Saturday, May 21, 2016


JUST WAR NEWSLETTER #2, May 20, 2016.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.
(#1, Oct. 15, 2013)

Contents Just War Doctrine Newsletter #2, May 20, 2016
Principles of the Doctrine: last resort, legitimate authority, redress a wrong, chance of success, re-establish peace, proportionality, discriminate combatants from non-combatants.
2 Articles in The Free Weekly on Vatican Just War Conference
     Erica Chenoweth, “Did the Vatican Just Throw Out the Just War Doctrine?” 4-21
     John Dear, “The Church’s Turn Toward Nonviolence”  4-28
Recent Critiques of Just War Doctrines 2013-16
Meagher, Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War
    Editor’s Comment
    Dick, LTE on Chenoweth, Dear, Meagher
    Reviews, Google Search
President Obama on Just War, Including His Nobel Peace Prize Speech
Newsletter #1 Contents

Editor’s Corkscrew:  Our two most urgent concerns for the planet are nuclear war and CO2(and methane)/warming.   The Just War Doctrine is used to justify the former and in ceaseless wars to distract us from the latter.
Ironical Corkscrew long in use: In contrast, the principles of the Doctrine can function to critically examine a specific war.


RECENT BOOKS AND ARTICLES on Just War Doctrine 2013-16

     Publisher’s Statement, Sept. 12, 2014
I’ve just completed work on an important new book on war by Robert Emmet Meagher titled Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just WarThe book includes a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas, who extols Meagher’s transgression of standard disciplinary boundaries in his pursuit of the roots of our collective failure to address the profound moral injuries experienced by warriors:
I am convinced [Meagher’s] emphasis on what war does to combatants is a decisive intervention that helps us better understand the morality of war. As a person committed to Christian nonviolence, I fear that many assume a commitment to nonviolence carries with it a negative judgment against those who participate in war. Meagher challenges that presumption by helping us see that those who dissent from war and those who have participated in war share more in common than the stereotype of either would suggest. That war wounds us morally is not only true of those who prosecute the violence of war; it is true of all whom war touches.
One of the most provocative arguments, pursued by Meagher throughout the book, is that the Christian church’s widely celebrated doctrine of just war, though conceived honestly enough as a way of constraining the evils of war, has functioned in the main to conceal from us the troubling injuries suffered by those who sacrifice their normal unwillingness to kill. Such a claim turns by no means on the naive suspicion of an ivory-tower academic squeamish about bloodshed, but rather on testimony after testimony of decorated soldiers who, having returned from war, have shown extraordinary courage in writing honestly about their wounds. This is an anti-war book that is underwritten by a life’s work of honoring the experience of soldiers.
Meagher begins the book’s conclusion in typically incisive and eloquent fashion:
Just war theory is a dead letter. This is the argument advanced, if not proven, in the preceding chapters. It was never more than a theory, and at its worst it was a lie, a deadly lie. It promised at least the possibility of war without sin, war without criminality, war without guilt or shame, war in which men would risk their lives but not their souls. At its headiest, it promised war in which men would win eternal life, and now, in the fullness of wartime, these same promises have been extended to women. Whether or not these promises were first or ever made in good faith is something we can never know, and it doesn’t matter. What we can know is that they have not been kept. We know this from experience, the experience of war, the killing lab in which the theory of just war has been tested for sixteen centuries. It is time to declare its death and to write an autopsy.
Meagher’s book deserves a very wide reading, and I’m happy to report that it has already received significant pre-orders, and more endorsements than any book I’ve ever had the privilege to edit.

