Friday, June 03, 2005

Crusade v Just War

Following are ten points contrasting crusade with just war. We can't find an author for this particular piece; for further information one may turn to the vast corpus of writing on the subject by:

St. Augustine, in brief summary:

Thoams Aquinus, in detail:

and particularly Hugo Grotius, here a bit of biography and introduction to the Prolegomena:

The question of "Just War" arises in the debate whether any war at all is justified under any circumstance, and though most rational people would say it is just and necessary under many conditions to wage war, still there are points to be made against war under even conditions of self-defence. To know the arguments is to have ammunition in the arsenal of debate against those who would counsel dhimmitude. And it is especially important for us to know the difference between what just war is so we may combat the arguments from the likes of bin Laden when he accuses the West of waging crusade against Islam, as in the Micheal Jacksoneque rambling in his diatribe against "Crusaders and Jews."

1. Crusade treats war as an unconditional effort of good against evil, whereas just war treats war as a morally restrained effort to restore a just peace.

2. Crusade treats war as a matter of religion and is led by some religious authority (or ideological authority that functions in the place of religion.) In just war, war is treated as a responsibility of civil government and is fought under the conscience of the one who heads the civil order.

3. Because crusade is fought for the sake of that which defines good and evil, (God, the ideal,) there is for crusade little place for moral restraint in war. Anything that serves God (or the ideal) is right by definition, so wars of crusde are "total" wars. By contrast, just war places moral limits on what can be done in war--force must be limited only to what is necessary and used only on military targets.

4. Because there can be no compromise between good and evil and because war is "total," crusade has little place for surrender, enemies because they personify evil deserve on mercy, those who give up need not be spared. By contrast, just war spares those who surrender and protects the rights of those taken as prsioners of war.

5. In crusade the objective of war is to impose an ideal, whereas just war seeks limited good--the restoration of recognized borders or a balance between conflicting rights.

6. Crusade seeks to conquer or punish, whereas just war seek only to recitify the injustice that warranted entering into the conflict.

7. Crusade opposes the whole social order and value system of an enemy, so there is no distinction between combatants and non-combatants.

8. In crusade, soldiers go to war with zeal--war is a vocation for saints and soldiers who fight a war of religious vision (or ideology) as well as a war of flesh and blood. In just war, soldiers regard uthe use of force as a tragic necessity and a last resort, and are not agents for religious or ideological transformation as such.

9. Crusade requires no declaration of war, whereas just war must be declared by those responsible for the civil order.

10. In crusade, the state of war tends to become permanent (because the ideal can never be perfectly realized,) whereas in just war hostilities cease when the specific infraction of justice that led to war has been recified.

We can't personally lay claim to strict adherence to the tenets of just war. However, in contrast to bin Laden and the Moslem-world-at-large, most Westerners are moderate and reluctant warriors, are in fact soldiers if at all. There are few in the West who long for the fillibustering antics of William Walker, who would gladly go to Saudi Arabia in search of the task of an imposed just peace and benevolent colonialism thereafter. Most Westerners follow fairly closely the ideas of just war as outlined above. Bin Laden--and Islam itself-- reflect the crusader more closely than does Richard Coeur d'Leon.

In bin Laden's Declaration of "War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places," Aug. 1, 1996, we find the idiot complaint that "the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity, and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators," which bin Laden writes is the presence in Saudi Arabia of U.S. military personnel. "Clearly, after belief (Imaan,) there is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land. No other priority, except belief, could be considered before it." Quoting ibn Tamayya, we find that for the Moslem "to fight in defense of religion and belief is a collective duty; there is no other duty after belief than fighting the enemy who is corrupting the life and religion. There are no preconditions for this duty, and the enemey should be fought with ones best abilities."

Islam, regardless of how one might liken it to other religions, is not a religion of peace. "The ultimate aim of pleasing Allah, raising his word, instituting his religion, and obeying his messenger, is to fight the enemy in every aspect and in a complete manner...." After pages of blood-thirsty bluster, bin Laden continues: "Death is truth and ultimate destiny, and life will end any way. If I do not fight you, then my mother must be insane." And so it goes for 18 pages. On each page bin Laden shows himself to be a full-blown fascist, and Islam itself to be in depth a crusade by the above definitions.

At the risk of belabouring a point we all know all too well, Islam is a primitive tribal code turned into a vast political fascism over the past 1,400 years. It is a war-monger's dream ideology. It is also a delight for those who live in a phantasy world of romantic machismo and misogyny, for those far too stupid to live successfully in the modern world, for those who are primitive to the core, those so twisted by fascist Islam that they are mentally barely human. We, who live in a world of struggle toward justice, find ourselves in confrontation with those who wage crusde against us. Bin Laden, in another of his political routines that ventures to the intellectual heights of Micheal Jackson, writes in "Jihad Against Crusaders and Jews" Feb. 23, 1998: "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies --civilian and military-- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any counrty in which it is possible to do it.... We--with God's help--call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on the Muslim ulema, leaders, youth, and soldiers to launch raids on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them...."

The point being made, and bin Laden's missives being available textually in lengthy and likely on-going installments for our foreseeable future, we will rest the case for this time that it is Islam that is a crusade, not the just war effort it claims to be. It is the West that labours under the burdens of morality in war, just war, and a war that should be expanded to include fronts against all of Islam itself-- anywhere and everywhere Islam is to be found.

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