Posts Tagged ‘war’

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Is the U.S. going to war with Syria?  If we do war is very ugly.  Should we be going to war and bombing a country when there are no good guys fighting?  There are the rebels on one hand and Assad’s military on the other hand. The choice is between people who are very, very bad and people who are horrible.  Should we be getting mixed up in a Syrian civil war?  Is it really America’s business to get involved?

I don’t think we have any business going to war in Syria.  As much as I am concerned for the welfare of the innocents who aren’t fighting and simply want peace I don’t think the United States government has any standing to get involved in a Syrian civil war.  But Syria is the gateway for Iran attacking Israel.  So maybe limited strikes is the best of bad options in fighting Syria to aid Israel in her defense?  I do think the Catholic Church as well as other churches and Christian missions should get involved.  There has to be a variety of ways that churches and organizations can help Christians and others in Syria who are being persecuted, threatened, and harmed,

Now onto the one good item. Pope Francis has called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace on September 7.

“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me,” he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 1.

“There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming,” continued the Pope.

“For this reason, brothers and sisters, I have decided to call for a vigil for the whole Church,” he announced.

It will be “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the Middle East, and throughout world.”

The vigil will take place on Sept. 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace. Those who can will gather in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. until midnight: other local Churches are requested to join in the fasting and prayer by gathering together.

Prayer is the answer.  God is the answer.  Let us all take time out of our busy schedules on September 7 to pray for peace in Syria and around the globe.  God Bless.


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Pastor Steven Andrew who is President of USA Christian Ministries and author of “Making A Strong Christian Nation” has stated that “voting for Bachmann or Santorum is saying ‘yes’ to God and ‘no’ to the devil.”  He makes the point of noting that “like our Founding Fathers both Santorum and Bachmann  include God in government, want pro-life laws and uphold God’s marriage of one man and one woman.”  He says that “the other candidates have flip-flopped on these most important issues that God says determine Americans’ future.” Pastor Steven Andrew states that “voting for Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum will help bring God’s economic recovery to the USA because they best stand for God.”

Pastor Andrew goes onto say: ‘Scripture teaches that God controls our nation’s economy. God blesses nations based on obedience and judges them based on disobedience (Deuteronomy 28, Leviticus 26). Abraham Lincoln said, “…we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world…”‘

“People understand that God judges nations who shed innocent blood in abortion and promote homosexual sin as Obama does-God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Psalm 106:38, 2 Peter 2:6, Leviticus 18:25). Americans must repent, receive forgiveness by Jesus’ blood and obey God. Voting for Bachmann or Santorum is saying ‘yes’ to God and ‘no’ to the devil. Jesus says, ‘Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand,'” he adds.

Cardinal Burke has stated that Catholics can’t vote for pro-abort politicians. Cardinal Burke emphatically stated “You can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.” He continued by saying that Catholics have “a very serious moral obligation in voting to vote for those candidates who would uphold the truth of the moral law, which of course also serves the greatest good of everyone in society.”  He then continued with saying that “You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “but you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”

These people who equate war with abortion or even possibly think that war is worse than abortion are seriously lacking in moral understanding.  War is not an intrinsic evil.  Yes, it can be considered to be just or unjust but it can never be considered as morally reprehensible or morally evil as abortion.  It is possible for war to bring about good and end an evil like in WWII.  Abortion can never be considered to be good or bring about a good.  Abortion is murdering an innocent human life.  Abortion is always wrong.  Abortion trumps the issues related to war, the environment, the poor and whatsoever else since the unborn are unable to speak for themselves and are the most vulnerable in our society.

Cardinal Burke is extremely outspoken against the evil of abortion.  He makes it clear that in his view Catholics are not permitted to vote for a pro-abort politician.  He also makes it clear that he believes (and rightly so) that abortion trumps all other voting issues.  None of the other issues involves an intrinsic evil.  I believe that it is highly likely that out of all of the presidential candidates Cardinal Burke would see Santorum and Bachmann as the best moral choices for voters, and especially Catholic voters.

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Did the U.S. bishops muddy the waters when they added imprecise or unmeasurable criteria to the original just war principles?

The Christian principles of what constitutes a just war were known, at least implicitly, prior to St. Augustine of Hippo putting these principles in writing during the fifth century. When St. Thomas Aquinas offered principles of a just war he affirmed just war principles that St. Augustine had written down. In this we have a pattern in tradition of what embodies the just war principles. These principles of just war were generally accepted by Christians until 1983, when the U.S. bishops added additional criteria to them.

