TCS Daily


Just War for the Sake of Argument

By Stephen Bainbridge - July 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Last week, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano announced that the Holy See condemned "both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other," arguing that Israel's right to self-defense "does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations." "In particular,' Sodano added, "the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation."

The Vatican statement triggered a hostile reaction from popular blogger (and Catholic) Ed Morrissey:

"The Vatican has the same fallacious notion that a nation attacked in an act of war should only respond in proportion to the original attack. Unfortunately for the dreamers at the Vatican, nations do not fight wars in that manner unless they want to lose them. When one nation attacks another, the path to victory comes with an application of overwhelming force, the kind of attack that strips the antagonist of any ability to wage war."

Let's assume for sake of argument that Hezbollah's attack on Israel was an act of war, as my fellow TCS columnists Peter Pham and Michael Krauss argued last week. Even so, Israel is still bound by the moral and legal obligations of the just war doctrine.

As Catholics, Morrissey and I are bound to evaluate Vatican pronouncements in this area under the just war standard. Paragraph 2309 of the Catechism states that war is proper only when:

  • 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 modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

Although Catholic scholars and theologians have thus made valuable contributions to the just war tradition down through the centuries, the principles of that doctrine apply to everyone, not just Catholics. Just war is a part of both the natural law and the positive international law. Hence, the Vatican is quite correct in holding Israel to the standards of just war.

Kidnapping two soldiers arguably is not a sufficiently grave offense to satisfy the first prong. Likewise, Israel's immediate resort to force may not satisfy the second. Yet, as Morrissey points out, If Israel had not responded with force, we might well have seen an "unending tit-for-tat volley that favors the smaller forces; it's the perfect recipe for asymmetrical warfare. Instead of limiting the damage, it guarantees that low-level war will continue indefinitely, killing and maiming people for decades." Accordingly, for the sake of argument, I'll assume that the conditions set forth by just war doctrine for initiating combat are satisfied.

The Need for Proportionality

Even so, Israel also remains bound by the fourth condition -- namely, the need for proportionality. Morrissey's statement that war justifies "an application of overwhelming force, the kind of attack that strips the antagonist of any ability to wage war," flies in the face of centuries of just war tradition.

So, for that matter, does the facially more measured analysis offered by Peter Pham & Michael Krauss in their latest TCS column:

"With respect to the jus in bello, or justice in war, proportionality means that the amount and type of force used must be such that unjust consequences do not exceed the legitimate objectives. Compliance with this principle requires an affirmative answer to the question: "If I take this military action, will more good than harm result from it?" To this equation, one must not forget -- as the critics tend to -- the many lives that will be protected by acting vigorously and decisively against the aggressor. Our response to Taliban-launched mayhem in America, massive military responses against an unrelenting and fanatical aggressor in Afghanistan, was proportionate."

Pham and Krauss' effort to turn just war theory into a gross cost-benefit analysis obscures several pertinent points. The proportionality prong of jus in bello requires that belligerents attain their legitimate military objectives with no greater use of force than is militarily justified and avoid disproportionate collateral damage to civilian life and property. In particular, civilians not be the object of direct attacks and that belligerents must take due care to avoid and minimize indirect harm to civilians.

The US Catholic Council of Bishops has specifically argued that "the targeting of civilian infrastructure, which afflicts ordinary citizens long after hostilities have ceased, can amount to making war on noncombatants rather than against opposing armies." It isn't just ivory tower academicians or left-leaning churchmen who take this view. In a 2001 issue of the US my War College's Parameters journal, for example, Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum raised doubts about whether NATO complied with just war doctrines in deliberately targeting Serbia's civilian infrastructure during the 1999 bombing campaign.

Neither Morrissey nor Pham and Krauss acknowledge these restrictions, which leaves their arguments both morally and legally suspect.

An Historical Parallel

The current war is not the first time that some have sought to loosen the strictures of just war theory so as to permit "massive military responses" or "application of overwhelming force," of course. Indeed, there is a direct historical parallel between the arguments made by commentators such as Morrissey's or Pham and Krauss and the moral justifications offered for strategic bombing during World War II.

Historian and pundit Niall Ferguson writes that:

"... the destruction caused by the British and American air forces in their bombing campaigns against civilian populations in Germany and Japan is hardly something we can look back on with pride. Hamburg was destroyed in a firestorm code-named Operation Gomorrah; about 45,000 people died. Similar numbers perished when Dresden was bombed. Tokyo was literally incinerated in a raid that killed between 83,000 and 100,000 people -- maybe more.

Such bombing was precisely what the U.S. State Department had denounced as "unwarranted and contrary to principles of law and humanity" in 1937, when the Japanese bombed Chinese cities. And it was precisely what Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill's predecessor as prime minister, had dismissed as "mere terrorism," to which "His Majesty's government [would] never resort.""

