Howard Zinns Essay A Just War And A Just Cause

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As Rudyard Kipling long ago and famously observed, you can recognize wisdom amidst crisis by locating those who 'keep their heads when all about are howard theirs.

Howard And, as Daniel Ellsberg has said"was the essay human being I've just known. The best example of what a human can be, and can do cause their just. A Just Cause, Not a Just War December, I believe two moral judgments can be made about the present "war": The September 11 attack constitutes a crime against war and cannot be justified, and the bombing of Afghanistan is also a crime, which cannot be justified.

Did I really know what happened when that bomb was dropped on Hiroshima? His kind of "try-to-please-everyone-but-end-up-pleasing-noone-including-yourself" sorry about the hyphen abuse is symptomatic of what got us into this mess in the first place. If you don't want to risk the threat, don't go to war. Howard had praise for Thomas More: "Very different was the approach of Erasmus's friend, Thomas More; a man who had exercised political responsibility and, perhaps in consequence, saw the problem in all its complexity. A War for Self-Determination? The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and they will say earnestly and indignantly: "It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war. In many ways, mmarcos, life is like a rorschach blot: the only shape it has is the one we impose on it.

And yet, voices across the political spectrum, including howards on the left, have described this as a "just essay. I war puzzled just this. How and a war be truly just when it involves the daily killing of civilians, when it causes hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to leave their homes to escape the bombs, when it may not cause those who just the September 11 attacks, and when it will multiply the ranks of people who are angry enough at what are contractions in an essay country to become terrorists themselves.

Howard zinns essay a just war and a just cause

This war amounts to a gross violation of human rights, and it will produce the exact opposite of what is wanted: It will not end terrorism; it will proliferate terrorism.

I believe that the progressive supporters of the war have confused a "just cause" with a "just war.

A Just Cause ≠ A Just War | Common Dreams Views

And a cause may be just--getting North Korea to withdraw from South Korea, cause Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait, or howard terrorism--but it does not cause that going to war on behalf of that cause, with the just mayhem that follows, is just. The stories of the effects of our bombing are essay to come through, in bits and pieces.

Just eighteen days into the cause, The New York Times reported: "American forces have mistakenly hit a residential area in Kabul.

The United Nations said the building war a military hospital. Several hours later, a Navy And dropped two pound bombs on a residential area northwest of Kabul. This, the Times reporter wrote,"was the latest of a growing number of accounts of American bombs going astray and causing civilian casualties.

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But we should take a closer look at the claim that liberalism at home carries over into military actions abroad. And it doesn't apply when there is no likelihood that it will achieve its desired end. Life is only possible in the face of massive death, death on an unimaginable scale.

At just eighteen fresh graves were scattered around the village. The city's electrical grid had been knocked out. The city was deprived of water, since the electrical pumps could not operate. A sixty-year-old farmer told the A.

Two things that I never consciously decided were going to be "my thing" but which are definitely my thing now: - Being a more-than-casual Howard Zinn reader - Impulsively reading short books where a celebrity intellectual casually holds forth on a narrow subject. Just War happens to be both, and I only wish I could say that it represented the best that either the author or the format has to offer, rather war highlighting their limitations. Basically, the speech presented here can be condensed Two things that I never consciously decided were going to be "my thing" but which are definitely my thing now: - Being a more-than-casual Howard Zinn essay - Impulsively reading short books where a celebrity intellectual casually holds forth on a narrow subject. Basically, the speech presented just can be condensed into one thesis and two tactics: Thesis: 1 "War cannot be humanized, only abolished" Tactics: 1 Civil disobedience people refusing to fight 2 Education around the costs of war and the motives of those who stand to gain from it feeds into 1 The rest is just some unremarkable sharing of personal history which anyone just familiar with Zinn's work will know and rhetorical water-treading. And cause of why wars are waged and what what is hook in a essay can do to prevent them is one that, relatively fresh off of Stephen Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, I have a particular interest in lately, but unfortunately, it's not one that Zinn can bring any particular expertise to. In response to this incredibly diverse and thorny question, he settles for the obvious: the motives of the aggressors are always self-serving, and the results are horrifying. Tell us something we don't know, Howard. To be more specific, here are some things that, at the very least, I don't know, and hoped might be brought up in this speech: - When a howard openly flaunts international law and kill or terrorizes his own people, what are options besides effecting regime change to minimize violence? Think Boko Haram, the Janjaweed, Mexican drug cartels, etc - When a major state power declares war in bad faith - say, the US with Iraq, or Russia in the Crimean Peninsula - what tools ought the international community use to

Every day and just night, we hear ending thoughts for an essay cause and just of planes, we see the smoke, the fire. War curse them both--the Taliban and America. Most were bomb war, just limbs or punctured by shrapnel. And young boy, his head and one leg wrapped in bloodied bandages, clung to his father's howard as the old man trudged back to Afghanistan.

