I've been rather snowed under at work the past two or three weeks, but I finally have more on just war:
Historians tell us that the Romans, at least during the time of the Republic, would take proper steps before sending out the legions. They would notify a state that had managed to really tick them off, and if this state didn't give a satisfactory answer, the final step before "hobnailed sandals on the ground" involved a special priest who would throw a spear over the offender's border to let them know they were in * EXTREMELY * DEEP * trouble (states were a lot smaller then).
Moving on from the amusing image of Mr. Powell or Mr. Rumsfeld, wearing a toga and no doubt followed by the Joint Chiefs decked out in plumed helmets, breastplates and other hardware, solemnly stalking up to the Iraqi border and lobbing a javelin across it, I?m going to turn to the just war tradition that St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin helped to develop. This tradition, according to Keith Pavlischek,
"provides a normative grounding for statecraft, subjecting the use of force to a higher-law ethic?provides guidance to military commanders, placing their role within the larger context of the moral ends of statecraft" (and) offers moral guidance to individuals as they conscientiously weigh the question of participation in the use of force" ("Just and Unjust War," Intercollegiate Review,Spring 2002, p.30)
The first set of criteria involve jus ad bellum, or justice going towards war; in other words, the means of and reasons for going to war.
The first requirement for jus ad bellum is proper authority. Aquinas explains why ?the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged is needed:
"it is not the business of a private person to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the material sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers according to the words of the Apostle (Rom. 13:4): He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil; so to it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies." (Summa Theologica, Part II of Second Part, Question 40, Article 1)
The second requirement for jus ad bellumis a just cause for going to war, according to Augustine
"For it is the wrong-doing of the opposing party which compels the wise man to wage just wars; and this wrong-doing even though it gives rise to no war, would still be a matter of grief to man because it is man?s wrong-doing." (City of God, 19.7)
"Just wars are usually defined as those that avenge injuries...when a people or a city neglected either to punish wrongs done by its members or to restore what it had wrongly seized." (Questions on the Heptateuch, 6.10)
John Calvin asks two rhetorical questions:
"For if power has has been given them (governments) to maintain the tranquility of their subjects, repress the seditious movements of the turbulent, assist those who are violently oppressed, can they use it more opportunely than in repressing the fury of him who disturbs both the ease of individuals and the common tranquility of all; who excites seditious tumult, and perpetrates acts of violent oppression and gross wrongs?"
"If it becomes them (governments) to be the guardians and maintainers of the laws, they must repress the attempts of all alike by whose criminal conduct the discipline of the laws is impaired. Nay, if they justly punish those robbers whose injuries have been afflicted only on a few, will they allow the whole country to be robbed and devastated with impunity?" (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Chapter 20, Sect. 11)
As Keith and Karl Payne observe,
"The spread of religious and political ideologies, territorial conquest and/or revenge are not considered justifiable causes? All aggression is likewise condemned. The only bases that war, or the use of force, can be considered just, is if it is defensive."(A Just Defense: the Use of Force, Nuclear Weapons & Our Conscience, Portland, OR, Multnomah Press: 1987)
I'll try to have another post up by this weekend - in the mean time, take care!
PART I PART III
MORE THAN 140 KILLED BY TERRORIST ATTACKS IN MADRID
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou (God) art with me; thy rod and thu staff, they comfort me."
"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life...nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, or depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."