powers that animate wicked men and nations. Let us purpose to fast, pray for, and serve lands like Iraq caught in the grip of such forces. Let us commit to go there and if necessary lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel, while carrying the love and Word of God and not an M-16.


    March 18, 2003

    John J. Dwyer (send him mail) is chair of history at Coram Deo Academy in Flower Mound, Texas, and author of the historical novels Stonewall and Robert E. Lee, and the historical narrative The War Between the States, America’s Uncivil War.

    Copyright © 2003 by LewRockwell.com

    [ May 22, 2003, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  2. Caretaker

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    If we stand by and do nothing, while the predator tortures, and murders the vulnerable, then we are also guilty. We are culpable if we fail to act.

    The peaceniks have the innocent blood of many on their hands, through their sheilding of the predators, by their activities. Why should we facilitate the brutal domination, horrendous torture, and butchering of men, women, and children, through our failure to act to protect the innocent.

    We could have stood with England, and Europe from the very beginning, and stopped Hitler in his tracks. Literaly millions would not have died. The peaceniks prevailed for three long years, and the blood of 6 millon Jews, and so many others is on their hands, as surely as on the hands of the Nazi dogs.

    Diseased tissue must be isolated, and the disease irradicated, before the infection can be transferred throughout the entire body.


    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  3. LadyEagle

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    "Except for Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, War Has Never Solved Anything".
     
  4. Farley

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    Who should invade us for the killing of millions of unborn children and allowing sodomites and sex perverts to roam the streets? Where is the constitutional authority to spend my money on this? I just wonder when the U.N will want to send peace keepers here to stop "our" aggression.
     
  5. LadyEagle

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    Hey, Farley, you're preaching to the choir about the millions of unborn being butchered in America.

    But the wicked, hypocritical, sanctimonious, pompous, ungodly, One World Government U.N. is hardly the organization to care anything about the sanctity of human life!

    Consider these facts:

    http://www.getusout.org/
     
  6. Farley

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    I'm with you she-eagle. But what could Sadaam ever do that could equal to the crime of the butchering of children in this country? The arrogance of this great whore will be met by the judgement of GOD.
     
  7. Helen

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    Farley, as horrid as abortions are, they are an 'in-house' crime. Hussein has no compunctions about manufacturing weapons of aggression against others outside Iraq, and this may be more of a telling point than who is butchering the most in numbers. Countries have a right to defend themselves, and Iraq does not have a history which promotes confidence regarding its aggressive tendencies.

    If someone were to invade us because of aborted children, quite honestly they would have to show how that endangered their country. We know we are in danger because of Iraq -- many countries are.
     
  8. Kiffin

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    Augustine defined a Just War as

    1. A just war must be just as to its intent, which is to restore peace.
    Augustine wrote "Peace should be the object of your desire. War should be waged only as a necessity and waged only that through it God may deliver men from that necessity and preserve them in peace. For peace is not to be sought in order to kindle war, but war is to be waged in order to obtain peace. Therefore even in the course of war you should cherish the spirit of a peace maker."
    --Augustine said every effort should be made to avoid war.


    2. A just war must seek to vindicate justice.

    3. A just war must be motivated by love.
    That is, the intent must be good. War is not waged because of hatred for the other side, but because love dictates that action be taken to stop evil. A just State is obligated to examine its motives. They must be pure.

    4. A just war can only be waged by the duly constituted rulers.The scriptures do not allow the individual to take action, only the duly constituted authorities.

    5. A just war must be conducted properly.
    There should be no wanton violence, profaning of temples, looting, massacres, or conflagrations. Vengeance, atrocities, and reprisals are excluded.

    6. A just war must be conducted in a mournful mood.War is a serious thing, and it is undertaken with reluctance and sorrow, not glee, as if it were fun. War should not be entered with joy and singing and thanksgiving.

    Does the USA War against Saddaam a Just War? Yes, The Peace Movement intentially misrepresents Pres. Bush and the USA. No one wanted this War but if the USA stands silent, Hussein will continue to become more dangerous and Terrorism will only increase. In 1938 France allowed Hitler to take Czechozavakia and appeased Hitler the way they appease Hussein. It was not until 1940 when the Nazi's crushed France in World War 2 that they realized the error of not going to War earlier.

    My problem with the peace movement is that they seem to be more anti Bush, anti American and anti Israel than anti War. The anti war movement in the USA is small and made up of radicals. The peace movement worldwide seems to be sympathetic to Saddam Hussein who has used poison gas against the Kurds and the Irainians and has murdered millions and starved his own people. Why do they not protest Hussein? In March 1988, 5,000 Iraqi civilians in Halabja were killed by by Saddam’s forces, in a brutal chemical weapons attack using mustard gas and nerve toxins. "Entire families were wiped out and the streets were littered with the corpses of men, women and children", reported the Washington Post (24/3/88). "Other forms of life in and around the city - horses, house cats, cattle - perished as well." Also in 1988 Some 100,000 Kurds, mostly men and boys were murdered by Hussein. Why is it that the so called Peace movement does not protest this? I think it is because they are anti American and not really anti War since they are selective about whom they protest. War is coming and just as Afghanistan was freed from their evil rulers by the USA, the Iraqi people will soon be free from Saddam's brutal repression of them by the US war machine and they will be able to enjoy freedom and the World will be safer because Iraq terrorist bases and chemical weapons will be destroyed.
     
  9. ColoradoFB

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    Not all anti-war people are anti-American. People still have a right to dissent in the country, but for how long, I wonder.
    ------------
    Sen. Robert Byrd: 'Today I Weep for My Country'
    By Thomas Ferraro

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The oldest voice in the U.S. Congress rose on Wednesday to denounce as misguided President Bush's march to war with Iraq.

