Thursday, April 23, 2009

Iraq: Just War?

The Associated Press is now reporting that it has uncovered secret statistics held by the Iraqi government showing 87,215 Iraqi citizens have been killed since 2005 as a result of everything from "catastrophic bombings to execution-style slayings." When tallied with records since 2003, it climbs to an estimated 110,600. (That number only includes "violent deaths.")

Here's some questions: Was it worth it? Would you characterize the Iraq War as a "just war?"

Related: See my article in Relevant Magazine's May/June issue entitled, Just War.


Anonymous said...

"Just War" reignites the age-old debate on how we should address war. We encourage everyone to preview the M/J 09 issue of RELEVANT online: There's a direct link to Jonathan's article on the page.

Thank you Jonathan for covering the two sides - Just War and Just Peacemaking - on the morality of war.

Anonymous said...

I just got the new issue of Relevant the other day (look for my article on No Kids!), and I read your article. I thought you did a great job!

As far as if I thought the Iraq War was a just war, the answer is NO! Unlike Afghanistan (which at first I was against, since I was a pretty far-left liberal at the time, but now I'm pretty moderate), Iraq did do anything to provoke the United States to attack. Saddam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (even though lots of far-right-wingers tried to make it appear so). We went in with false information and these lofty goals of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. We got rid of Saddam, but has Iraq really improved since them?

Justin said...

No, not worth it. Here's a couple question for the host - what kind of a question is that to ask? Start at the number of dead and start counting backward, what number do you get to before you think the war was worth it? I suppose I take offense to the premise of the question, which is that we have the right to consider the number of Iraqi dead a cost that we have paid.

Jonathan Merritt said...


Good thoughts. The question should be evaluated by us as members of humanity. Since death effects us all, even if it isn't occurring in our neighborhoods, then we must always look at whether or not the price to humanity is worth it.

We probably feel the same way, Justin--that the cost of human life in this case has been far too great.