Friday, July 13, 2007

Not that I advocate it ...

When I read moral-equivalence shit and the associated comboxes, where self-righteous pacifists (there is no other kind) maintain that the US military deliberately targets Iraqi civilians -- in those situations, I cannot avoid the thought that it would be a salutory lesson for the US military (and I often have the same thoughts in re Israel) actually to deliberately target civilians for a day. For a great power to conduct military operations for a day as if it were a terrorist band -- with the sole goal of killing as many Iraqi (or Lebanese or Palestinian) civilians as possible.

As I say, not because it would be a good thing. But because it might cure some of the moral-equivalence rot (the US and Israel are morally superior to AQ, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.) and give people a nice reality check, a slap in the face ("snap out of it," like Cher in MOONSTRUCK) when it comes to their fact-claims about US conduct. If the US were operating as the self-righteous pacifist liars maintain it does, we'd have seen something very very very different from what they now mewl over.

Oh ... and if one wishes to mention Fallujah, the city still exists. There is plenty of contrary precedent: Thebes. Carthage. Melios. Lidice. Troy. Hama. Harfleur (sure, only a threat in a literary work, but the point is the same). The very fact that the city wasn't sacked and burned is an indication of our justice and mercy, the extent to which modern Western militaries (not to speak of the costly weapons they spend billions developing) work to avoid civilian casualties, however imperfectly -- imperfections to which the self-righteous of course then smugly point to and lie about to puff up their own sense of virtue.

49 comments:

Shawn said...

Well said Victor. When I start blogging again on July 22nd, I am going to use this in a "points to ponder" thread. I do not always agree with those cited in that feature but on this one I agree 100%.

The United States has a history of being far more humane towards civilians than possibly any country in history yet the morons you speak of act as if we do not. Has our track record been spotless??? Of course not but compared to any other country at war in history, I challenge those sorts to find a nation more concerned about harming civilians during war than the United States has been.

They should put up or shut the hell up as far as I am concerned but enough on that for now.

Donald R. McClarey said...

I am glad that Victor posted this. I have been posting over at Vox Nova and enjoying myself immensely! With certain honorable exceptions, Christopher Hitchens comes to mind, leftists by and large do not debate. Be vituperative, yes; debate no. Katerina, one of the contributors, in one of the comboxes yesterday opined that perhaps it would be better not to have comments. I wonder why?

I actually feel sorry for many of them. I think they have spent so much of their lives in leftist echo chambers, in college, in activist groups, etc., shielding themselves from contrary views, that the idea that their is an alternative view for which an intelligent case can be made is shocking to them.

What really makes all this truly hilarious is the denial by the contributors that this is a leftist web site. They have one conservative contributor who hardly ever contributes, but the tone of most of the comments is overwhelmingly hard left. Why deny stark reality?

Oh, and I rarely get angry about anything over the net. I blog for amusement. But this contemptible piece of trash did rouse my ire as my comments at Vox Nova indicate.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"their is an alternative view" should of course be "there is an alternative view".

Anonymous said...

Because they are totally oblivious to their own hard leftism. They are self-deluded into thinking they are the perfect Catholic center. Heck, Michael Joseph recently said that Morning's Minion, the biggest DNC shill I've ever met around St. Blogs, wasn't as supportive of the Democratic party as people make out. ::::jaw dropping:::: Oh, gee, support for the Democrats is only, like, the primary motivation behind every single syllable he writes.

They have no connection to reality whatsoever and should never, ever be taken seriously. At least unless one is doing a psychological study.

Jonathon S. said...

