11
   

Is War Justifiable?

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 07:54 pm
@vikorr,
Quote:
If I recall right, most Americans, and most Australians (where I live) and most Brits supported the war in Iraq. Apparently at the time it started, most thought it was justified ...


Not so.

Australian PM censured over Iraq/Wednesday, 5 February, 2003:
Quote:
Recent opinion polls show that 76% of Australians oppose their country's participation in a US-led war, while 57% support joining military action that has UN backing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2727551.stm
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 07:56 pm
@msolga,
well sure, you can prove anything if you're gonna use facts
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 07:58 pm
@djjd62,
Wink
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:29 am
@msolga,
If I may MSgola, the level of support changed the closer the invasion date grew.

Still, 57% approving with UN backing is a majority.

The American & Australian & Brittish governments pushed hard for UN backing, so most either supported or just sat back satisfied. I remember very few being dubious about the WoMD argument - most seemed to believe it.

And as for polls - the answer to most polls depends on the wording of the poll used. For example "Do you think we should invade a country just because America does?" or "Do you think that Saddam needs to be removed from Power?" are just two possible questions that could be asked to 'indicate support for the war'...yet back in 2003 those two questions would have received very different percentage point answers.
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 11:43 am
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

How do you determine the causes of an international war? Where are you going to get your information from? What is a reliable source? Is it complete, or are you only getting part of the picture?


If you are concerned about coercion/epistemic limitation, that is a completely different moral issue. Albeit it is closely connected.

Point is, in most democratic societies, the resort to war has to be justified by reasons. It is those reasons/causes that are in question.

vikorr wrote:


If I recall right, most Americans, and most Australians (where I live)and most Brits supported the war in Iraq. Apparently at the time it started, most thought it was justified (not as many in Australia as in America, but the point is the same)


Fallacy of appeal to majority. Doesn't mean it was in fact right. There were many people (including me) who questioned the legitimacy of the war. Political spinning in the media about the existence of WMD's did not persuade everyone. This follows from my point about seizing whatever pretext available for resorting to war. Either way,I still do not see the point of your objection. I am arguing that morally it was condemnable, and legally it should constitute the crime of aggression.
vikorr wrote:

Disrupt the systematic killing by systematically and indiscriminately killing? Well, there’s some argument for that...if the prevailing culture/beliefs/politics/economy of the country allow it. Otherwise your actions can contribute to many more deaths than the deaths you are trying to prevent.


Straw man fallacy. I never said anything about indiscriminate killing. If war is to be conducted justly, any act of war should meet the principle of discrimination, that is, to not intentionally target innocents. Of course there is a lot more to this condition,but for the sake of brevity I do not want to explain it here.
vikorr wrote:

So how many people is it justifiable to kill (directly + indirectly), to prevent systematic killing?


Those who attack the innocent, make themselves liable to attack. This does not mean, of course, killing with no constraint whatsoever.
vikorr wrote:

Odd, most people thought it was very justified. It’s only hindsight that made those people change their minds. Funnily enough, most people still believe that our governments wouldn't lie to us about such things, even while believing that all politicians are liars...go figure.


So your point is?
vikorr wrote:


I heard lots of people sprouting stuff about regime change, removing a murdering dictator etc.


Again appeal to majority. Does it make it morally justifiable? Did all people believe the same way you suppose? If you remember, there was actually quite a big deal about even the legal justification for such an invasion. It was quite an issue in the UN, but the US went ahead anyhow.

vikorr wrote:

Easy enough to convince oneself of the fact long after the fervour has died down that there wasn't popular support.


I am talking about Iraqi support. As soon as it became obvious there were no WMD's, and that the main justification for going to war was predicated on a fictitious lie, how do you think most Iraqi's felt? As the war progressed, and more innocents die, and you were an Iraqi civilian, what does common sense tell you how you would feel?