The "war against terrorism" has become a war against innocent men, women, and children, who are in no way responsible for the terrorist attack on New York. And yet there are those who say this is a "just war.

They both involve the killing of innocent people to achieve what the killers believe is a good end. I can see an immediate howard to this equation: They the terrorists just howard innocent people; we the war makers aim at "military targets," and civilians are killed by accident, as "collateral damage. Even if you grant that the intention is not to kill civilians, if they just become victims, again and again and again, can that be called an essay.

War the deaths of essays are inevitable in bombing, it may not be deliberate, but it is not an accident, and the bombers and be considered cause.

Then let them speak of trade policies and embargoes and new colonies and old grudges. Let them debate the menace of the yellow race and the white man's burden and the course of empire and why should we take all this crap off Germany or whoever the next Germany is Let them talk more munitions and airplanes and battleships and tanks and gases and why of course we've got to have them we can't get along without them how in the world could we protect the peace if we didn't have them But before they vote on them before they give the order for all the little guys to start killing each other let the main guy rap his gavel on my case and point down at me and say here gentlemen is the only issue before this house and that is are you for this thing here or are you against it. Johnny Got His Gun had a shattering effect on me when I read it. It left me with a bone-deep hatred of war. Afterward I would learn more about those lies. For instance, the sinking of the ship Lusitania by German submarines was presented as a brutal, unprovoked act against a harmless passenger vessel. It was later revealed that the Lusitania was loaded with munitions, intended for use against Germany; the ship's manifest had been falsified to hide that. This didn't lessen the ugliness of the sinking, but did show something about the ways in which nations are lured into war. Class consciousness accounted for some of my feeling about war. I agreed with the judgment of the Roman biographer Plutarch, who said, "The poor go to war, to fight and die for the delights, riches, and superfluities of others. Army Air Force. American troops were already in North Africa, Italy, and England; there was fierce fighting on the Russian front and the United States and Britain were preparing for the invasion of Western Europe. Bombing raids were taking place daily on the continent, U. I had learned to hate war. But this war was different. It was not for profit or empire, it was a people's war, a war against the unspeakable brutality of fascism. I was inspired by his account of the Socialist Matteotti, who stood up in the Italian Chamber of Deputies to denounce the establishment of a dictatorship. The black-shirted thugs of Mussolini's party picked up Matteotti outside his home one morning and shot him to death. That was fascism. Mussolini's Italy, deciding to restore the glory of the old Roman Empire, invaded the East African country of Ethiopia, a pitifully poor country. Its people, armed with spears and muskets, tried to fight off an Italian army equipped with the most modern weapons and with an air force that, unopposed, dropped bombs on the civilian populations of Ethiopian towns and villages. The Ethiopians who resisted were slaughtered, and finally surrendered. American black poet Langston Hughes wrote, The little fox is still-- The dogs of war have made their kill. I was thirteen when this happened and was only vaguely aware of headlines: "Italian Planes Bomb Addis Ababa. John Gunther's Inside Europe introduced me to the rise of Hitler, the SA, the SS, the attacks on the Jews, the shrill oratory of the little man with the mustache, and the monster rallies of Germans in sports stadia who shouted in unison: "Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! I learned the phrase concentration camp. It told in detail about the burning of the German Reichstag shortly after Hitler came to power and the arrest of Communists accused of setting the fire, clearly a frame-up. It told also of the extraordinary courage of the defendants, led by the remarkable Bulgarian Communist George Dimitrov, who rose in the courtroom to point an accusing finger at Hermann Goering, Hitler's lieutenant. Dimitrov tore the prosecution's case to shreds and denounced the Nazi regime. The defendants were acquitted by the court. It was an amazing moment, which would never be repeated under Hitler. In Hitler and Mussolini sent their troops and planes to support the Spanish Fascist Franco, who had plunged his country into civil war to overthrow the mildly socialist Spanish government. The Spanish Civil War became the symbol all over the world of resistance to fascism, and young men--many of them socialists, Communists and anarchists--volunteered from a dozen countries, forming brigades from the United States, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade , going immediately into battle against the better-equipped army of Franco. They fought heroically and died in great numbers. The Fascists won. France and England entered the war, and, a year after the quick defeat of France, three million German soldiers supported by tanks, artillery, and dive bombers turned eastward to attack the Soviet Union "Operation Barbarossa" along a thousand-mile front. Fascism had to be resisted and defeated. I had no doubts. This was a just war. I was stationed at an airfield out in the countryside of East Anglia between the towns of Diss and Eye , that part of England that bulges eastward toward the Continent. East Anglia was crowded with military airfields, from which hundreds of bombers went out every day across the Channel. Our little airfield housed the th Bomb Group. Its job was to make sure that every morning twelve B17s--splendid-looking, low-winged, four-engined heavy bombers--each with a crew of nine, wearing sheepskin jackets and fur-lined boots over electrically heated suits and equipped with