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The official website of Paul Franklin: a father, veteran, activist, motivational speaker, and proud Canadian.

Friday, December 10, 2010

When to go to WAR and when is justifiable?

If we look at the concept of what is a justifiable war we tend to walk on some very thin moral ground.  One man's insurgent is another's freedom fighter.  We have to take a cold hard look and see when is a war a good thing, a right thing, a moral thing or simply when its is wrong.

Its very easy to say we should all live in peace and to never have war but the consequences of that is that the strong will attempt to crush the weak and history tells us that is usually the outcome.
Peace without security is not peace.
Peace without freedom is not peace.
Peace without a voice is not peace.

If war is evil then..... peace is good .  It sounds easy but if one has peace and is oppressed then one must step up and do the right thing.  One may have to take that peace away to help the people help themselves.  

War can be the right thing to do in the right situations.
What do you stand for?

When to go to WAR and when is justifiable?
Here are four reasons to go to war.
1. Last resort. Since the presumption is that war is a great evil, it must be the last resort. All other possible solutions must be exhausted before war can be considered justifiable.
2. Just cause. The cause of war must be so serious and so wrong as to justify war as a response. Claiming to have a just cause and actually having one aren’t the same. Every group that has ever gone to war has claimed that its cause was just.
3. Legitimate authority. Only the proper authority can legitimately undertake war. Of course, the question of who is a proper authority is subject to debate. Are national governments the primary authorities? Is the United Nations the primary authority? Do they share authority?
4. Right purposeWar must have an acceptable purpose. For example, the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said war was justified only if it contributed to the common good. The common good isn’t confined to any one people or nation. War merely for the sake of national interest is unacceptable. For a second example, Martin Luther—and Augustine before him—said violence to defend one’s life wasn’t permissible, but violence to defend the life of one’s neighbor could be justified. Strictly speaking, Luther and Augustine didn’t permit war for “self-defense,” but did allow the possibility of war for “nei
ghbor-defense.”  The Lutheran "justification by faith alone"

If we apply those ideals to past Canadian and some international conflicts are they then justifiable wars?
Benjamin West 005.jpg
The Death of General Wolfe is a well-known 1771 painting by Anglo-American artist Benjamin West depicting the final moments of British General James Wolfe during the 1759 Battle of Quebec of the Seven Years' War.
France vs British conflict 
 (1758 to 1760)
Last Resort                  Treaty of Paris 1763 proves diplomacy was possible, only after New France had fallen
Just Cause                  For the French it was to keep territories threatened by Britain, and trade goods
Legitimate Authority     American help was requested but their motives were more for an annexation of Canada, although they took fort Niagara and Fort Carllion as Wolfe moved on Quebec City, 
Right Purpose              YES (forced the French to retreat to New Orleans and Illinois, and took control of New France)
Map of Qubec City, showing the siege and attack by the Americans during the winter of 1775-1776ANC/NMC 55019
Attack on Quebec City (1775)
American Invasion of Canada 
Last Resort              
Major General Benedict Arnold and Brigadier Richard Montgomery commanded the American troops with the
 purpose of the invasion of Canada to bring the Canada into the war on the American Independence side and if that was to not work then it was the occupation of Canada

Just Cause                Americans were fighting for their freedom from the British yoke, Canadians defending their homes and land

Legitimate Authority    Defence of Quebec city by Canadian and British volunteers, Montreal and St John had already fallen

Right Purpose             YES

Push on, brave York Volunteers!" A mortally wounded Brock urges the Canadian militia forward.  The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory 
American Invasion of Canada
Last Resort              
Americans declare war against Britain mainly for western expansion

Just Cause               
Sometimes referred to the Second war of independence

Legitimate Authority  Defence of Canada and her interests (Britain regarded the war as a sideshow to the Napoleonic Wars)

Right Purpose           YES

Battle of Ridgeway.jpg
Battle of Ridgeway
American Irish Invasion of Canada 
(1866, 1871)
Last Resort               Irish Americans are upset with Britain's position and to encourage a withdrawal from Ireland
Just Cause                For the Fenian's (Irish Americans) it seemed like a way to bring the fight here
Legitimate Authority   Even the US governmen
t stood on the sidelines as the invasions occurred.