Indeed, the so-called greatest generation had doubts about the morality of the strategic bombing campaign even in the midst of the war. The British denied Bomber Harris a peerage in 1946 (although they did offer him one in 1951, which he refused), even though they gave peerages to virtually all of the UK's other major World War II commanders at that time. Bomber Command did not get a separate campaign medal. And so on.

It now seems obvious, and should have been apparent than that the strategic bombing campaign violated the precepts of a just war. In particular, it violated the tenets of proportionality and discrimination. Proportionality holds that the response to aggression should not be disproportionate to the original aggression. Was the deliberate firebombing of Dresden or Hamburg, say, proportional to the Blitz? As for discrimination, there is no doubt that Bomber Harris and his US counterparts deliberately targeted German and Japanese citizens.

Waging a Just War Justly

While the Israelis have not yet resorted to carpet bombing of the Bomber Harris type, neither has their operation been as surgical as Pham and Krauss' column would have one believe. Pham and Krauss contend that:

"The Jewish state's counterattack, focused on targets such as Hezbollah TV and radio studios, and the infrastructure (airports, bridges, highways) used by Hezbollah to wage war, has been absolutely classical."

In fact, however, Israel clearly is targeting not just Hezbollah, but also Lebanon's official military, and, most important for our purposes, Lebanon's basic civilian infrastructure. The Beirut airport has been closed by Israeli attacks. Bridges, ports, roads, and power stations are all being targeted. As this column was being written, more than 100 civilian fatalities -- including some citizens of neutral countries, most notably Canada -- already had been reported. More surely will have occurred before this column is published.

In short, even a just war must be waged justly. Israel is entitled to defend itself, but is not entitled to do so disproportionately or to wage war on civilians. Yet, that is precisely what Israel appears to be on the brink of doing.

Steve Bainbridge is a Professor of Law at UCLA. He writes two popular blogs: ProfessorBainbridge.com and ProfessorBainbridgeOnWine.com.

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217 Comments

Time to update the theory then.
It now looks like Lebanon came pre-optimized to test the bounds of the theory. It has an army of irregulars, funded and well supplied by foreign nations, making incursions into a neighboring nation and lobbing explosives at civilians inside that nation. The irregulars' supply lines just happens to be the main highway to another nation, a.k.a. national infrastructure. The irregulars have a political party, with representation in the parliament and in the cabinet. The irregulars hide themselves, their weapons, and the political apparatus within the population. And Israel is supposed to do nothing for fear that a Vatican now led by a guy who might have had a "Nazi Problem" in his early days would criticize them. What's next? Will Pat Buchanan come out and hand wring over Israel's destruction of Lebanese infrastructure? Oh wait, he was already on MSNBC waving the flag for closet anti-Semites across the land.

Maybe if we update the theory to say that if you're a civilian and someone parks a rocket launcher on your front lawn and you do nothing about it (i.e. kill the perp, call the authorities, or get the hell out), you lose the expectation of being treated as a civilian when they **** off a potent enemy. All the tourists in Lebanon seem to be able to call Bill O'Reilly on a whim. You'd think some innocent Shiite mother in South Lebanon could call up Kofi Annan and get some help having a missile launcher moved to another neighborhood.

It is ridiculous that this is even open to debate. If Hezbollah or Syria or Iran or al Queda could lob rockets over here, they'd be doing it, and we wouldn't spend 20 seconds trying to figure out how to deal with it proportionally. I bet we wouldn't be on our loud speakers telling everyone to get out before we level the places that launch, transport, and manufacture the weapons.

British attacks against Colonists unjust.?
It is too bad the Vatican, historically a moral leader in the world, cannot make a moral judgement as to what is good and what is evil.

Just one simple question needs to be asked, would you rather live in an Israel at peace or in a Muslim theocracy at peace?

The former Pope understood tyranny.

Let's have a UN war committee decide appropriate response?
An excellent article by the author. My proposal for a solution to decide what is "just war" standards of response is to have a UN committee on "Just War" response set-up, possibly modelled on the new membership of the UN Human rights council (2009 members; Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia..). This UN group would make the final decision on ALL bombing targets, ground attacks, etc. to determine what is and is not a proportionate response.

I agree that we should ignore the history of mankind where the side that overwhelmingly wins a war effectively ends the hostilities for a good long time. I'm sure Europe and Asia would be a better and safer place today if the Allies would have agreed to a ceasefire during WWII with Germany and Japan leaving Hitler and Hirohito in charge instead of trying to overwhelmingly trying to kill as many of our enemy as possible.

proportial
This ridiculous concept of proportial response/war etc. is just more nonsense made up by post-modern pacifists. As usual they're in a dream world of no more wars. They're the same guys who say that "nothing gets solved by war". Some of these idiots, on this forum too, even say that the israelis should adopt a mohatma ghandi stance, unilateral disarmament, then the islamo-facists will love them and live at peace. I think that Roy Bean(formerly Michael) is one of them. In fact I don't even think that these sissy liberals even do advocate prop. response. For example, the other day i was talking to a guy who had that position. We I told him them if he agree that if the terrorists have lobbed about 1k rockets already into israel, would you agree that it's OK for israel to lob 1k of their rockets back? the same amount, thus proportional? Oh no, we don't mean that either. !!!

