The costs of war

by Chris Matthew Sciabarra



With bubbling democratic impulses being felt from Lebanon to Iran, some neoconservative commentators have practically declared victory in this war. They are focused on the most recent news as if it demonstrates the Hegelian inevitability of some Brave New Democratic World Order. Whether or not this was the actual reason for going to war in Iraq or a result of that war, the causes of which are open to debate, it is clear that, from the beginning, neoconservative policy-makers have equated this democratic quest with the quest for American security and hegemony. It is the same kind of democratic crusade that served as the ideological motivation for Wilsonians in World War I and the liberal interventionists in World War II, and that led inadvertently to the creation of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Soviet Russia in the first instance, and a half-century of Cold War Communist tyranny in the second instance...


The costs of war, part 2


Some might argue that parents are responsible for children, and that governments who transgress put their own citizens at risk, and are thereby responsible, from a moral standpoint, for what happens to their citizenry. But a bomb doesn't discriminate between those who should and those who should not bear the consequences. Placing the moral responsibility for war on the outlaw government that uses its citizenry as a human shield does nothing to alleviate the suffering of those who are caught up in the conflict through no fault of their own. It is for this reason that even if one is morally committed to one's cause, the decision to go to war, with full knowledge of its devastating effects and long-term unintended consequences, is a grave decision...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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März 2005

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