23 March 2007

Just War

On the back of last night's Question Time Iraq Special, here's a couple of paragraph's from Christopher Catherwood's article Christians, Iraq and Just War in the first issue of The Difference Magazine:

"The war in Iraq poses considerable problems. Morally speaking, as those who defended it, from William Hague in the Conservative Party to Nick Cohen on the left, remind us, anyone who opposes the war has to answer the hard question, 'Would you have left Saddam Hussein in power?'

"As someone who, like Ken Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind and Andrew Lansley, opposed the war, I am very aware of the force of this moral argument. There is a sense in which getting rid of Saddam could be seen as just cause. Yet, as I was asked at the time on the Christian radio station Premier Radio, if evil and oppressive dictatorship is in and of itself just cause, why are we not after, for example, Robert Mugabe as well? That, too, is a fair point."
After explaining why Iraq fails to satisfy a number of the criteria of a just war, including requirements that it be defensive, have a clear outcome, and be based on legitimate authority, Christopher then goes on:
"Iraq is a war I would in many ways love to have supported, but felt that from a Christian viewpoint I could not. Apart from anything else, we changed a secular regime in Iraq that gave full freedom of religion to the very large Assyrian and Chaldean Christian minority there – not of course forgetting Saddam’s psychopathic oppression of his opponents – and have ended up with an increasingly Shiite theocratic regime which actively persecutes the rapidly dwindling Christian population. It is responsible for attacks on the Sunni Muslim minority, who, unlike the Christians, fight back militarily and are thus plunging the nation into civil war."
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