Why exactly does anyone care what the Vatican thinks about this?
First of all, thanks for the input, Vatican. Now go play behind your little walls.

Second, I am just going to say this: I fully and completely believe that there is no way a tiny minority of terrorists can operate with impunity among the general population without either tacit or explicit approval and cooperation with said general population. As stated by an earlier poster, this is not a 'regular army' we are talking about here. These terrorists place themselves among people who are all-too-willing to have them there.

In my mind, this makes them no better than the German populace who turned their heads the other way as trainloads of human beings were transported right by them and into the incinerators. They were not innocent.

And neither are these populations of arabs who allow these terrorists to exist and operate among them. And if they somehow thought that they would be safe because of their civilian status, then they are finding out that they are sorely mistaken. If they mistakenly believed that the terrorists would not be targeted, then they should have known better.

The terrorists and those who shelter and support them are nothiing but blights upon the face of the planet, and deserve absolutely nothing but complete obliteration. There is no such thing as a 'just war' either TO them or FOR them.

Lastly - I am sorry, but I cannot sympathize with the terrorist aggressors for starting something they shouldn't have, and who are now getting their a$$es kicked, and causing collateral harm to those around them. The aggressor loses all rights. They were stupid enough to attack a far superior enemy, and they deserve everything they have coming in retaliation.

The only obligation Israel has is to the safety of its own people under threat of constant attack and harm. And we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here. I have said it before: Islam is incompatible with a non-islamic world. It has no place among the rest of humanity. Barring the relocation of every muslim to an island or to another planet, it will continue to endanger every non-islamic group of people in the world until it either takes over completely or is completely wiped out.

The only question, either way, is how long it is going to take.

MSM applicant BoscoH
"And Israel is supposed to do nothing for fear that a Vatican now led by a guy who might have had a "Nazi Problem"


This "question" was raised by the MSM in one of their scripted collective "gotchas" during and immediately after the election of this pope-even they couldn't get any traction in their attempted character assasination. The Pope was a teenager when WW2 was occurring, his participation in the German youth apparatus was apparently unenthusiastic and short. There is nothing in the entire career of this man to suggest ANY sympathy with Naziism or any antisemitic feeling.

Try a new argument.

Your free to disagree with "just war" or the determination that the conflict in question does not meet the criteria, with reasonable and coherent argument.


Nice to see the Klan lives
Wesley.

If you want to defeat Islamic Fascism..
Have kids. The ascendancy of Islam is a demographic issue. Once source said in the next few years 40% of the young (assuming under 40?) will be from Islamic countries in a very few years.

Had the West not embraced Malthus, Sanger and other pied piper death merchants, this wouldn't be a question.

Do you understand the big picture...no.
Islam declared this war on the non-islamic world centuries ago with the birth of mohammed and his devil worshipping cult.
Islmists twice attacked the WTC and were successful on the 2nd attempt.
In all islamic nations Christianity and all other religions are banned and outlawed.
In all western and other civilized nations islam is allowed to grow unimpeded and build mosques every month with assistance from the government.
Islam disrespects and enslaves women--do you see how miserable their women look in public? Not exactly the look of happiness-and they HAVE to walk several steps behind the man. GREAT AND TOLERANT RELIGION.
Islam is the only relgion where the nations still today allow open slavery and exploitation of women and minorities.
Islam is the only religion where you can be executed for leaving islam. Did you conveniently forget the poor Afghan threatened with execution and had to run to Italy?
Forget the KKK comments. Islam makes the KKK look like a small political group. Islam needs to be at least contained in their own ancestral homelands and removed from the western world.
I love kids, but please I dont want to be forced into an insane breeding program just to make sure they dont outvote me in future generations and impose Sharia law in the USA.
I wish I could give you or borrow my copy of "The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam" but you can get one from your local bookstore.
Wesley was right.

Proportionality has a LONG way to go
I have to say that the Palestinians and other 'Arab' nationalists have been doing a much better job of airing their 'grievances' than the Israelis. I'm not sure why, but there has been a whitewashing of the indiscriminate DAILY BOMBING OF ISRAELI CIVILIANS (both with suicide bombers/murderers, and with rockets) - this has been going on for YEARS!

Just this morning, NPR reported that "several dozen" (why is it reduced to this, instead of an impacting (no pun intended) 48, or 60 or 96) rockets landed in Israel, but we're hearing about how the Lebanese people are hurt (I recognize the ~100 dead civilians) by infrastructure being lost, and how what the Israelis are doing is unconscionable.

When thousands of rockets rain down, year after year, and terrorist/murderers blow themselves up in crowded civilian areas, the government has a responsibility to eliminate the threat. I do not recall ever having heard that military targets are targeted within Israel, nor do I recall ever hearing that Israel places any within populated civilian areas to protect them. Ask the Israelis how many civilians (both Israeli and international) have been murdered by Hamas and Hezbollah over the past year; 5 years ; 10 years...etc.. The numbers do not approach equilibrium.

We are not talking about an issue of 'proportionality', we are talking about an issue of removing an international threat to sovereign nations, permitted to operate under the umbrella of other sovereign nations.

On another note, I never realized that the catechism (sp?) also included rules of war. As a Jew who has read the New Testament, Koran, etc, I'll have to pull a copy of the Catechism for a read (my wife loves it when I read these in bed at night!)..

Thanks,

Matt

Wouldn't be a question?
It's true that Old Europe has been trying to 'abstain' itself to death, and has been doing a pretty good job of it. And the United States (at least 'actual American Citizen' variety) has been holding about even. Having a lot of children is a culture's hedge against high mortality rates. Once the civilized attained a level of comfort, peace, prosperity and better health, having so many children became counter-productive.

But now it's become a matter of pure survival. In 50 years, unless something changes, Europe will be little more than a conglomeration of islamic countries.


Funny though, that you would seek to ascribe the 'klan' term to *me*, when it is you who introduce this as a racial issue. I merely point out the obvious fact that the islamic religion is incapable of tolerating non-islamic nations or religions, at least as anything other than eventual prey.

In any case, your assertion that if the West had only continued to have children at a breakneck pace that islamic fascist intrusion into every corner of the globe 'wouldn't be a question' denies the basic fact that islam cares not for the size or power of its enemy. Why should it, since 'Allah' has ordained that the world must eventually be brought entirely under islamic rule? The demographic war is merely a waiting game. We could have been racing against them, population-wise, filling the world to its seams with people, merely trying to outrun the explosive growth within the islamic cultures, but that is merely a race with both sides speeding off a cliff.

But it doesn't matter. You cannot 'fight' with a suicidal enemy who fully desires to kill both himself and his enemy. All you can do is kill him, and all who partake in the same poisoned mindset.

Israel is the one nation which has always understood this, at least for the last 50+ years or so (notwithstanding the last few years where they brilliantly forgot their lessons and tried the Neville Chamberlain/Jimmy Carter appeasement approach).

As I said, this is not a racial issue, as you make it out to be. This is an issue of ideology, of religion. Arabs have as much place in the world as anyone. After all, there was no such thing as islam until mohammed sat in his little cave and dreamed it all up 1400 years ago. Prior to that, they were hardly different from any of the other middle-eastern/african/asian cultures.

The real problem is not their explosive population growth. In historical terms, that phenomenon is like a wildfire, and should blow itself out. There is no way that region could support that kind of growth, their economies could never sustain it. The problem is, of coursem that so many of their nations happen to be sitting on some of the world's most readily-available oil reserves, and therefore they are able to sustain themselves artificially through the constant and large infusions of capital as a result of the stuff they dig from the ground.

But that won't last. Eventually the rest of the world will get fed up with supporting them, their cash sources will dry up, and those nations will collapse upon themselves. The rest of the world will either develop fuel sources other than petroleum, or, more likely, they will simply finally decide to stop being held hostage by socialist environmentalists who seek to prevent any and all new fuel sources from being exploited, ever.

I am curious, though, how any of that relates in your mind to a 19th-century movement in the American South meant to try to keep newly-freed Blacks from voting.

Just War and Proportionality
Steve Bainbridge's and the Vatican's general theoretical point is both uncontroversial and largely vacuous. They heart of the question in the application of the principles. The general principle is that to the extent that we view neutral or even enemy populations as human beings entitled to just treatment we can not deal with them as though they were mere vermin when we go to war. That said, the degree of violence and indiscriminateness of one's response is properly a question of circumstances. The obligation of nations in this case is not fundamentally different than the obligation of individuals, indeed the former is derived from the latter. So let us look at a concrete illustration to determine what is permitted and required.

You are walking by a crowd of people with your family armed with a rifle and shotgun and someone hurls an insult at your family, are you justified in firing with your shotgun into the crowd? Of course not. What if you can single out the person shouting the insults may you use your rifle? Still no, it is disproportionate. But now, let us transform the insult into hand grenades. If you can single out the perpetrator you are permitted to employ your rifle (if you have one) but may employ your shotgun if that is all you have. And if you can't single out the individual lobbing the grenades you are permitted to use your shotgun though it may kill and injure innocents.

So too, with Israel, leaving aside how innocent the Shiite 'civillians' are, Israel's first duty is to protect its citizens. Given that its enemies do not present themselves on a clean battlefield they must (indeed should) employ shotguns. It is a justifiable use of force, and if innocents are killed, using the analogy of criminal law it is excusable homicide.

Indeed it has long been my position that Israel's error over the years has been a lack of proportionality in the opposite direction. They have been far too concerned with protecting the lives of enemy civillians and this has emboldened their enemies. There is film of Palestinian gunmen grabbing Arab children to use as shields knowing that Israelis are very reluctant to fire on them in those circumstances.

There is nothing magical about the status of civillians. Even were the civillians in question not supporters of your enemy they are not to be given greater protection than your own people. In this case of course the Muslim Arab population (in Lebanon the Shiites in particular) are active supporters of Israel's enemy--they voted for them.

Lloyd Cohen
Professor of Law
George Mason University

Re: Moral authority of the Vatican
"Your free to disagree with 'just war' or the determination that the conflict in question does not meet the criteria, with reasonable and coherent argument."

It's also reasonable to question the moral authority of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, especially when it comes to matters involving Israel. I do not think we have to rehash the long history of Vatican anti-Semitism. Nor do I think we have to rehash the overly vocal nature of the Vatican when it comes to recent knee-jerk support of the Palestinians. Many reasonable people see it as continuing a fine tradition. At best, the Vatican is an enabler of this whole mess.

Only idiots take this pope or proportionality in war seriously
This pope is not John Paul, he seems not able to polish John Paul’s throne.
This pope has declared its church a 5th column in the USA, encouraging its priests and laity to break US law, an act of war if you ask me.

The Catholic church needs it tax exempt status removed and its priests & employees registered as agents of a foreign government, if you are catholic and don’t like this, perhaps you should move to the principality of the Vatican.

As for proportionality in war, get serious, this is a defeatist meme generated by enemies of the western culture.

Something NOT discussed because of the poison of political correctness are the cultures of Japan and Germany and S Korea before and after the annexing phase that left them able to change to our way of thinking & life.

Germany and Japan were both bombed and burned to the ground as noted in this article, N Korea was also by the Japanese, so we didn’t have to “reduce” them.

That these cultures were “reduced”, meant they could adsorb our ways successfully.

The reason Iraq is having so much trouble adsorbing our ways is they were NOT crushed to level even they could not stand.

When the MSM moonbats crooned “the enemy troops are just melting away” I put my head in my hands and cried, I foresaw ALL of this Iraqi mess in the 10 seconds after that remark by the news caster. If the B52s had been flown over the republican guards, this pacification of Iraq would be over and successful already. Iraq would be on its way to becoming a new S Korea or Germany economically.

Proportionality in war be damned, and anyone that proposes it be damned as well for a fool that CANT learn or 5th columnist.

Let's keep it simple!
Your a family of 3 children. Which one of your kids would you give up, for peace. Israel Jews feel their extinction, losing this battle, feels the end of Israel and the Jewish culture. 5766 years of collective consciousness, every child, 19 year old soldier, is valuable, there are only 13 million Jews in the entire world, 7 million in Israel, and they feel collective extermination, remember the mantra, Never Again, keep it simple, which one of yours would you sacrifice. Jews don't have or encourage children as suicide bombers, children are valuable, and need protection, not used as weapons for Jihad. Israel is fighting for it's life, help by getting out of the way!

More from the Klan-Move to China, you'll love gov't control there.
The Catholic church needs it tax exempt status removed and its priests & employees registered as agents of a foreign government, if you are catholic and don’t like this, perhaps you should move to the principality of the Vatican.


This was tired when it was more popular, peddled by petty tyrants who, when they weren't bashing Catholics, were hating jews and lynchin' them uppity n******s.

if you want the government banning relligions it/you don't like-try moving to China. Any fourth grader knows that argument is unconstitutional under the establishment clause-apparently you haven't gotten that far. Yeah, like we need the IRS with more power.

Uh-Huh!
As a Catholic, I say HORSESHIT!!! Sodano should stay where he belongs --- in prayer for those who have been killed by Hezbollah. He lives in the sheltered world of the Church and, like virtually all bishops, knows nothing about reality --- only theology.

That is what islam does--why dont you criticize them?
1. Why dont we remove tax exempt status from all mosques?
They are the ones doing all the killing. When has a Christian killed anybody lately?
2.I dont have to move to China. I am not trying to convert anyone or anywhere by point of gun or dull, rusty sword.
3. Why does islam ban all religions except its own. Look at Saudi, Kuwait, Iran, Oman. Should we not learn from our wise enemies?
4. Why are we allowing muslims to use our Bill of Rights and freedoms here in the western world that they deny to non-muslims in their own natins? Is not that ultimate hypocrisy? "I want to practice islam here in your nation, but you can not practice Christianity in my homeland." Oh yes, great and fair philosophy.
5. I believe it is high time to ban islam and to be the first and last religion to be outlawed in the USA. It needs to be reclassified as a hostile, political organization bent on overthrowing every, non-islmamic nation in the world.
Need I say more?

Yes, you Imperial Wizard
First of all, thanks for the input, Vatican. Now go play behind your little walls.

Your comments don't make a focused, coherent or persuasive argument. If you can't tell your a bigot -here's news- you are. Your line is vacant, dismissive and very representative of the "persisent prejudice".

Funny though, that you would seek to ascribe the 'klan' term to *me*, when it is you who introduce this as a racial issue.

Wesley try to think logically, instead of swerving off in to brainwashed and braindead, prejudice masquerading as enlightment, PC BS. However, you deserve a little compassion, so here it is-NOT ONCE once did I mention race. Let me repeat again, NOT ONCE once did I mention race. There's no racial element in my argument at all to this. Islamic terrorists don't give a rat's behind what color the infidel is, infidels should die- which is why they slit black throats. However the Bosniam muslims I knew weren't exactly always welcomed by their Arab coreligionists.

It might come as a suprise to you but Islam has adherents in all ethicities and races. Everywhere it goes, it speads misery, but its key strengths are the simplicity that spawns millenia old absolutist imperialism and a normal birth rate. My criticism is of the "west" which thought it could contracept itself to prospertity and power. As the late great Julian Simon once note people are the ultimate resource.

Because
If we repeat to ourselves "great religion of peace" and click our ruby red slippers three times-it will happen, Scarecrow. Oh Aunty Em!

Funny too, how city (public) speakers in Michigan can Muslims to prayer in Michigan (not a peep from the AntiChristian Legal Agitators) or require schoolm kids to study Islam under the rubrics of "diversity"-same defeaning silence from the ACLU.

You're outta line superheater
If you disagree that's your business but to flaunt the KKK is what one expects of Eric or Roy. The Vatican is out of line. It offers no solutions to the threat of Islamofacism. The idea that you out breed your enemy makes China and India the world's dominant powers followed by Indonesia?

You ought to visit Mexico to see the next up and comer. Islam can only exist by focusing its hatred on others because it has nothing it produces the world wants; it has no world class universities; has contributed nothing to society in centuries; its cultural impact is zilch. It is a cancer on mankind.

If you disagree state your position but leave the Eric-troll tactics alone, its unworthy of you.

too bad you're so fixated on the clan
perhaps some pointy headed clan master was your daddy?

the only thing Ive read from you on this site is incessent race baiting, perhaps youd just like to go to yahoo boards where freaks like you generaly play.

I will NEVER answer one of your posts again so dont bother replying to this.

Are you anti-muslim or pro-muslim.
Now you sound like you are both. That is not good to an outside observer. I am strongly anti-muslim as all those lovers of life and tolerance hate non-muslims. Pick 1 side and stop dancing on the top. Those muslims may throw an extra katyusha rocket as they are doing in Haifa.

Islam Is a political movement masquerading as a religion
that in its self is grounds for removal of religious status.

Islam is a fanatical, fascist political movement that in reality is simple patriarcal tribalism and pro-slavery.

My remarks about the catholic church are based on its repeated shielding of criminals within its organisation AND the recent decision made by the Vatican to help move more illegal alliens into the USA simply to fill the coffers of the church. Mexicans tith more when they work here in the USA.

In my opinion, the catholic church in America IS an agent of a foriegn government, one with aims that are NOT compatible with the laws of the USA.

I not how the Islamofacists treated Christian holy sites in the Holy Land
When terrorists occupied various sacred sites in the Holy Land they did all they could to despoil and disrespect them. One notes that the Vatican's policies were very effective in defending these sites. Given the Vatican's record on preventing wars and defending its followers, the Vaticans should stick to trying to redeem the souls of its followers. Going to war with the Vatican is about as useful as going to war with the French as allies.

Relpy to Critics
A note for the critics: If you're right, why not just adopt what those of us who grew up in the Army back during Vietnam used to hear called the Westmoreland solution for ending the war: Put all the friendlies in boats out in the South China Sea. Nuke Vietnam into a parking lot. Sink the boats. No more war. Of course, no Vietnamese either.

Either you believe a just war should be fought ethically or you don't. Hezbollah doesn't. Do you really want to descend to their ethical level?

So nuking Hiroshima put us on the same level as Tojo
Or fire bombing German cities en masse made us the same as Hitler?

Talk about trite and banal. I think the last words the leaders of Troy uttered before being overwhelmed must have been "don't over react."

If we dont wage war as these muslim attackers....
than we will be guaranteed to lose. Tell me, where is the prison for westerners that they take hostage?
Do you think they believe in the Geneva Convention?
We can not fight with 1 hand tied and 1 ballito removed. We must wage war with all our might to a successful conclusion.
Remember, we did not start it. We only need to finish it.

what happens to your "just war" theory when it means you will lose?
perhaps its time to fight fire with fire.

We are the superior culture, we live easy lives here at home. We cannot tolerate an equal living standard with our enemy, thus proportionality is ridicules unless you want to live like them with flies running across your children’s faces.

Islam is known for elevating psychopaths to positions of military power, its their culture. This is how Islam refuses to allow reformation, no Martin Luther’s allowed. They are killed by psychopaths looking for power in the mosque. Proportional warfare to them is simply a stupid mistake on their enemies part, its something they would NEVER make the mistake of doing.

If a person wages war with any other thought in his head other then winning, he should be removed from power. nothing creates more of a mess, more human suffering then a half-hearted war.

read your Machiavelli. take it to heart. it works.

Ridiculous
Nobody is arguing for that. At a minimum here, nobody arguing against your position would sink the boats. Several of us are arguing that if the ethics of war prevent us (and I include Israel in Western Civilization) from winning because those ethics are being callously exploited (not just ignored) by an enemy, we need to reevaluate the ethics. I'm happy to take you at your word that Israel might be straying from traditional ethics of war. Those ethics do not cover this situation. And we have seen the "ethics" of war evolve considerably with time and technology. 230 years ago, it was unethical to not line up in opposite colors and face the enemy on the battlefield. We seem to have survived that ethical crisis just fine.

Nope, You've got Hezboullah wrong, and the Just war is not a self-defining concept.
Steve,

Hezboullah believes it is fighting justly. In its view Jews are not entitled to anything remotely like the rights, dignity, and respect that "believers" are entitled to--perhaps to negative rights. Indeed to put the life of a believer at risk to preserve the life of any number of infidels would be an immoral act.

But on our side to the extent that we attach a greater respect for all human life, especially morally innocent life than they do, that does not mean that there is a particular fixed amount of care that we take not to extinguish that life. I repeat again, while the principle we follow is a moral absolute, its empirical execution must always be relative.

Let me illustrate. If I were situated in northern Israel and I and my family were about to be killed by rockets coming from Lebanon and I had but one weapon available to protect my family, a nuclear bomb, I believe I would be "justified" in employing it. Do you disagree?

I use this to illustrate not that in war anything goes, but rather that the concept of "proportionate" force is a function of the specific circumstances.

Statement from UN War Committee:
"Stop it! Or we'll say Stop it Again!"

comments
Wesley's comments made perfect sense to me. I couldn't spot anything bigoted in them.

Islamofascists
The Islamofascists have vowed to destroy Israel; and, to fight to the last man to do so. Therefore, the only way to defeat them is to kill the last man. Israel is justified in fighting to defeat this enemy in the only way that this enemy can be defeated - utterly, totally and completely.

The Islamofascists have similarly vowed to destroy us. The only way for us to defeat them is also to kill the last man. While we are attempting to do so, we are being exceeding (excessively?) careful to minimize non-combatant casualties.

civilians and infrastructure
A young Dutch Catholic theologian, van der Marck, cautioned around 1966 that since it isn't absolutely clear that Truman's decison to use the A-bomb was wrong, moralists should be hesitant to state so absolutely their opinions on war and other matters, since they can't clearly settle the question of the morality of Truman's hugely violent act. Helpful is keeping facts straight, however. It seems an overstatement to say that Israel is targeting the Lebanese army, as a general statement. Helpful is recognizing debate over principles. Some argue that Machiavelli was the first to argue that it is moral to kill civilians (including deliberately), since they contribute to a war in various ways. This is not a generally accepted principle in moral theory. However, the idea that it is wrong to destroy infrastructure, as almost asserted by the US bishops in their ambiguous statement, has less moral weight and is not as commonly accepted by moralists.
RLA Schaefer Dubuque Iowa

more overreactions
the poster accused the Catholic Church of acting like an agent of a foreign govt. That was the hook that he hung his, admittedly overwrought recommendations on.

If you want to argue against that contention, go right ahead. You would even get some support from me.

If you want to argue that everyone who disagrees with the Catholic Chuch is a de-facto KKKer, then you will get no support from anyone.

I don't see heavyvinter defending Islam
not in any of his posts.

If it quacks like a duck.
Had he made an argument that was focused on the issue at hand, clearly and persuasively disputed what was said by the Cardinal, I'd have no problem with it.

Instead, he started with the "foreign government stuff" and advocated the loss of a tax exemption for the Catholic church (but nobody else), which of course is using the IRS for thought control.

Its an old and worn charge and baseless. Check your history Mark-that charge WAS standard Klan boilerplate. It survives today among a great many people. I'm a big believer if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.. its probably a duck.

I've been around people way too much that will harbor no prejudice, save one-Anti-Catholicism. It may not be as virulent as the prejudice that causes men to hang from trees for the color of their skin, its still just as ugly-and in some circles it likes to rear its head as independent thinking or enlightment-but its still the currency of conversation among the ignorant and narrow-minded.

Are you asking me?
If we repeat to ourselves "great religion of peace" and click our ruby red slippers three times-it will happen, Scarecrow. Oh Aunty Em!

That was sracasm for our fearless leaders who won't say, look Islam has been at war with everybody else ab ovo.

