Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Just War

     The theory of the “just war” is largely unknown to the general public. As with all concepts about justice, it attempts to draw a dividing line between wars that are morally acceptable, even mandatory, and wars that are driven by evil motives such as cupidity. It also touches upon tactics: what methods are legitimate in conducting a just war, and what methods are morally proscribed. As with many other elements of moral-ethical theory, the Catholic Church has been in the forefront of just-war theory for many decades.

     Now that the Church and Christianity itself are under attack by a worldwide force determined to destroy them, the time has come to answer some important questions. Start from the following premise: the pope – not necessarily Jorge Bergoglio – has declared that the Church is at war with that force.

  1. How are the allegiants of that force to be identified, ideologically or strategically?
  2. Would taking up arms against them – actual weapons of war and destruction, not just talk – be justified?
  3. What tactics would be morally acceptable in conducting the war?

     We begin.

0. Can you make war on an ideology?

     Before we address the questions enumerated above, let’s dispose of a canard that would otherwise hamper the discussion. The notion that “you can’t fight a war against an ideology / belief system / conviction / opinion” has been widely promulgated in recent years. It first received circulation during the Cold War years, when our principal foe was communism. More recently its importance has derived from the position of Islam in the array of anti-Western and anti-Christian forces.

     This misconceives the nature of war. War is not a thing apart from all other things, a phenomenon aloof from all other aspects of existence. War doesn’t simply “happen now and then.” War is a method: a technique for pursuing a goal, chosen by persons who believe it will get them what they want at an acceptable cost.

     Some wars are ideological in nature. They’re initiated to elevate one belief system over another, or to impose it on unwilling others. Many of the wars of pre-Napoleonic Europe were ideological wars. Some were fought between contending religious doctrines. Others were fought over principles of royal succession. The Treaties of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna were in large part animated by the desire to put an end to such wars.

     An ideological war can be quite as bloody – and quite as conclusive – as any war for gain. Yes, the wars for gain of the Twentieth Century were the bloodiest conflicts in history, at least if we go by body counts, but that’s because those wars were fought with weapons of unprecedented killing power in the hands of armies of millions. A contemporary ideological war could reap casualties quite as copiously. Depending upon how it’s fought, it could be just as conclusive as the Allied Powers’ defeat of the Nazi Axis.

     So let’s not waste our time on whether one can fight a war in defense of a belief system. When the enemies of our belief system – specifically, Christianity – are already openly at war with us, our alternatives are somewhat limited.

1. How are our enemies to be identified?

     They tend to identify themselves:

  • Their more militant allegiants mount physical attacks against Christians and Christian institutions;
  • Their other allegiants defend the overarching ideology from the identification of its role.

     Consider in this light what happened on the one occasion that President George W. Bush cited Islamism as the core driver of terrorism. CAIR and other Muslim mouthpiece groups immediately assailed him, with the connivance of the Legacy Media, as calling for a war against Islam. Dubya immediately backed away from his statement. He and his political strategists didn’t want to deal with the flak from the matter, even though it emanated from a relatively small number of institutions. Yet Islam explicitly commands violent jihad against all “unbelievers,” among which it numbers Christians and Jews most prominently. “Islamist” is merely a convenient term for those who act on Islam’s politico-religious imperialism.

2. Would taking up arms against them be justified?

     The core of just-war theory is that shooting back is always justified. The aggressor is responsible for what happens afterward. The problems involved in dealing with the ideologists and apologists of an aggressive ideology are more complex.

     At this time, a bare handful of Islamic militants have emerged in the United States. Up to now, when they’ve revealed themselves, we’ve pursued them through the justice system. It’s acceptably workable…at present. However, if the U.S. were to experience Islam-powered violence and vandalism on the scale already suffered by France and England, it would be necessary to abandon that approach for a more military one aimed at quelling the insurrection. That would necessarily involve shutting down Islam’s support networks, whether or not their organizers and supporters were provably involved in the violence.

3. What tactics would be morally acceptable?

     Those who make war against Christianity are diffusely distributed among us, but concentrated in a handful of other nations. Thus, the problem is twofold.

     In conducting the domestic conflict, Americans determined to defend Christianity against its Islamic attackers must use discretion. As L. Neil Smith has observed, a diffuse threat can only be countered with a diffuse defense. Moreover, the law will extend no tolerance to any organized effort to extirpate the as-yet-“innocent” Muslims among us: they who confine themselves to words and agitations. Yet they can be opposed, and not merely with words of our own.

     The key is to make their continued existence within our borders intolerable:

  • Socially,
  • Economically,
  • Politically.

     Ostracism, refusing to have commerce with them, and opposing them politically by every legal means, especially giving true and accurate coloration to their aims, will do the trick.

     Yes, there are some legal problems, but were millions of American Christians to act approximately in concert – refusing ever to buy from, sell to, or employ a Muslim – the federal government would be powerless to do anything about it, no matter how ardently the Left and the Deep State might wish otherwise.

