Monday, April 02, 2012

The Falklands War was a just war

30 years ago today, on 2nd April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The ensuing Falklands War (or Guerra de las Malvinas) lasted 74 days (despite neither side never having actually declared war) and cost 255 British lives. In total, 904 people died and hundreds more were injured on the offence/defence of the islands . Argentina ultimately lost the war, though sovereignty is still disputed and exocets of rhetoric are even today being launched by both sides.

There were those who viewed this conflict as the last gasp of British imperialism; others favoured negotiation and compromise. Still others wondered why on earth the United Kingdom had any interests at all in a few godforsaken and inhospitable rocks in the South Atlantic.

The truth, of course, is that the inhabitants were and are British and free. This was a war between liberty and tyranny; freedom and oppression; good and evil. Margaret Thatcher knew that, even if some of her Cabinet colleagues and the US State Department did not. Since the Lord’s Prayer is no longer taught in our schools, it is highly unlikely that future generations will ever be introduced to Augustine or Aquinas. But to understand war and peace it is necessary to grasp the development of the understanding of evil, and so the ‘just war’. To Augustine, the Pax Romana was a false peace: Rome conquered and was herself conquered by her own lust to dominate over others. He wrote: ‘Think of all the battles fought, all the blood that was poured out, so that all the nations if Italy, by whose help the Roman Empire wielded that overwhelming power, should be subjugated as if they were barbarous savages.’ Rome was driven by a lust for vengeance and that impulse triumphed under the façade of peace. That Empire became a kingdom without justice, its rulers little more than a big-scale gang of criminality.

Here Augustine famously repeats the story of rejoinder given by a captured pirate to Alexander the Great when Alexander queried him about his idea in infesting the sea. ‘And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, “The same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate: because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor.”’ And so peace became another name for dominion. If the ravages of war are, in part, punishment for sin, human beings sin, often savagely, in enacting that punishment.

If we reflect on the terrible slaughter of war carried out for wicked motives and to unworthy ends, we will determine to wage only limited, justifiable wars even as we lament that they must be waged. The wise ruler takes up arms only with great reluctance and penitence. Given Augustine’s account of limited justifiability, he is considered the grandfather of ‘just war’ thinking. It involves living, as the Falklanders now do, in the penumbra of fear and worry, because such insecurity is intrinsic to our transient, temporal humanity. As Augustine observed, the only place which promises eternal peace and security is ‘the mother, the Jerusalem which is free’.

Margaret Thatcher waged a justifiable war of necessity against unwarranted and unprovoked aggression. She rescued the innocent and free from oppression and destruction. The motive was the love of kinship and the desire for a more authentic peace. This was the grudging endorsement of a lesser evil: the Falklands War was a tragic necessity. She did not engage in it to rescue herself, but in the understanding of her responsibility as a ruler for the well-being of a people who desired and desire to remain British and free.

Today is a time to reflect on and lament even this justifiable war. Not to look back with grief marks one as pitiable: there were no victory parades in Augustine’s world; for, however just the cause, war stirs up temptations to ravish and devour, often in order to ensure peace. The Just War is a cautionary tale, not an incautious and reckless call to arms. For peace is a great good, and there is nothing better to be found.

81 Comments:

Blogger Kester Rogers said...

And as Augustine said, all war, no matter how just, is always a tragedy.

The fact it occurred, and so many lives were lost in its engagement, is something we should mourn, regardless of its moral permissibility.

2 April 2012 at 10:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Gay Butterfly said...

Respect.

You've got soul as well as learning and intellect, Bish.

2 April 2012 at 10:45  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

If that's the way the Argies treated penguins, they deserved all they had coming to them.

2 April 2012 at 11:10  
Blogger Jocelyn Knockersbury said...

Are they stirring up trouble now because we are probably in no position to defend those isles again?

2 April 2012 at 11:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Yes, Jocelyn. No probably about it of course; besides, the frogs won't let us.

2 April 2012 at 11:12  
Blogger bluedog said...

One thing is certain, Your Grace, if there is a second round versus the Argies, Dave would be a completely unconvincing war leader. Any attempt by a PR spiv such as Cameron to sound Churchillian or Thatcheresque would have the nation rolling on the floor, laughing. In matters martial one suspects that Dave would lean towards the persona of Eden. And Eden lost.

For this reason alone we should pray for peace in the South Atlantic.

2 April 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger graham wood said...

"This was a war between liberty and tyranny; freedom and oppression; good and evil."

Oh. My mistake. I thought you were still speaking of same sex marriage.