DICK, LTE on Chenoweth, Dear, and Meagher
From Just War to Just Peace
Dick Bennett
     Thanks to The Free Weekly for publishing two articles on Just-War Theory (Erica Chenoweth, 4-21; John Dear 4-28:   They inform us of an extraordinarily significant new initiative to create a peaceful world—the rejection of the Just War Theory by the Catholic Church, and the creation of a Just Peace Theory.  The problem?  The old Theory, intended to prevent wars, increased them in number and ferocity, and offered little guidance for the conduct of war or for life after war, particularly regarding  “moral injury.”
      Pope Francis, via the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, along with Pax Christi International, hosted a conference on the theme of  “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence.”   The conference members recommended: 1) rejection of Just War Doctrine, and 2) a new encyclical committed to the nonviolence of Jesus.   The Vatican’s conference to critique its 1700 years-old doctrine was surprising to most; its recommendation to the Pope for a drastically new encyclical was astonishing.   Together they will inspire radically new thinking about war and violence not only by Catholics but by all Christians, and perhaps many others.  A new encyclical asserting the nonviolence of Jesus as central Catholic doctrine will be astounding, for it will possibly lead Catholics and millions of Christians for the first time to search seriously for nonviolent alternatives to armed aggression.  
     The conference and recommendation arose I expect also from a new criticism of  Just War doctrine.   The 2014 book by Robert Meagher, Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War, would, the author writes, “pull up, from its roots, the just war tradition, to reveal its deadly legacy [“the deceptive and destructive core of the Christian just war doctrine”], and to point to a future beyond just war” to “just peace,” for “a planet ever smaller, more precious, and more imperiled” by nuclear war and atmospheric warming.
      Meagher employs an aspect of war as old as war itself and yet seeming new by its long neglect: “moral injury.”  He opens his book with facts of 20th century war slaughters and US military suicides today.   During WWI 420,000 British killed, a million French, two million Germans.  In 2012 an average of 33 US soldiers on active duty killed themselves each month;  discharged soldiers in February 2013 killed themselves 22 a day, in “the lamentable legacy of a long tradition of justified war and inevitable moral injury.”  His point is that no war can be justified; no war is “good and right, even virtuous and meritorious, pleasing in the sight of God.”  Just War theory functions as a rationalization for war, and what war does to the combatants further exposes its failure.
      To make his case Meagher spends five of his eight chapters “tracing the roots and branches of our Western understanding of war and, more pointedly, of just war and moral injury” in order to say how we might end our ceaseless wars. 
    The author is Professor of Humanities, Hampshire College, and his most recent book is Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War.

REVIEWS OF KILLING FROM THE INSIDE OUT, Google Search, May 20, 2016, first page [plus some additions from Dick]
Robert Emmet Meagher · Home · Author · Excerpts/Reviews · Interview ·
 Just war doctrine was never more than a theory and at its worst it was a lie, a deadly lie. It promised at least the possibility of war without sin, war without criminality, war without guilt or shame, war in which men and women would risk their lives but not their souls or their humanity. This theory has been tested for sixteen centuries, and has failed. It is time to declare its death, write its autopsy, reveal its deadly legacy, and point to a future beyond just war.
“Just War Theory is a dead letter” (129)—this is the claim that Meagher boldly makes and seeks to defend in his book. [a panel of four examine the book theologically—Dick]
United States Army
Apr 30, 2015 - REVIEW ESSAY -. KILLING FROM THE. INSIDE OUT. Moral Injury and Just War.   [Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer, U.S. Army, praises the book.  –Dick.]    Pryer currently serves as a J-5 planner in the Middle East Directorate of the Joint Staff. He holds a Master of Military Art and Science (Military History) from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and has published one book and numerous essays regarding warfare’s human domain.
Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War by Robert Emmet ...
Goodreads    Rating: 4.4 - ‎11 votes
Killing from the Inside Out has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. ... by Robert EmmetMeagher, Jonathan Shay (Afterword), Stanley Hauerwas (Foreword).
 4.42  ·   Rating Details  ·  12 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Armies know all about killing. It is what they do, and ours does it more effectively than most. We are painfully coming to realize, however, that we are also especially good at killing our own "from the inside out," silently, invisibly. In every major war since Korea, more of our veterans have taken their lives than have lost them in combat. The latest research, rooted in...more
Llewellyn Rockwell
Apr 5, 2016 - Review of Robert Emmet MeagherKilling from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War (Cascade Books, 2014), xxi + 161 pgs, paperback.
Sep 4, 2015 - Bob Meagher is a professor of Humanities at Hampshire College who has been a good friend to me ever since we served together as ...
Killing From The Inside Out Robert Emmet Meagher 3.99, Killing From The Inside Out. Wipfandstock, Adding Insult To Moral Injury And Just War From The, ...
Killing From The Inside Out: Moral Injury And Just War -. Robert Emmet Meagher. Libertarianchristians - Your #1 Christian Libertarian, Robert Emmet Meagher ...