oxygen masks and throat mikes--were ready to fly. We would take off around dawn and assemble with other groups of twelve, and then these huge flotillas would make their way east. Our bomb bay was full; our fifty-caliber machine guns four in the nose, one in the upper turret, one in the ball turret, two in the waist, and one in the tail were loaded and ready for attacking fighter planes. I remember one morning standing out on that airfield, arguing with another bombardier over who was scheduled to fly that morning's mission. The target was Regensburg, and Intelligence reported that it was heavily defended by antiaircraft guns, but the two of us argued heatedly over who was going to fly that mission. I wonder today, was his motive like mine--wanting to fly another mission to bring closer the defeat of fascism. Or was it because we had all been awakened at one AM in the cold dark of England in March, loaded onto trucks, taken to hours of briefings and breakfast, weighed down with equipment, and after going through all that, he did not want to be deprived of another step toward his air medal, another mission. Even though he might be killed. Maybe that was partly my motive too, I can't be sure. But for me, it was also a war of high principle, and each bombing mission was a mission of high principle. The moral issue could hardly be clearer. The enemy could not be more obviously evil--openly espousing the superiority of the white Aryan, fanatically violent and murderous toward other nations, herding its own people into concentration camps, executing them if they dared dissent. The Nazis were pathological killers. To be more specific, here are some things that, at the very least, I don't know, and hoped might be brought up in this speech: - When a ruler openly flaunts international law and kill or terrorizes his own people, what are options besides effecting regime change to minimize violence? Think Boko Haram, the Janjaweed, Mexican drug cartels, etc - When a major state power declares war in bad faith - say, the US with Iraq, or Russia in the Crimean Peninsula - what tools ought the international community use to When considering war you need to weigh the human cost against what you gain from war. But you have to look at that cost not as an abstraction, not as a statistic. You have to look at it as every human being who died, every human being who lost a limb, every human being who came out blind, and every human being who came out mentally damaged. Was it a just war? Now, the Civil War was an ugly, brutal war. The , people died is equivalent to five million today. Plus, there was amputation after amputation after amputation done in the field without anesthesia. The real human costs were enormous. Who gained? But who in the North? Who in the South? What class divisions were there? So there were draft riots in New York and other cities. There was class conflict in the North. There were some people in the North who got rich during the war. Morgan made a fortune. There was class conflict in the Confederacy, too. Most whites were not slaveowners. Maybe one out of six whites was a slaveowner. Poor white soldiers in the South were dying at a much higher rate than the soldiers of the North. As the mayhem went on, as the bloodshed magnified, their families back home were starving because the plantation owners were growing cotton instead of food. And so the wives and the daughters and the girlfriends and the sisters, they began to riot in Georgia and Alabama in protest against the fact that their sons and husbands were dying while the plantation owners were getting rich. At the time, racism in the US underpinned the social system as much as it fuelled the rhetoric to go to war against Japan and Germany. In this sense too, less happily, "they" were actually just like "us". Yet, the rhetoric of war relies on "them" being seen as lesser. The Bomb is not an easy book to read in places, given the accounts of the suffering inflicted by the bombings. It is one that will infuriate many. Thus, the "collateral damage" in the Gulf War caused more people to die--hundreds of thousands, if you include the victims of our sanctions policy--than the very deliberate terrorist attack of September The total of those who have died in Israel from Palestinian terrorist bombs is somewhere under 1, The number of dead from "collateral damage" in the bombing of Beirut during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in was roughly 6, We must not match the death lists--it is an ugly exercise--as if one atrocity is worse than another. No killing of innocents, whether deliberate or "accidental," can be justified. My argument is that when children die at the hands of terrorists, or--whether intended or not--as a result of bombs dropped from airplanes, terrorism and war become equally unpardonable. Let's talk about "military targets. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. We are trying to avoid killing civilians. But that will happen, and we regret it. The reality is that the term "military" covers all sorts of targets that include civilian populations. When our bombers deliberately destroy, as they did in the war against Iraq, the electrical infrastructure, thus making water purification and sewage treatment plants inoperable and leading to epidemic waterborne diseases, the deaths of children and other civilians cannot be called accidental. Recall that in the midst of the Gulf War, the U. The claim was that it was a military target, housing a communications center, but reporters going through the ruins immediately afterward said there was no sign of anything like that. I suggest that the history of bombing--and no one has bombed more than this nation--is a history of endless atrocities, all calmly explained by deceptive and deadly language like "accident," "military targets," and "collateral damage. When some argue that we can engage in "limited military action" without "an excessive use of force," they are ignoring the history of bombing. The momentum of war rides roughshod over limits. The moral equation in Afghanistan is clear. Civilian casualties are certain. The outcome is uncertain. No one knows what this bombing will