2 April 2012 at 11:53  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2012 at 12:54  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Many thanks for your most interesting discourse on ancient history and its relevance to more recent events.
Unfortunately I was off school the day they did Augustine or Aquinas so this was most informative and put a new perspective on the Blair Wars which I think we're unwise.

2 April 2012 at 13:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Just War Theory is a nice parlor game for Philosophy students, but it has no tangible reality in law. A soldier cannot refuse an order on the grounds that the order would entail fighting an unjust war. How could he, when there exists no actual agreement on the boundaries. Listing off criteria does not mean people agree on when those criteria are met.

In practice "Just War" means "A war for a policy objective with which I agree." The Second Iraq war is a fine example. Many in Europe opposed that war. Why? Because Saddam Hussein wasn't really that bad a guy? Certainly the Argentines would have treated the Falklanders better than Hussein treated his own people. If the War against the Falklands was justified in terms of good against evil then the war against Iraq was justified seven times over. No, the actual reason that Iraq was considered an unjust war in so much of Europe was because it was seen as an expression of American Unilaterialism. And where in just war criteria do we find "Requires permission of the UN."

This is the problem. There is no way to separate the justice of the war from the policy objectives underneath the war. The determination of justice will inevitably be driven by opinions about policy objectives. That means the justice of the war will always be a political judgment. Which is what just war theory is supposed to avoid. It's not for nothing that military establishments ignore this intellectual game.

And that is what it is. An intellectual game.

carl

2 April 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger IanCad said...

As it was then , so it is now.
A treasonable neglect of our reponsibilities to our kith and kin.
The terrotorial lusts of the Argentinians were as obvious thirty years ago as they are now. However, with the prospect of vast oil reserves and the backing of the entire South American continent the urgency of the situation requires immediate action.
Naive voices suggest we send our carrier group down. We live in a different world. An aircraft carrier wouldn't last a week in modern warfare.
The Falklands can only be defended through militarization, and that immediate; At least ten thousand troops, and all the high tech modern weaponry we can muster should be activated now.
We must be absolutely clear that we will fulfill our obligations as a nation or, we should sign the islands over now.
Sorry to be repetitous YG, but the only threat to our national sovereignty is to The Falkland Islands.
We spend one half of one percent of our defence budget on them.
one half of one percent!!!
one half of one percent!!!
one half of one percent!!!

THAT IS TREASON!!

Never mind Augustine.
Never mind Aquinas.

Our course should be clear, and it is just.

2 April 2012 at 13:28  
Blogger Oswin said...

I really don't give a damn whether it was a 'just war' or not - we were attacked, we fought back, and we won.

I'm a firm believer in minding our own business, in ALL aspects.

2 April 2012 at 14:54  
Blogger Jon said...

I agree with Carl. Which maybe a first....

2 April 2012 at 16:40  
Blogger Threlkeld said...

It's probably no accident that the UK has engaged in a series of far-flung wars since we said farewell to the generation of politicians who had personal experience of military service.
And when it's someone from your own family who lie buried in a foreign field, all the rhetoric about noble sacrifice and just war has a sour taste. At least, that's the impact it had on me.
Say what you like about the Swiss, they know how to run their military and financial policies a sight better than we do. They keep themselves to themselves, and they are not even an island. Far from it. We would do well to study their skills.

2 April 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

They’ll come from the air next time. The Argentinean 4th Parachute Brigade, ALL of it. They won’t even need to defeat the British garrison, they’ll be banging on the UN’s doors hours later, screaming for a ceasefire before the civilians are killed or starve to death there. They have too, can’t supply by sea with a British nuclear submarine out there. Hopefully, our people would have blown the landing strip, so nothing flies in. They could drop from the air, risk of being shot down very high.

Cameron resigns. It all goes to the UN. Argentineans refuse to leave. EU does nothing. UK asks for Aircraft carrier assistance. The world and his dog tells us to get stuffed.

2 April 2012 at 17:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Threlkeld

Say what you like about the Swiss...

How long do you think Swiss neutrality would have lasted if England had sued for peace in June 1940? It's easy to stay neutral when there are others to do the fighting for you.

carl

2 April 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Gay Butterfly said...

carl
You are such a Calvanist and hard -nosed realist!

Have another read of 'Unam sanctam', decontextualise it and seperate it from the personalities of the time. To me it's underlying core principles are sound.

I know, it's because I'm a Catholic!

Integrity
You would do well to make up for your inadequate education by reading Augustine and Aquinas.

In my opinion, many of the Church's difficulties these days stem from a movement away from the insights of these two great writers. Not perfect, not correct in all things but they offer an approach and discipline to studying scripture and understanding God through intellect and reason.

Dr Cranmer commented:

"Today is a time to reflect on and lament even this justifiable war."