As for American support, I still don't see the point of your objection. I arguing that even if there were WMD's, was war a necessary last resort? Couldn't have diplomacy or other means still have been used? Was it as imperative to invade as the Bush administration claimed it to be? Was it fact a viable case of preemptive strike? Considering the facts both at the time and in hindsight, I highly doubt a reasonable case can be made.
vikorr wrote:
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 12:28 pm
@vikorr,
Quote:
Still, 57% approving with UN backing is a majority.


I don't know why you keep bringing this up. The United Nations did not approve the invasion of Iraq. Given that your quoted figure of 57% support was conditional on UN support, which was not forthcoming, it's irrelevant to keep quoting that figure. It's only a conditional majority, and the condition was not fulfilled.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 03:34 pm
@bigstew,
Bigstew, reading your reply to me, I had to laugh at your answers, for you apparently don't understand what you are arguing for is purely theoretical and can never be safely applied in the real world - it is always open to manipulation. There's little point theorising about something that you can't apply - most of my post has been pointing this out and you think it's an argument against your position, rather than it's practical application.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 03:36 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta, in your quote of me, the paragraphs are separated for emphasis, rather than a differing topic.

Quote:
Still, 57% approving with UN backing is a majority.

The American & Australian & Brittish governments pushed hard for UN backing, so most either supported or just sat back satisfied. I remember very few being dubious about the WoMD argument - most seemed to believe it.


However, as I said after that, support changed (grew) after the WOMD argument was introduced, and the closer the invasion became.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 04:02 pm
@bigstew,
Further observations of your post

vikorr wrote:
Disrupt the systematic killing by systematically and indiscriminately killing?

bigstew wrote:
Straw man fallacy. I never said anything about indiscriminate killing

Do you live a very sheltered life? War, which you are talking about, involves indiscriminate killing to some degree " it’s impossible to avoid, most anywhere, but especially in an city setting.
Destroy a hospital? You’ve indirectly killed heaps. Bullets missed your target? So many will that they without doubt will take out many innocents. Being shot at from a highrise? You just sit there taking the fire for fear of hitting an innocent? Are your targets always right when you call in an airstrike? What about your intel? (obviously this part has proven flawed over and over again). Let the missile go...oh wait, a civilian is moving close to the target....Take out an electricity station? Great military strategy and will indirectly kill lots of civilians too. Cause the economy to collapse? That’ll kill people indirectly too. The list of how you directly and indirectly kill people indiscriminantly goes on and on.

vikorr wrote:
So how many people is it justifiable to kill (directly + indirectly), to prevent systematic killing?

bigstew wrote:
Those who attack the innocent, make themselves liable to attack. This does not mean, of course, killing with no constraint whatsoever.

An answer that directly avoided the question. One of the great western fallacies of western invasions (for example, for ‘regime change’) is ‘we’ don't wish to know how many more we have killed than were being killed in the country already. It keeps peoples consciences cleaner.

bigstew wrote:
Nor was it a necessary last resort even if the Saddam did have WMD's. So I'm not sure whether the populace support for the United States was even there to begin with.

vikorr wrote:
Easy enough to convince oneself of the fact long after the fervour has died down that there wasn't popular support.

bigstew wrote:
I am talking about Iraqi support. As soon as it became obvious there were no WMD's, and that the main justification for going to war was predicated on a fictitious lie, how do you think most Iraqi's felt? As the war progressed, and more innocents die, and you were an Iraqi civilian, what does common sense tell you how you would feel?


Keeping track of your statements would help - you directly talked about support before the invasions, and now are claiming you were talking about general support after it was found that womd did not exist.
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:46 am
@vikorr,
vikkor wrote:


Do you live a very sheltered life? War, which you are talking about, involves indiscriminate killing to some degree " it’s impossible to avoid, most anywhere, but especially in an city setting.
Destroy a hospital? You’ve indirectly killed heaps. Bullets missed your target? So many will that they without doubt will take out many innocents. Being shot at from a highrise? You just sit there taking the fire for fear of hitting an innocent? Are your targets always right when you call in an airstrike? What about your intel? (obviously this part has proven flawed over and over again). Let the missile go...oh wait, a civilian is moving close to the target....Take out an electricity station? Great military strategy and will indirectly kill lots of civilians too. Cause the economy to collapse? That’ll kill people indirectly too. The list of how you directly and indirectly kill people indiscriminantly goes on and on.