Right Purpose            YES
Battle of Fish Creek

Northwest Rebellion 
Last Resort                 PM MacDonald did not engage the Metis in true negotiation
Just Cause                  Rebellion helped give the impitus for the railway and the security of Western Canada
Legitimate Authority     Internal matter for Canada, although the Metis never wanted to leave Britain they wanted the same rights as a typical Canadian province and people
Right Purpose              NO, but the outcome is the peaceful west we know today.

Boer War 
Boer War  
(1899 to 1902)
Last Resort                   Boer rebel against British rule
Just Cause                    For the Boers yes, for the British it was about saving face,
Legitimate Authority        British met
hods of scorched earth policies and concentration camps for civilians put a black mark on a very successful counter insurgency campaign (although a morally corrupt way to pacify an enemy.)

Right Purpose                 NO

WW1 TitlePicture For Wikipedia Article.jpg
Stopping the Germans in France and Belgium was correct but the ends do not justify the means
World War 1  
(1914 to 1918)
Last Resort                      failure of diplomacy at all levels
Just Cause                       the death of an insignificant prince leads to total conflagration
Legitimate Authority          none
Right Purpose                   To go to war NO, to finish a war already started YES

Nationalists bombing Madrid 1936
Spanish Civil War   
(1936 to 1939)
Last Resort                      Fascists allied with Italy and Germany
Just Cause                       Freedom for the Spanish minorities
Legitimate Authority          True insurgency (involving communists, socialist, monarchists, democrats)
Right Purpose                   YES 
 Infobox collage for WWII.PNG
World War 2
(1939 to 1945)
Last Resort                       Chamberlain used Diplomacy with someone who would never capitulate
Just Cause                        Holocos
t and the vicious invasion and occupation of Europe and Asia
Legitimate Authority           Allies believe in the cause, creation of the UN in its aftermath
Right Purpose                    YES
Korean War Montage.jpg
(1950 to 1953)
Last Resort                       UN approved mission American led
Just Cause                        South Korea invaded 
Legitimate Authority            UN security counsel and treaty agreements
Right Purpose                     YES

Vietnam War
 (1955 to 1975)
Last Resort                        American supported corrupt South Vietnam government asks for support
Just Cause                         Gulf of Tonkin incident is applied and then revealed by the pentagon papers
Legitimate Authority            US government lies about the war, NVA involvement, NV government involvement
Right Purpose                      NO
Gulf War Photobox.jpg
Gulf War 1 (1990 to 1991)
Persian Gulf War

Last Resort                          UN approved US and Saudi led mission to free Kuwait from Iraq
Just Cause                           for the Saudis and Kuwait people yes
Legitimate Authority              
UN security counsel and treaty agreements

Right Purpose                       YES

101st Airborne Division helos during Operation Iraqi Freedom.jpg
Gulf War 2  (2003 to 2010)
Invasion of Iraq

Last Resort                           Diplomacy, intelligence and government failure at all levels
Just Cause                            to finish what was missed in GW1
Legitimate Authority               Bush lied about WMD to cause the invasion
Right Purpose                        NO

2001 War in Afghanistan collage 3.jpg
(2001 and ongoing)

Last Resort                           Taliban needed to be destroyed (recognized by Clinton in the 90's)
Just Cause                             Yes (but should have been done earlier)
Legitimate Authority                UN sanctioned NATO led invasion and reconstruction
Right Purpose                         YES

"You end by saying you personally cannot envision that peace can ever be paved with military offensives. May I suggest to you that in many instances in history peace has been achieved exactly that way.

The gates of Auschwitz were not opened with peace talks. Holland was not liberated by peacekeepers and fascism was not defeated with a deft pen. 

Time and time again men and women in uniform have laid down their lives in just causes and in an effort to free others from oppression."
 Rick Mercer 2007

Jessica Umlandt poses for a picture with Rick Mercer. 

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