My son is in the Royal Navy and spent 6 months in the Falklands recently. As part of his tour of duty he visited the places where men from both sides fell - marked with crude wooden crosses - and attended services of rememberance.

The snow and frozen sea with the lone crosses somehow evoke Holy Week.

He's in the Gulf now - I think. He's not permitted to say.

2 April 2012 at 19:06  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Your Grace,

The Argies, who dare to roughly manhandle one of the great species of the galaxy in that photograph, wouldn't dare to invade an outpost of the British Space Empire!

2 April 2012 at 19:07  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

And why is dodo now a 'gay butterfly'? I suspect that Dodo has been replaced by a changeling ,the Dominion are infiltrating his grace's blog and will some come with an army of Jem H'adar soldiers! Perhaps they make an alliance with the Argies? Heaven help us!

2 April 2012 at 19:10  
Blogger Threlkeld said...

We shouldn't take credit for Swiss freedom. They have organised it for themselves. What, exactly, was our capability to defend Switzerland in 1940?
In fact, Swiss neutrality is based on two simple facts: it's easy to cross their borders, but their defence in depth is designed to make control very expensive. Secondly, they are more use neutral than conquered.
That situation protected them in 1940, and for 120 years of European wars before that. In that time, Britain gained and lost a world-wide empire, and we are still invading other countries regularly. It would be hard to argue that the average Briton is better off today than the average Swiss.

As American experience shows, if you concentrate on military 'hard power', you lose sight of the effectiveness of 'soft power'. Arguably, it would have made far more sense for Argentina to have spent resources on seducing the Falkland Islanders into a 'special relationship' rather than trying to conquer them. UK says that the islanders will always have the decision, so it makes sense to persuade the islanders that they can get more out of Buenos Aires than they do out of London. But I wouldn't start from here: the invasion set that back by a generation or two, and the Argentine still shows no sign 'getting it'.

2 April 2012 at 19:25  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Carl @ 13.27, as an opponent of the Second iraq War, this communicant draws your attention to the Westphalian settlement that followed the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

As you will be aware, but for the possible benefit of Mr Integrity, this Settlement enshrines the sovereignty of the nation state. At least it does this in the case of Europe but the general principle has entered international law so that the territorial integrity of nation states is considered paramount.

In 2003 there was no need, prima facie, fot the US and its allies to invade Iraq. The regime had been militarily neutralised in 1991 and a no-fly zone over much of the country severely inhibited the extent of the regime's writ. There is no doubt that the economy was crippled as a result of sanctions and life was hell for most of the population. But cause and effect? There is also no doubt that Saddam was a dangerous thug and that his sons were possibly worse. So it is easy to say 'we done good' and on balance the Iraqi people are better off today than they were. Indeed they are clear beneficiaries of the invasion, but at a cost.

Importantly. it does seem that the pre-war analysis of the Iraqi situation never entertained the thought that if Iraq were to become a democracy, the majority Shia population would prevail. Consequently, a Shia Iraq may become an alliance partner of Shiite Iran, thus destabilising a natural balance whereby Sunni Iraq kept Shiite Iran in check in the Persian Gulf and vice versa. One can therefore say that the emergence of Iran as a hegemonial power in the now very Persian Gulf is a direct consequence of Dubya's chest-beating in 2003. This is clearly an unintended consequence and we are going to pay a heavy price in rectifying matters given that Iran is becoming a nuclear hegemon. Of course China is supporting Iran, helping all it can to weaken the Western position, as it does. So a chain reaction started in 2003 and where it ends, nobody knows. Possibly Beijing, with a stop at Islamabad on the way.

The moral of the story is simple; let sleeping dogs lie and do your homework before waking them up. But most importantly, don't breach ancient conventions unless you have the power to prevail absolutely. In the event, the US discovered the limits to its power, which were certainly never obvious to Dubya.

2 April 2012 at 21:34  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Blue dog.

The American extreme right wing (of which Carl Jacobs is too clever to be a part of) thinks like this (the logic still continued until the middle of the 22nd century, until, well they met a race who wasn't prepared to bel bullied- but i digress) :

To a neo-con,the American empire should NOT have stopped with Iraq. They should have undertaken a full conquest of the middle east whilst they have the political support to do so.

The objective would be to seize the vast oil resources in that region. It would have been bloody, but, hell,that is the logical position of being a global power and the west needs the oil and we don't want the "rag heads" to have any more of it, especially when the second coming is just around the corner.

We (america) should have bombed the Taliban with nuclear weapons and have been done with it. And the Pakistan if they cause trouble. We have the might and that is right.

Discuss.

2 April 2012 at 21:59  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Blue dog.

The American extreme right wing (of which Carl Jacobs is too clever to be a part of) thinks like this :

To a realist such as myself the American empire should NOT have stopped with Iraq. They should have undertaken a full conquest of the middle east whilst they have the political support to do so.

The objective would be to seize the vast oil resources in that region. It would have been bloody, but, hell,that is the logical position of being a global power and the west needs the oil and we don't want the "rag heads" to have any more of it, especially when the second coming is just around the corner.

We (america) should have bombed the Taliban with nuclear weapons and have been done with it. And the Pakistan if they cause trouble. We have the might and that is right.

Discuss.

2 April 2012 at 22:02  
Blogger Roy said...

It is said that practically all Latin America supports the Argentinian claim and that the United States wants to stay neutral on the subject, despite the sycophantic attitudes of Blair, Brown and Cameron.

I wonder if those people who back the Argentinian claim would also agree that the United States should hand Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California back to Mexico? If not, why not?

Also, do the people who call the inhabitants of the Falklands colonists think that Argentina, and the rest of the Americas, should be handed over to the descendants of their original inhabitants? If not, why not?

Furthermore, why on earth isn't the British government responding to the Argentinian propaganda offensive by making points like those I made above?

2 April 2012 at 22:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Alpha Draconis @ 22.02, as a derivative power of the British Space Empire, the American Intergalactic Confederation is too well brought up to think in the terms you describe.

2 April 2012 at 22:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Alpha

"I am First Dodo, and I am dead.
As of this moment, we are all dead.
We go into battle to reclaim our lives.
This we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar.
Remember: Victory is Life!"


"Obedience brings victory."
Victory is life!"

2 April 2012 at 22:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Alpha

Psst ... I'm a 'special agent' and have the capacity to see the future.

The Dominion War will end in 2375 and the Jem'Hadar will be caste bsack to the Gamma Quadrant.

2 April 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger Dick the Prick said...

Big hugs YG

2 April 2012 at 23:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

bluedog

The 2003 Iraq War was fought to prevent Iraq from becoming a nuclear hegemon. That in itself was a worthy and necessary goal. Just as the Allies destroyed Nazi Germany at the cost of elevating the Soviet Union, so also Iraq was destroyed at the cost of elevating Iran. That was a foreseeable consequence. It is only a failure of will that allows Iran to continue. But to say that Iraq should have been allowed to continue lest Iran emerge is not a credible position. Hussein was a much more dangerous adversary than Iran.

I am quite aware that many European nations thought it an excellent idea to set the American Army in Saudi Arabia and replay in perpetuity "Die Wacht am Fulda Gap" in the Middle East. I am also aware that these same nations would have expected the US to assume the role of nuclear deterrent when Iraq inevitably developed its nuclear capability. And I am certain the French would have made boatloads of money out of this deal as they purchased oil from Iraq, and sold weapons to Iraq. The US did not find this role particularly appealing, however. And neither did the Israelis - who were the ones most concerned about Iraqi nuclear capability and therefore the most likely to do something about it in the absence of American action.

Iraq II was necessary. There was no real alternative because a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein would have been a geo-strategic disaster. It's easy to focus on the consequences, but that is because you aren't dealing with the consequences that would have been. Which among other things would have included a nuclear-armed Iraq and a nuclear-armed Iran. That is better ... how exactly?

carl

2 April 2012 at 23:37  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Threlkeld

We shouldn't take credit for Swiss freedom.

You don't have to invade a land-locked country to conquer it. You simply have to control the borders - which the Germans did in 1940. From that point forward, Switzerland existed at the sufferance of Germany. The Germans could have invaded, and eventually won. It would have been physically impossible for Switzerland to sustain an indefinite defense against a determined German attack. But invasion would not have been necessary. How long before blockade would have produced the necessary political compliance?

You are correct to say that Germany found Swiss neutrality useful. How long that utility would have lasted in a continent totally dominated by Germany is an open question.

carl

2 April 2012 at 23:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Alpha

I hate the idea of American Empire and I look forward to the day when Communism finally dies in China. The US and China are natural allies. We have no reason to be at crossed daggers. I long for the day when a military rapprochement can be reached between China and the US - at which point the US could substantially reduce its overseas military commitments.

But there are certain countries that just cannot be allowed to become major powers. There are certain nations that we must protect. To some extent this is not controllable. To some extent it is. To the extent the US can influence which nations get access to the incredible military potential of nuclear weapons, the US should exercise that influence. Ruthlessly.

carl

2 April 2012 at 23:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Carl @ 23.37 says 'The 2003 Iraq War was fought to prevent Iraq from becoming a nuclear hegemon.'

