Just War: Iraq #3 “Proportionality”

Just War Doctrine requires in Jus Ad Bellum, or the legitimacy of going to war, that warrior nations consider the consequences of their actions. Specifically, will the violence and death that will result from war–the means–justify the alleged positive ends that will accrue from war?

One would not argue that it would be appropriate to destroy or raze an eleven-story apartment building with the knowledge that a serial killer had rushed into it and is hiding on one of its floors. One could not justify the killing of 100s of people in a building in order to eliminate the alleged perpetrator of serial killings. That would violate the proportionality in weighing the means-ends relationship in determining whether the use of force is justified.

The criminal Bush administration–and I am not even referring to their cowardly and treasonous outing of Valerie Plame, C.I.A. covert agent–went to war for reasons that could have been resolved non-violently. The deaths of 100,000s of Iraqis, 2,000 Americans, tens of thousands of wounded, the destruction of cities not required by military necessity, cannot justify the supposed benefits to be attained through war. What makes this shameful war more illegitimate is the rationale for going to war: namely that President Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a near-nuclear weapons’ state and in possession of both chemical and biological weapons and the capacity to deliver them against American interests. None of this was accurate. Also the Bush administration’s lies in attempting to educe emotional hatred for President Hussein’s involvement in the September 11 attacks on N.Y.C. and Washington, D.C. were simply Goebbels’s like indulgence in the big lie. So any rationale for this war was either non-existent or beneath the level of proportionality in which war could be rationally construed as appropriate means for stated war goals or ends.

So why all this death? How can one argue that the destruction wrought by this Nazi-type blitzkrieg war (phase one that is: recognising it was preannounced unlike Operation Fall Weiss or Barbarossa) of invading a weak and non-threatening nation is worth the ends sought by war? In any event, this Democratic party-supported war fails its third test of Just War’s requirement that certain standards of justice and propriety be satisfied prior to the initiation of hostilities. This is jus ad bellum: justice prior to war.

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