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When War Must Be the Answer
Policy Review ^ | December 2004 | James V. Schall, S.J.

Posted on 12/06/2004 3:13:13 PM PST by BroncosFan

When War Must Be the Answer

By James V. Schall

James V. Schall, S.J., is professor of government at Georgetown University. He is the author of At the Limits of Political Philosophy (Catholic University Press of America, 1996) among many other books.

It has been the fault of both pacifism and liberalism in the past that they have ignored the immense burden of inherited evil under which society and civilization labour and have planned an imaginary world for an impossible humanity. We must recognize that we are living in an imperfect world in which human and superhuman forces of evil are at work and so long as those forces affect the political behaviour of mankind there can be no hope of abiding peace.

— Christopher Dawson, “The Catholic Attitude to War,” 1937

While the effects of sin abound — greed, dishonesty and corruption, broken relationships and exploitation of persons, pornography and violence — the recognition of individual sinfulness has waned. In its place a disturbing culture of blame and litigiousness has arisen which speaks more of revenge than justice and fails to acknowledge that in every man and woman there is a wound which, in the light of faith, we call original sin. — John Paul II, Address to American Bishops, May 14, 2004

The calm and reasonable case can and should be made for the possession and effective use of force in today’s world. It is irresponsible not to plan for the necessity of force in the face of real turmoils and enemies actually present in the world. No talk of peace, justice, truth, or virtue is complete without a clear understanding that certain individuals, movements, and nations must be met with measured force, however much we might prefer to deal with them peacefully or pleasantly. Without force, many will not talk seriously at all, and some not even then. Human, moral, and economic problems are greater today for the lack of adequate military force or, more often, for the failure to use it when necessary.

This view goes against a certain rhetorical grain, but it is a fact that needs attention and comprehension. We are not in some new world-historic age in which we can bypass these “outmoded” instruments of power, however rhetorically fine it may be to talk that way. Human nature has not changed, neither for better nor for worse. Human institutions, whether national or international, have not so improved that they themselves cannot be threats to the human good. Who watches the watchdogs remains a fundamental, if not the fundamental, question of the human condition. It is an issue with philosophical, theological, and political dimensions.

This is a counter-cultural position. It goes against much articulate liberal and religious sentiment. Yet I consider these often ungrounded sentiments about abolishing war to be themselves part of the problem of war’s dangers. General Douglas MacArthur’s tomb is in the old city hall in Norfolk, Virginia. I recently visited it. On the wall above his grave is a plaque with the memorable and eloquent words that this military commander spoke on the occasion of the Japanese surrender in 1945:

It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past — a world founded upon faith and understanding — a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish, for freedom, tolerance, and justice. . . . We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem is basically theological, and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, and literature, and all material and cultural developments in the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

On reading these words, I was struck by how much they now appear to me to be part of the problem, not the solution, as I once thought.

“Justice, brains, and strength”

e thought that we had founded a system to prevent wars, especially small ones, in addressing theological and spiritual problems. MacArthur seemed to assume that such a perfect system could be established. But in this he was something of a utopian, not a realist. Since he spoke these words some 60 years ago, we have seen thousands of wars of varying degrees. The spirit and means whereby we believed many small wars could be stopped — the work of converting the whole world to a better “system”— actually resulted in little being done when needed on a scale that would be effective, often a small scale.

My argument derives from Jacques Maritain’s assertion that “justice, brains, and strength” can and should belong together.2 We need not collapse before tyranny or terrorism or those who sponsor either, but we must effectively do something about them. “Peace and dialogue” do not work in the absence of a force component. The more the reality of measured force is present, the more dialogue and peaceful means — including religious means — are present. In practice, this “doing” peace must include adequate and intelligent force. The intense concern that weapons of mass destruction not fall into the hands of Muslim or other leaders is not fanciful. Every holiday since 9/11, some email comes, warning of the possible use of “dirty bombs” in some American or world city. That they have not been used, I suspect, is more because those who would use them have actually been prevented by force. Units that would blow up major installations, if they could, do exist. All they lack are delivery capabilities.

