CREATED ON 18th June 2019
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WA 1-David Luben, of the Georgetown University Law Center, defines two types of war justification. One is the preemptive war, which is waged by one nation (nation A) against another nation (nation B) in order to preempt an attack by nation B that is reasonably perceived to be imminent. The other is the preventive war, which is waged by one nation (A) against another (B) when nation A believes that circumstances make it vulnerable to attack by nation B, and nation B is likely to take advantage of these circumstances in the future, even if no attack is imminent. Most commentators and analysts describe the U.S. invasion/occupation of Iraq from 2003-present as a preventive war, and the Bush Administration claimed that this was a just war. Given Cicero’s criteria for a just war described in your text, would preventive wars, such as the war in Iraq, be considered just wars? Why or why not? Would Hobbes consider preventive wars to be just wars? What about Gandhi? Would he consider either preemptive or preventive wars to be just? Does the distinction between preemptive and preventive war seem ethically legitimate to you? Wa2- Write a 500-750 word paper on the following topic. Thomas Aquinas, as discussed in the text (pp. 49-53), noted three criteria (among others) for a just war: To amend an injustice perpetrated by another state. To address an injustice perpetrated by residents of another state. To re-acquire (take back) property or possessions unjustly seized by another state. He also advanced the theory of double effect which states that, when considering the possible good/bad effects of any act of aggression, such aggression is ethically permissible if: Its bad effects are unintended. The bad effects don’t outweigh the magnitude of the good effects. There are no alternatives to the aggression that could avoid the bad effect. In addition, St. Augustine added that the final objective of a just war must always be peace (42). Between 1820 and 1860 in the United States, there were numerous Native American (Indian) nations and tribes still living in vast territories east of the Mississippi River. In 1824 President Monroe suggested that all Indians be moved—either voluntarily or forcibly, if necessary—west of the Mississippi, in order to remove threats to Americans living nearby and to make room for the development and settlement of this undeveloped area for millions of Americans needing the land and resources. In 1829-30 President Andrew Jackson obtained legislative support for this action and supporters of the Indian removal policy cited several reasons in support of its morality: The protection of American citizens who had been coming into conflict with Indians living around these areas. The protection and safety of the Indians themselves, who had long been suffering from poverty, disease, and rapidly decreasing populations because of prior wars, disease, and displacements. Many of these territories had been claimed and recognized for a long time as U.S. territories (after prior wars with Indians there) but only remained unoccupied because Indians were still living there. The needs of millions of Americans who wanted access to these lands/resources as compared with the needs of relatively few thousands of Indians who lived poorly, didn’t develop the land, and could live elsewhere just as easily. The U.S. Supreme Court, under Justice John Marshall, considered the U.S. government’s claims against the Indians via two cases brought against the U.S. government in 1831 by the Cherokee tribe. The Court concluded that the United States had made legitimate and binding treaties recognizing the territorial sovereignty of the tribe over this land, and ruled that the United States could not legally force them to relinquish it. President Jackson, however, did not agree with the Court’s ruling and said, “John Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it.” The removal policy thus went forward, eventually relocating most Indian tribes to unfamiliar lands west of the Mississippi. Several tribes, such as the Seminoles, fought successfully against relocation, but the vast majority were moved by the thousands, resulting in thousands dying of starvation, disease, and fighting with U.S. soldiers along the way. The land onto which they were relocated was largely unfit for hunting, and they became even more demoralized and impoverished after being re-settled there. Their former territories did, however, become prosperous and populous regions of the United States and the cultivation and commercial exploitation of these lands increased prosperity for millions of Americans. Did the Indian removal policy, and the conflicts waged in order to implement it, meet the criteria of a just war by Aquinas’ standards? Did it violate the principle of double effect? Did it violate or satisfy St. Augustine’s additional criteria for just war? Was the U.S. government’s argument a valid and an ethical one? What would have been a reasonable and ethical policy, in your opinion? Wa3- write a 500-750 word paper on the following topic. In 1945, the then-colony of French Indochina (now called Vietnam) had been in revolt against its French colonial overlords since the French had conquered and colonized this region a century before. At the end of World War II, Vietnamese nationalists, inspired by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pledge to support independence and self-governance for former colonial nations/peoples around the world, declared independence from France. Their leader, Ho Chi Minh, cited the U.S. Declaration of Independence in asserting Vietnamese nationalism. France and other western colonial powers, however, were concerned that Vietnam was not ready for self-rule. They believed that, left without colonial protection, Vietnam would fall under the influence of communist nations in the region and would be unable to protect vital European/American economic interests there. France therefore refused to accept Vietnamese self-rule and continued its occupation, attempting, with American support, to crush Vietnamese resistance. This resulted in a brutal colonial war that lasted until 1954, when an exhausted France finally decided to give up and leave the area, signing a multinational treaty dividing Vietnam into two political entities (North Vietnam and South Vietnam). The North was granted full independence while the South remained under western influence and a pro-American government. The treaty gave assurances to the South that it would have full independence and free elections in two years. However, the United States, fearing that these elections would result in a communist-friendly political administration, refused to sign the treaty and maintained control over the South Vietnamese government. At this point, an insurgency erupted against the American-controlled government in South Vietnam. The insurgency was aided by troops coming into the country from North Vietnam and, despite increasing amounts of U.S. economic and military support (but no actual combat troops), the unpopular and repressive South Vietnamese government was on the verge of collapse. U.S. presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were compelled to send more and more assistance to South Vietnam and came under increasing pressure to intervene in the conflict with the might of the U.S. military. In 1964, a U.S. naval ship cruising North Vietnamese waters was attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats. In response, President Lyndon Johnson ordered bombing raids against North Vietnam, and the U.S. legislature passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which authorized further military action against North Vietnam. In 1965, Viet Cong insurgents attacked a U.S. airfield in South Vietnam that was shipping military supplies to the South Vietnamese government, killing eight U.S. military advisers. In response, the United States began a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam (Operation Rolling Thunder) and sent 80,000 combat troops into South Vietnam by July of that year. Thus began the war in Vietnam, which lasted 10 more years and resulted in the deaths of more than 50,000 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians. In 1975, an exhausted America left Vietnam (much like the French 20 years earlier) and the nation of Vietnam was finally unified by the communist North. U.S. advocates of the war stated that the invasion was ethically justified by the demands of the “cold war” between communist nations (especially the then-Soviet Union) and the democratic nations of the world, which were defending the freedom of other nations against the dangerous and impending threat of communist influence. Allowing Vietnam to fall under communist rule would be abandoning its citizens to dictatorship and subverting the integrity of democracy around the world, should the world see America defeated there. Critics of the war claimed that it was unethical because, rather than defending freedom, it hypocritically supported a ruthless pro-American dictatorship organized in the wake of a French colonial dictatorship; in so doing it was suppressing a popular movement for self-rule while killing thousands of Vietnamese civilians. Summarize Grotius’ standards for just war. Taking into account Grotius’ standards, was the Vietnam War ethically justifiable, and if so, to what extent? If not, why not? Wa 4- write a 500-750 word paper on the following topic. In December of 1989, the United States invaded the nation of Panama to depose and arrest its dictator Manuel Noriega. Noriega had been an ally of the United States and a paid employee of the CIA for several decades prior to this. He was an advocate of U.S. strategic interests in the region during the Cold War. (Panama is the host nation of the Panama Canal—which is vital to U.S. shipping and trade.) He was also paid large sums from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for assistance with drug trafficking interdiction, although he was a known supporter to drug traffickers loyal to U.S. interests. Relations between Noriega and the United States began to deteriorate during the Reagan Administration in the mid-1980s when his increasingly open ties to both the CIA and illegal drug trafficking became more widely known (and in conflict with the new U.S. drug policies). He then began openly opposing and sometimes intimidating U.S. sponsored political rivals in Panama. In 1989, four U.S. servicemen were shot and killed by Panamanian troops in the Panama Canal Zone, then under U.S. jurisdiction. Several days later, President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama and the capture, arrest, and the U.S. incarceration of Noriega. The justification for this was: The necessity of protecting U.S. citizens living in the Canal Zone. Defending democracy. To stop drug trafficking that was coming from Latin America. The war lasted several weeks, with 25 U.S. soldiers and as many as 3,000 Panamanian civilians killed. Much of the international community objected strongly to this invasion because of the apparent lack of legitimate provocation or need, the arbitrary overthrow and incarceration of a national sovereign, and the civilian casualties caused in accomplishing this. Does this example fit Cohen’s definition for military necessity? Why or why not? Do you think this act was an ethically justifiable action? Why or why not? Wa5-write a 500-750 word paper on the following topic. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines crimes against humanity as “particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. [These include] murder; massacres; dehumanization; extermination.” In 1622, in the Virginia colony established in North America, relations between the recently established community and its Native American neighbors had grown increasingly unstable since the British had first established the colony in 1609. Loss of their hunting and farming lands, horrific epidemics brought by Europeans, and commercial exploitation by colonial traders convinced the Powhatan tribe that it faced the threat of extermination by Virginia colony settlers. So in 1622, the Powhatan launched a sustained series of bloody raids against the colony surrounding Jamestown, killing close to 350 people and destroying their farms and homes. Since the entire population of the colony was only around 1,300, these attacks were devastating. In response, the Virginia colonists launched a furious reprisal, essentially amounting to the attempted genocide of the Powhatan tribe. Via any means necessary—mass attacks, false truces, poisoning crops and wells, booby traps, diseased blankets, burning forests and villages, etc.—the colonists killed and destroyed every trace of Powhatan life they found. This essentially depopulated the region. Of a population of approximately 40,000 Powhatans in 1622, there were only about 5,000 remaining three years later, and perhaps 500 still alive 10 years after that.* The Virginia Company gave the following justification for this reprisal: Retribution for Powhatan attacks Retribution for unfair seizure of colonists’ farms and property The lands taken from the Powhatan tribe would be put to better use in agricultural and industrial production The Powhatans had demonstrated that they can only be dealt with by removal and were incapable of living in peace with their neighbors * From The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian legacy by Kirkpatrick Sale. Does this action fit the definition of a crime against humanity as described by The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court? Explain. Does the Powhatan attack that provoked the colonists’ reprisal make this an act of military necessity (as defined by Cohen in your text)? Why or why not? Regardless or any formal legal or philosophical principles, do you think that this was a morally justifiable response/reprisal by the colonists? Explain.
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