So why was the intelligence completely wrong? Because as we now know, Saddam's nuclear programme was 100% bluff and had been so from 1991.

The smartest operators in the Midle East are the Turks, and they wouldn't even allow a US division to transit Turkey and invade Northern Iraq. So what was the Turkish assessment of the likely outcome of Iraq2? As NATO members the Turks would have an Iraq Plan and would have discussed it in detail with the US. One can guess that the Turks could only see the opening of a can of worms.

The problem with wars is that they tend to confirm or accelerate existing geo-political trends. So it was with the second Iraq War, a US war of choice. That war marked the apogee of US power and has accelerated the relative decline of the West versus the BRICS and the next 20 or 30.

3 April 2012 at 00:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl

The Roman Pontius Pilate gave Jesus over to be crucified under pressure from the mob because he perceived it to be in Rome's 'best interests'.

The Jewish leaders wanted Him dead because He was deemed a threat to the interests of Judaism.

The mob wanted blood.

Judas -was it self interest?

None of these actors behaved morally.

You haven't got hold of the message of the 'Two Swords'. God will work out His purposes but man is responsible and accountable for each link in the chain. The invisible 'guiding hand' of self interest by individuals or by nations is not God's way - it's man's and God turns it to His good. This does not make it Just.

3 April 2012 at 00:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

bluedog

So why was the intelligence completely wrong?

Just what information do you think GWB should have based his decision upon? Gulf War II was a war of risk mitigation. You have to fight it before the enemy acquires nuclear weapons. It's too late one he gets access to one. So if every major intelligence organization in the West is saying the same thing, what was GWB supposed to do. Ignore them? On what basis?

A nuclear-armed Saddam was the worst possible outcome. The guy saw himself as Nebuchadnezzar reborn. He was consciously attempting to recreate the Babylonian empire on a Stalinist model with himself as the head. He was wildly unstable having already started two regional wars. The concern about Saddam with nuclear weapons was that he might actually use them. He had to be stopped.

carl

3 April 2012 at 00:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

What has the Two-Swords doctrine (which you have incorrectly characterized at every turn) to do with Just War Theory? I don't see the connection. Rome's claim of authority over the state (which is what the Two-Swords Doctrine clearly states) is not going to help adjudicate whether a war is just or not.

In any case, my argument against Just War Theory is that it is impossible to apply in the real world. The theory may specify some criteria. That does not mean that anyone can determine whether the criteria have in fact been met or not. Those determinations will inevitably be political. You will never get away from that basic fact. So while people will claim to be applying Just War theory, they will in fact be warping it to meet the needs of the policy objectives for which they fight. So why not forget the subterfuge and just admit up front what we are actually doing.

carl

3 April 2012 at 00:27  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl
But that's the whole point of the 'Two Swords' doctrine! It's not Rome's authority over the State but God's natural and divine law. In the final analysis, when necessitated, the Church would exercise an over ruling authority according to Biblical standards.

In what way I have misrepresented the doctine?

3 April 2012 at 00:41  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

But that's the whole point of the 'Two Swords' doctrine!

Ummm ... no, the whole point is is the claim of RCC authority over Kings. It has nothing to do with Divine and natural law. It says the king wields the temporal sword at the behest of the RCC. This is Unam Sanctam remember? It's the infallible declaration that that it is "absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." In truth, the Church (defined biblically) has no political authority over kings, and you will search the Scripture in vain for such a pronouncement.

carl

3 April 2012 at 01:22  
Blogger sean said...

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We would be honored if we could republish the rss feed of Cranmer Blog in our European Union category. Our readers need to read what experts like you have to say.

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Thank you

3 April 2012 at 01:56  
Blogger Owl said...

YG,
my hat is off.

I also read Augustine but came away with a slightly less than good opinion. I have always been a bit Palagian at heart and Augustine was, in my humble opinion, a politician. I just had trouble beleiving the man.

You have now convinced me to re-read his works.

Thank you.

3 April 2012 at 02:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

sean: "We would be honored if we could republish the rss feed of Cranmer Blog in our European Union category. Our readers need to read what experts like you have to say."

Is there a Gay Marriage category? I'm thinking we'd excel more there to be honest.

3 April 2012 at 05:27  
Blogger Jocelyn Knockersbury said...

The Iraq intelligence was "wrong " because it was manufactured in order to justify politically what the US/UK wanted to do anyway.

3 April 2012 at 07:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl
We appear to be reading documents if you believe that's what it says!