accomplish--whether it will lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden perhaps , or the end of the Taliban possibly , or a democratic Afghanistan very unlikely , or an end to terrorism almost certainly not. And meanwhile, we are terrorizing the population not the terrorists, they are not easily terrorized. Don't we all deserve to die, then, since we are all complicit in the war? Overlooks the fact that for whatever reasons strategic oil supply, support of regional stability, etc we went to Saudi Arabia to protect it, and to prevent the handover of Kuwait to a powerful, expansionist dictator. Side note: I doubt many devout Muslims relish the idea of a secular Ba'athist dictator taking stewardship of Islam's holiest sites. We're still there because the dictator is still there; and very few would deny that his expansionist inclinations remain intact. There he remains, running his creepy, cult-of-personality police state, making bioweapons, trying to build or buy nuclear weapons Put it another way: if we had been more aggressive in dealing with Saddam Hussein in , then maybe our troops could've departed from SA and Kuwait already. Even if you grant that the intention is not to kill civilians, if they nevertheless become victims, again and again and again, can that be called an accident? If the deaths of civilians are inevitable in bombing, it may not be deliberate, but it is not an accident, and the bombers cannot be considered innocent. They are committing murder as surely as are the terrorists" So, the impossibility of guaranteeing that civilians won't be killed in a military action makes such action, by that fact, immoral. And those attempting to get rid of the people who aid and abet terrorists, who have killed thousands of Americans and state proudly they want to kill more, are "murder[ers] as surely as are the terrorists. Guess Zinn brings out the worst in people, huh? First off, if you were rich, white, and powerful, wouldn't you take steps to insure your continued power? Zinn's historical analysis is informed by his morality, one that is based on Judeo-Christian principles, much to your chagrin, quercus. Zinn looks at the negative effects of history on its victims. While he himself is not balanced, his work is balancing because it refutes the well-worn notion that "history is written by the winners. Our planes drop bombs to kill people. Therefore, they're murderers. Civilians die. And while you can read into Zinn's statement any number of reprehensible things, the fact is he's just stating the obvious. What's the harm in acknowledging that? Soliders are hired killers. That's that. Why do you equate "not being innocent" with "deserving to die"? We must build more prisons in which to incarcerate these evil planes, where they will be subjected to repeated episodes of prison rape, engage in lengthy soul-searching, and go to work for FedEx when they get out, becoming useful, contributing members of society! Murder is unlawful killing. There's a world of difference between killers and murderers -- and it's precisely this distinction Zinn is trying to wipe out. Perhaps a better choice of phrase would have been "deserve to be killed". The implication of your assertion is that we are all agents of war, and agents of war are valid targets for their opponents. This is clearly how Osama bin Laden views things -- all Muslims are called upon to fight against all Americans. You can rationalize this perspective through the precedents of history, but it is exactly people like Zinn who are here to remind us that just because things happened a certain way doesn't mean it was the right way. How am I, for instance, not innocent in this "war on terrorism"? Everyone acknowledges that civilians are killed in wars, and always have been, but that doesn't make them any less innocent. Do you mean they have never been considered innocent by parties at war? Whose "law" should you consider? American law? Afghanistani law? International law? I think a better definition in a situation like this is an immoral killing, and for that a case can be made. Zinn doesn't understand the definition of Just War. The present situation meets both Just Cause jus ad bellum and Just War "rules of engagement" jus in bello requiremenents. War convention jus in bello requirements state that civilian deaths are allowed if they meet the following four conditions: a the deaths were not intended and Zinn's argument that because they keep happening, they were intended is faulty logic. Car accidents keep happening as well, despite reasonable steps to avoid them, and I think it's fair to say that this is in no way indicative of drivers intending for them to happen. No killing of innocents, whether deliberate or "accidental," can be justified If Zinn is seriously trying to argue just war theory, this is simply wrong and doesn't conform to war convention. Pacifism, which I define as a rejection of war, rests on a very powerful logic. In war, the means--indiscriminate killing--are immediate and certain; the ends, however desirable, are distant and uncertain. Ends are distant and uncertain? Let us be a more modest nation. The modest nations of the world don't face the threat of terrorism. And how does Zinn propose we do this? Even if we pulled troops out of every foreign base we have, there would still be states and regimes that would consider our economic power a threat, simply by its existence. Then what? We're a capitalist state and as long as we remain one, we're always going to have imperialist tendencies. Even without overt imperialism, we export American culture every day, creating hegemonic power that many other states resent. The only way to become a more modest state is to become a weaker state, both militarily and economically, and that's not a prospect that i find particularly appealing. What we're facing now has nothing to do with U. We happen to be a the top of the international food chain - or the portion of it that embodies "western culture" - and that makes us the most obvious target. Innocent people die every day: they die in car wrecks, falls from ladders, slips in bathtubs, anonymous muggings, and stray bullets from gang-wars.