War has been brutal, you need not be naive and tell me that. The point of just war theory is to lay the conditions out for what would constituent a just war. Some people join the army with that in mind.

If you think war simply "is," many would disagree.

vikkor wrote:

Disrupt the systematic killing by systematically and indiscriminately killing?


stew wrote:

Straw man fallacy. I never said anything about indiscriminate killing


vikkor wrote:

An answer that directly avoided the question. One of the great western fallacies of western invasions (for example, for ‘regime change’) is ‘we’ don't wish to know how many more we have killed than were being killed in the country already. It keeps peoples consciences cleaner.


First, I have no idea how it avoided the question. Like I said, when I say that humanitarian intervention is justifiable cause for war, no where do I mention anything about indiscriminate killing.


You commit a straw man fallacy when you substitute just cause for war with indiscriminate killing.

Second "great fallacies of western".....what? Third, people actually do care how many are in fact killed. Many soldiers care, which is a lot less than you can say for yourself.

Fourth, again appeal to belief, and not only that, a false appeal to majority. Is that even logically possible? Can someone actually logically violate a fallacy? You might be one of the first I have ever seen.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-belief.html


vikkor wrote:

Keeping track of your statements would help - you directly talked about support before the invasions, and now are claiming you were talking about general support after it was found that womd did not exist.



This is so incoherent I have absolutely no clue what you are even trying to imply. You misrepresent my position all together

I never onece say there was support the Iraq invasion of 2003. Tell me where I state such a claim.



msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 05:47 am
@vikorr,
I really think you're pushing your case a bit, vikorr.

Any supposed "support" of Australia's participation around that time was solely due to the involvement of Australian troops. Australians did not want to see Australian troops harmed, which is perfectly natural & understandable.

The Senate censured Howard for his decision, there was widespread opposition from the Australian people. However the Libs had control of the House of Representatives & won the day. We witnessed the largest anti-war demonstrations ever seen on Australian city streets.

vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:19 am
@msolga,
Oh I agree, there was plenty of anti-war feeling in Australia (never said there wasn't - my use of the word 'most' in relation to support for the war does not mean that there wasn't a decent percentage against the war)
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:27 am
@vikorr,
Ah vikorr, the only bit of this discussion I wanted to comment on was the "Australian support" part. Because I was there, I was involved, I followed events very closely & felt/still feel very strongly about what occurred. But I really don't want to side-track the discussion here by going on & on about this one point. So please feel free to carry on now ...
0 Replies
 
Miss L Toad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:39 am
@bigstew,
Would you prefer left or right justified?

Pacifism works well if you know they aren't going to attack.

vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:51 am
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
First, I have no idea how it avoided the question.

It was a simple question, requiring a number or ratio answer. You started off on theories " which avoids the question of :
vikorr wrote:
So how many people is it justifiable to kill (directly + indirectly), to prevent systematic killing?

------------------------------------------------
bigstew wrote:
Like I said, when I say that humanitarian intervention is justifiable cause for war, no where do I mention anything about indiscriminate killing.

Indiscriminate killing is an integrated part of war - War involves indiscriminate killing. You mention it by default when you talk going to war for humanitarian intervention. Are you of the belief it doesn’t?

bigstew wrote:
Second "great fallacies of western".....what? Third, people actually do care how many are in fact killed. Many soldiers care, which is a lot less than you can say for yourself.

So tell me, how many Iraqi’s are reported to have died directly and indirectly from the Iraq War? How about from the embargo’s placed on Iraq after desert storm? As a general rule, very few people know the answer to these questions...how then can you claim people (in general) do care?

vikorr wrote:
Keeping track of your statements would help - you directly talked about support before the invasions, and now are claiming you were talking about general support after it was found that womd did not exist.

bigstew wrote:
I never onece say there was support the Iraq invasion of 2003. Tell me where I state such a claim.

You probably need to look closer at the english - I never said you made that claim. Was the general support low, high, moderate, non-existant? One can mention ‘support’ as a generality of topic, without it meaning ‘positive support’, or ‘high support’. The 3 quotes directly preceding what I said, should have been self explanatory, without me needing to say a thing " that you unfortunately cannot keep track of what you are claiming in regards to support.
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:00 pm
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

So how many people is it justifiable to kill (directly + indirectly), to prevent systematic killing?


Use common sense. Depending on what is at stake, whatever is necessary, proportional, and within constraint. It obviously varies depending on the causes,and the context of the situation. What else could the answer be?

vikorr wrote:

Indiscriminate killing is an integrated part of war - War involves indiscriminate killing. You mention it by default when you talk going to war for humanitarian intervention. Are you of the belief it doesn’t?


What is your point? If an act of war involves indiscriminate targeting, I do not say it is morally justified. Intentionally targeting civilians is exactly the thing that should not be done in war. However, maybe sometimes it will be necessary to target a civilian. That is definitely a moral issue. It does not follow, however, that all war necessarily involves indiscriminate killing. Somehow you assume that, yet make no argument to support your conclusion.

Mention it be default? What are you talking about? The point of humanitarian intervention is that stopping a genocide is a just cause for war. How war is waged is a distinctly different question.

And again you make no argument whatsoever. How is it that indiscriminate killing is necessarily a function of humanitarian intervention? Is that even a coherent notion? See my critique below.


Further, I don't think you have a clue about what "indiscriminate killing" actually entails. Indiscriminate killing involves no discrimination, whatsoever, between targets. Now think about a humanitarian intervention. It makes absolutely no sense to say that one will intervene on the behalf of others being systematically slaughtered, yet target them indiscriminately. If it did happen, of course it would be morally repugnant. No one is denying that. Your conclusions are so baffling I can't even believe you came up with them.

Ever watched the film Blackhawk Down? For the most part, did you see Army Rangers of Delta force intentionally aiming for civilians without weapons? No? That is because they discriminate between targets. No solider with a moral conscious intends to kill innocents. If they do, it is immoral. That is common sense.

vikkor wrote:

So tell me, how many Iraqi’s are reported to have died directly and indirectly from the Iraq War? How about from the embargo’s placed on Iraq after desert storm? As a general rule, very few people know the answer to these questions...how then can you claim people (in general) do care?


What? This makes no sense. If you are going to present an argument, be clear about it. People obviously care about who dies in war. That is common sense. Other than that, I have absolutely no clear what you are attempting to argue.

And you keep referencing the Iraq invasion of 2003. Why? I never once say it was justified war. If you are trying to point out morally questionable facts about it, go ahead. It only demonstrates more reasons why it is unjustifiable.

vikkor wrote:


You probably need to look closer at the english - I never said you made that claim. Was the general support low, high, moderate, non-existant? One can mention ‘support’ as a generality of topic, without it meaning ‘positive support’, or ‘high support’. The 3 quotes directly preceding what I said, should have been self explanatory, without me needing to say a thing " that you unfortunately cannot keep track of what you are claiming in regards to support.


Actually, you need to stop making hasty generalizations and misinterpreting my arguments.

The Iraq 2003 invasion was an unjustified war. It was unjustified because the cause for war, was a fictitious lie (no WMD's). The point of my argument, which you obviously misrepresent, is that support for the war, Iraqi or American, should be based on the just causes. This war has no just cause, therefore, there should be no support.

Whatever objection you are trying to make, is unclear.
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:10 pm
@Miss L Toad,
What do you mean by left or right justified?

