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"What It Is Like to Go to War", by Karl Marlantes--My Response

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jerry Lobdill       (Page 3 of 6 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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You're not convincing me.   The warrior makes no judgment call here. His decision was made long ago when he enlisted.

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That is, someone else must have already abandoned Waite's position--the philosophical necessity required for the ethical application of the warrior's power. Accepting this means accepting that a moral nation's first use of its warrior power will always be defensive because preemptive strikes are immoral.

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The warrior may have assumed that the US was a moral nation when he enlisted, but there is now ample proof that this assumption is untrue.

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Like capital punishment, once done a preemptive strike cannot be undone, and the nation struck could be innocent. Look at how badly the United States botched the intelligence, or botched the conclusions drawn from what intelligence it did possess, leading up to the 2003 Iraq war, namely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction it was about to use against the United States. The United States got it wrong.

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George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the other neocons didn't botch anything. They did what they wanted to do because they had the power to do it, and it was a breach of international law that many Americans who still retain the power of critical thought knew was wrong as soon as Donald Rumsfeld proposed a war against Irag in retaliation for 9/11 very shortly after 9/11.  

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Based on that justification alone, the United States was in the same position as a vigilante mob hanging an innocent man. There were more ethical justifications that should have been used and that were already well proved, namely a brutal dictator killing and torturing his own people who were powerless to stop him. The United Nations should have put a stop to it. It did not. The United States, Britain, and other states of the coalition did.

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The US certainly acted like a vigilante mob, and none of the "ethical justifications" you propose would have sufficed to make the war decision a moral one.   For years we enabled Saddam to be the dictator he was, and you're saying that as a result of 9/11 it made sense and was morally right to deal Iraq "shock and awe"?   If that's what you're saying you are letting that savage killer lurking inside every man have his thrill for no good reason.

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Unfortunately they botched the occupation badly, setting back return rule of law for years.

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I am a retired physicist and hold a B.S. in Ch. E. as well. I have been an environmental activist since the early 1970s. I have been a writer of opinion pieces and other essays since about 1995 and am a published author of history. I have (more...)
 

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