The folks at Vox Nova could own any one of you. While you all are over here patting yourselves on the back on a blog full of inbred ideas, they are actually citing Church documents, saints and doctors. It's funny how none of you can ever object them using the Church's teachings, but refer only to mindless conservative chatter. No, my friends, it's you that have no connection to reality. Your words alone tell me you are not faithful or thinking Catholics.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"It's funny how none of you can ever object them using the Church's teachings"

What Church teachings? They simply smear a patina of cherry picked statements from Catholic sources over a solid layer of leftist dogma. Their embrace of pacifism for example can only be sustained by ignoring Church teaching since before the time of Saint Augustine by selective quotation. It's a fun game, but it simply isn't based on Church teaching.

kathleen said...

"The folks at Vox Nova could own any one of you. While you all are over here patting yourselves on the back on a blog full of inbred ideas, they are actually citing Church documents, saints and doctors."

hey jonathon has a point. they even gave their blog title a *latin name*. proof positive that they are faithful catholics. QED, i mean. someone quick translate "Coalition For Fog" into latin so we can establish our 'bona fides' with the Vox Novae.

Anonymous said...

Coalitio pro Nebula.

paul zummo said...

A couple of weeks ago there was a blog post that critiqued something Ramesh Ponnuru had said. The commenters and I think even Ramesh had rebutted the guy, and then he wrote a really silly reply back. When he was called on the carpet for the stupid respone, the blogger protested that he had written 18 paragraphs, ergo the reply must have been substantive and correct.

The moral of the story: Don't mistake multi-syllabic words and long writing for reasoned argumentation.

Nate Wildermuth said...

'I challenge those sorts to find a nation more concerned about harming civilians during war than the United States has been'

Are you referring to the same United States who nuked Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

Donald R. McClarey said...

"Are you referring to the same United States who nuked Nagasaki and Hiroshima?"

Sure Nate, in order to avoid a civilian blood bath in the millions which would have resulted if America invaded the Home Islands. The Japanese slogan, "The sooner the Americans come, the better...One hundred million die proudly.", was not just for public consumption. Here is a first rate article on Operation Ketsu-Go, the Japanese defensive plan.


http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/arens/chap4.htm


In regard to the use of civilians in Ketsu-Go, I quote the following passage from this article:

"The defensive plan called for the use of the Civilian Volunteer Corps, a mobilization not of volunteers but of all boys and men 15 to 60 and all girls and women 17 to 40, except for those exempted as unfit. They were trained with hand grenades, swords, sickles, knives, fire hooks, and bamboo spears. These civilians, led by regular forces, were to make extensive use of night infiltration patrols armed with light weapons and demolitions.(43) Also, the Japanese had not prepared, and did not intend to prepare, any plan for the evacuation of civilians or for the declaration of open cities.(44) The southern third of Kyushu had a population of 2,400,000 within the 3,500 square miles included in the Prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki.(45) The defensive plan was to actively defend the few selected beach areas at the beach, and then to mass reserves for an all-out counterattack if the invasion forces succeeded in winning a beachhead.(46)"

During the invasion of Okinawa some 150,000 Japanese civilians were killed. One can only imagine the civilian death toll in an invasion of Kyushu in Operation Olympic and Honshu in Opertion Coronet, especially with the suicidal plans that the Japanese had for using civilians in combat.

Donald R. McClarey said...

And since the atom bomb debates on Saint Blogs appear to be getting underway early this year, I would note this column from the New Republic,http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070709&s=kamm071007, about the former Japanese Defense minister, Fumio Kyuma, who represents Nagasaki in the Imperial Diet, and who made the mistake of his political life recently by saying "I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think that it couldn't be helped." He has of course been forced to resign since the Japanese like to adopt the pose of innocent victim in WWII, convenietly forgetting about everything that occured in the war prior to Hiroshima.

Victor said...

Quite apart from Donald's rebuttal, Mr. Wildermuth's knee-jerk parroting of "Polly wanna Hiroshima" doesn't even establish the point being made, which was "find a nation more concerned about harming civilians during war than the United States has been."

To answer that specific point, a comparison would have to be done. Merely citing an American misdeed (if it be that) doesn't even meet the prima facie burden, but it does excellently clarify that what animates VoxNova is anti-Americanism unvarnished.