Further, I argue that our main problems are not too much force, but too little. A peaceful world is not a world with no ready forces but one with adequate, responsible, and superior force that is used when necessary. The failure to have or use such forces causes terror and war to grow exponentially. Unused force, when needed at a particular time and place, ceases to be force. But force is meaningless if one does not know that he has an enemy or how this enemy works and thinks. That latter is a spiritual and philosophical problem, not a technical one. Many an adequately armed country has been destroyed because it did not recognize its real enemy. Nor is this an argument for force “for force’s sake.” It is an argument for force for justice’s sake. I am not for “eternal peace,” which is a this-worldly myth, but for real peace of actual men in an actual and fallen world. Peace is not a goal, but a consequence of doing what is right and preventing what is wrong and, yes, knowing the difference between the two.

Justice and force require one another in the actual world. Too often they are placed in opposition in a way that renders both unbalanced and ineffective. It is not a virtue to praise justice as if it need not be actually enforced or defended. The greatest crimes usually are grounded in a utopianism that is blind to living men, that does not see how to limit and control disruptive forces that continually arise in human life. Though I argue mainly about military force, the same argument includes police power. These are not substitutes for the virtue of justice, but this difficult virtue relies also on the existence and proper use of force for its existence. Contrary to much rhetoric, we do not live in a world in which diplomacy, dialogue, diversity, and law, however valuable, have replaced force. We can hopefully reach an adequate public order, but the failure to understand that law and dialogue need the presence of reasoned force ends up creating not more peace but less.

The failure to fight

In late spring, in Baltimore, I walked to the end of Chestnut Street where it meets Joppa Road. On one corner was a large official-looking residence called “Mission Helpers Center.” On both sides of its entrance gate were large blue and white signs that said, “War Is Not the Answer.” These placards recalled many too-simple slogans I have seen in recent years about war, often, like this one apparently, from religious sources: “War is obsolete.” “War is never justified.” “The answer to violence is not more violence.” “War does no good.” “No one wins a war.” “Love, not war.” “Diplomacy, not war.” “Dialogue, not war.” “Stop violence.” “Justice, not war.” “No war is legitimate.” “Everyone loses in war.” “War, Never Again.”

When I saw the “War Is Not the Answer” sign, I said to myself, “what is the question to which war is not an answer?” Is there no question to which war is the only sensible answer? Must we be pacifists and draw no lines in the sand? Does nothing ever need defending? Can we choose not to defend what needs defending and still be honorable? If war is not the “answer,” what is? How do we rid ourselves of tyrants or protect ourselves from ideologies or fanatics who attack us with their own principles and weapons, not ours?

Machiavelli advised that a prince should spend most of his time preparing for war. The prince was not pious except when it was useful to his staying in power. If we are this prince’s neighbors, do we take no notice of his preparations? Do we give him the answer he most wants to hear from us, namely, “war is not the answer”? Those who practice this doctrine of no war make easy targets. The prince thinks war is an answer. It can help him in his goal of acquiring and keeping power. We may have to suffer a defeat at his hands, but we should not choose to bring one on ourselves.

Though much carnage and chaos happen in any historic war, and on every side, still we cannot conclude from this that “war is not the answer.” It may not be the only answer. But no valid alternative to war can be a mere ungrounded velleity, a frivolous hope that nothing bad will happen no matter what we do or do not do. Any presumed alternative to war, by other supposedly more effective methods, has to stop what war seeks to prevent by its own reasoned use of measured force. The general opinion of most sensible men in most of history is that war certainly is one answer, even a reasonable answer, in the light of what would likely ensue without it. Not a few unfought wars have made things considerably worse. Not a few fought wars have made things better. The honor classically associated with war heroes is expressed in the proclamations: “Our cause is just.” “Give me liberty or give me death.” “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” “Walk softly but carry a big stick.”

We often, and rightly, ponder the horrors of war. Doing so is a growth industry particularly for those who do not choose to fight in them. Soldiers usually know more about the horrors of wars than journalists. They also know more about what it is like to live under a tyrannical system. The uncovering of gulags and concentration camps ought also to cause us to reflect deeply on what happens when unjust regimes acquire and remain in power. 9/11 could have been prevented with but a small use of force had we known that we had an enemy who would utterly surprise us by using passenger planes as weapons of war.