     Concerning the external concentrations of our enemies – i.e., the Islamic states of the world – in the absence of aggressive acts by their subjects against the U.S., American citizens, or Americans’ property, the same approach could be applied:

  • Terminate all diplomatic contacts with those nations;
  • Embargo all trade with those nations;
  • Oppose the Islamic governments of those nations at every opportunity.

     This of course requires command of the political system – but once again, were American Christians to act in reasonable concert, eyes unclouded by specious notions about “compassion” and “fairness,” it could be done.

4. The Left and what to do about it.

     It has become painfully clear that the American Left sees Islam as a useful if unwitting collaborator in its efforts to destroy American social, economic, and political norms. That leagues the organized Left with our overt enemies de facto. It suggests that similar tactics can be used to bring it to heel.

     Yes, millions of Americans consider themselves left of center. However, few of those, if challenged directly on their fundamental allegiance, would side openly with Islam and its ideology of world conquest. (They’d probably protest that “you can’t fight a war against an ideology,” for which see section number 1 above.) These “weak tea” left-liberals can be shamed out of opposition, just as they were after September 11, 2001, if American Christians can remain united and resolute. The full-blooded enemies of the Republic are the Left’s strategists, tacticians, and public mouthpieces. These must face the same weapons we must bring to bear against their Islamic analogues. Once again, the legal difficulties can be surmounted with a sufficient degree of concurrence among American Christians.

5. Non-Christian sects other than Islam.

     Given that 74% of Americans self-identify as Christians, some 26% remain to be considered. Yes, by the numbers as well as historically, America is a Christian nation. However, extending our tolerance to that which is tolerable is an essential of Christian ethics. Those 26% must be accommodated to the maximum possible extent: i.e., short of allowing them to take up our enemies’ cause.

     I wouldn’t expect American Jews to pose a problem, despite their historical allegiance with the increasingly left-wing Democrat Party. Neither would Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists, Taoists, Hare Krishnas, or Amiable Agnostics be a cause for concern. Militant atheists, who’ve made the Christian faith their favorite target for several decades, would be required to show their true color…and in the preponderance of cases that color would be yellow. However, as long as they stay out of the conflict, these too could be ignored.


     There’s a certain amount of “throwing out the rule book” involved in the above. The major “rule” that must be set aside is that of treating individuals as individuals, disassociated from the crimes of those who share their anti-Christian ideology and have acted on its dictates. The relevant insight here was provided by none other than the greatest butcher in human history, Mao Tse-tung:

     “The people are the sea in which the revolutionary swims.”

     By “the people,” Mao meant the ideologically allied, not the undifferentiated mass of the people. Though they commit no violence themselves, the ideologically allied provide concealment, sustenance, and “human shields” to the insurgent. This cannot be tolerated.

     Are nine tenths of the Muslims who attend some particular mosque innocent of personal misdeeds? Irrelevant, just as Brigitte Gabriel said in the video I embedded yesterday. They are enablers and supporters of our more active enemies, whether voluntary or coerced. It’s like dealing with a pest species; the best way to clean it out is to destroy its habitat: the environmental conditions that support its flourishing. Supposedly innocent and peaceable Muslims are the jihadist’s habitat, and must be routed out of the country.

     Yes, it’s a harsh prescription from start to finish. I don’t like it much, but it’s being forced upon us. Feel free to suggest another.

     Deus vult.


Ed Bonderenka said...

“you can’t fight a war against an ideology / belief system / conviction / opinion”
Yes you can, but it has to be on that battlefield.
The campuses and the media.
Which is dominated by the left.
But there is a component called Spiritual Warfare.
I look to the hills from whence my help comes.

Pascal said...

You've called out only two of the converged death cultists here and how to deal with them.

You who once left the GOP may have forgotten why you left. You came back because IIRC you felt you had little choice to but to support the least of the evils and do what you could from there.

From observing all that has transpired, I call out the Progs controlling the GOPe, and warn them of a technology almost ready that will feedback upon them when their lust for power trips a “circuit breaker” at a setting unknown until they get zapped. They won’t know what hit them and the most significant source of our current troubles will be solved.


Francis: I'll comment more extensively when I have time but... begging your indulgence... I'll pull a quote from my latest post*:

"Non-Muslims of the world… my fellow Jews, Christians of every type… Hindus, Buddhists, Animists, Zoroastrians… Wiccans, Tengrians, you-name-its. We have our differences. But Islam is a dire threat to us all, threatening – in actuality – lighting the world on fire."

The same applies to Leftists and the ideological (and, I fear, coming physical) war against them too.


Again, trying to not abuse the privilege of posting here, but I think it's very relevant.

Jones - Texas said...

I suggest reading this piece of prose:

The Time Traveler by Dan Simmons