Oh ... and as for the folks at VoxNova owning any one of us ... I refer the honorable gentleman to this post here at Closed Cafeteria.

In the combox's 1st comment, VoxNova's Michael immediately made a fairly scabrous and damning (if accurate) charge about Archbishop O'Brien, who'll be taking over the Baltimore Archdiocese from overseeing the US military chaplaincy.

When asked to document his charge -- he didn't do so. Repeated requests were made, plus full, in-context quotes were cited where Archbishop O'Brien addressed the topic at hand and said something different and incompatible with VoxNova's charge. No citation. He pleaded work overload (while continuing to post in that box, and elsewhere on Gerald's blog, indicating he wasn't quite so snowed under). He walked out saying I'm too good for you lot (all these people saying they could "own pothers" probably puffing him up), and, in a rhetorical move so cheap not even Shea has committed it (though Zippy has), he told others to "find the quote yourself if you're interested, shucking off the most basic of intellectual burdens -- proving one's own point.

Yeah ... they could *own* me all right. Citations of papal documents, or anything else, don't count for shit (although it might impress the gullible) if you don't know what they say, don't know how to use what they say to support a point of your own, or simply state falsehoods about them.

Donald R. McClarey said...

That was hilarious Victor! The Catholic Anarchist was caught dead to right completely fabricating an alleged statement and then lacked the elementary intellectual honesty to admit, at the very least, a mistake. Oh well, historically anarchists have never considered themselves bound to "bourgesoisie" notions of right and wrong and in the case of Michael anarchist clearly takes precedence over Catholic.

Anonymous said...

In WW2, the Axis powers pursued evil means to accomplish evil ends, while the Allied powers pursued scarcely less evil means to accomplish MOSTLY good ends (the strengthening of Soviet Russia, arguably a more wicked regime than that of Nazi Germany, notwithstanding). The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the firebombing of Dresden and numerous other civilian populations in Germany and Japan, cannot be justified under any circumstances-- it is evil to target innocent life, no matter what one hopes to accomplish by doing so. There are always justifications and rationalizations for such atrocities, just as there are no shortage of convenient reasons to rationalize abortion.

Andy Nowicki

Michael J. Iafrate said...

Hopefully my last comment at this post will satisfy you, but somehow I doubt it will:

http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-on-archbishop-obrien.html

Just to clarify a few things:

My opinion of O'Brien is not Vox Nova's. I'm not sure why everything I say on various blogs ends up being construed as "Vox Nova's position," but it's not the case. My words are my own.

The O'Brien quote that another reader provided is NOT incompatible with what I said O'Brien had said in another context. If anything, the quote provided merely showed an instance where O'Brien was a bit more careful in his moral guidance. But his general stance, "Obey the President unless you are absolutely sure," is the same. And it's wrong.

That said, when I critiqued the provided O'Brien quote for the same reasons, that wasn't good enough. Even his "more careful" quote is an abysmal display of moral leadership.

Finally, I didn't say "I'm too good for you," but rather that I cannot have a conversation on these matters when we cannot even agree on a common terminology or even a rough sense that we are talking about the same ecclesial tradition.

Donald R. McClarey said...

Respectfully disagree Andy. It is usually immoral to target innocent human life, but not always. For example, it is not immoral to bomb a city if your intention is to bomb a military facility even if you know, in all likelihood, that some innocents will be killed in the bombing. Likewise it is not immoral to besiege a city and starve out the garrison even though you know that in all likelihood many innocents will also starve. Certainly besieging cities and using starvation as an ally was a common tactic of papal armies during the Middle Ages, as it was with all armies of the period.

The distinction seems to be one of intent. Was your goal to kill innocents or was it something else with the death of the innocents a terrible necessity?

I think similar reasoning would allow troops to fire into civilians being herded in front of enemy troops staging an assault. Likewise I believe it would be morally licit to assault or bomb a building held by terrorists even though innocents also occupy the building.

