War has been argued to be a force that is responsible for the punctuation of our life, binding us to our inconsistence moral failing. Diplomats consider war to be the very last resort after other alternatives have been comprehensively exhausted in an attempt to attain consensus in the event of a disagreement between parties (Hedge).
This kind of war that is as a result of exhaustion of other available options in a bid to arrive at a consensus is what is termed as just war, since its conduction is justified by the failure of other available options to establish agreements between disagreeing parties.
Some wars are however centered on self interest are not necessarily as a result of failure of other available alternatives. Such wars are branded as unjust wars as they more of exploit their subjects than aid in the realization of a consensus between disagreeing parties or extremes (Hedge).
This paper will explicitly as well as comprehensively examine the principals that govern the conduction of a just war before critically discussing how the United States invasion of Iraq is unjust based on Morris Berman’s argument on unjust wars that violet the principles that govern conduction of just war.
Following is an argumentative discussion on how the united States invasion is a clear reflection of an unjust war with respect to the just war principles.
A just war can only be appropriate as a last remedy. All non-violent preferences must be drained before the employment of vigor can be justified as just. Morris Berman tries to argue that the invasion of Iraq by the U.S did not in whichever way, comply with the principles of the just war. Because according to this principle, there are other ways to resolve conflicts before one resort to mass action of war against a nation or state whose position on something wants to be tainted. Other examples that may be applied include diplomacy, intermediary e.t.c, which is non-violent. The failure of this is when the application of war resorted to as the last option in the restoration of peace or towards the achievement of the purpose of which wage of war is applied. Hence Morris Berman elucidate that the U.S did not adhere to the principle of just war yet they claim that their invasion in Iraq is just. In the real sense, they did not exhaust these other non-violent options before resorting to war. However, they just resorted to the last option as the way forward towards the restoration peace (Richard).
Proficient authority must be certified for war to qualify to be a just war. For one to deploy war in solving a conflict, Morris Berman argues that there must be an aspect of justifiable authority because even individuals can act as a determinate a conflict but they do not amount to the legitimate authority. To the Iraqi people the U.S did not deem legitimate as external aggressors who could deploy war in the name of resolving a conflict. Hence, to Morris Berman this was not a just war between the Iraqi people and the U.S (Richard).
Right purpose/intention: according to this principle, a just war may classify indeed as a just war because of its right intent in redressing the status that was there before the deployment of war. For example to the Iraqi people, to them it truly claims consideration of a just war because they engaged in war to try to defend themselves against the external aggressor. That is a justified cause of war. However, to Morris Berman, the U.S states invasion of Iraq was not just, this is due to the argument that the rightful cause of the attack is blurred and the situation they were trying to remedy is not quite clear. Because to him, the U.S intention was not really to fight for the human rights but they had, other intentions behind the curtains that were also not clear in the employment of war against the Iraqi people (Richard).
Morris Berman’s, argues that a war can only be justified if it is fought or rather conducted with a reasonable chance of success. Therefore for a war to justify its execution it must explicitly exhibit signs or chances that it will be successful in the fulfilment of it purpose. The United States invasion of Iraq violets this principle since there is no clear reflection of any chances of this war achieving its purpose since it is more of exploitative and distractive to its subject at the expense of safeguarding the selfish interests of the United States. These exploitative actions have been met with great resistance from the Iraq community further making its chances of success quite bleak. The war according to Morris Berman is thus based on great exploitation and as a result is not justified (Richard).
The ultimate goal of any justified war is to re- establish peace, and this peace obtained as a result of war must be preferable in relation to the peace that would have been attained in the event that war was not the last resort. However, as Morris Berman argues, the United States invasion in Iraq has continues to generate more conflicts with the raise of each day instead of being directed to peace building within and without its borders. Based on this fact he therefore argues that the invasion of Iraq by United States still violates the principles that should justify it as a just war and as a result he brands this invasion as unjust (Hedge).
A just war ought to rationally proportional to the injury suffered. The good derived out of a war should out do the bad that it causes; this is supposed to be analyzed before a country engages in any war with another country or before a country wages a war against another. The force used should be necessary in the accomplishment of the limited objectives in attending to the injury suffered. Morris Berman argues that while invading Iraq in the pursuit of “terrorists and Nuclear weapons’ the United States and allies didn’t consider the consequences likely to be brought about by the same. They ignored the fact that while bombing the Iraqi cities, they would be putting lives of innocent children on the line, lives of women and young people who know nothing about terrorists and Nuclear weapons. This principle is not met while invading Iraq, the war ended up scores of innocent men and women, children and youths. The principle was thus grossly violated as nothing is more important than the lives of human beings (Richard).
In his analysis of the invasion, Morris Berman views the war as just in the view of the weapons used. The weapons used according to the principles of just war ought to be able to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Weapons such as widely inclusive bombs should not be used during a just war as such are likely to cause harm to the non-combatants. The principle further reiterates that every effort to avoid killing civilians should be put into considerations, the measures should ensure that no civilian is targeted in the war. Any interference, harm or death, of the civilians during a war should be as a result of unavoidable situation(s) such as the deliberate attack on military target. Berman view the United States as not adhering to this principle as they attack the cities in Iraq which obviously have civilians. The attack on the residential areas of Baghdad went a long way in the violation of this principle. Several civilians were killed in the process where the US and allies were not precisely targeting the military but were generally “cleaning” the city. This as a result led to the killing of many civilians (Richard).
The invasion of Iraq was and still is not just in the light of principles of just war. The United States and allies have violated each and every of these principles that define a just war and continue to do the same. Morris Berman is therefore right in viewing the US as leading other countries into a unjust war against Iraq.