It is based on the premise that Kings are appointed to rule with Divine authority and are entrusted to discharge their temporal responsibilities within the parameters of God's law as revealed in scripture and through reason. Should States fail to do so, the Church, who has ultimate spiritual auhority, sees itself as having a higher duty to ensure temporal power is used according to Divine precept and to intervene if necessary.

Outdated and old fashioned written in these terms - but the principle is that man's first loyalty is to God and to His Church and the State should give common expression to this.

In your discussions with DanJ0 you appear to have been arguing for a morality based on God's revealed will for us and our place in creation. In this thread you appear to be saying 'let's stop pretending we're being altuistic' in foreign affairs and be up front about seeking our own interests.

Contradictory?

I read 'Unam sanctam' as a religio-political solution to balancing secular "right's"/"interests" in political action versus moral actions based on knowledge of God. The real problem with the doctrine is that it has to be effected by flawed men.

In pre-democratic times, when force was used, it led to tyranny; in democratic times, when influence was used, to compromise over essential Christian precepts for society; and in post-democratic times, when the Church has been speaking with many voices amongst many others, to virulent atheism and secularisation.

3 April 2012 at 15:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0
A naughty comment. Was it a "flounce" or a "pout"?

3 April 2012 at 17:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 April 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "In your discussions with DanJ0 you appear to have been arguing for a morality based on God's revealed will for us and our place in creation."

No. That wouldn't be an argument, that'd be an assertion based on personal religious faith. He's been arguing that moral absolutism, as characterised in his religious beliefs, is better than moral relativism, which he incorrectly characterises as my beliefs. For him, this results in a bleak combination of 'anything goes' and 'might makes right'. I actually float some sort moral relativism on top of some core human attributes which tends to stablise the whole thing in practice.

3 April 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "A naughty comment. Was it a "flounce" or a "pout"?"

??

Neither. You're being weird again.

3 April 2012 at 17:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Come now, Danj0, there was a distinct 'hand on hip' accompanying that comment @ 05:27.

Thanks for the clarification of your debate with carl. You say "moral relativism" I say a this core of "human attributes" you rely on is contingent, socially constructed and therefore without authority.

3 April 2012 at 18:49  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Dodo said :"Psst ... I'm a 'special agent' and have the capacity to see the future."

I have long suspected that Dodo was an agent for the Vatican Intelligence Security Agency, but not even they are capable of temporal shifts into the future!

There are only two races capable of doing that - those from Gallifrey and Skaro.So Dodo must be a special agency of the Celestial Intervention Agency- an agent of the TIME LORDS or the most evil, ruthless, lifeform in the galaxy the DALEKS?!

3 April 2012 at 19:50  
Blogger len said...

If Dodo is a Vatican agent he would have been sacked by now.

I think it far more probable that he is a Protestant agent under 'deep cover' doing everything in his power to bring the entire Catholic religious system into disrepute!.

And doing a very good job!.

3 April 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Len,

So the plot gets deeper. Is he a double agent then?

3 April 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Your Grace,

The Falkland Islands is a part of Britain in the same way as Hendon (where I live) is part of England. Quite why the Argies want to claim it as their own is beyond me. I went over to the Falklands a few years ago and they are as British as your or me. Simples.

PS-I don't know why everyone has a go a poor old Carl Jacobs. The gay question aside, I find him to be Biblical, intelligent and erudite, just like my own dear father- a wise and just man, like you have in the Torah. Just the kind of communicant your Grace wants. Unlike Inspector and Dodo.

3 April 2012 at 20:28  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@Alpha Draconis,

Not all Americans are idiotic red neck simpletons. I think that as Carl says, America and China will 'kiss and make up' and along with key allies (GB) make the world a better place. Perhap we might even meet real aliens etc.

3 April 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Alpha
You have an eclectic view of the universe and its inhabitants but it is not complete.

There are forces you are unaware of my lizard friend and for your own safety these cannot be disclosed.

Anna
Another unjustified and unproked insult. What is it with you gals? This need to behave like a Scarlett, winking at her Ashley whilst really wanting Rhett?

Rhett Butler: "How fickle is woman."

3 April 2012 at 20:50  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Ps
"The gay question aside, I find him to be Biblical, intelligent and erudite."

Oh dear! His position on this question flows logically from his biblical intelligence.

You cannot 'pick and mix'.

3 April 2012 at 20:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace

As the Lesbian Lady says, the Falklands are a part of Britain in the same way that Hendon is; we must support our fellow British. A Lion will always protect her cubs! (and why, exactly would they want to join a third world country?).

3 April 2012 at 21:19  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

@Alpha,

The men in the photo hold a penguin, not some intergalactic race!

3 April 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Lord L said ...

"A Lion will always protect her cubs!"

My good man, today's sexual confusion is taking its toll - Lions are male.

