Thursday, December 10, 2009

War is Never Just War: a Peace Prize, Afghanistan, and Trevar's Musings

Obama Defends War as He Picks up Nobel Peace Prize:

When receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama was on the defense, since he only days ago decided to send 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. He said, "the use of force [was] not only necessary but morally justified."

Later he cited precedence: "A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms."

Just war. That's what people like Obama call this morally justified war. War is never just war--it is always more and it is never morally justified. Perhaps it is necessary at times, although I'm not fully convinced, but it is never morally justified. Sometimes "right" and "wrong" are not options and I imagine engaging in WWII could have been one of those times, only because "right" and "morally justified" options were continually passed over. The USA could have taken the Jewish people from harm. Diplomacy and non-violence does wonders when you don't wait until it is too late. And I imagine diplomacy and innovative non-violence could do amazing things if we tried.

Now those efforts would be Nobel worthy--innovative, non-violent interaction with al-Qaeda (not to mention they would actually reflect the reasons Obama received the award). Maybe it would produce martyrs on our side. I would rather see martyrs than "civilian casualties minimised." Perhaps al-Qaeda would understand us more if we sacrificed ourselves instead of the lives of US teenagers and innocent, Afghani civilians. Perhaps we would understand ourselves more.

War is never just war or a just war.

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