I never believed in the war in Iraq under the Bush administration because I never believed in the alleged provocation, weapons of mass destruction. But now that the Obama administration is winding down our presence there, I believe that the war in Iraq is finally justified, even under the remarkably tight guidelines of the Catholic Church's doctrine of “just war.” My reason? Weapons of Mass destruction! They are evident each time we read or hear of the persecution of innocent Christians.The Mass is being destroyed, along with the vestiges of Christian culture.
What would happen if President Obama reversed course and decided to stay and wage a truly just war? (What would happen to his pathetic political prospects, for one thing?) . . .
According to Church doctrine, “just war” must be a defensive war—in this case defense of defenseless Iraqi Christians. The other conditions for a just war are as follows:
- The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain. We may have to stretch the definition of “community of nations” to include the universal Catholic Church, but certainly the effect on the Church’s presence in Iraq is “lasting, grave, and certain.”
- All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective. Lord knows, Church leaders have tried everything in their power. The United Nations? Let’s not hold our collective breath. Continuing American military presence is probably the only force left that can assure the safety of Christians and the future of Christian culture in Iraq.
- There must be serious prospects of success. Is there any reason our high-tech weaponry, ridiculous surveillance systems, and courageous men and women couldn’t protect Christian neighborhoods and places of worship?
- The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. In other words, no “shock and awe” tactics, no wholesale destruction of neighborhoods, daycare centers, and hospitals. Just a few armed details protecting a few key places here and there.
I think Catholics should hold our administration accountable for each Christian life lost in Iraq—and support a renewed commitment to protecting the Christian innocents there. Finally, a just war I can support!