During the cold war only the assurance that we would nuke their cities in retaliation prevented the Soviet Union from initiating a first strike against us. We held their civilians hostage to safeguard our own.

In regard to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, contrary to popular belief, they were filled with targets of military significance. I think both cities could have been bombed conventionally on that basis without any question of the morality involved.

Why are we allowed to do so? Because in a just war we are allowed to take certain actions to win a war including actions that risk the death of innocents.

In regard to Hiroshima the US took such radical action in order to bring the bloodiest war in human history to a rapid conclusion and bring the war to a swift end. Was the US correct that such an action was necessary. Absolutely. How do we know this? Because even after the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6 the Japanese did not surrender. Think about that for a moment. Every rational Japanese prior to Hiroshima had to know that the war was lost. A city is then largely destroyed with massive loss of life by an unknown weapon. The US states that more cities will be destroyed unless Japan surrenders. August 6, 7, and 8 come and go and no surrender. After the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, it still took Japan until August 15 to surrender. Clearly without the bombings it is highly unlikely that Japan would have surrendered short of an invasion that manifestly would have killed many times the number of Japanese civilians, not to mention hundreds of thousands of American troops.

I think Truman in 45 picked the moral choice he was confronted with. Whatever he did civilians were going to die, and not just in Japan. Every day the war went on tens of thousands of civilians died in areas occupied by the Imperial Army throughout Asia. Truman chose to act and bring the war to a swift conclusion. His gambit worked, at the cost of massive loss of civilian life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Perhaps it can be argued that such a choice should never be made no matter the consequences. Better that millions die than Hiroshima and Nagasaki be bombed with atomic weapons. Perhaps. However I think that in wartime it is often necessary to make such choices in order to avoid greater carnage. "The enemy has set up a supply depot next to a hospital. What do we do?" "The enemy has a supply convoy on this road. In addition to supplies they've loaded the trucks with women and kids. What do we do?" "The war can be shortened by a year if we blockade the enemy and don't allow any food or medical supplies into their country. Needless to say civilian deaths will be heavy. What do we do?" "We destroy two enemy cities with atomic bombs or the war goes on into next year with enormous military and civilian loss of life. What do we do?"

When you go to war such questions cannot be ignored. They must be answered. Truman had a hard decison to make. I think he made the correct decision under the circumstances. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were appalling. I think the carngage of allowing the war to drag on for several more months and of an invasion of the Home Islands would have been far, far worse.

Donald R. McClarey said...

Michael: "The worst is probably when he assured the troops that they must in every instance follow their orders, not their conscience or the teaching of the Church, and that if they committed sin the responsibility lies with the person who gave the order."

Bishop OBrien:" "In executing orders that might violate just war requirements, military personnel face a serious moral challenge.... Any individual who judges an action on his or her part to be in violation of the moral law is bound to avoid that action. When clear moral conclusions that a particular act is unjust cannot be reached because, for example, of lack of sufficient evidence, the individual is justified in following the presumably better informed decision of his or her superiors."

Give it up Michael. You libeled the Bishop and you simply aren't man enough to admit it.

Donald R. McClarey said...

More in regard to Bishop O'Brien.

"The head of the U.S. Military Services archdiocese said Dec. 30, 1998, that the U.S. bombing of Iraq "should cause serious moral concern for all Americans."

In a statement sent to all Catholic chaplains, Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien warned that military personnel "are `not exempt from making conscientious decisions" if they are ordered to take an action they regard as a clear "violation of the moral law."

"I join the bishops of our country ... in calling on our president and his advisers to initiate no further military action in the Middle East," he said."

Taken from that notorious right wing rag The National Catholic Reporter January 15, 1999.

Anonymous said...

Donald, I suspect you might feel differently about the carnage wrought by Allied bi-planes across Germany and Japan if your friends or relatives were the ones incinerated or maimed by the bombs.

