Just War: Iraq #4 “Just Cause” (Military Personnel Reflections)

Just War Doctrine requires that war must be aimed at confronting a “real and certain injury.” Iraq was no threat to the U.S. It had not been able in the No-Fly-Zone-War to interdict even one British or American warplane. Not one fighter or bomber, if any of the latter were deployed, was shot down as the cowardly United States slaughtered and butchered 1000s of Iraqis in this pretext of protecting the Kurds in the North and the Shi’a in the South. The U.S. was not interested in these groups. The real reason for this secret war was to weaken Iraqi air defenses and maintain military pressure as a prelude to a possible full-scale invasion. For the last two years of President Clinton’s incumbency, America bombed Iraq on an almost daily basis and the supine press ignored it. I am not maintaining that Mr Clinton was planning preemption but this gratuitous multi-year bombing of Iraq was intensified during the current administration and again was rarely reported by the press.

The war-criminal United States could not satisfy the just cause prerequisite by initiating a preventive war against the Baathist regime in Iraq. Innocent life was not protected but devastated by this invasion. The war did not “preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence” but plunged the Iraqi people into darkness: no electricity thanks to the U.S.; no oil or heating gas thanks to the U.S.; unrestrained Hobbesian anarchy in which innocents are killed thanks to the U.S.

The Bush administration did not advocate war to free Iraqis from President Saddam Hussein or to bring democracy to that widowed land. Not one Senator and probably no Congresspersons would have voted for an authorisation to use force had Mr Bush used democracy and freedom as the rationale for the war. This war aim emerged only after W.M.D. were not found and the conventional attack morphed into a Vietnam guerilla war: a war without battlefields, without direct military engagements, fought in and among the people, fought by a weaker foe with asymmetrical and highly effective tactics against the invaders from across the sea. The U.S. only loses wars or the results are a stalemate without positive consequences: Korean War stalemated; Vietnam War lost; Afghan War stalemated; Iraq War lost; Philippines wars lost [I am referring to the Filipino heroic resistance under Aguinaldo in the Spanish-American War and the current unsuccessful campaign to destroy the Muslim insurgency on Mindanao]. Oh I forgot, we liberated a slab of concrete in Grenada and used rock music to intimidate President Manuel Noriega in Panama. As I recall they played Bobby Goldsboro’s, “I Fought the Law and the Law Won ” as the president was trying to sleep. Tune up for Abu Ghraib?? They should have played Dylan’s, “Masters of War” as a depiction of themselves.

Those in the military should ask themselves. Are we fighting in a just war? Is the invasion, INVASION of another country, indicative of the alleged superiority and moral benevolence of the United States Armed Forces? Should a military person think about the moral obligations not only to country but also to others? Does that uniform you wear remove from you the right to question and think for yourselves? Does the uniform represent blind obedience to civilian rule or the right as an individual to question the morality of civilian rule? Well if you wear the uniform and are an American, you should be able to think, ponder and question the morality of what you do. Should this country be invading other countries who are no threat to us? Should we allow thousands of KIA bound for Dover and the tragic return of thousands of wounded WIA proceed without protest, without an uprising? How could they be sacrificed for neo-conservative evil? Can those in the military question this country’s lust for war, for blood, for power, for empire? Well I can and I will because evil imperialism must be challenged even in a country such as ours where democracy is seriously deficient and truncated in many areas.

Remember: President George H. W. Bush initiated the Gulf War to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The Iraqi invasion of its alleged “nineteenth province” was not justified and unworthy of an Arab state. The Bush I rationale for war was to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation; that was the sole war aim, the casus belli, for engaging Iraqi forces from the air and subsequently in the desert. So how does Mr Bush, the current president, justify invading a nation that had been attacked by the United States for invading the Persian Gulf state of Kuwait? The logic is absent; the crime is immanent and the disgrace that this war and this president has brought to our nation is palpable.

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