A follower of Nietzsche, who thought Platonism and Christianity had failed because both lauded weakness, will see a certain nobility to wars and power for their own dramatic sakes. Like many moderns, Nietzsche did not find any order in the universe except that imposed by his own will. Still, most sensible people can see that to prevent the rise of unlimited power or to remove it, once established, requires the legitimate use of adequate force against it. Often we perform this reflection about war’s atrocities in isolation from real situations and without balance, for peace is not simply the absence of war. “No war” can, and not infrequently does, end up meaning the victory of tyranny and the subsequent disarming of any opposition to itself. “No moral use of war” can, by the same logic, result in no freedom, no dignity.

We need more serious reflection on what happens, both to ourselves and to others who rely upon us, when we lose wars or when our failure to act causes something worse to happen. Those who cry “peace, peace” often have unacknowledged blood on their hands because they failed to use adequate force when needed; “To the victors go the spoils” is an ancient principle of fact, not rightness. Cowardice has never been considered a virtue. Nor has “turning the other cheek” served as an acceptable excuse for allowing some evil — one we could have stopped except that our theories or fears prevented us from trying — to continue or conquer. Not a few worthy things have been eradicated forever because a war was lost. Eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty and much else that is worthy.

In reading ancient history, as we should and for this very reason, we can still meditate with profit on the enormous cultural consequences of a success by Xerxes in Greece had Sparta and Athens not successfully defended themselves against his armies. Nonetheless, good causes do not always win wars; neither, to say the same thing, do bad causes always lose them. Fortune is difficult to conquer. Nor do its consequences guarantee justice. St. Paul, as Dawson reminds us above, even suggests that wars and the sword punish our wrongdoings. The pope observes that we live in a world in which we want to deny that we commit any wrongs or sins and hence we lack any impetus for correcting them within ourselves. Sins have dire consequences even if we call them virtues, as we often do.

Still, we are not free not to think about this consequence that failure to act can make things worse. Nor can we deny that there is a comparative difference between “bad” things and “terrible” things. We can be as immoral and as inhuman by not acting as by acting. The history of lost wars is as important as the history of victorious ones, perhaps more so. The idea of an absolutely warless world, a world “already made safe for democracy,” is more likely, in practice, to be a sign either of utopianism or of madness, and a world in which war is “outlawed” is more likely to mean either that we are no longer in the real world or that the devils and the tyrants — who allow us only to agree with them and do as they say — have finally won. We are naïve if we think that formal democratic procedures, lacking any reference to the content of laws, cannot have deleterious effects. A democratic tyranny is quite conceivable, many think likely, and on a global scale. Globalization is not neutral. Not a few of the worst tyrants of history have been very popular and have died peacefully in bed in their old age amidst family and friends.

More than anything else, the frontiers of most states of the world are where they are because of wars, won or lost. This is true even of, say, the relatively peaceful Canadian-American border, whose drawing, whose very existence, is related to the American Revolution, to the War of 1812, and to “54.40 or Fight!” The northern Mexican border does not include California, Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico, as it once did, because a war was lost. I have seen Mexican maps that still include these states within Mexican frontiers. This suggests that many Mexicans think present borders are unjust and that therefore we are not wholly at peace. Lord Acton thought that had the South won the American Civil War, it probably would have taken over Mexico.

The “evil empire” covered a quarter or more of the globe because of war and revolution. Ironically, it got its start when Lenin precipitously pulled out of bloody World War i to eradicate his domestic enemies on the right and the enemies of his Bolshevism on the left. The demise of the Soviet Union surprised all the social scientists in that it was not destroyed by war or by any force in their analytic methods. However, as we were reminded by the Reagan funeral, a major cause of the demise of communism, besides the spiritual one for which the Polish pope stood, was the massive American preparation for war, including nuclear war. This was sufficient to convince the Soviets finally to recognize communism’s own internal bankruptcy. Many, at the time, thought this buildup was itself “immoral.” Had it not occurred, the Soviet Union might well still be in existence and its demise might not have been so peaceful.