These are the principles of just war that St. Augustine formally introduced in 430:

1. The intention in going to war must be to restore peace.
2. Only a legitimate authority may declare war.
3. The conduct of the war must be just.
4. Monks and clerics may not engage in warfare.


St. Thomas Aquinas offered these principles:

1. War must be waged by a public authority for the common good.
2. A just cause is required.
3. It must be fought with right intentions.
In 1983, the U.S. bishops added these three principles to the list:

1) There must be a probability of success, to prevent a hopeless resort to violence.
2) Proportionality: the destruction inflicted must be less than the good expected by taking up arms.
3) Comparative Justice: No state should act on the basis that it has “absolute justice” on its side.

How does a state *know* that there is a probability of success before the factors that take place during war which would affect or determine whether the war is successful have occurred yet? It would seem at best the state could make an educated guess or hypothesize as to the probability of success but without having knowledge of all the conditions on the ground the probability of knowing whether or not the war will end up being a hopeless resort to violence would be almost impossible.

The problem with measuring the evidence of proportionality or *knowing* the proportionality between the destruction which is inflicted being less than the good which is expected to take place from taking up arms is that the time measured for each is different. We know the destruction during the war but the goodness which is brought about may take place over a lengthy period of time. Should we expect immediate goodness? Or the immediate goodness to outweigh the destruction? Or is it possible for the later goodness to legitimize the particular war’s destruction?

I just think that these two criteria that the bishops added to the just war theory muddied the waters and makes it extremely hard and confusing to determine whether a particular war is meets the just war criteria or not. The principles asserted by Thomas Aquinas and Augustine are cut and dried in determining what constitutes a just war. It is my contention that the U.S. bishops have made it more confusing and almost broadly subjective to determine whether or not a war meets the just war criteria.

Given the vagueness of these principles there are two approaches that can be taken to the application of these principles: 1) Since it close to impossible to know with absolute certainty that the war is just there may never be a war that is considered to be a just war or 2) Since it is close to impossible to know with absolute certainty that the war is unjust there may never be war that can be condemned as an unjust war.

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A strong national defense is essential to America. Our Founders believed in the importance of a strong national defense so much that they included the right to “provide for the common defense” in the preamble of the Constitution. National defense is a primary responsibility of our federal government. During last night’s GOP debate Ron Paul asserted “that a war with Iran would be an absurdly dangerous undertaking and an overreaction to the apparent threat Iran poses.” The problem with this assertion is that Ron Paul consistently underestimates and even underreacts to the point in which he has dismissed the fact that Iran is a threat.  He even asserted that there is “no evidence” that Iran is pursuing a nuclear device. That assertion is false.

No responsibly sane person wants to engage another country in war or thinks that war is a good thing but rather sees war as being a necessary option used as a last resort for our common defense when a legitimate threat is posed against the United States. A war can be a mechanism used for freeing a people from a tyrannical, brutal dictator and the outcome can be good but the war in and of itself is not good. Is it possible for the war to be just? Yes. But even if a war is considered just that doesn’t mean that the war is good.

A responsible commander-in-chief needs to be willing to have all options on the table, even war as a last resort. For Ron Paul to dismiss Iran as a threat and believe that we should extend our hands in friendship like our relationship with Iran is on a firm footing is absurdly naive thinking for a possible future commander-in-chief.

Having war as an option in case the U.S. needs to respond to a threat that a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel, the West, and the United States if Iran attained nuclear weapons capabilities is not an “establishment” position but rather is a position which is consistent with our constitution.

Ron Paul has claimed that the IAEA report is war propaganda and outright dismissed the report’s accuracy. That’s really quite ironic since he didn’t dispute the accuracy of their findings in 2003 when the IAEA claimed that there was no evidence that Iran was building a bomb, even though that claim turned out to be erroneous.

The facts indicate that the “IAEA, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, issued a report in November that concluded that Iran has acquired the technology to design a nuclear weapon and would require about six months to enrich uranium to the quality needed for a bomb.”  In addition the report points out that “intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.” A nuclear physicist, named David Albright who is a former weapons inspector, has stated that at the current rate it “would likely take Iran till the end of 2013 to enrich enough 20 percent uranium to be further processed for use in one bomb. If Iran could get three sets of new generation centrifuges working at two sites, it “could produce enough material by the end of next year that could be further enriched to weapons-grade.”

