Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not a valid basis

War is not a blanket excuse for violating divine moral principles - or even human law.

Case in point: a contractor working for the U.S. military in Iraq is being sued for allegedly torturing prisoners in their charge. (CBS news link here.)
U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte dismissed L-3's claims that they are immune to civil lawsuits because they were working for the government in wartime. The judge said this was "not a valid basis for the defense."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

War - even a Just War - does not somehow magically remove a person from the world as it is. It does not make killing right. It does not make the enemy to be less than human. What it does is: acknowledge that I'm likely to end up killing someone who is trying to kill me and my countrymen, and that this evil is unavoidable in defending the innocent against attack.

Those who cite war as some extraordinary moral circumstance that turns evil into good have abandoned the Just War tradition, and have rejected the ancient Catholic teaching on the subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment