Just Total War (part one of three)

The notion of war is as old as mankind, itself.  The first fistfight, never mind the first murder, was nothing more than warfare at the smallest level: a single man against a single man.  The desire for conquest leading to conflict is part and parcel of our fallen world.  Therefore, it is, occasionally, entirely appropriate to engage in warfare, and concurrently, we are compelled to discover the proper circumstances and limits to that destruction.

Liberals would like to simply ignore the reality of war and its horrors, but adults don’t have the option of closing our eyes and plugging our ears.  I am sure that Augustine of Hippo, for instance, was very discontented to contemplatSt. Augustine of Hippoe the idea of organized mass violence, but it is necessary because it is a state in which man constantly finds himself. 

In his analysis, Augustine attempted to perform a Biblical analysis on the subject, thereby making concise and coherent rules on the propriety of engaging in warfare: the “Just War” (or Jus Bellum) theory.  [insert left justified: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Augustine_of_Hippo.jpg ]

“Just War” has many aspects to it, both in determining when to go to war, how to fight it, and when to stop.  Most of his conclusions are seemingly self-evident to a civil society, i.e., war is a last option (but still an option), it should be fought only to correct a wrong, not to create one, don’t fight past the point of victory, et cetra.  However, a fine analysis shows, I believe, a far broader permissibility, nay, requirement to war than a casual viewer might think.               

This leads me to another philosopher on war: Carl von Clausewitz.  Von Clausewitz was a military strategist in the Prussian, then Russian armies.  Like Augustine, his tenure of service required great thought on [insert right justified:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Clausewitz.jpg ]why, when, and how war should be conducted.  However, von Clausewitz was far more direct in his writings.  To wit: war is a tool used to bend another nations will to your own, and that the bloodier and more destructive the war is, the shorter it will be, actually saving lives in the aggregate.

Most find von Clausewitz and Augustine miles apart in their approach and application, but I do not.  I find that Clausewitz’s view fulfills the requirements of Christian charity that Jus Bellum theory attempts to employ, and will show how in the next installment, and will then show how it is a necessity to follow “Total War” principles in all our conflicts, especially our current troubles with the Muslims.

Suck it up Crybaby

Calhoun’s Ghost

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