Sure pacifism works if you know you are not going to be attacked. It should be the preferred choice in fact. But what if they do attack? How does pacifism deal with those circumstances? How could have anything but violence have stopped WWII?
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:17 pm
@bigstew,
vikorr wrote:
So how many people is it justifiable to kill (directly + indirectly), to prevent systematic killing?

bigstew wrote:
Use common sense. Depending on what is at stake, whatever is necessary, proportional, and within constraint. It obviously varies depending on the causes,and the context of the situation. What else could the answer be?
Less than the existing damage? It’s so simple, and you still couldn’t manage to say that?
vikorr wrote:
Indiscriminate killing is an integrated part of war - War involves indiscriminate killing. You mention it by default when you talk going to war for humanitarian intervention. Are you of the belief it doesn’t?

bigstew wrote:
Somehow you assume that, yet make no argument to support your conclusion.

Please keep track of the conversation you are having. You even quoted this :
vikorr wrote:
War, which you are talking about, involves indiscriminate killing to some degree " it’s impossible to avoid, most anywhere, but especially in an city setting.
Destroy a hospital? You’ve indirectly killed heaps. Bullets missed your target? So many will that they without doubt will take out many innocents. Being shot at from a highrise? You just sit there taking the fire for fear of hitting an innocent? Are your targets always right when you call in an airstrike? What about your intel? (obviously this part has proven flawed over and over again). Let the missile go...oh wait, a civilian is moving close to the target....Take out an electricity station? Great military strategy and will indirectly kill lots of civilians too. Cause the economy to collapse? That’ll kill people indirectly too. The list of how you directly and indirectly kill people indiscriminantly goes on and on.

People like to call this ‘collateral damage’...but what they mean is ‘destruction and death caused by their actions, that weren’t intended, but they did in fact cause’ Not even your own generals believe they will ever be able to stop collateral damage, so how you think anyone can is beyond me..


vikorr wrote:
So tell me, how many Iraqi’s are reported to have died directly and indirectly from the Iraq War? How about from the embargo’s placed on Iraq after desert storm? As a general rule, very few people know the answer to these questions...how then can you claim people (in general) do care?

bigstew wrote:
What? This makes no sense. If you are going to present an argument, be clear about it. People obviously care about who dies in war. That is common sense. Other than that, I have absolutely no clear what you are attempting to argue.

It makes perfect sense " if you cared, you’d find out how many people the US (and the other nations involved) has killed. But you couldn’t care enough to find out (make sense now, having used ‘care’ in this last sentence?)
bigstew wrote:
Mention it be default? What are you talking about? The point of humanitarian intervention is that stopping a genocide is a just cause for war. How war is waged is a distinctly different question.

In tying war to being the method of 'humanitarian intervention' you make it one and the same question. It's a bit ridiculous to say that the method of your intervention has no bearing on whether you 'intervene' or not....for eg. if the intervention was economic with conditions tied...that is a lot easier to justify than a military invasion.

bigstew wrote:
Actually, you need to stop making hasty generalizations and misinterpreting my arguments.

The Iraq 2003 invasion was an unjustified war. It was unjustified because the cause for war, was a fictitious lie (no WMD's). The point of my argument, which you obviously misrepresent, is that support for the war, Iraqi or American, should be based on the just causes. This war has no just cause, therefore, there should be no support.

Whatever objection you are trying to make, is unclear.


bigstew wrote:
****Nor was it a necessary last resort even if the Saddam did have WMD's. So I'm not sure whether the populace support for the United States was even there to begin with.

vikorr wrote:
Easy enough to convince oneself of the fact long after the fervour has died down that there wasn't popular support.


Point was, your quote )that I've added the **** into) says you aren't sure that there was even popular support to begin with. There was.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_opinion_in_the_US_on_the_invasion_of_Iraq

Just a quick search found that.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:24 pm
@bigstew,
Quote:
This war has no just cause, therefore, there should be no support.
Funny that there was then...and this is the problem your theory will always run up against - It's practical application is to easily (and dangerously) manipulated.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:31 pm
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
"Is War Justifiable?"
And if so, under what conditions?
Obviously, it is, if u need to defend yourself.





David
 

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