Can we have a black and white view?

Can we have a black and white view?

Father Jeffrey Keyes is critical of my take on the war with Iraq, of my taking a black and white view and assigning blame for the war on Iraq and not the US. He seems to overlook just war principles as outlined in the Catechism. If a war is indeed just, then, as Fr. Neuhaus has said, we have a duty and an obligation to go to war. Yes, war is evil, but it is an evil perpetrated by those who have created the circumstances which have made a response of justice necessary.

There seems to be a penchant to add to the just war principles a requirement that war be not just a last resort, but that every possible attempt at peaceful resolution be “exhausted” even though what that exhaustion entails isn’t clear. Under some definitions of exhausted peace attempts, there would never be a just war.

Of course, I will agree that some blame for the war can be assumed by American leaders, but not the current one. Bill Clinton bears responsiblity for allowing Saddam to thwart the will of the international community for eight years and even George Bush I may bear some responsibility for leaving Saddam in power after Gulf War I. Yes, we have failed in some respects, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the right thing now.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli