April 28, 2009

"Is it ever just for us NOT to war against such regimes?"

Orrin Judd:

...So where Mr. Douzinas's intended audience, Europeans, have to answer his ridiculously easy question in the negative--wars can never be just, by definition, because their atheism excludes justice--we face a quite different question here in America. Particularly given the ease with which we can effect change once we turn our attention to states where unjust regimes prevail--Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, Southern Sudan, etc.--the genuinely difficult moral question becomes: is it ever just for us not to war against such regimes? Do we implicate ourselves in the injustice when we fail to remove the dictatorships in Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Burma, the PRC, etc? Does the universal applicability of our Founding impose some moral obligation upon us to advance the march of Liberty wherever and whenever we can?

That's a pretty awesome burden and it's easy to see why the massively self-absorbed seculars want no part of it. But it isn't one that the residents of the City on the Hill can ever dodge more than briefly...

I sometimes wonder what might happen if St Thomas Aquinas (noted for explaining Just War Theory, along with almost everything else) came back, and was asked about the "War on Terror." My guess is that he would say that it is not a war at all. No armies are arrayed against us; we fight against no prince.

Rather, our situation is like dealing with infestations of quasi-revolutionary robber-bands. Lestai. Brigands! And he would say that we don't need to indulge in a lot of head-scratching about what is the moral course of action. It is obvious we should quickly go smoke them out and string them up before they loot and pillage nearby towns.

Posted by John Weidner at April 28, 2009 8:26 AM
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