It's too bad the politicians have so thoroughly ignored their responsibilities to thought and reasoning when sending our troops off to war. It makes ordinary citizens feel like we have a right to kill anyone we don't like as we please. How did we ever get to this place?
I just sent this to a Catholic Paratrooper who believes in rah-rahing the Iraq War. He's forgotten the obligation to be morally right about going to war.
We have to be right when going to war.
It doesn''t make any difference if you're Catholic or atheist, going to war requires responsibility FIRST IN THE DECISION. Going to war is the most serious undertaking of all, and requires Justice, first to Christian Justice and then to the U.S. Constitution. The government was wrong on both counts about going to war in Iraq. The politicians, except for a handful, traitored on their duty to God, Country and our Troops.
The reasoning below of Just War Theory applied to Iraq is sound but few in the Congress heeded it, and no one in the White House. (Which is run by dessreters and daft dodgers by the way.)
The comments below, also morally rule out Pacifism and Nonviolence and even require, as a duty, in every possible way, the defense of our families and countriy:
Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI]
Cardinal Ratzinger, After the 9/11 Attacks Interview with Vatican Radio. November 2001:
Q: Is there any such thing as a "just war"?
Cardinal Ratzinger: This is a major issue of concern. In the preparation of the Catechism, there were two problems: the death penalty and just war theory were the most debated. The debate has taken on new urgency given the response of the Americans. Or, another example: Poland, which defended itself against Hitler.
I'd say that we cannot ignore, in the great Christian tradition and in a world marked by sin, any evil aggression that threatens to destroy not only many values, many people, but the image of humanity itself.
In this case, defending oneself and others is a duty. Let's say for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible -- even if that means using proportional violence.
Thus, the just war problem is defined according to these parameters:
1) Everything must be conscientiously considered, and every alternative explored if there is even just one possibility to save human life and values;
2) Only the most necessary means of defense should be used and human rights must always be respected; in such a war the enemy must be respected as a human being and all fundamental rights must be respected.
I think that the Christian tradition on this point has provided answers that must be updated on the basis of new methods of destruction and of new dangers. For example, there may be no way for a population to defend itself from an atomic bomb. So, these must be updated.
But I'd say that we cannot totally exclude the need, the moral need, to suitably defend people and values against unjust aggressors. …
Cardinal Ratzinger Says Unilateral Attack on Iraq Not Justified - Gives Personal Opinion; Favors Decision from U.N. Zenit News Service. Sept. 22, 2002.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger does not believe that a unilateral military attack by the United States against Iraq would be morally justifiable, under the current circumstances.
According to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- who acknowledged that political questions are not within his competence -- "the United Nations is the [institution] that should make the final decision."
"It is necessary that the community of nations makes the decision, not a particular power," the cardinal said, after receiving the 2002 Trieste Liberal Award. His statements were published Saturday in the Italian newspaper Avvenire.
"The fact that the United Nations is seeking the way to avoid war, seems to me to demonstrate with enough evidence that the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save," the cardinal said.
He said that "the U.N. can be criticized" from several points of view, but "it is the instrument created after the war for the coordination -- including moral -- of politics."
The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.
"One cannot simply say that the catechism does not legitimize the war," he continued. "But it is true that the catechism has developed a doctrine that, on one hand, does not exclude the fact that there are values and peoples that must be defended in some circumstances; on the other hand, it offers a very precise doctrine on the limits of these possibilities."
Interview with Zenit.org May 2, 2003:
Q: Eminence, a topical question that in a certain sense is inherent to the Catechism: Does the Anglo-American war against Iraq fit the canons of a "just war"?
Cardinal Ratzinger: The Pope expressed his thought with great clarity, not only as his individual thought but as the thought of a man who is knowledgeable in the highest functions of the Catholic Church. Of course, he did not impose this position as doctrine of the Church but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by faith.
The Holy Father's judgment is also convincing from the rational point of view: There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a "just war."