Praise be to Allah…. Allah Most High has struck America in its most vulnerable spot, destroying its mighty buildings, praise be unto Him. Look at America—filled with terror from north to south, east to west—all praise be to Allah! Thus began Osama bin Laden in his “Oath to America,” broadcast by al-Jazeera nearly a month [ Read More ]
In recent posts, we described the essence of the just war tradition, contrasted it with pacifism and jihadism, and described its foundations in ancient thought and its development through the medieval and early modern eras. In this post, we will explore the work of selected twentieth-century just war thinkers, each of whom made a signal [ Read More ]
No Christian—and for that matter, no “soldier worth his salt” (as General Schwarzkopf put it)—will proclaim himself to be “pro-war.” We desire peace. And yet we disagree on how to achieve the peace we desire.
At one end of the spectrum, pacifists refuse to participate in wars of any kind, for any reason. At the other end of the spectrum, crusaders seek final peace by waging war on behalf of an ideal. In the middle of the two views are just war proponents. Unlike pacifists, they are willing to wage war, but unlike crusaders, they are not willing to do so to achieve ideological perfection.
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