I subscribe to the idea muslims are oppressed. I have no argument with muslims, but I think Islam is a theology, which fuels, rather than mitigates humanity's violent nature.

bottom line: is the Vatican a foriegn country?
Yes it is, it is legally a principality, of which the Pope is the Prince.

If you were to pay attention, you would realize the goals of the church (aid the massive influx of catholic Hispanics into the USA so they can tithe back what the church lost in court) are contrary to the goals of the laws, citizens and elected officials of the USA.

The laws concerning things like religious tax exempt status are enforced on the same level as pedophilia in the church WERE enforced, even at that, the church was given enormous leeway and slack that NO other group or organization would ever be given.

The laws are clear, they are simply NOT enforced, much like immigration laws are NOT enforced. Certain groups in this country get an automatic pass on the law. Selective enforcement is unconstitutional.

The Catholic church crossed a line when it publicly stated that it would be encouraging its priests and laity to break US laws and intervene directly in the US political process.

What part of that is untrue?

Yes, it is you.
Now I understand.

“DEATH TO ISRAEL” ? “PROPORTIONATE RESPONSE” ?
These Muslims want to set up the gas chambers and crematoriums all over again.
These Muslims turned the World Trade Centre into a crematorium.
Iran and Syria are intent on the ethnic cleansing of Israel.
Tell me exactly how one responds to such things?

NEVER PRO-ISLAM.
Not since they butchered my ancestors in the 1500 and 1600's pouring through Hungary and now butchering again in Europe and the US.

NEVER PRO-ISLAM.
Not since they butchered my ancestors in the 1500 and 1600's pouring through Hungary and now butchering again in Europe and the US.

scorched earth
scorched earth.

A nice, wide field of fire, mined, wired, no goats allowed.

Isreal should take every single high ground for 360 degrees around them and built heavy emplacements with miles of tunnels suppling them.

screw the UN, or any other body of unwashed patriarcal peasents that dont like it.

Prof, get your head out of the ground!
Prof, your analysis of the situation in Lebanon is severly lacking.

Lets examine your arguments based on the Catechism.

1. Kidnapping two soldiers is not in itself an act of war, but shame on you, prof, for forgetting the Israeli soldiers that were killed during the raid! Don't forget that Hezbollah attacked Israeli territory to conduct the raid, and that it was planned, premeditated, and deliberate. Don't forget that Hezbollah has waged war on Israel for years while we were told that if Israel just ended the occupation, the cycle of violence would be ended.

2. Hezbollah is the buffer army for Iran and Syria. They use Hezbollah to attack Israel when they can't afford to officially. Fighting back is the only answer.

4. Shame on you professor, for comparing the Israeli attack on Hezbollah's supply lines to Syria and Iran to firebombing Dresden. You say "the Israelis have not yet resorted to carpet bombing" as if they were planning to. This rhetoric infuriates and disgusts me. Shame on you, professor!

Shame on you, professor, for your one-sided pro-Hezbollah propaganda!

Shame on you!

Just My Argument?
Golly!

This article repeats an argument I had last week in the comments section of "Reflections on Euro-Islam" -- starting with my post "Christians, Love Your Enemies." I also cited the Vatican position and explained the reasoning for what some see as handwringing.

THE QUINTESSENTIAL ASPECT OF CHRISTIANITY IS SALVATION. The reason Jesus asks us to love even the most vile of human beings, the reason Jesus sacrificed his life, is the fundamental belief that anyone and everyone can be saved -- even muslim terrorists.

That's why the Vatican went to such lengths to outline it's understanding of the 5th Commandment -- in all possible situations -- and why it places far greater restrictions on war than does our nation.

It's also why ours is not a Christian Nation. At best, the Constitution reflects a distorted image of the teachings of Jesus, representing a limited view of only some Christians.

-------

Cathecism of the Catholic Church
Article 5: The Fifth Commandment
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

No Subject
Push the Palestinians out of Gaza into the sea, or into Egypt, and then push them out of the West Bank, into the river or Syria.
Enough with the emasculated diplomacy and brainless intellectual horseshit.
INTERNATIONAL LAW? Screw international law.
F*ck the secularists.
Israel is my Christian Holy Land. I want the “Jew Haters’ out of there.
Maybe we should start lobbing thousands of IED’s around Mecca?

oh please not that again
"THE QUINTESSENTIAL ASPECT OF CHRISTIANITY IS SALVATION. Jesus asks us to love even the most vile of human beings, the reason Jesus sacrificed his life, is the fundamental belief that anyone and everyone can be saved -- even muslim terrorists."

Love homosexuals, love child molesters, love rapists, love abortionists love prostitutes, love murderers, love gangsters, and on and on and on

Gee with that trite interpretation of scripture we should close down the jails the criminal courts, and the pschiatric wards for the criminally insane.

then we will
send them all to your neighborhood, and you and your loved ones can show how this salvation thing works.

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