Conversation Corner
St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Peace

Does the military action the U.S. is contemplating against Iraq meet the standards of a just war?


  

Date: 3/27/2003 11:13:30 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Matthew
Subject: Iraqi Conflict and Just War

Hello All,

I have looked at a number of posts, and it seems that many of the pro-war postings either talk about "liberating the Iraqi people", the Pope being either "out of touch" with politics or even the Catechism. Some posts take a very ignoble, and fallacious viewpoint that the Church has lost it’s moral legitimacy due to Church scandal. In fact, I am not always sure I am dealing with Catholics.
This Easter will mark my first year as a Catholic. One of the reasons I became a Catholic was because of its papal authority, and the Church’s commitment to life. War is in a direct conflict to life, so it makes sense to be prudent in regards to waging war.

The Vatican’s position is that so far, this war does not meet the requirements for a "just war", as stated in the Catechism. While we are not binded by the position of the Vatican regarding the conflict, we are required to act in good conscience.

Good conscience does not rely on "our feelings", but on our knowledge, which includes knowledge of our faith. We are bound to consider the Iraqi conflict in regard to just war doctrine, however we decide. Thus a pro-war position should always seek to prove that the current situation meets the moral criteria for a just war, just as an anti-war position should seek to prove that the current conflict does not meet the standards of a just war.

An anti-war position that is strictly, "No war for Oil", is just as bad as a pro-war position that is strictly "Liberate the Iraqi people" .

Now that we are in war, I worry about our troops and our actions at home. I was mad when I heard about Michael Moore at the Oscars talking about a "fictitious president..". I think our efforts are best served by supporting our President and the troops who are now at war. The anti-war protests are diverting police and I think opens the opportunity for another terrorist attack.

The United States has a tough road ahead. It has a literal war to wage and a political one. The US is not seen as a "great liberator", but on the contrary, an imperialistic power. Not helping the situation is the fact that the two powers in control of oil in the Middle East in times past, are now attacking Iraq.

Maybe the question now that war has started is, "What is the best way to preserve as many lives as possible and mitigate the damage done?"

Peace,
Matthew

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