In the case of World War ii, we can surely thank the early unpreparedness and initial unwillingness of the French and English to engage in war for the fact that in the end a more lethal war had to be fought and could be won only with the aid of others. “Peace in our time,” the slogan of the British prime minister, led to World War ii. War was not an answer? What is the “answer” to terrorism if not war at some level? Terrorists, as they often testify, think that terrorism is a legitimate, even God-commanded duty. Is capitulation the answer? Roman history, in fact, is filled with such wars and capitulations.

It may well be true that noncombatant alternatives to war are always available, but there are things worse than war. Not to know what they are is tantamount to losing any real contact with or understanding of human experience or history. Not for nothing was the “history of war” studied by Machiavelli. Many “peaceful” alternatives to war are unhappy ones. One of them consists in being conquered by a hostile power, another in complete civilizational destruction. We read of Muslim and Mongolian armies before whose swords we would not like to fall, knowing that if we do, our culture, religion, and way of life, not to mention many of our lives, would disappear. No one in the decade before the sudden appearance of Mohammedan armies in the seventh century could have imagined the configuration of the world map today, a configuration in many areas due precisely to the permanent conquests of these earlier and later armies. The modern integrity of Europe is unimaginable without two victories over Muslim forces: one at Tours, one at Vienna.

A will to kill

The most lethal weapons are today turning out to be car bombs and ordinary passenger planes. The problem with nuclear weapons was never the weapons themselves but rather the will and purpose for which they might be used. In the retrospective light of the bombing of the World Trade Center, the series of antiwar documents produced during the 1980s by American Catholic bishops decrying nuclear war seem almost irrelevant. Such earlier considerations of “absolute weapons” were wholly out of touch with what was to be the problem of defense in the twenty-first century. The fact is, deterrence did work, however reluctant we may be, for ideological reasons, to admit it.

We do have a concern that “terrorists,” as we are wont to call them in lieu of calling them what they call themselves, will gain possession of nuclear weapons. We could reasonably suppose that communists did not want to be destroyed. We are not so sure about Muslim war planners. The “suicide bomber” may prove to be more lethal and more intellectually perplexing than any nuclear weapon ever was.

Nuclear and conventional weapons, in fact, have become so accurate, so downsized, so controlled, that all the elements of the just war theory devised by the most scrupulous moralist are in place and in operation. One might even argue that current American weaponry is constructed the way it is precisely in order to live up to just war concerns. Again, the problem is never the weapons themselves, but who uses them. The knowledge of how to make such weapons simply exists, along with the technology to make them. We cannot think these plans out of existence without thinking much of modern science out of existence. And we have no reason to think that present-day terrorists, who have a different religious philosophy, will not use nuclear weapons if they can, even if they destroy themselves in the process.

How do we deal with or even understand the “suicide bomber?” Just war theory is relatively useless in this area. What, after all, does a fully armed GI do in confrontation with a pregnant Muslim woman who has bombs strapped inside her dress and intends to blow him, herself, her baby, and dozens of others up? All the literature and normal understanding about “innocent women and children” have become, if not irrelevant, at least maddeningly difficult to apply in such increasingly common cases.

The answer to the question of why a Muslim man or woman will blow himself or herself up is not simply political or military. Aristotle said that if someone is willing to die in the process, no one can really prevent him from trying to kill us. Augustine had a similar problem with the fourth-century schismatic Donatists. A Muslim who blows himself up along with 15 others can pretty much rest assured that this type of weapon will not be used against his own people.

The real question is whether this current situation constitutes a new war of civilizations. Much vested interest is devoted to the proposition that it is not. Our leaders, both civil and religious, have been loath so to designate it as a civilizational war. Islam is said to be a religion of peace. To suspect that it is a threat on a much broader scale is one of those things that must be classified as “secret writing.” It goes against the dominant religious mood, namely, ecumenism, and against the liberal mode, namely, tolerance, according to which all issues can be resolved without war. But ecumenism and tolerance are not in accord with a certain Muslim viewpoint: The world, in their missionary view, ought to be Muslim even if by war, even by suicide bombings. War can be precisely “holy.” Until we can understand that, we simply will not be able to grasp the essence of the problem.

There is considerable talk both in the West and in certain sections of the Muslim world about making Islam over into politically acceptable forms without altering any of what are considered its basic beliefs. This radical reconstruction of Islam, which identifies the current military attacks as coming from a minority “terrorist” movement and not from Islam in any genuine form, is said to be the main “neoconservative” project.