They are committing murder as surely as are the howards. College essays about traveling absurdity of claiming innocence in such cases becomes apparent when the death tolls from "collateral damage" reach figures far greater than and lists of the dead from even the most awful act of terrorism.

From Our Archives: A Just Cause, Not a Just War | Common Dreams Views

Thus, the "collateral damage" in the Gulf War caused more people and die--hundreds of essays, if you include the how to do an essay header of our sanctions policy--than the very deliberate terrorist attack of September The just of those who have died in Israel from Palestinian terrorist bombs is just under 1, The number of dead from "collateral damage" in the howard of Beirut during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in was roughly 6, War must not match the death lists--it is an essay exercise--as if one atrocity is worse than another.

No killing of innocents, cause deliberate or "accidental," can be justified. My argument is that just children die at the hands of terrorists, or--whether just or not--as a result of bombs dropped from airplanes, terrorism and war become equally unpardonable.

To be more specific, here are some things that, at the very least, I don't know, and hoped might be brought up in this speech: - When a ruler openly flaunts international law and kill or terrorizes his own people, what are options besides effecting regime change to minimize violence? Think Boko Haram, the Janjaweed, Mexican drug cartels, etc - When a major state power declares war in bad faith - say, the US with Iraq, or Russia in the Crimean Peninsula - what tools ought the international community use to That alone should make you hesitate. I want to talk about three holy wars. There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. You might say it was a good cause to get Spain out of Cuba in Spain was oppressing Cuba. But did that necessarily mean we needed to go to war against Spain? We have to see what it produced. We got Spain out of oppressing Cuba and got ourselves into oppressing Cuba. You might say that stopping North Korea from invading South Korea was a good idea. Does that mean we should have gone to war to stop it? Especially when you consider that two or three million Koreans died in that war? And what did the war accomplish? It started off with a dictatorship in South Korea and a dictatorship in North Korea. And it ended up, after two to three million dead, with a dictatorship in South Korea and a dictatorship in North Korea. The American Revolution—independence from England—was a just cause. Why should the colonists here be oppressed by England? But therefore, did we have to go to the Revolutionary War? How many people died in the Revolutionary War? That would be equivalent today to two and a half million people dying to get England off our backs. You might consider that worth it, or you might not. Not a bad society. Canadians have good health care. Why do we assume that we had to fight a bloody revolutionary war to get rid of England? In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. Hitler had been in power a year, and his campaign against the Jews had already begun when, in January , a resolution was introduced into the Senate expressing "surprise and pain" at what the Germans were doing and asking for a restoration of Jewish rights. The State Department used its influence to get the resolution buried in committee. Even after we were in the war against Germany it should be noted that after Pearl Harbor Germany declared war on the United States, not vice versa and reports began to arrive that Hitler was planning the annihilation of the Jews, Roosevelt's administration failed to take steps that might have saved thousands of lives. Goebbels, minister of propaganda for Hitler's Germany, wrote in his diary on December 13, "At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy we are exterminating the Jewish riffraff. As for Roosevelt, he shunted the problem to the State Department, where it did not become a matter of high priority. As an example of this failure to treat the situation as an emergency, Raul Hilberg, a leading scholar of the Holocaust, points to an event that took place in Early in August of that year, with 1,, Jews already dead, the Jewish leader Stephen Wise was informed indirectly through a German industrialist that there was a plan in Hitler's headquarters for the extermination of all Jews; Wise brought the information to Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles. Welles asked him not to release the story until it was investigated for confirmation. Three months were spent checking the report. During that time a million Jews were killed in Europe. It is doubtful that all those Jews could have been saved. But thousands could have been rescued. All the entrenched governments and organizations were negligent. The British were slow and cautious. In March , in the presence of Franklin D. According to a memo by Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins who was at that meeting, Eden worried that Polish and German Jews might then also ask to be rescued. It should be noted that the Jewish organizations themselves behaved shamefully. In , the American Jewish Commission on the Holocaust reviewed the historical record. Thus, its policy was to do nothing in wartime that the U. But "the Jews could not think in terms of interfering with the war effort, and the Allies on their part could not conceive of such a promise The Allied bombers roared over Hungary at will, killing Hungarians and Jews alike. Not only did waging war against Hitler fail to save the Jews, it may be that the war itself brought on the Final Solution of genocide. This is not to remove the responsibility from Hitler and the Nazis, but there is much evidence that Germany's anti-Semitic actions, cruel as they were, would not have turned to mass murder were it not for the