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The “Just War” Theory, Genocide and Mass Murder

The theory of just war was revived in the late 60s of the twentieth century in the United States. This was due to the desire to find objective moral criteria for assessing the correctness and incorrectness of the armed force. A healthy skepticism about the justice of war is perhaps a more reliable barrier to the outbreak of war than a theory that claims to be objective but unpredictable.

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The moral imperatives of the just war theory do indeed disintegrate under the weight of the actual war itself. Operations in which the conditional forces of “good” are opposed to the forces of “evil” invented by them since “good” is understood as a set of universal political values. International politicians that carry out military and humanitarian intervention against certain sovereign political and territorial entities rely on a pretext that is only legitimate in their view. Their military actions are mainly aimed at punishing the discriminated enemy. Therefore, any considerations of compliance with the old international legal norms of warfare are secondary to the final results of such military disciplinary operations. Consequently, humanity still finds itself in the situation described by Thomas Hobbes, where life is ‘nasty, brutal and short’ (Walzer, 2002, p. 974).

War cannot manifest humanism, even if it serves as the only means of preventing an even greater evil. This is because it is impossible to measure the losses associated with any war with the scale of the injustice planned to be controlled by violence. In addition, military casualties suffered in hostilities cannot be considered a lesser evil or ethically justified. In 1978-1979 (Walzer, 2002), Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which resulted in the overthrow of Vietnamese troops’ bloody Pol Pot regime, cannot be assessed unambiguously. Although Vietnam acted out of humanitarian considerations, it violated the territorial integrity of a neighboring state from the standpoint of international law and served as an aggressor.

Indeed, modern warfare cannot be just and cannot lead to the triumph of justice. This means that the just war theory does not have a sufficient subject. The idea of just war itself is unnecessary and harmful since all its morally meaningful content can be exhausted by the view of conditional pacifism. All the evil that can arise from this theory is the evil of militarism, the form of expression of which the idea of just war is.

Reference

Walzer, M. (2002). The triumph of just war theory (and the dangers of success). Social Research: An International Quarterly, 69(4), 92

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 13). The “Just War” Theory, Genocide and Mass Murder. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-just-war-theory-genocide-and-mass-murder/

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StudyCorgi. "The “Just War” Theory, Genocide and Mass Murder." October 13, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-just-war-theory-genocide-and-mass-murder/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The “Just War” Theory, Genocide and Mass Murder." October 13, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-just-war-theory-genocide-and-mass-murder/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The “Just War” Theory, Genocide and Mass Murder'. 13 October.

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