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 Is war ever just?

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Wolf
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PostSubject: Is war ever just?   Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:12 am

There has been a lot of debate as to whether the war in Iraq is "just" (the right thing to do), is there ever such a thing as a "just" war? Isn't the very act of trying to change someone's mind through force unjust? Is the concept of "just" and "unjust" dependent upon who wins? Is it always the case that our point of view is the just one, and the other person's point of view must be the unjust one?

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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:04 am

It is a popular point of view nowadays, mainly influenced by the US, that "might is right" and that we are always the ones in the right, and anyone that disagrees with us must be the "bad guys".

By painting others as the "bad guys" we ensure that, through propaganda, we are always on the right side and everything we do to them is justified and perfectly understandable. This is ridiculous, as the other side is saying exactly the same thing, that theirs is the right side and that their side is justified and perfectly understandable... both sides can't be right, so who is right and who is wrong?

Well, the simple fact is that any act of aggression will never be just, because the very act of trying to influence others through violence is unjust in itself. Some exception to this rule is sometimes given for the act of self-defence, in defending oneself when attacked by another, but even this can be corrupted. An example of this is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where the US attacked these countries "in defence" of itself over the attack of 9/11. The reason why this is not really as just as it seems is that it was neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were responsible for the attack on the twin towers but most of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia (but Saudi Arabia is an ally of and major investor in the US) and so all the excuses given for the war were revealed to be lies. Even the excuse given of "regime change" doesn't quite wash, given that it was the UK and the US who put Sadaam Hussein into power in the first place and we were the ones that armed him and trained his troops for use against Iran.

Even the excuse given of "bringing democracy to the country" is shown to be false, as any candidate or party that does not support the US will not be recognised and so even if elected will be overthrown again until one comes to power that does support the US (as evidenced with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Fernando Belaunde Terry in Peru. Furthermore, the two main countries claiming to be introducing democracy to these countries both have rather questionable democracies themselves.
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liverpoolvv



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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:24 pm

I don't think taking peoples lives can ever be called just. There has to be better ways of solving ones differences rather than inflicting pain on innocent people.
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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:17 pm

liverpoolvv wrote:
There has to be better ways of solving ones differences rather than inflicting pain on innocent people.

Please tell that to the makers of the X-Factor and similar programs that inflict pain on the population! elephant
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:44 pm

No war but the class war! Wars have tended to be between the capitalist class in each country, with the working class in each country called up to fight their counterparts elsewhere, who they should really have no disagreement with. However, I think that this doesn't explain the Second World War, where something had to be done to stop the persecution of the Jews. And the so-called 'War on Terror' is partly ideological in that it's between Western capitalism and an interpretation of Islam. While I wouldn't support any violence myself, the current situation has led to violence seeming to be inevitable. It's easy to say that we should try to prevent people wanting to get involved in such conflicts, but it's not as easy as that. I'm not sure what the solution is.
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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:47 pm

There can no longer be a class war! As successive governments have fair effectively removed the idea of class from British society leaving with us all as being either middle-class or not-worth-bothering-with. The only people who claim to be “working-class” nowadays tend to be middle-class, intellectual socialists who want to be considered working class, but earn to much and are too well educated to really belong to what the working class used to be. Razz
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:04 pm

Hmm! Funnily enough, only a minute ago I gave my preferred definition of class in a reply on the 'ideal world thread', before I read Nick's latest post. I'd say that class is really defined by someone's economic position, rather than their income or lifestyle. By 'economic position', I mean whether or not they own enough capital to live off its profits, either through 'earning' interest, collecting rents or creaming off the profits created by the work of their employees. If someone ticks these boxes, they're in the capitalist class. If they don't - i.e. if they have to work for a living or have to rely on the state for benefits, or scrape a living on whatever they can find - then they're working class. I don't accept the concept of 'middle class' as being separate from 'working class'. Many people in 'working class' manual trades earn more and have more skills than many people working in 'middle class' office jobs, which suggests that you can't base a working class/middle class distinction on wages and upbringing.
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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: Is war ever just?   Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:28 pm

There is the argument that self-defence is a cause for a "just war" and that WWII was a case in question, however I feel that such examples are still not all they appear to be, in that self-defence tends to be rather low on the real reasons for the decision to go to war and then only used for propaganda reasons later to justify the initial decision.
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