3 April 2012 at 21:25  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Lord Lavendon.

Not so. That is an Equinox! One of the oldest most, powerful space farring races in the galaxy. You should know my lord...

3 April 2012 at 21:26  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Blue Dog,

Yes, I forgot that many a human power comes from the British-

1. The Norfolk Guardianship
2. The Mercian Kingdom
3. The Danjo Rainbow
4. The Lavendonian Communion
5. The Kavanagh Alliance
6. The Holy Order of the Dodo

3 April 2012 at 21:28  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

@Dodo,

Dash-it all.I have just come back from a 10 month trip around the world. I did of course, mean "his".

Happy now?

3 April 2012 at 21:29  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

@alpha,

What the blazes are you talking about! Oh a brandy! I need a brandy!

3 April 2012 at 21:30  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Alpha
The Dodo is of Judaic-Irish

3 April 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Lavendon: I am happy now, even gay.

The blog relies on the likes of you to be cler about gender and the proper relations between them.

3 April 2012 at 21:34  
Blogger bluedog said...

M/s Anna @ 20.35 says 'Perhap we might even meet real aliens etc.'

Do you think that we have not?

3 April 2012 at 21:50  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@Alpha,

Dodo couldn't even tell his lagarange point from his liquid metallic hydrogen!

3 April 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@blue dog,

Hmmm, perhaps your right!

3 April 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Anna: chase me ...

3 April 2012 at 22:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Carl @ 00.15/03, it seems our view of the facts and the conclusions following therefrom are polar opposites.

You say ‘Gulf War II was a war of risk mitigation.’ Fine, but did the war aims include a democratic and Shiite dominated Iraq becoming an Iran satellite? And the galvanizing of Iran to develop nuclear weapons with possible Pakistani/Chinese assistance? Possibly not, but that is what has happened so that the risks are greatly enhanced.

You say ‘A nuclear-armed Saddam was the worst possible outcome.’ Agreed, but look at the history. In 1981 the Israelis had destroyed the only functioning nuclear reactor in Iraq. After the total rout and defeat of the Iraq war machine in 1991, Saddam’s regime went into survival mode. The northern Kurdish part of Iraq became a semi-autonomous republic, rapidly and comprehensively penetrated by the Turks and Israelis, who were in a close alliance at the time. So, no nukes or bio-weapons in the north of Iraq. In the south, the Allies maintained a no-fly zone and it would surprise if they had not inserted special forces recce patrols on a regular basis over the 12 years of the NFZ. Again, no nukes there. So the only area of mystery was the Mesopotamian central belt and with U2 over-flights and satellite surveillance anything as big as a nuclear reactor or an enrichment plant would have been easily visible. So, a moderate potential for surprise, but on balance, nothing that couldn’t be verified.

You say ‘He was wildly unstable having already started two regional wars.’ True, and in the case of the war with Iran this was done with the assistance of the US still smarting from the Iran Rescue Mission debacle. Wasn’t Dubya’s defence secretary Don Rumsfeld the contact man between the US and Saddam? But on any analysis, despite Saddam’s personal vanity and fantasies, after his comprehensive defeat in 1991, Saddam ceased to be an aggressor; he simply lacked the will and the capacity. Sure, he would launch the occasional ceremonial Scud in the general direction of Israel, but only to keep faith with the Arab street. There was no act that might trigger an Israeli nuclear riposte.

You say ‘The concern about Saddam with nuclear weapons was that he might actually use them. He had to be stopped.’ Based on the above, this statement a complete misreading of the capabilities and intentions of Saddam.

So what went wrong? Why, after the US was attacked by Saudis on 9/11 acting on orders from a Saudi in Afghanistan, did the US attack the wrong country? One is reminded of Churchill’s bon mot ‘The United States always does the right thing having exhausted all other possibilities’.

The answer lies in the psyche of Dubya, a much misunderstood personality who has remarkable empathy with Americans but is completely lost on Europeans. They just don’t get him. But it seems to this communicant that Dubya always felt overshadowed by GHW Bush, and envied his father’s war record. In addition, GHW Bush stopped well short of Baghdad, very wisely, as it turns out. But Dubya saw a chance to out-do his father and took it; it’s as simple as that.

Any sophistry to the contrary is just bullshit, to use a Dubya-ism.

As an aside, some of the nicknames Dubya gave to his rivals were very funny, for example, Senator John McCain – Hogan. Brilliant!

3 April 2012 at 22:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

anna anglican

Thank you for your kind words. I do appreciate them. Although I must admit I don't feel particularly oppressed on this thread. The argument with bluedog is interesting, and not just because he is making serious arguments. It serves my interest by illustrating the factors that actually influence decisions of war and peace. You will notice the complete lack of any reference to Just War Theory in the argument.