And yes, they were dropped in order to deliberately murder civilians. They were even called "terror bombing" raids. The intention of such campaigns was to lower the morale of the enemy by laying waste to their cities and infrastructure and taking lives. So much for the alleged kindheartedness of the Allied leadership during WW2.

Anonymous said...

That last was from me, Andy Nowicki.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"Donald, I suspect you might feel differently about the carnage wrought by Allied bi-planes across Germany and Japan if your friends or relatives were the ones incinerated or maimed by the bombs."

And Andy I suspect you might feel differently if your friends and relatives had been watching the bombers while they were sitting in a concentration camp in Europe or a Japanese POW camp in Japan. The Germans and the Japanese sowed the wind by launching brutal wars of conquest and they reaped the whirl wind. As for the kindheartedness of the Western Allies I would offer into evidence the postwar occupations of West Germany and Japan. The mind recoils at imagagining a Japanese and German occupation of the US after defeat in WWII.

Susan B. said...

Oh yes. America just loves to kill those civilians! That must be why we have spent billions of dollars developing GPS guided weapons for the purpose of avoiding killing innocent civilians as much as possible. I mean really, if we are were all about killing civilians, we could have saved a lot of tax dollars* and just used regular bombs.

Lord help me, but I really, really...dislike pacifists.

*Oh and I know what you pacifists are going to say...you are going to say "we shouldn't be building bombs in the first place." To that I say, put down the bong, sober up, and start living in the real world with the rest of us.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"One day again the sirens sounded. My work group was force marched back into the camp. Suddenly high above the sky a fleet of American bombers appeared. As me and my comrades looked up, I saw the face of the SS guard in charge of the detachment. The guard's normal arrogance was replaced by a look of fear. Then I knew that the apparently invincible power of Nazi Germany met its match by the might of the United States."

From the memoir of Auschwitz camp survivor Peter Avram Zuckerman

Anonymous said...

Donald, a challenge: is there any military action the US has committed throughout its history that you would actually condemn, rather than hasten to defend? If you think Hiroshima and Dresden are a-okay, then I suspect there's little you wouldn't approve of.

Yes, as I already said, the Germans and the Japanese were worse. God save us from choosing the least bad of two morally dreadful options.

Andy Nowicki

Anonymous said...

To put my point more bluntly: I suspect, Donald, that the 10-sqare foot American flag you are waving is blowing into your face, and keeping you from understanding that certain virtues supercede that of patriotism (such as morality and common decency).

Andy Nowicki

Anonymous said...

And by the way Susan, I'm not a pacifist. If someone were bombing my town into cinders, as the Allies did to numerous German and Japanese cities during WW2, I would find it perfectly justifiable to fight back, had I the opportunity.

Andy Nowicki

Donald R. McClarey said...

"Donald, a challenge: is there any military action the US has committed throughout its history that you would actually condemn, rather than hasten to defend?"



The sand creek massacre in 1864 where Black Kettle was trying to surrender and Chivington and his untrained Colorado militia butchered them. As a general category this includes such incidents as My Lai, etc where US troops massacred individuals who either were surrendering or had surrendered. Once the enemy has surrendered the killing must stop. In most of these incidents the problems were bad leadership and troops who either had poor training or bad morale.

Jonathon S. said...

Victor,

I take Michael's silence in the face of your comments as an indication of how very stupid and very infantile your positions are. Yes, I am insulting your reasoning. As both G.K. Chesterton and Aristotle said, when you are dealing with stupidity and irrationalism, the best response is ridicule. I don't blam the folks from Vox Nova from ignoring you. For them to address you would be like a father talking stock-trading with his three year old.

Susan B.,

Nice try there, but try to stay on topic. You may not like pacifists, but I cannot stand amateurs in debate.

Anonymous said...