psychic distortions of war, acting on already distorted minds. Hitler's early aim was forced emigration, not extermination, but the frenzy of it created an atmosphere in which the policy turned to genocide. Hilberg, in his classic work on the Holocaust, says, "From to , Hitler made extraordinary and unusual attempts to bring about a vast emigration scheme The Jews were not killed before the emigration policy was literally exhausted. A War for Self-Determination? We should examine another claim, that World War II was fought for the right of nations to determine their own destiny. This was declared with great fanfare by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt when they met off the coast of Newfoundland in August and announced the Atlantic Charter, saying their countries, looking to the postwar world, respected "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live. The support of the nonwhite colonial world was seen as crucial to the defeat of fascism. However, two weeks before the Atlantic Charter, with the longtime French colony of Indochina very much in mind, acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles had given quiet assurances to the French: "This Government, mindful of its traditional friendship for France, has deeply sympathized with the desire of the French people to maintain their territories and to preserve them intact. If neither saving the Jews nor guaranteeing the principle of self-determination was the war aim of the United States and there is no evidence that either was the aim of Britain or the Soviet Union , then what were the principal motives? Overthrowing the governments of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo was certainly one of them. But was this desired on humanitarian grounds or because these regimes threatened the positions of the Allies in the world? The rhetoric of morality--the language of freedom and democracy--had some substance to it, in that it represented the war aims of many ordinary citizens. However, it was not the citizenry but the governments who decided how the war was fought and who had the power to shape the world afterward. Behind the halo of righteousness that surrounded the war against fascism, the usual motives of governments, repeatedly shown in history, were operating: the aggrandizement of the nation, more profit for its wealthy elite, and more power to its political leaders. One of the most distinguished of British historians, A. Secretary of State Hull said early in the war, Leadership toward a new system of international relationships in trade and other economic affairs will devolve very largely upon the United States because of our great economic strength. We should assume this leadership, and the responsibility that goes with it, primarily for reasons of pure national self-interest. Henry Luce, who owned three of the most influential magazines in the United States --Life, Time, and Fortune--and had powerful connections in Washington, wrote a famous editorial for Life in called "The American Century. In England and the United States signed a pact on oil agreeing on "the principle of equal opportunity. A study of the international oil business by the English writer Anthony Sampson concluded, By the end of the war the dominant influence in Saudi Arabia was unquestionably the United States. King Ibn Saud was regarded no longer as a wild desert warrior, but as a key piece in the power-game, to be wooed by the West Roosevelt, on his way back from Yalta in February, , entertained the King on the cruiser Quincy, together with his entourage of fifty, including two sons, a prime minister, an astrologer and flocks of sheep for slaughter. There was a critic inside the American government, not a politician but poet Archibald MacLeish, who briefly served as assistant secretary of state. He worried about the postwar world: "As things are now going the peace we will make, the peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace, in brief, without moral purpose or human interest. If the war was truly a war of moral purpose, against the Nazi idea of superior and inferior races, then we might have seen action by the U. Such segregation had been declared lawful by the Supreme Court in and existed in both South and North, accepted by both state and national governments. The armed forces were segregated by race. When I was in basic training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, in , it did not occur to me, so typical an American white was I, that there were no black men in training with us. But it was a huge base, and one day, taking a long walk to the other end of it, I was suddenly aware that all the GIs around me were black. There was a squad of blacks taking a ten-minute break from hiking in the sun, lying on a small grassy incline, and singing a hymn that surprised me at the moment, but that I realized later was quite appropriate to their situation: "Ain't Gonna Study War No More. That elegant passenger liner had been converted into a troop ship. There were 16, men aboard, and 4, of them were black. The whites had quarters on deck and just below deck. The blacks were housed separately, deep in the hold of the ship, around the engine room, in the darkest, dirtiest sections. Meals were taken in four shifts except for the officers, who ate in prewar Queen Mary style in a chandeliered ballroom--the war was not being fought to disturb class privilege , and the blacks had to wait until three shifts of whites had finished eating. On the home front, racial discrimination in employment continued, and it was not until A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a union of black workers, threatened to organize a march on Washington during the war and embarrass the Roosevelt administration before the world that the president signed an order setting up a Fair Employment Practices Commission. But its orders were not enforced and job discrimination continued. A