    "Today I weep for my country," said West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd. "No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. ... Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

    "We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance," Byrd said, adding: "After war has ended the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe."

    "May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us," Byrd said.
     
  10. LadyEagle

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    Great post, Kiffin! [​IMG]
     
  11. Pennsylvania Jim

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    "Shooting the messenger" is a comomon propoganda tactic. I can appreciate both sides of this argument, but I am tired of people falling for the nonsense that those against the war are leftist radicals.

    There are of course the usual Hollywood idiots who are protesting the war. But, in the article cited at the top of the thread, the author states:

    "Let us suppose that President Bush, with whom the decision to attack Iraq rests, does constitute the proper, God-ordained civil authority prescribed in the just war philosophy, despite the Constitution’s demand that only Congress can declare war. Our Founding Fathers, including George Washington in his Farewell Address, declared with resounding clarity their opposition to non-commercial overseas entanglements, favored (or unfavored) commercial trading partners, and permanent treaties and alliances. They knew the history of humanity is replete with the rotting carcasses of world empires."

    Hardly the words of a leftist fanatic.

    From another article:

    "...Public outrage over the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks presented President George W. Bush with extraordinarily high levels of support for a war on terrorism. Opinion polls published over the past year, however, have repeatedly shown that the American public — across the political spectrum — is less than enthusiastic about going to war with Iraq. The administration has not convincingly made the case that the hidden hand behind the 9-11 assaults belonged to Saddam Hussein. Nor has it shown that Iraq is a greater menace than North Korea, which threatens our 40,000 troops in the area with weapons of mass destruction every bit as deadly as Saddam’s. Or a greater threat than Fidel Castro’s Cuba (which is closely allied with Iraq) only 90 miles from our shores. Or a greater threat than our new "allies" Russia and China. Nor has it shown the resolve to secure our borders against the tide of illegal aliens (including terrorists) swamping our shores, an absolutely essential requirement before we launch into any war.

    However, principled resistance by mainstream, patriotic Americans to the president’s war plans is visibly melting, as moderates and conservatives run to the bugle call to avoid being labeled "traitors." That is not the way for wise and courageous patriots — principled constitutionalists — to behave. Now, especially, is the time to heed Washington’s admonition that our "free Constitution" be "sacredly maintained..."

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2003/03-24-2003/vo19no06_patriotism.htm

    Anyway, the war's on, let's pray for our troops and leaders for a decisive positive victory with minimal bloodshed.
     
  12. LadyEagle

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    PA Jim, I normally agree with you on nearly everything. But here are a few comments, and excerpt from my emails to the DNC, Senator Byrd, and Senator Daschle:

    -----------------
    I have had many days weeping for our country.

    I wept the day the whole world knew about the president's genitals on the Internet & you refused to remove him from office! That was the day America lost respect in the eyes of the world & the day I left the Democrat Party.

    I wept the day I found out Bill Clinton allowed our technology & secrets to be sold to the Chinese.

    I wept the day the WTC was bombed in 1993 and Clinton did nothing.

    I wept the day our 2 embassies were bombed in Africa and Clinton did nothing.

    I wept the day the USS Cole was bombed and Clinton did nothing.

    I wept when I found out Osama bin Laden was offered to Clinton on a silver platter and he did nothing.

    I wept when I found out Clinton talked to world leaders from the oval office in the middle of having sex with a young intern.

    Tom Daschle needs to stop the rhetoric and Bush bashing, shut up, and support our troops. 2/3 of America agree with this war on Iraq, according to polls.

    Well, if Senator Daschle is so concerned about Homeland Security, why didn't he try to do something about it when he was majority leader - like put US military on our borders, reform our lax immigration laws (created by Ted Kennedy), deport ALL illegal aliens from our country, cancel student visas, travel visas, and work visas from countries on the State Dept. terrorist list?

    I continue to weep for our country. And every day, I weep for the brutal murder & slaughter of over 3500 unborn babies who are ripped from their mothers' wombs under the guise of "choice" - a mission of death endorsed by Democratic party leaders.
     
  13. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Well, the Republicans now control the House, Senate, and White House, so maybe you can put the handkerchiefs away.


    The babies will still be dying, though, and the growth of the federal government accelerates to a record pace. I'll still be weeping (literally). [​IMG]
     
  14. TheOliveBranch

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    There's a big difference between the slaughtering of the unborn in this country and the slaughtering of the Iraqian people. The unborn have people in this country trying to do something. In Iraq, nobody was doing anything about it. They need the help from outside the country.

    And what did the Democrats do under the Presidency of Clinton?
     
  15. Matt Black

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    I seem to be picking up here that there is something intrinsically wrong with being leftist. Why is this? Are we witnessing yet another example of cross-cultural differences?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Matt,

    Leftism generally attempts to place civil government in the role of God.

    - PA Jim
     
  17. Matt Black

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    Jim, not sure I understand what you mean by that comment. If the result of leftism is to achieve justice for the poor and a more equitable division of wealth, then surely that is a Good (and Godly) Thing?

    I don't particularly want to derail this thread so maybe ought to start one elsewhere although not sure which forum would be most appropriate- anyone (eg Mods) got any ideas?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  18. Jameslef

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    http://www.getusout.org/ </font>[/QUOTE]It should also be pointed out the part leaders of the United States played in the founding of the so called United Nations, and the headquarters for the so called United Nations is in New York.
     
  19. rsr

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    Matt, it's partly cross-cultural differences. Politically-conservative Christianity is much stronger here than where you are. And you also happen to be on a conservative BB. There are other Baptist boards that are more liberal.
     
  20. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Matt, try this:

    http://www.natreformassn.com

    Look under "Recently Published Articles", and click on "Government" by William Einwhchter.

    -Jim
     

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