So after their leaders surrender, leave the civilians alone, but until their leaders surrender, it's open season on women and children? Gee Donald, you're all heart.... I'm touched.

Anonymous said...

That last was me, Andy Nowicki, again.

Gerald Augustinus said...

At least they don't hang around my blog anymore. I was starting to hold on tight to my car, gun and wallet ;)

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

"As both G.K. Chesterton and Aristotle said, when you are dealing with stupidity and irrationalism, the best response is ridicule."

Where did they say this? It certainly doesn't sound like either of them.

Also, if what Victor says is so stupid it's not worth responding to, why are you bothering to respond to it?

Donald R. McClarey said...

"For them to address you would be like a father talking stock-trading with his three year old."

Who can possibly refute such clear, reasoned argument? Hang your head in shame Victor!

Donald R. McClarey said...

"it's open season on women and children? Gee Donald, you're all heart.... I'm touched."

No Andy, I'm the one who supports Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to kill as few non-combatants as possible. You're the one who opposes Hiroshima and Nagasaki, consequences to non-combatants, in Japan and throughout the areas of Asia controlled by the Imperial Army, be hanged. You simply don't get to oppose Hiroshima and Nagasaki without also accepting what would have almost certainly have followed as a result of not going forward with the bombings.

Susan B. said...

Jonathon S.

Who's debating? I'm not interested in debating pacifists. Insulting them and showing contempt, sure. Debating? No...my time is more valuable than that.

Nate Wildermuth said...

Yesterday was a fine day to see St. Francis. Peace and goodness to all.

About O'Brien - whether you believe me or not, I was in the military when he came to speak to us at West Point (this was after being a PVT for a year and a half). He made it clear that our consciences had to follow the orders of our president and not the so called opinions of our Pope. He said we had sworn oaths to obey our commander in chief, and that if we were called to war - we were duty bound to obey. He denied that the Pope was against the war, and said that even if the Pope was against the war, it did not matter.

That is how I heard it. And if you look at the attitude of his speeches, I think you can see a spirit of 'let's roll' in it.

About American nuking Nagasaki and Hiroshima to save Japan. That defense is original, to say the least. Either way, it seems to me that the Christian crusaders showed more compassion to the Muslim innocents than we showed to the Japanese.

I say that tongue in cheek, wondering how diligent your defense of the crusades might be. :)

Peace my friends.

Anonymous said...

It is impermissible to do evil in order to achieve some supposed "greater good." Deliberately targeting civilians for murder is evil. That's the Catholic point of view, anyway.

If you're a relativist or a situation ethicist or your moral sense of sight is impaired by the American flag that you keep waving that keeps flying into your face, I suppose that you might see things differently. I wouldn't know; I'm a Catholic.

Andy Nowicki

Donald R. McClarey said...

"About American nuking Nagasaki and Hiroshima to save Japan. That defense is original, to say the least."

Then you obviously aren't familiar with the literature Nate. Harry Truman made just that argument at the time.





"I say that tongue in cheek, wondering how diligent your defense of the crusades might be."

Vigorous indeed Nate.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"If you're a relativist or a situation ethicist or your moral sense of sight is impaired by the American flag that you keep waving that keeps flying into your face, I suppose that you might see things differently. I wouldn't know; I'm a Catholic."

Vituperation is always the refuge of those losing an argument Andy.

Anonymous said...

Well, apparently Pope Benedict isn't terribly concerned about Archbishop (and perhaps soon-to-be-Cardinal) O'Brien not ordering soldiers to refuse to go to war under pain of hellfire. Gosh, I wonder if that means that the Pope is a heretic? I mean, he might even disbelieve in the dogma of pacifism! Quick, someone convene an ecumenical council and elect a new anti-, err, I mean True Pope!

Donald R. McClarey said...

"He made it clear that our consciences had to follow the orders of our president and not the so called opinions of our Pope."