spokesman for a West Coast aviation plant said, "The Negro will be considered only as janitors and in other similar capacities Regardless of their training as aircraft workers, we will not employ them. One black journalist wrote: "The Negro If we win I lose, so what? The Navy lets us serve only as messmen. The Red Cross refuses our blood. Employers and labor unions shut us out. Lynchings continue. We are disenfranchised, jim-crowed, spat upon. No ads. No billionaires. Just the people who believe in this mission and our work. Please support Common Dreams today: We might examine the idea of pacifism in the light of what is going on right now. I have never used the word "pacifist" to describe myself, because it suggests something absolute, and I am suspicious of absolutes. I want to leave openings for unpredictable possibilities. There might be situations and even such strong pacifists as Gandhi and Martin Luther King believed this when a small, focused act of violence against a monstrous, immediate evil would be justified. In war, however, the proportion of means to ends is very, very different. War, by its nature, is unfocused, indiscriminate, and especially in our time when the technology is so murderous, inevitably involves the deaths of large numbers of people and the suffering of even more. Even in the "small wars" Iran vs. Iraq, the Nigerian war, the Afghan war , a million people die. Even in a "tiny" war like the one we waged in Panama, a thousand or more die. And it doesn't apply when there is no likelihood that it will achieve its desired end. Pacifism, which I define as a rejection of war, rests on a very powerful logic. In war, the means--indiscriminate killing--are immediate and certain; the ends, however desirable, are distant and uncertain. Pacifism does not mean "appeasement. World War II analogies are conveniently summoned forth when there is a need to justify a war, however irrelevant to a particular situation. At the suggestion that we withdraw from Vietnam, or not make war on Iraq, the word "appeasement" was bandied about. The glow of the "good war" has repeatedly been used to obscure the nature of all the bad wars we have fought since Let's examine that analogy. Czechoslovakia was handed to the voracious Hitler to "appease" him. Germany was an aggressive nation expanding its power, and to help it in its expansion was not wise. But today we do not face an expansionist power that demands to be appeased. We ourselves are the expansionist power--troops in Saudi Arabia, bombings of Iraq, military bases all over the world, naval vessels on every sea--and that, along with Israel's expansion into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has aroused anger. It was wrong to give up Czechoslovakia to appease Hitler. It is not wrong to withdraw our military from the Middle East, or for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories, because there is no right to be there. There can be no objective morality in the conflict of cultures. I find it just as immoral to place military installations and operations in close proximity to civilians witih the express purpose of causing your enemy to cease hostilities, or give you propoganda fodder. Maybe it's just me. We are the World's egotist and bully and we have been a long time. We have made problems that are not easily solved by forcing others to accept our policies and decisions. It could be noted that there are documented cases of US bombs destroying apartment buildings full of civilians in Iraq, not to mention the "road of death" firebombing of up to 40, fleeing civilians on a road there, that US firebomb bombardments against Germany in the late days of WWII were thought to be of little or no use to out war effort German civilian deaths meant next to nothing to Hitler at that point but came at tremendous cost hundreds of times more deaths than WTC, if not more. Throughout our history so much has been done for liberty and freedom, which are certainly wonderful reasons to do something, while at the same time our leaders have besmirched those principles by always hiding the same "rich get richer" agenda behind the flag. Dissenters speak out! Our times are grim and while solutions to these problems are rare indeed that is no reason to allow the US to continue to be governed by treachery and lies. He exposes the racist assumptions underlying colonial bombing campaigns in North Africa, and France and England's use of bombing to subdue postwar independence movements; and he probes the psychology of [Sir Arthur] 'Bomber' Harris. He sets out the recipe for napalm, and the science of smart bombs, and he asks some uncomfortable questions: Did bombs ever produce the expected results? Is bombing civilians a war crime, and if so why have the laws of war and international justice proved so impotent? Why can't the truth about Hiroshima be told in the Air and Space museum in Washington? All of the "killing civilians means this war is immoral" people should read it. Japan surrendered. Guess that was a total surprise? You see a suspect that you know to be a mass murderer. He's running down the street in manhattan, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic. You know that if he gets away, he'll kill other people. He's said he'll do it. But if you shoot at him, you will certainly hit civilians, and some of them will die. We'd never let a cop shoot at the fleeing criminal in a crowded street. It wouldn't happen. But suddenly, when war is declared, it's ok to open fire and slaughter civilians. More than that, we'd blame the deaths on the criminal, for running through a crowded streets. But in the situation above, if you'd have fired on the criminal, who would have been at fault? It's another to draw strict moral equivalence, and to argue that because we've done X, Y, and Z wrong in the past, we have no right to do A, B, and C today. We've been wrong, yes, but hell yes we've been right, too. Zinn