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The Forum > Article Comments > Legality and the use of force in international affairs > Comments

Legality and the use of force in international affairs : Comments

By Stephen Cheleda, published 23/5/2008

It's essential that we critically re-examine our understanding of historical events.

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" Clausewitz regarded war as a lawful exercise of power by a lawfully constituted body, “the sovereign state”.
Of course, the "soveriegn state" does not cover the colonial incursions and plunder of the soveriegn state of Iraq, Afghanistan,etc., Nor the bloody colonial conquests in dozens of areas of the world. Where there are no death figures released but must be in the order of uncountable multi-millions. Taken as a whole, this century has witnessed the most gigantic upheavals and bloodbaths in world history, with even bigger and more bloody new wars on the drawng boards in Washington. Clausewitz also saw through the machinations about war (which the writer excludes) "that the first casualty of war was the truth." In other words he understood that most people abhored wars and a media campaign was required using the "big lie". That wars are not about "democracy" or "humantarian missions". You cannot bomb people and claim that is "democracy". There are always economic considerations and resources at stake because the system is based on profits and exploiting every consideration and resource; whilst checking and restraining your trading rival. Shooting war is the logical extension of trade war. Wars too have geo-political considerations at stake, such as important water canals, passageways and channels of trade. In the second World War Britain lost its colonial might and empire to the US. Hitler tried to reorganise Europe and Japan tried to reshape the Pacific. Wars are part and parcel of capitalism with interludes of peace.
Posted by johncee1945, Friday, 23 May 2008 7:00:26 PM
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the-lawful use-of-force is-an important-aspect but-its-immoral.

Its not rocket science ,
just like murder can be legal as defensive reaction to overwelming force [by striking in retaliation or defense, [as has been used for many wars , sinking the lucitania ,pearl harbour, 911 ,
that despite being red flag events ,gave the population a 'reasonable belief the war was just

No war is justified ,any death insults the god who gave all living their lives to live
[even athiests cant disagree with the morality of that ]

We cant claim high ground via-murder [and premption is killing for thought crime]
every war is built on lies

[be it babies being dumped out of incubators , penny-traitor bombs or wepons of mass destraction],
or as per the next war [on iran]
because a nuclear armed rogue state fears iran so much because of some ancient blood feud it has lobbied usa to do it's work of war for it

Any death demeans us all of our humanity
[demeans our very own gift of life ]

That usa is a war based economy is beyomnd dispute[60 percent of its production is war based]that usa has the biggest armmed forces , the biggest miletary buget ,the largest death count [in offense or defense]

The on-going usa initiated [or reacted] wars make a substantial listing
[not to mention its 'war ,on its own civilians ; the WAR on drug users , that gives usa the highest incarceration rate by far over and above even the ussr ,or china ,for what is a medical-problem at best [not a policing-problem]

All [any] war demeans our humanity

it is worth remembering the weakest debate usually stikes its blows first ,the 'war leader'' is the weak leader [doing his tough on drug'ss routeen]

jesus told us by their deeds will we know them
that even a beast knows its own masters voice

any voice calling for war is not serving the life giver [god/good]
[who made life from the dust]

but
WAR is serving the life taker
[who only seeks to turn all life back into dust
Posted by one under god, Friday, 23 May 2008 10:27:53 PM
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Amazed, only two people in Australia have commented on this paper, I congratulate the comments above.

Thomas Hobbes said” nature is essentially a state of war of all against all”. As a post war individual, who has spend a life trying to make sense of why people and their governments advocate war tactics over long-term measures of overcoming conflict, I can only agree with Hobbes. Be it macro or micro… we are dealing with ourselves as a society in a day to day state of war. We each individually act like we are numb to it, as if it may be denied… yet how can it be?

War ends with citizens who take ‘responsibility’ to promote the things that ought to protect one and ALL. Until we understand this we repeat history like self-serving--pea-brained rat-mice treading the rotation mill, round and round… oblivious to the potential value of our individual collective empowerment.

Why do we need to end ALL forms of war? Is it not that our own streets shelter the homeless, our jails swell full with the disassociated, our hospital logs increase with those we profess mentally ill, the aged and the fragile others… invisiblised… made as unwanted or forgotten.

Mainstream Australian’s are lucky in their protected ignorance, where they allow themselves to objectify war. For me, war starts at home and continues its projection overseas… until we choose to see the links and want to inter-relate differently, nothing will change.

Few understand the nature of the civilian experience, the causal elements that leads to ‘broken-families’ or how we reproduce the legacy for those we so easily culturally displace. We fail to see the uncomfortable, sensitised perceptions, the scars of those we have displaced and so it continues… the reproduction day-to-day-war.

Required is the depth to see how everything in everyday life – is foreign… until we choose to explore the fact that we are all foreign… we will not find need to mend the gap with the other.