Citation Nate. Verbal recollections, especially from someone as passionately enlisted in the pacifist cause as you are, aren't worth the paper they are not printed on. Can you point to a contemporaneous written record of this chat?

"And if you look at the attitude of his speeches, I think you can see a spirit of 'let's roll' in it."

"Oh sure, you can see that spirit in what I earlier posted:


"More in regard to Bishop O'Brien.

"The head of the U.S. Military Services archdiocese said Dec. 30, 1998, that the U.S. bombing of Iraq "should cause serious moral concern for all Americans."

In a statement sent to all Catholic chaplains, Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien warned that military personnel "are `not exempt from making conscientious decisions" if they are ordered to take an action they regard as a clear "violation of the moral law."

"I join the bishops of our country ... in calling on our president and his advisers to initiate no further military action in the Middle East," he said."

Taken from that notorious right wing rag The National Catholic Reporter January 15, 1999."

Nate Wildermuth said...

Donald,

Your quote of AB O'Brien was from 1998, before September 11th. We have all gone through a lot of changes since then.

The military archdiocese did not attempt to form my conscience on the just war theory. I was told that the just-war theory was for politicians, not soldiers. What would happen if soldiers began to pick and chose which wars they thought just enough to fight in?

I love the Pope, and I love the Church. The Pope is a patient and gentle man, and if we listen to him, we will be surprised by what he has to say about war and violence.

The failure of violent war to bring lasting world-wide peace has been historically established. The world is still at war. Genocides still occur. Bubbles of peace burst into new and deadlier wars. The solution to violence, as the Church clearly teaches, is not more violence. As if bigger bombs or better tanks will bring peace!

I am constatly amazed that our Church's teachings on war and peace are overlooked! There are over 20 modern Papal messages about peace on the Vatican website. Have you read them?

I challenge all of us to read the Church's modern teachings on war and peace - starting with our Pope's explicit messages about them.

There is no peace without justice! And there is no justice without forgiveness!

Nate Wildermuth said...

http://www.vox-nova.com/2007/06/militant-part-1.html

That is a link to my full treatment of my understanding of the Church's teachings on war, violence, and peace. There are a lot of links to the Church's resources. Read them, and let me know what you think!

Essentially, I conclude that non-injurious force is the only method of self-defense that retains merciful love of enemy at its core. It is the only form of defense that is not an exercise in futility - the only form of war that has a chance of establishing lasting peace. It is no surprise that modern nations are trying their best to establish less-lethal ways of fighting wars, that our rules of engagement are now becoming more stringent. It is not only because of CNN coverage of civilian deaths, but because strategically (not tactically), less lethal forms of combat are more effective.

Check it out, and peace!

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

"The failure of violent war to bring lasting world-wide peace has been historically established."

With one or two notable exceptions, wars are not and never have been waged with the purpose of establishing lasting world-wide peace. They are fought, when just, to establish a limited, temporary peace, which is unfortunately the best we can hope for in this fallen world. Saying that the failure of war to achieve lasting world-wide peace makes war illegitimate makes about as much sense as saying that the failure of medicine to cure all disease makes it illegitimate.

I would note that while wars typically do not aim at achieving lasting world-wide peace, there have a number of movements and organizations that have tried to bring about lasting, world-wide peace. That these movements and organizations have failed has also been historically established. In fact, in many cases peace movements have resulted in there being more violence and bloodshed than there otherwise would have been. Something to think about.

Shawn said...

The folks at Vox Nova could own any one of you.

Well, thus far my challenge remains unanswered Jonathan -or at least I remain uninformed that anyone over there will take this project on. Here are the guidelines as posted on July 22, 2007:

On the Morality of Using Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Use of Atomic Bombs in General -Outline for a Possible Dialogue in August of 2007

While you all are over here patting yourselves on the back on a blog full of inbred ideas,

Nice charitable approach there Jonathan. Your spiritual instructor must be pleased with you for that one. Actually, a good argument can be made that there is a greater theological diversity on this site than there is over there.

they are actually citing Church documents, saints and doctors.

