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War ...continued

ATTITUDES TO WAR

There are those who have no compunction about waging warfare. History has named such aggressors and their atrocities are well documented. They went to war to further their own interests and for their own personal aggrandisement. They surrounded themselves with henchmen who persuaded their armies to carry out their wishes, and some of the soldiers when interviewed afterwards excused their guilt by saying that they were under orders, and if they did not carry them out their lives would have been in jeopardy.

Then there is the attitude taken by what could be called the majority. They would support a war if their country or its interests were threatened and if they felt that there was no feasible alternative.

Others are selective in their attitude. They feel that the reason for war must be amply justified, that circumstances would be greatly improved afterwards, and also that in the long run lives would be saved.

The UK/USA invasion of Iraq raised some serious ethical questions. Many were quite confused about the reasons for this war. It was first understood that Iraq had stores of weapons of mass destruction and unless they were disengaged, they could become a threat to the west at some future time. The search has proved somewhat elusive and the possible threat to the west regarded as unlikely. When no weapons showed up the emphasis was that the war would overthrow the Regime and Saddam Hussein. Appeals were also made to the people of Iraq that the invaders were there to set them free and set up a democratic state.

A new phenomenon arose in this war. The Coalition forces initiated a pre-emptive strike on another country who were not at the time threatening the west. Some were asking whether this meant that other countries might be targets of pre-emptive attack. The confusing and bewildering situation caused many to protest against the war including demonstrations which numbered thousands of people.

Index to the Topic
War: killing and murder - a clarification
War
Attitudes to War
The Pacifist position
Personal responses to War
An overview of conscientious objection. 


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