The issue of War and Terrorism is one that is always present, especially now since the United States is no longer perceived as a safe haven from the world’s violence. This country which was once “untouched” in terms of mass deaths due to terrorism, has now taken a more realistic view of itself and its vulnerabilities. Our current war or “act of aggression” and whether it is just or not can also be turned on its head depending on who you ask.
A just war is supposed to have three requirements according to Thomas Aquinas:
- The war must be started and controlled by the authority of state or ruler.
- There must be a just cause.
- The war must be for good, or against evil. Law and order must always be restored.
The causes of this war, although initially clearly stated have become muddled with ulterior motives and double-talk. This war against Iraq or Jihad has been viewed as a holy war from the other side. Our acts of patriotism and "peacekeeping" are seen as terrorism by the Muslim world. War in this country has always been declared once an enemy first attacked our troops (Pearl Harbor for example), thus making it a just war. In this particular case President Bush instituted a preemptive war, which although we were never attacked, he justified by claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was attacked and invaded, the ruling party (Saddam Hussein) was ousted and then subsequently executed. Years have passed and we continue to occupy the country in order to “quell” insurgent uprisings. Our current president’s aggressive stance and actions in this case could cause a huge backlash against the United States, by other counties who now see us as an aggressor among peaceful nations.
To make things worse, the ethnocentric media that we as Americans are exposed to is rather limited and you would be surprised how much more you would learn by watching the newscasts aimed at a different audience besides predominantly American viewers. I'm glad that this "reign" is almost over...