A text without context is a pretext Jonathan. Protestants cite the Bible all the time against the "unbiblical Catholic views" or so they say. Their assertions doth not make it so though.

It's funny how none of you can ever object them using the Church's teachings, but refer only to mindless conservative chatter.

Maybe you should read more carefully Jonathan. I dealt in detail with the attempted "arguments" from some apologists on this subject two years ago and pointed out that there is no magisterial teaching on this subject.{1} That is something that cannot be avoided no matter how your "champions" try to spin it.

No, my friends, it's you that have no connection to reality. Your words alone tell me you are not faithful or thinking Catholics.

Show me in my words or the words of any of the others denial of dogmas or doctrines of the faith Jonathan. Because that is the criteria by which this matter is correctly assessed, not your mere whims on an issue.

Frankly, your attitude here -flying in the face of the totality of the spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition- is something you should concern yourself with. As for the rest, my guidelines to dialogue on this matter are noted again above -so anyone who wants to knows what will be expected so that this could conceivably be a worthwhile use of my time and not a timewasting endeavour as it so often is with the usual suspects on this subject.

Hi Andy:

is there any military action the US has committed throughout its history that you would actually condemn, rather than hasten to defend?

You asked Donald but I will answer this: I am not convinced the Spanish-American War was necessary and not just because the causus belli for it to me comes across as shaky. I suspect that the eastern establishment tried to do whatever they could to gin up a war even if the USS Maine blowing up was an act by the Spainiard which I am inclined to question. (None of that is the same as a "condemnation" but it is disapproval.)

I also believe the Embargo Jefferson undertook which exasperated matters with Britain and made the War of 1812 inevitable was wrongheaded. I do not believe the Union armies in their attempt to force the South to capitulate in the War Between the States always acted in an honourable fashion -indeed I would condemn some of the specific actions taken in that war despite the fact that it was for a just cause.

I would also condemn liberals who throughout history have always weakened our military and made us vulnerable before we eventually had to fight a war and as a result, we always got off to a slow start and often fought with outdated equipment and various shortages of important supplies. This happened before the War of 1812, before the Spanish American War, before World War I, before World War II, before Korea, before Vietnam, and before the recent Gulf War. For this reason, there were always more casualties of our boys than there would have been otherwise if we had been prepared.

The whining of the same appeasers who did everything to gut the military budget and put our troops in a situation of having subpar equipment then whining about that subpar equipment: I certainly condemn those people's actions.

If you think Hiroshima and Dresden are a-okay,

I do not recall ever approving of Dresden.

Hi Blackadder:

Saying that the failure of war to achieve lasting world-wide peace makes war illegitimate makes about as much sense as saying that the failure of medicine to cure all disease makes it illegitimate.

I would note that while wars typically do not aim at achieving lasting world-wide peace, there have a number of movements and organizations that have tried to bring about lasting, world-wide peace. That these movements and organizations have failed has also been historically established. In fact, in many cases peace movements have resulted in there being more violence and bloodshed than there otherwise would have been. Something to think about.

Well said as usual. (I would expect nothing less from someone who uses as a pseudonym my favourite comedy character of all time.)

Note:

{1} Cardinal Hoyos noted so accurately in correspondence with the excommunicated Bishop Bernard Fellay, simple statements "even said by the Sovereign Pontiff, is not an act of the magisterium; we know that all statements assume different degrees of authority." That is why any quotes from the popes or whomever do not ipso facto constitute an act of the magisterium. But if you were familiar with general norms of theological interpretation, you would know that.

Shawn said...

One more war that I condemn now that I think about it:

I also condemn our conduct as a nation during the War on Poverty -a war that I believe we need to withdraw from as it is a lost cause after forty years.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

I will accept Shawn's challenge. He need only name the time and place.

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