CRITIQUES OF JUST WAR DOCTRINE, GOOGLE Search, May 20, 2016, first page.
Some people argue that the Just War doctrine is inherently immoral, while others suggest that there is no place for ethics in war. Still others argue that the ... Catholic Reporter
Sep 1, 2014 - But later, St. Augustine in response to armed aggression against the innocent set the Catholic church on the road to the "just wartheory -- quite ...
Just war theory (jus bellum iustum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics .... Preventive war against a tyrant who is about to attack. War to ...
... Just War Iraq and Kosovo. Americans Against World Empire, Inc. Homepage ... A jewel of these writings is the doctrine of Just War. To pacifists the phrase Just ...
Catholic Answers
The most authoritative and up-to-date expression of just war doctrine is .... of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, ...
EWTN Global Catholic Network
Called the Just War Doctrine, it was first enunciated by St. Augustine of ... Provoked by this offense against His Father, Jesus formed whips and drove them from ...
Nov 11, 2012 - The “just war theory” has influenced the ethical positions on violent conflict ... Within the United States people hold radically opposing views on ...
By Steven P. Millies in Just War Theory. ... destruction, to what extent is a preventive war against those that acquire weapons of mass destruction a just one?
From the time of Augustine until now, the so-called “just war theory” has been .... Therefore, a nuclear war must always be opposed—as should preparation for ...
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. .... Against these two ethical positions, just war theory offers a series of principles that ...

PRESIDENT OBAMA and JUST WAR THEORY, Google Search, May 20, 2016
May 24, 2013 - In his address on terrorism and America's counterterrorism policy,President Barack Obama invoked the “just war” theory to justify the continued ...
The National Interest
Mar 31, 2016 - In his recent interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama specifies some key elements of his 'theory' on the use of military ...
May 24, 2013 - Barack Obama stated that the conflict against al-Qaeda is a "just war", ... The just war theory was largely concerned with the reasons for going ...
Dec 31, 2014 - According to Just War TheoryPresident George Bush Sr.'s war to expel Iraq from Kuwait would qualify as a just war under Just War Theory ...
Barack Obama's foreign policy, just war, and the irony of political geography .... of the selective application of just war theory in the rationalization of con´Čéict.
Jul 6, 2012 - The most startling revelation was that President Obama personally ... If Obama acquiesces to such deceits, all the just war theory in the world ...
Social Science Research Council
Dec 15, 2009 - As President Obama noted in his speech, there are criteria involved in the “just war” concept. It isn't just a matter of proclaiming that a war is ...

The Wall Street Journal
Dec 11, 2009 - OSLO -- President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize Thursday ... of armed might in the service of a "just war," a sharp change in emphasis from ... core principles of a more traditionally conservative foreign policy.
Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize ...
White House
Dec 10, 2009 - the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama ... Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize ... The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain .... by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or ...
U.S. News & World Report
Dec 10, 2009 - Who would have guessed that President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize ... In his speech today in Oslo, Obama invoked "just wartheory early on, ...

Contents Newsletter #1 Just War Doctrine
Mac Bica, A Partial Defense of Drones
Leroy Walters, Five Classic Just-War Theories: Aquinas, Vitoria, Suarez, Gentili, and
Four Christian Critiques of Just War Theory
  McSorley, New Testament Basis of Peacemaking
  Wells, The War Myth
  York and Barringer, A Faith Not Worth [Killing] For
  Trzyna, Blessed Are the Pacifists
Dick, Just Cause and Just Means, Iraq and Afghan Wars
No Just US Wars?
Engelhardt, US Bombings of Iraq
Grayling vs. WWII Area Bombing

For research purposes, specific subjects can be located in the following alphabetized index, and searched on the blog using the search box.  The search box is located in the upper left corner of the webpage.
Newsletter Index:


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