Critics of just war theory will remind people of its theoretical nature and inability to prevent a war. While this is certainly true, in that politicians in power are unlikely to attempt to use just war theory to prove that their cause is just before entering a war, the theory enables philosophers and war critics to evaluate a past or ongoing war by a concrete set of standards. Just war thinking is not new by any means and was carried out by Augustine and Aquinas, and, though the former stressed love even in violence while the latter stressed natural justice, both agreed that "right intention and just cause" must be present in a just war (Cahill 197). These two concepts have since served as the core of just war theory doctrine through the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the eighteenth century (where the focus was more on right to war rather than justice in war), and today (Cahill 197).
[...] These are the seven principles of jus ad bellum in just war theory, and by utilizing them; I was able to give ample evidence to support my argument that both the Vietnam and Iraq War are unjust on every level of analysis. Not only does just war theory provide a practical and logical standard to evaluate a war by, but it forces its users to examine every aspect of a war before making a conclusive decision that a war is or is not just. [...]
[...] In Vietnam, the Cold War propaganda depicting Reds as demonized nonhumans who were so deceitful they could live right next door to a Democrat without his/her knowledge was still fresh in the minds of Americans and in media representations. In both the Iraq and Vietnam War, the US exhibits a total lack of relative justice in its shocking belief that it can actually run another country's government and in its pomposity to act as though, because it is a world superpower, must assert its authority everywhere” (Uncovered An aspect of jus ad bellum which has become very important in modern warfare is having a reasonable hope of success. [...]
[...] "Peace and Non-Violence in Buddhism," in War and Peace in an Age of Terrorism, 76-81. Cashman, Greg. "The Individual Level of Analysis: Human Aggression," What Causes War? (New York: Lexington Books, 1993), 14-35. DeBenedetti, Charles. "American Peace Activism," in War and Peace in an Age of Terrorism, 316-19. Fisher, Roger and William Ury. "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in War and Peace in an Age of Terrorism, 237-57. Nagler, Michael N. "The Nonviolent Moment as Peak Experience," in War and Peace in an Age [...]
[...] Considering that in a war of this nature, winning side is the one that offers a better life to more people,” it is unportional to focus on defeating terrorism rather than on basic human needs, which, if unfulfilled, result in unrest and terrorism (Goldberg 19). Relative justice is crucial to jus ad bellum in that a just war must recognize the enemy's equal right to justice, rather than use absolute justice to demonize the enemy or claim that God is on one side or the other (Berry and Hoovler 2). [...]
[...] Based on this information, it is clear that the Vietnam War lacked legitimate authority; in fact, because it occurred so gradually and over a long period of time, any authority beyond the presidency was not even sought. This proved a gross undermining of the American people and, after the war, led Reagan to state that prior to going to war, “there must be ‘some reasonable assurance of the support of the American people and their elected representatives in Congress'” (Ziegler 92). [...]
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