On Saint Augustine’s doctrine of Just War


Ron Paul and his supporters falsely claim that their idol does not oppose all wars, but merely unnecessary and unconstitutional ones, and that he would not hesitate to wage war when necessary, e.g. when the US is attacked. They claim Paul subscribes to Saint Augustine’s doctrine of “Just War” (Legitima Bella).

What does the doctrine say?

It does not say that all wars are illegimate and wrong. What it does say is basically that you must have solid moral reasons to wage war if you wish to conduct it and still be deemed a good Christian.

What would that doctrine mean today? What wars would be considered “just” today?

Wars waged in self-defense, of course; but also, in limited circumstances, wars waged against murderous tyrants whom the civilized world deemes necessary to be toppled (e.g. Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo) and terrorists. Indeed, if you want to protect your own people and other civilized nations, you must struck and defeat terrorists BEFORE they can do harm to anyone. And that IS a Just War.

Similarly, even if your own country is not attacked, but around the world, innocent people are being slaughtered by the thousands or millions, such as the Jews during the genocide or the people of Darfur today, it is your moral prerogative and indeed moral duty to save these people and stop the genocide. As Saint Paul said (Galatians 6:10), “let’s do good to all, and especially to people of the faith.”

What is IMMORAL and un-Christian is to suggest that the US and other countries should’ve stood by and not intervene while the Germans were murdering the Jews, or that the US and other countries should now stand passively by and not intervene anyhow to stop the Darfur genocide. (Whether the US should again bear the burden of the task instead of Sudan’s immediate neighbors is an entirely different issue. I’d say it is first and foremost the responsibility of Sudan’s neighbors.)

In other words, Ron Paul’s strict policy of “noninterventionism” (which is a mere euphemism for isolationism, as proven by Paul’s intellectual father Murray Rothbard), is immoral and un-Christian.

If Saint Augustine were alive during the 1940s, he would’ve urged Western countries, including the US, to stop Nazi Germany and end the Holocaust ASAP.

If Saint Augustine were alive today, he would’ve been urging all civilized countries of the world, including the US, to intervene in Sudan and stop the Darfur genocide.

But Ron Paul would at least act if America is attacked, right? Wrong.

Ron Paul categorically opposes ALL wars, even when America is attacked. He was a no-vote on the original invasion of Afghanistan the night before the vote was taken, and changed his mind only when urged to do so by his staff and when warned that voting “no” would be disastrous for his political image and kill any chance he might’ve had to win a GOP presidential nomination. His staff also threatened to resign en masse if he would vote “no”.

This was not a preemptive war. This was a reaction to an attack on the United States, a war waged ONLY when America itself was attacked. Yet, Paul opposed it and voted insincerely for it, exclusively because he knew voting “no” would be politically disastrous for him.

Paul’s longtime staffer, Eric Dondero, who revealed this, has also revealed that Paul told him he believes America’s entry into World War II was a mistake, again taking cues from his intellectual father Murray Rothbard, the original Blame America First loon.

Again, this was not a preemptive war. This was a war waged ONLY when America itself was attacked. Yet, Paul believes it was a mistake. Had he been in Congress at the time, he would’ve certainly voted against it.

Saint Augustine was not a pacifist; far from it. (Few people of his times were.) He believed there were Just Wars, wars that are justified and perhaps even necessary.

Ron Paul is an ardent, leftist, anti-American pacifist. He opposes any wars, even those waged in self-defense. Moreover, he believes that America is always to blame for any world problems and any aggression. This stems from his Blame America First libertarian beliefs imbibed from Murray Rothbard; Paul fervently believes in what Rothbard told him. But even if he didn’t, remember that the vast majority of his supporters are not Republicans, but rather Democrats and leftist indies – people who, like him, always Blame America First, hate this country, and oppose a strong defense. He has to pander to them.

And that, by the way, is the only thing he’s capable of doing. And that’s what he’s been doing for the last 32 years: pandering to people.

He ‘s a fervent anti-defense pacifist, but he doesn’t explicitly say “I oppose all wars, including wars of self-defense, and I want to completely abolish the DOD”.

He agrees with the central finding of Roe v. Wade and is firmly pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage, state by state, but he doesn’t admit publicly that he is, because doing so would alienate Christian conservatives (including those in Iowa) and thus kill any chance he might have of winning a GOP presidential nomination.

He fervently believes and claims that the Tenth Amendment authorizes state governments to perpetrate any violations of individual rights they wish to perpetrate and that the words “or to the people” don’t exist in the 14th Amendment or anywhere else in the Constitution. He also ignores the Fourteenth Amendment (or doesn’t understand that it protects individual rights against state governments), perhaps out of blelief that the 14th Amendment is not legitimate (which would not be surprising, given that he’s a staunch supporter of the Confederacy’s war to defend slavery. He believes such violations of personal rights (including gun bans, mandates, SUV bans, emission standards, etc.) are perfectly fine… as long as they are perpetrated by state governments. He’s perfectly fine with states banning guns and SUVs and legalizing abortion on demand – as long as states do it. But he doesn’t dare to say so explicitly and publicly, because he knows his political career would be over if he said that. So he’s trying to pander to both conservatives (by claiming he merely suppports states’ rights) and to his hedonist liberal and libertarian hardcore supporters (by assuring them that he supports whatever policy any state adopts, including any violation of individual rights, as long as its done by state governments).

In the same way, Ron Paul deceptively claims he doesn’t oppose wars of self-defense while actually opposing them and opposing even the takedowns of such murderous terrorists like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. He even called the killing of al-Awlaki “an impeachable offense”.

Pau is no believer in the “Just War” doctrine. He’s an ardent pacifist who opposes all wars without exceptions, even wars of self-defense.

He also opposes any kind of a strong defense policy and the only kind of a budget he’s willing to assign to the DOD is a small and inaadequate one. He supports massive cuts to America’s national defense. Yet, as the Founding Fathers, President Reagan, and history teach us, it is weakness and appeasement, not a strong defense, that cause wars. A strong defense actually deters enemies and safeguards peace.

Ron Paul’s twin policies of massive defense cuts and appeasement towards America’s enemies would lead to war, not to peace.

Ron Paul could not be a more ardent opponent of Saint Augustine’s Just War doctrine.

But back to Saint Augistine’s Doctrine of Just War.

 

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