One can, I think, defend this program on prudential grounds. No one, including the churches, is willing to examine in a serious way the truth claims of Islam, not only its own understanding of Allah and of Judaism and Christianity, but also its practiced way of life and the direct relation of its religion and its politics. Until this latter effort is undertaken in a much more serious way, the prudential approach can be justified as a holding operation. But what is ultimately behind the effort to provide models and forms of “democratic” and “free” political systems is the effort to undermine those teachings and customs of Islam that cause the problem, the first of which is the claim of the truth of Islamic revelation and its understanding of the absolute will of God as arbitrary. In this sense, MacArthur was right. Political problems often have theological import at their basis.

The Italian paper Il Giornale (May 26, 2004) published an interview with Caesare Mazzolari, bishop of Rumbek in the Sudan, a place where Christian-Muslim relations are those of war, war against the Christians. His remarks perhaps serve to contextualize this issue, particularly in the light of the Dawson thesis:

Q: Is there a clash of civilizations . . . ?

A: The Church has defeated communism but is just starting to understand its next challenge — Islamism, which is much worse. The Holy Father has not been able to take up this challenge due to his old age. But the next pope will find himself having to face it . . . .

Q: Some bishops in Italy have allowed chapels to be used as mosques.

A: It will be the Muslims who convert us, not the other way around. Wherever they settle down, sooner or later they end up becoming a leading political force . . . .

Q: Does it make sense to export our democracy to agricultural and sheep-herding societies that make no distinction between religion and politics?

A: No. This is idiotic. Islamic people base their decisions only and exclusively on the umma. They don’t even know what individual rights are.

This is a blunt analysis from someone located in a country where over 2 million people — Muslim dissidents as well as Christians — have been killed in Muslim attacks. Whether we look on it as the wave of the future or as an exceptional, isolated case will determine the kind of attitude we have toward war and the necessity for the retention and use of military power.

“Something inhuman”

y topic here, however, is not Islam but war. Islam is not the only civilizational problem, and it is not necessarily unified with itself. Western secularist ideology is as absolutist in its own way as Islam. Theorizing that the “terrorists” are merely a side-show, a tiny minority which will naturally pass out of existence, is an easy way out of considering the more basic problem of the civilizational movement and what to do about it. This consideration is based upon the notion that Islam is a confident civilizational movement, suddenly aware, thanks to the judgment of its more radical leaders, of the possibility of continuing its historic mission: spreading the religion by force or other means throughout the world.

The question of how to “disarm” or “dissuade” this expansion, which now has a demographic component through immigration into Western nations of low birth rates, is bound up with the question of the capacity and willingness of a nation to defend itself. And it is crucial that we disarm or destroy those who hold that it is legitimate to express a political position through means of “terrorism,” no matter how small or large we think their forces might be. We are in what is for us the paradoxical situation of realizing that “peaceful” means of dissuasion will not in fact always or automatically protect innocent people from the mission of these “terrorists,” as we insist on calling them, who look upon suicide bombing in their cause as a martyrdom and an entrance to heaven. The fact that this position seems preposterous to many of us is one of the reasons we cannot well deal with it.

The old realist assumption — attuned to the Fall and the natural difficulties of the practice of virtue — maintained that as the world improved in technological or political means, its potential for greater evil also increased. We would thus never be in a situation where some use of force or power would not be required to achieve whatever limited good was possible. A common, oft-heard theory about war today, by contrast, is that we have “grown” or progressed out of it. The assertion that war may still be necessary is looked upon as “anti-progressive,” a sin against “history.” No “reasonable” person can hold the view that war may be necessary. This “we-have-outgrown-war” position, with its Hegelian overtones, is an aspect of an evolutionary hypothesis which, generally speaking, holds that the world is getting morally better: We have learned to “overcome” problems with dialogue or discussion or psychological counseling, and war is no longer necessary and has little justification. Behind this view operates a theory of the world-state as the primary innerworldly purpose of mankind. Indeed, absent a transcendent purpose, it becomes the only purpose of mankind.