We have a responsibility to protect. True development must suffice poverty-conflict-and war where ALL can share in the benefit.

http://www.miacat.com/
Posted by miacat, Saturday, 24 May 2008 9:27:21 PM
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great post cat
in response to your retorical?
''We each individually act like we are numb to it, as if it may be denied… yet how can it be?''

rightiousness makes us numb ,

what govt does is stir us up into a self-rightious mob , and we condone doing evil or having evil being done in our name.

because we are the white hat heroes

rushing in to revenge the death of a thousand curds [stired into rebelion by agent provocateurs] then killing between half a milion and 3/4 of a milion civilians [plus 4000 invading troups [peace [piece] keepers ,who gets their piece?

Not the wounded with permanent disabilities [near 40 thousand]
not the invaded [as well as] who's blood stains the sand, blown appart into the dust by missiles made in the land of the free, left poluting the ground with heavey metal from their plutonium tipped misiles
that disintrigate into radioactive dust that will have lasting affects [100 times longer than that of agent orange]

Plus the debt [going towards 7 trillion] that sees usa civilians loaded up with intrest bearing debt [owed to a privatised bankers cabal, to the tune of 40,000 [plus intrest] $us each and every us citizen has been incumbered with for the next two generations.

While the war lords and the stock marketeers drag their gross bonus into some overseas tax shelter , and buy up the last of the middle class's assets , as they [the neo poor] join the [traditional] poor and downtrodden on the bottum of the pile
[as the public servants ride contentedly into their sunset pensions with the thought of well done]
bah!
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 24 May 2008 10:05:17 PM
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Under one god,please do not bring religion into this debate.Millions have loist their lives in God's name.Jesus said some impossible things that no one seriously will contemplate.

Jesus said that we should not retaliate when we are attacked.If anyone strikes you offer him the other cheek.WELL. It's ok,I guess if you have a friendly dentistwho wont charge you the earth because you were listening to Jesus.When asked how many times we should forgive our enemy Jesus said seventy times seven a matter of speech.Hemeant indefinitely.
Hitler must have been wondering if there were any Christians left in Englan and the free Christian nations of Europe. All he wantd was world domination and the eradication of all inferior races,especially those jews and gypsies. Well ... they were being so compliant,werent they and see whaere that got them. Ask Israellis to lay down their weapons and let the Palestinians do what they want.
And, oh, yes.Lets be good followers of Jesus' advice and stop opposing the jihardist terrorists. They only want our land and to convert us all to Islam. Shouldnt the Third Caliphate be established here in Australia?Or do you recommend we take up arms and oppose them and defend ourselves. Its hard to listen to Jeusus and Osam Bin Laden and follow both of them.Osama hopes you take the advice of Jesus. Nothing will please him more.
socratease
Posted by socratease, Saturday, 24 May 2008 11:56:34 PM
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Dear_Socratease.

Jesus words:

"Love your enemies" 'impractical' ?

No..it's quite possible, and has amazing results.

"If someone strikes you on the right cheek, offer also the left"

"If someone takes your cloak, give them also your tunic"

Practical? Actually.. yes..and no. There have been some amazing instances of where this kind of thing has changed not just individuals, but whole peoples.

STAN DALES's martydom. (Irian Jaya)
In our Church was have a bloke who's father was murdered by Dani Tribespeople in Irian Jaya. They speared him to death.
The son, went back to Irian Jaya, to serve and share Christ among....the Dani, who killed his father.

GRAHAM STAINES Matrydom. (India)
In a profoundly moving encounter, Mrs. Staines greeted the pilgrims as her brothers and sisters, and told them that the same Jesus who prayed for His executioners had given her the strength to honestly forgive those who had burnt to death her husband and two young sons.

And Gladys Staines has remained in India to carry on the work among lepers and outcasts to which her husband had devoted 34 years of his life.

THE MARTYRDOM OF JIM ELLIOT, NATE SAINT,PETER FLEMING, ROGER YOURDERIAN. Ecuador.
http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/74.html

<<(because of the sacrifice of the Missionaries) A Jivaro undertook to go at once to another Jivaro tribe that had been at war with his own tribe for years, bearing the Christian message, and his visit brought peace between the two tribes. Truly, as Tertullian said 1800 year ago, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

In less than three years, Rachel Saint (sister of Nate Saint) and Elisabeth Elliot (widow of Jim Elliot) had not only renewed contact but had established permanent residence in a Huarani settlement, where they practised basic medicine and began the process of developing a written form of the language.>>

PERSONAL.
Before you wax skeptical... I myself have worked in such a mission, among formerly warring tribes, and know the above from personal experience.

THE WORLD.. and it's kingdoms, do not dance to God's tune. Hence, in international relations, it becomes survival of the strongest.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Sunday, 25 May 2008 8:36:52 AM
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