Skip to comments.Just War — or a Just War?
Posted on 03/09/2003 4:57:11 AM PST by SJackson
ATLANTA 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.
As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards. This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology.
For a war to be just, it must meet several clearly defined criteria.
The war can be waged only as a last resort, with all nonviolent options exhausted. In the case of Iraq, it is obvious that clear alternatives to war exist. These options previously proposed by our own leaders and approved by the United Nations were outlined again by the Security Council on Friday. But now, with our own national security not directly threatened and despite the overwhelming opposition of most people and governments in the world, the United States seems determined to carry out military and diplomatic action that is almost unprecedented in the history of civilized nations. The first stage of our widely publicized war plan is to launch 3,000 bombs and missiles on a relatively defenseless Iraqi population within the first few hours of an invasion, with the purpose of so damaging and demoralizing the people that they will change their obnoxious leader, who will most likely be hidden and safe during the bombardment.
The war's weapons must discriminate between combatants and noncombatants. Extensive aerial bombardment, even with precise accuracy, inevitably results in "collateral damage." Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of American forces in the Persian Gulf, has expressed concern about many of the military targets being near hospitals, schools, mosques and private homes.
Its violence must be proportional to the injury we have suffered. Despite Saddam Hussein's other serious crimes, American efforts to tie Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been unconvincing.
The attackers must have legitimate authority sanctioned by the society they profess to represent. The unanimous vote of approval in the Security Council to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction can still be honored, but our announced goals are now to achieve regime change and to establish a Pax Americana in the region, perhaps occupying the ethnically divided country for as long as a decade. For these objectives, we do not have international authority. Other members of the Security Council have so far resisted the enormous economic and political influence that is being exerted from Washington, and we are faced with the possibility of either a failure to get the necessary votes or else a veto from Russia, France and China. Although Turkey may still be enticed into helping us by enormous financial rewards and partial future control of the Kurds and oil in northern Iraq, its democratic Parliament has at least added its voice to the worldwide expressions of concern.
The peace it establishes must be a clear improvement over what exists. Although there are visions of peace and democracy in Iraq, it is quite possible that the aftermath of a military invasion will destabilize the region and prompt terrorists to further jeopardize our security at home. Also, by defying overwhelming world opposition, the United States will undermine the United Nations as a viable institution for world peace.
What about America's world standing if we don't go to war after such a great deployment of military forces in the region? The heartfelt sympathy and friendship offered to America after the 9/11 attacks, even from formerly antagonistic regimes, has been largely dissipated; increasingly unilateral and domineering policies have brought international trust in our country to its lowest level in memory. American stature will surely decline further if we launch a war in clear defiance of the United Nations. But to use the presence and threat of our military power to force Iraq's compliance with all United Nations resolutions with war as a final option will enhance our status as a champion of peace and justice.
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, is chairman of the Carter Center in Atlanta and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
Hhhmmmm, let me see....bloody tyrant victimizing his people, or free Iraqis holding an election to determine their leadership.....gosh, I'll have to think about that.....tough choice....
JIMMY, YOU DAMN LIAR!!! You know very well we are not targeting civilians!
Jimmy "the most incompetent POTUS this nation has seen" Carter.
Jimmah, ah finely figgered out whut ails you. Yo momma wanted penis, an' yo dadduh thowt she said " peanuts".
Whut they got wuz jes nuts .
i personally do not believe jimmy carter exists or ever existed. i think that the person believed by many to be carter is actually ramsey clark in a not-very-good rubber mask.
Carter and his dove friends insist this war can only be just if Iraq is tied to 9/11. What they don't get is Hussein's hatred of the U.S. makes it a certainty he will trade with terrorist groups who are ready and able to launch an attack on the U.S. Carter always was a dim bulb.
As some know, I have been skeptical of the Iraq invasion--as I believe all people should be about all invasions. But, really, the quality of "thought" for the opposition is as much an argument FOR the war as any put forth by the administration. What alternatives would Carter have us pursue? Unilateral surrender? Ceding Israel to Saddam?
The antiwar people are much more effective when they shut up, rather than when they display their stupidity by letting us hear their "thought" processes.
unless one looks here.
These commitments have been predicated on basic religious principles, respect for international law, and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint.
When you get your premise wrong, there is not much left of your conclusions. These international commitments were predicated on shared interests in countering the globalistic goals of communism who were the international thugs of the day. A decision to arm yourself so heavily that in 15 minutes you could destroy civilization as we know it is hardly what I would call restraint. A decision not to engage in mutual suicide is hardly what one would call restraint. It is called self-preservation - which was the whole point of MAD in the first place.
"As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises... and, having peanuts for both brains and 'nads, it took Ronald Reagan's huevos muy grandes to save this great nation.
Big deal that Al-Q people are in Iraq, arent our people in unfriendly countries and other nations people in unfriendly countries seeking refuge under suspicious circumstances, i.e temp shelter from the law or that nations porous borders, etc..
I have too many things to accomplish this Sunday to get into the details. Just dont believe everything this admin says or claims, or you may end up being a clone.
Given the foreign policy track record of jiminy-the-peanut-cricket, one must apply a "Jimmy Carter speak" common sense decipher.
If jiminy-the-peanut-cricket is opposed, we must support.
If jiminy-the-peanut-cricket supports, we must oppose.