‘It’s a situation where every decision is agonizing.’ A conversation with Michael Walzer, the author of ‘Just and Unjust Wars.’
Sounds more like a utopian fantasist to me, not dealing with reality. Why do soldiers from the good side have to.put their own lives at risk or minimize the chances for their success or have to placate bedroom warriors who don t have their lives on the line. Even more so when you are fighting against a vile and reprehensible enemy. His views sound good on the pages of a book, but not in reality. Evil is done, you take care of it!!
I don’t subscribe to Just War theory.
All war is stupid, violent, brutal, horrific, miserable, stinky, bloody, and hateful.
Some wars are necessary, but that doesn’t make them “just”.
I believe the state of Israel is fighting a necessary war.
“But the more civilians you kill, the more likely you are to lose the political war that always goes along with the military war”
As it turns out, you don’t even have to kill civilians. The enemy can blow up a "hospital", kill "500" "innocents" and the propagandists i.e., NYT, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC…will immediately do their best to ensure you lose the political war.
A total fallacy. This whole concept of proportional response and morally just wars is how we get ourselves into forever wars. Its how we lost our recent wars. It’s like fighting a boxing match with 3 limbs tied up. Of course your gonna lose.
No wars are just. We won WWII by firebombing Dresden and nuking two Japanese Cities. We didn’t win these wars by avoiding civilian casualties. We won, so we got to write the history books. Did we have moral license to kill so many civilians? The only license we had was they did it first. We attacked them in response to them attacking us. A defensive war is always justified. That’s the only moral license Israel needs.
Here's the best quote from the article, which is, by the way, from a third person point of view: " There has always been left antisemitism. August Bebel, the German Social Democrat, called it the “socialism of fools.”" Perfectly characterizes The Squad!
I used to always go what was formerly known as The Paper Of Record for such thoughtful - and far more importantly, even-handed, analysis, but no more. As of today, in my house, The Free Press will be officially known as The Paper Of Record. My how the mighty have fallen ....
If Hamas uses human shields, they are responsible for any civilian deaths that occur. If the human shields go willingly to make Israeli attacks difficult, they become combatants and are not considered civilian casualties. We are discussing a war between someone who deliberately attacks civilians and uses civilians for cover and someone who does neither, it is easy to see who is fighting a just war justly.
"Just war" theory is a luxury belief in that it is a theory espoused by people who get to signal their 'righteousness' but do not have to bear the costs. Every society should seek to live at peace with their neighbors, but if a neighbor violates that peace they should know that the response will be unrestrained violence. If Hamas knew that hiding behind civilians was not going to curtail Israel's response to their terrorism, they wouldn't do it. Paradoxically, espousing a luxury belief like 'just war' theory leads to more violence and more death, not less.
This was a good conversation, but I'm disturbed by the implication that what concerns us is whether "the world" will be better of if Israel fights Hamas. It's like the constant talk of how this will affect the prospects of Palestinian statehood.
You know what? It's sufficient that Israel be better off for fighting Hamas, and the Palestinians -- not just Hamas, let's be real -- have a lot to answer for, so whether this serves them or not shouldn't be our focus.
"What Makes a War Just?"
I suppose everyone has their own definition of a just war, but the last one pretty much everyone agrees fits the definition was WWII. In that war, as in every war, more civilians died than combatants. They include about 4,200,000 German civilians and about 1,972,000 Japanese civilians. The devastation required for both countries to accept unconditional surrender is beyond most civilized people’s comprehension. Yet it was accepted because the death and devastation that would have ensued had it not been achieved was even more incomprehensible.
To win the peace and dissuade the losers from precipitating another war, both countries were basically occupied by democracies so the moral rot they had been infected with could be mostly excised. Germany and Japan have prospered as a result. History doesn’t always repeat itself. Sometimes it should.
Call in the artillery strike. To do otherwise is making the statement that the lives of the soldiers are disposable so the armchair quarterbacks can feel some sort of twisted moral superiority. The Hamas terrorists must be hunted down and finished.
The idea of "just" and "unjust"wars sets up a spurious opposition in the first place -- there are only necessary or unnecessary wars. A necessary war, it should go without saying, should be fought as decently as reasonably possible, trying to minimize death and destruction for soldiers and civilians alike, and an unnecessary war, of course, shouldn't be fought at all. But incurring serious risks to one's own soldiers or one's general objectives are not reasonable. You need to win the war before you even have a chance at peace.
Informative and levelheaded.
It is so easy to sit back in your comfortable chair and discuss war strategy and tactics over coffee and doughnuts. It must be quite different when you are in the midst of a battle where your own life and the lives of your comrades are at risk. Let the philosophers pick up a weapon and march into battle. Then let's hear their views on the rules of engagement.
If you have a tumor, you remove it. To do otherwise is essentially prolonging the inevitable. You don’t take half of it out, you don’t take 90% of it out, you take it all out. You still might lose in the end, but you did your best for the greater good.
Hamas is that tumor that keeps on coming back. Clearly, doing it piecemeal hasn’t worked in 18 years.
I asked my wife how many more Jews have to die before this is solved. She started giving me a long-winded answer, and so I interrupted. The answer is zero, I told her.
And consider: even the best chemotherapy and radiation therapy have collateral damage to good tissue. You need to make sure the tumor doesn’t come back.
The original concept of "just war" comes from the Church and was developed at a time when wars of Conquest or for national honor or prestige were still considered acceptable in Christendom. Today as others have pointed out there are only necessary and unnecessary wars. If a necessary war fails to achieve its necessary and legitimate aims because of a refusal to use tactics that might lead to casualties then this in itself is unjust because lives will be risked and lost and the necessary goal not achieved. We all agree that the best efforts possible should be made to avoid unnecessary deaths. But the goal must be met.