DanJ0 and I don't argue so much as wield presuppositions against one another. And Dodo is typical RC. Earnest and locked in bondage to Rome. A few years ago, I would have seriously engaged him on the manifest and multiple errors of RCism. But if my animosity towards the RCC has stayed constant, my attitude towards RCs has softened somewhat. Well, a little. A smidge maybe. ;)

Heck, even Alpha has managed to change my opinion of him. If I'm not careful, I might end up a liberal - or worse ... an Arminian!

carl

3 April 2012 at 23:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

The Scripture is primarily about God's relationship to man. On a secondary level it is about man's relationship to other men. At a far distant third place, we find some guidance about man's relationship to the state. If there is some quarternary guidance about a state's relationship to other states, I don't know were it is.

However, here is what you don't do with Scripture in regard to this matter. You don't personify the state and then apply personal morality to the state. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide for Public policy. The state as represented by Officer of the Law is not supposed to turn the other cheek. The state as represented by the soldier is allowed to kill. That's why I reason differently about state action and individual action. You cannot conflate the actions of a man acting in private with the actions of a man acting under the authority of the state. Different rules apply.

carl

3 April 2012 at 23:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl

The Sermon on the Mount is most certainly a guide to life as a Christian.

In Biblical terms, throughout the Old Testament. the role of the State is clear - to protect the widow, poor, orphan and old - according to God's discerned will. Christ didn't remove this obligation. What He did was unite Christian individual morality - to love one's neighbour as yourself - with knowing, loving and serving God. This was His great summation of the law and the prophets.

There's nowhere in the Bible that baldly says: "the State will implement God's will". Surely, it doesn't have to? To do so means understanding His will and acting justly in all situations.

Catholic theology is clear too about the State's duty to wage war justly both internally and externally in defense of its people. That's the natural reason that accompanies Divine law. Who has suggested the State should 'turn the other cheek'?

It is you drawing a false distinction between the State and the individual rather than me conflating the two.

And no Catholic is in "bondage to Rome". Serving Christ and being one with Him as members of His Mystical Body, is liberation.

4 April 2012 at 00:23  
Blogger Oswin said...

anna anglican @ 22:09 : or perhaps 'arse from elbow' even?

4 April 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin: please in more polite circles one uses the terms anus or, even better, fundament and ginglymus.

This would then read:

"He cannot discern his fundament from his ginglymus."

4 April 2012 at 18:48  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: you can have that one; I wished I'd said it, true enough! Tee hee. :o)

4 April 2012 at 19:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Sir: I turn my fundament to you and send my flatus in your direction.

4 April 2012 at 22:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

There are of course ladies present.

carl

4 April 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: you always have to stray a yard too far; tuts...

5 April 2012 at 00:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Couple of inches, more like.

French Soldier: "I f*rt in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

5 April 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Jerry said...

The 1982 Falklands War included the interests of a third power, the Vatican, whose role tends to be overlooked with the passing of time.

The first ever papal visit to Britain had been arranged well in advance and took place in the midst of the Falklands War that had erupted between Britain and Catholic Argentina. The Vatican was compelled by political necessity to follow the British visit with a hastily arranged papal visit to Argentina, otherwise it risked undermining its Latin American base.

The cooperation of the murderous military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983 was needed for the latter visit. Suggestions that the Pope cold shouldered the junta during the visit do not match the facts. Two photos that appeared in the Catholic press at the time are of particular interest in this regard.

These photos are to be found in an article about this fascinating chapter in recent history that reveals a great deal about the Vatican’s modus operandi in modern times —

http://www.wallsofjericho.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=68

10 April 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger Oswin said...

Jerry: very interesting, thank you!

14 April 2012 at 17:09  
Blogger Jerry said...

The election of the new Argentine pope should trigger renewed interest in the detail of the 1982 Falklands War.

The first ever papal visit to Britain, which had been arranged well in advance, took place in the midst of the Falklands War between Britain and Catholic Argentina.

The Vatican was compelled by political necessity to follow the British visit with a hastily arranged papal visit to Argentina, otherwise it risked undermining its Latin American base.

The cooperation of the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983 was needed for the latter visit. Suggestions that the Pope cold shouldered the junta during the visit do not match the facts.

Two particular photos that appeared in the Catholic press at the time are of particular interest in this regard.
These photos are to be found in an article about this fascinating chapter in papal history that reveals a great deal about the Vatican’s modus operandi in modern times —

http://www.wallsofjericho.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=68

16 March 2013 at 12:44  

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