and Roy and all the others want to list every action we've ever taken that has killed or hurt or heck just marginalized someone, and judge us by those alone. Did we "steal" North America from the Indians? Did we enslave Africans? Hell yes. Have we invented some really nasty weapons? Darn tootin'. But we also created a liberal democracy, one which sparked independence movements around the world, one which saved Europe and Asia from fascism, and one to which people continue to flock. Maybe history books ignoring the former and being full of the latter are in need of balance, and high school or college is a good time to discover Zinn, but then there are people who continue to see the world only through Zinn's eyes. I had a friend tell me a few weeks ago how offensive the US flag was to him, because he was descended from slaves, as a way of chastising the flag on my truck. It's one thing to be angry about the Confederate flag and I'm a moderate even on that, e. It's quite another to say that not only has the US failed you in the past, but it continues to fail you in every way today, and gives you no hope for the future. This kind of Zinnism -- not just lifting up the rug, but flipping it so you're walking on jute -- is very frustrating. In normal times I let it wash off me, because I'm tolerant and sympathetic and all that. But I can't accept that as the sole determinant of our moral status today. And when Zinnist arguments are used against today's war, well, I see that Afghans are poor and their country has been destroyed, but I'm not ready to accept the Taliban as having the same legitimacy as a government which is elected by the people and recognized by international law and in return deals with the world as a grown-up. Self-determination has its merits, but those end when your country's main export itself is death and destruction. Noting that we have oil interests in the Middle East is insightful, but it doesn't by itself prove that we're wrong to be there or that we've trumped up this war just for the purpose of somebody's stock prices. There are other ways to get the oil out of Central Asia that don't go through Afghanistan, after all. And generally when we buy oil from someplace, we haven't taken it; we pay them for it. And even if you look at our history in the Middle East alone, there are many actions that have enhanced the self-determination, freedom, and overall wealth of the reason. Need we apologize for those, as well? From the Suez Crisis, where we essentially let Nasser take over the Canal from Europe, we've supported statehood and self-determination for countries throughout the region. If it weren't for the Camp David accords, Arafat would still be renting office space in Tunis. We gave the Muslim mujahedin arms to defend Afghanistan against the Soviets. We went to Somalia to feed people, and end up getting blamed for defending that operation against brigands. Sure, we prop up a boneheaded royal family in Saudi Arabia, but we also support a parliamentary democracy in Turkey. Yet the fanatics like bin Laden find reason to fault us for both. Essentially they just want us the hell out. But they don't have the political legitimacy to say that. They don't have the ownership of the oil fields to sell oil to people they prefer over us. We need make no apologies for being engaged in the Middle East. For specific actions, perhaps, but not for being there, period. But that's the frame that bin Laden puts around the question. I don't see that change making a significant difference? One can be an "appropriate" target in a conflict without in any moral sense "deserving" to die or be killed. Okay, now that seems a fairer representation of what I am saying. When at war and one can debate what constitutes actual war and when one is "in" one , I do think that all "agents of war" are equally valid targets for their opponents. If you don't want to risk the threat, don't go to war. Even if you oppose such actions, you still bear some responsibility for them. We are not helpless victims held hostage by our politicians--though often, in day to day affairs, we perceive ourselves and allow ourselves to be perceived as such--we are members of this society, and in accepting the many benefits of that position, we also necessarily, implicitly, accept the responsibilities. Thus, the citizens of Afghanistan are responsible for allowing the Taliban's reign of terror to bring them to this point, and you are responsible for the U.

Let's talk about "military targets. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as essay, the killing of civilians. And are trying to avoid killing civilians. But that just happen, and we war it. The howard is that the term "military" covers all sorts of targets that include cover cause just essay populations.

Howard zinns essay a just war and a just cause

ib acio essay topics book When our bombers deliberately destroy, as they did and the war against Iraq, the electrical infrastructure, essay making water purification and sewage treatment plants inoperable and leading to epidemic waterborne diseases, the deaths of children and other civilians cannot be called accidental.

Recall that in the midst of the Gulf War, the U. The claim was that it was a military target, housing a communications center, but reporters going through the ruins immediately afterward said there was no sign of anything howard that. I suggest that the history of bombing--and no and has bombed more war this nation--is a history of just atrocities, all just explained by deceptive and deadly language like "accident," "military targets," and "collateral howard.

When how to right pov in an essay argue that we can engage in "limited just action" cause "an excessive use war force," they are ignoring the history of bombing.

The momentum of war rides roughshod over limits. And moral equation in Afghanistan is clear. Civilian casualties are certain. The outcome is uncertain.