This is not something to be dismissed with an “if we were nicer to them they’d be nicer to us” attitude.    That is ignoring the reality of the situation.  That type of attitude exudes a dangerous naiveté. The method Paul advocates has been tried under the Obama administration and has failed. Iran’s rhetoric has only gotten more vitriolic toward the U.S.

Michele Bachmann did exaggerate a bit when she claimed that Iran is “just months away from getting a nuke.”

Ron Paul even dismisses sanctions as an option to deter the Iranians from seeking nuclear weapons capabilities. In this exchange with Chris Wallace Ron Paul claims that the United States needs to extend a hand in friendship to Iran. The problem with Ron Paul is that he is ignoring reality, the pure unadulterated hatred that Iran has for the U.S. because of our support for Israel. He is ignoring the fact that this madman Ahmadinejad does not want to negotiate with the U.S., does not want to coexist with the West and does not want to avoid war but rather wants to escalate tensions and start a war.

Rick Santorum understands the reality of the threat that Iran poses to not only the United States and Israel but the whole world should they attain nuclear weapons capabilities.

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There has been much controversy among both liberals and conservatives on the blogosphere over whether or not the Awlaki killing is constitutional or not.  First, I think justice was served as in an enemy of the United States was killed and I am not going to lose any sleep over his being slain but was it constitutional for the U.S. to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki?

At one point in time I said that I was against the targeting of Awlaki but there was one caveat to my position, that I think it is perfectly legal if he was killed on the battlefield.   Now, the definition of battlefield has expanded since Vietnam or is of a non-traditional nature nowadays.  Ground Zero became a battlefield on 9/11.  It may or may not be that any longer, that would ultimately depend on our enemy.  Hopefully it isn’t.  So the second question is, was Awlaki killed on a battlefield?

Fuzzy of Fuzzy Logic has expressed concerns over the constitutionality of the killing of an American citizen while Silverfiddle of Western Hero has outlined what he believes to be the legitimate constitutionality of the kill. Fuzzy believes that is dangerous for us to give unchecked authority to the President to issue death warrants on American citizens.  This does trouble me.  But is this really unchecked authority?  Wouldn’t it have been possible for either Ron Paul or any other representative in Congress to object and pass an amendment which would have some type of checks and balances on the President’s authority to kill an American who was considered an enemy combatant? Did Congress abandon it’s responsibility or did Obama in fact have legitimate authority to kill an enemy citizen? Especially since this kill order was declared about a year ago?

I do worry about the fact that if the American people just lay down and accept the killing of an American citizen that we are indeed relinquishing our Constitutional rights and whether this could lead to the Obama administration (or any other admin)  declaring any one of us U.S. citizens as terrorists.

But…. Was Awlaki really an American citizen?

Silverfiddle points out:

Loss of nationality, also known as expatriation, means the loss of citizenship status properly acquired, whether by birth in the United States, through birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or by naturalization. As a result of several constitutional decisions, §349(a) of the current Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) provides that U.S. nationality is lost only when the U.S. citizen does one of the specified acts described in INA §349, voluntarily and with the intent to give up that nationality.
“taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof after having attained the age of eighteen years.”

“entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serves as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer;”

“performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship.”

“committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of Title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of Title 18, or violating section 2384 of Title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Based on this information it would seem that it is safe to conclude that Awlaki was no longer an American citizen.

But, if he still was an American citizen has there been any precedence in American history for killing an American combatant?

What about Lincoln ordering the Union troops to fire upon the Confederates?  The Wall Street Journal points out that …”Lincoln concluded, the laws of war must allow the United States to treat its own citizens as enemies when they take up arms in rebellion.”

The WSJ goes on to say:

“Supreme Court opinions have upheld Lincoln’s principle. During World War II, the FBI caught eight German saboteurs trying to sneak into the U.S. and at least one of them was a citizen. On reviewing their military trial and death sentences, the Justices declared: “Citizenship in the United States of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences” (Ex Parte Quirin, 1942). “Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents.” A nation at war has the right to kill enemy belligerents in war.” 

I tend to agree with Silverfiddle on this one but I do have mixed feelings on the constitutionality of the killing of an enemy combatant who may or may not have been an American citizen – this is very much in question today.

More Posts On This Issue

Just a Conservative Girl – Are We Going To Follow The Constitution? 

Left Coast Rebel – Terrorist al-AwLaki Assumes Room Temperature

RightHandMan of Sentry Journal has also posted on this issue – Emergencies Begat Emergencies

Wes Messamore at Left Coast Rebel – Presidentially-Ordered, Summary Executions are Lawless and Tyrannical


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