The framework of “world” or “global” government is now said to be already in place in the United Nations. Though that body was not erected to be a “world government,” no political controversy involving war, it is now claimed, can be decided outside of its jurisdiction. This argument rests upon a benign portrait of the United Nations and the ideological currents within it. But many of the UN’s positions on life and economic questions are extremely troubling, as are its “missionary” efforts to impose these ideas on the world. It seeks to remove any consideration of national self-interest, or any unilateral decision to come to the aid of others evidently under attack. And though it may claim that neither truth nor good will ever have to be protected against it, logic suggests the United Nations should, and indeed would like to, absorb the world’s military capacity within itself. Further, United Nations citizenship and courts, the argument goes, should replace national citizenship and courts, with the ultimate appeal resting not in national but in international courts. International criminal and civil courts should be the primary arbitrators of justice within nations. International courts should claim immediate jurisdiction over all rights cases wherever they occur. Any appeal to national “self-interest” against their decisions will be looked upon as a violation of international law.

In his discussion of “restitution,” the primary act of justice in all its forms, Josef Pieper made the following observation:

The dynamic character of man’s communal life finds its image within the very structure of every act of justice. If the basic act of commutative justice is called “re-stitution,” the very word implies that it is never possible for men to realize an ideal and definitive condition. What it means is, rather, that the fundamental condition of man and his world is provisory, temporary, non-definitive, tentative, as is proved by the patchwork character of all historical activity, and that, consequently, any claim to erect a definitive and unalterable order in this world must of necessity lead to something inhuman.3

This “something inhuman” is what we are concerned about when we address the question of whether war is obsolete. The grounds of this assumption are that we actually do have in place the means to prevent war. The historic realism that argued that war would always be with us is now said to be surmounted.

In this regard, let me cite Herbert Deane’s summation of Augustine’s view of war: “Wars are inevitable as long as men and their societies are moved by avarice, greed, and lust for power, the permanent drives of sinful men. It is, therefore, self-delusion and folly to expect that a time will ever come in this world when wars will cease and ‘men will beat their swords into ploughshares.’”4 We are asked to believe that the institutions designed to replace the national state will not themselves be threats against freedom and justice. The question is whether the world and its inhabitants are better off with national states that can maintain their own judgments and forces. The answer, I believe, is that whatever the logic of the international state, its practice is too dangerous — both on the large scale and on the small.

Jean Bethke Elshtain has written, “I would argue that true international justice is defined as the equal claim of all persons, whatever their political location or condition, to having coercive force deployed in their behalf if they are victims of one or the many horrors attendant upon radical political instability.”5 What Elshtain implies is that there is and must continue to be room for the existence and use of force that understands and works for right order. I would maintain, therefore, that much of the thinking about the obsolescence of war is itself a major contributor to war, particularly to the new kinds of war that we see in the twenty-first century. It prevents quick and effective action. Without denying that this alternative can also be abused, we can never arrive at a clear concept of the problem if the mechanisms designed to address it include it.

Where does this leave the discussion? We are left with the need to see force and power as actual servants of justice. C. S. Lewis wrote in his essay “Why I Am Not a Pacifist:”

It is arguable that a criminal can always be satisfactorily dealt with without the death penalty. It is certain that a whole nation cannot be prevented from taking what it wants except by war. It is almost equally certain that the absorption of certain societies by certain other societies is a great evil. The doctrine that war is always a greater evil seems to imply a materialist ethic, a belief that death and pain are the greatest evils. But I do not think they are. I think the suppression of a higher religion by a lower, of even a higher secular culture by a lower, a much greater evil . . . . The question is whether war is the greatest evil in the world, so that any state of affairs, which might result from submission, is certainly preferable. And I do not see any really cogent argument for this view.6

Lewis, as usual, had it about right. War is not the greatest evil, but at times the only means to prevent evil. This is true on both a large and small scale. What we are left with is that the effective use of force is still best and most properly left in the national state. This is not the war of all against all, but the war of those who can limit terrorism and tyranny when and where it occurs. The worst modern tyranny in the twenty-first century will not come from armies but from their lack, from the lack of capacity and courage to use them wherever they are needed to protect justice, freedom, and truth.

The real alternative to just war cannot be viable without including the necessity and ability to deal with those who do not know or listen to reason. Law enforcement does not work unless there is a more fundamental possibility of dealing with those who are bound by no concept of legal order as we understand it. There is no alternative to just war that does not depend on and include the possibility and the exercise, when reasonable, of just war.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholic; iraq; jamesvschall; muslim; philosophy; war
. . . that rarest of birds, a sane Jesuit.
1 posted on 12/06/2004 3:13:14 PM PST by BroncosFan
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To: BroncosFan

My very thought when I saw who the author was

2 posted on 12/06/2004 4:33:07 PM PST by uncbob
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To: uncbob

I had been complaining on another thread about the state of things on Jesuit college campi (as I am a graduate of one) and then I read this. I'm still not going to trust my kids' moral educaton to them, but it's good to know that there are soe sane ones left amongst them. I'm betting this man's way over 50, though.

3 posted on 12/06/2004 6:45:19 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: BroncosFan

One of my professors. Very eloquent.

4 posted on 12/06/2004 11:59:33 PM PST by Defiant (Democrats: Don't go away mad, just go away.)
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To: Emmett McCarthy
I had been complaining on another thread about the state of things on Jesuit college campi (as I am a graduate of one) and then I read this.

Well Eric Hoffer "TRUE BELIEVER" author says in his book one radical cause usually finds a lot of converts from the opposite cause

The Jesuits were supposedly known as the most zealous of the priest communities in defending the faith, Now it seems they are dedicated socialists ( commies) etc etc
5 posted on 12/07/2004 4:52:32 AM PST by uncbob
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To: Modernman

This is a really impressive piece. By a Jesuit priest, of all things!

6 posted on 12/07/2004 9:09:43 AM PST by BroncosFan ("If I'm dead, why do I still have to go to the bathroom?" - Thomas Dewey, 1948)
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To: BroncosFan; Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...

Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Lee Harris, David Warren, Orson Scott Card. You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

7 posted on 12/09/2004 5:14:03 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Emmett McCarthy
I'm betting this man's way over 50

God willing, he'll soon be 77.

8 posted on 12/09/2004 6:26:48 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: BroncosFan

Outstanding article.

Thank you for posting.

9 posted on 12/09/2004 7:01:27 AM PST by baseballmom (You Know Where I Stand - GW Bush - 9/2/04 We're standing with you, Mr. President)
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To: Tolik
Mega BUMP!
10 posted on 12/09/2004 7:03:34 AM PST by BayouCoyote (The 1st victim of islam is the person who practices the lie.)
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To: iconoclast

That's what I thought. It would be consistent with the genuine thinkers I was taught by in Jesuit schools over 30 years ago. These new guys follow Che Guevara - maybe they ought to change their name to "Che-suits".

11 posted on 12/09/2004 7:24:53 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: BroncosFan

“War is never justified.”

Filing this as one of (if not THE) most assine, stupid, the moon is made of green cheese, 4 points dumber than a flatworm, the world is flat, immoral statements, ever made!

What people who say things like this (and I know some) don't REALLY understand is there are bad people out there who yes they want to kill you...why because they can. And they will unless you stop them, and sad to say all the talking in the world won't stop them. It often take blunt violent bloody force (ie I have a big stick and if you dont stop I'm going too hit you with)
/rant...#387129 of an unlimited series

12 posted on 12/09/2004 7:31:56 AM PST by Valin (Out Of My Mind; Back In Five Minutes)
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To: BroncosFan

This is a really good argument that I had not heard before.

13 posted on 12/09/2004 7:38:34 AM PST by sd-joe (Peace is not a goal, but a consequence of doing what is right and preventing what is wrong.)
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To: sd-joe

I know it's impractical for our "statesmen" to make such arguments, but it sure would be nice . . . not all of us need to be talked down to. Though, having tinkered with a few political speeches, I know full well that it isn't going to happen.

14 posted on 12/09/2004 9:45:13 AM PST by BroncosFan ("If I'm dead, why do I still have to go to the bathroom?" - Thomas Dewey, 1948)
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Ping for the original article

15 posted on 01/21/2005 9:25:34 AM PST by Eurotwit
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To: Eurotwit

Thanks... I appreciate it.

16 posted on 01/21/2005 9:31:31 AM PST by USF (I see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade ™ © ®)
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