Were the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq Just?

My friend Scot McKnight posed a fair question in the comments section of a previous post (comment #65), and I think a proper response deserves a new post. Here’s Scot’s question:

“Do you really believe our invasion of either Afghanistan or Iraq was just war?”

Before answering the question, I need to clear the decks with a couple of clarifications. First, please note that Scot is not asking whether I hold to some form of the just war position. He’s a pacifist and knows that I am not. He is not asking me to justify just war theory. He’s asking if these two particular invasions can be reconciled with the just war position that I hold. In other words, he’s asking if I am consistent. I think the question is important, and anyone who supported either or both of the invasions should be able to give an answer. So I will try to do that here.

Second, I think every Christian should agree that there is no political or military solution to the problem of human evil. Even just wars do not rid the world of sin. At best, they can only mitigate the pain and the suffering of evil run amuck in the world, and they are only imperfect instruments at that. That is why humanity’s deepest problem cannot be solved by any mere human intervention. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring ultimate deliverance from evil.

Now to the question at hand. First, I will give a brief summary of the requirements of a just war. Second, I will discuss how the theory comes to bear on our thinking about the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The causes for the two invasions were related, though not quite identical. So we will have to consider each invasion separately.

What Are the Requirements of a “Just War”?

For simplicity’s sake, I will access J. Budziszewski’s brief compass of the requirements for a just war. These include justifications for going to war (jus ad bellum) and the requirements for waging war justly (jus in bello). For the sake of this essay, I will focus on the justifications of going to war.

Public authority. War must be declared by a legitimate government.

Just Cause. War must not be waged except to protect innocent life, to ensure that people can live decently, and to secure their natural rights. This point is disputed by some, but many just war theorists hold that aggressive war is only permissible if its purpose is to retaliate against a wrong already committed or to pre-empt an anticipated attack. The United Nations exists for the latter—to address gathering threats (with force if need be) before they are allowed to materialize (as they did with Hitler’s Germany).

Right Intention. Not only must there be just cause to take up arms; this just cause must be the reason for taking up arms. The goal must be to achieve a just peace—not to pump up the economy or keep gasoline prices low.

Comparative Justice. War should not be waged unless the evils that are fought are grave enough to justify killing.

Proportionality. There must be reason to expect that going to war will end more evil than it causes.

Probability of Success. There must be a reasonable likelihood that the war will achieve its aims.

Last Resort. War should not be waged unless peaceful alternatives have been exhausted.

Was the American Invasion of Afghanistan “Just War”?

Public Authority. Hardly anyone would suggest that the United States government is an illegitimate authority. No one who is serious disputes this point.

Just Cause. The attack on Afghanistan was a direct retaliation for the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The Taliban was providing sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, the one ultimately responsible the attacks on that fateful day. The invasion had to take place in order to protect innocents from further attacks.

Right Intention. The goal was to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and to destroy his terrorist network Al Qaeda. No one serious has alleged an ulterior motive.

Comparative Justice. Since Al Qaeda terrorists target innocents on a mass scale, I would argue that the evil deeds of Al Qaeda were and are grave enough to warrant military action. They killed 3,000 innocents in one day on 9-11. Their stated goal is to kill even more.

Proportionality. Al Qaeda has perpetrated terrorist bombings not only in America, but also in countries all across the world. Not only is America attempting to protect itself from grave evil, but it also is pursuing a course that would make the entire world safer.

Probability of Success. The Taliban was toppled rather quickly in Afghanistan. This was anticipated by everyone. Given enough time and resources, American troops will keep the remnants of the Taliban on the political margins while stabilizing an indigenous, democratic Afghan government.

Last Resort. The Taliban was not turning Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network over to the U.S. Invasion was the only way to get at them.

Was the American Invasion of Iraq “Just War”?

Public Authority. Hardly anyone would suggest that the United States government is an illegitimate authority. No one who is serious disputes this point.

Just Cause. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The U.S. led a coalition of nations under the aegis of the U.N. to drive the Iraqi aggressors out of Kuwait. The U.S. stopped short of invading Iraq as Saddam Hussein gave an unconditional surrender to Coalition forces. The terms of peace required Saddam to verify the dismantling of his Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s), a condition which he never lived up to. In 1998, he kicked out U.N. inspectors who were in Iraq to certify that he had destroyed his WMD stockpiles. Saddam ignored a string of U.N. resolutions reiterating the requirement that he verify the destruction of his WMD’s. After September 11, 2001, the U.S. led the U.N. Security Council to issue Resolution 1441 which reiterated the previous resolutions and gave Saddam one last chance to verify the destruction of his WMD’s. He did not verify the destruction of those weapons, and the United States began its attempt to convince the Security Council to enforce its resolution. The Security Council declined, so the United States united a small coalition of nations to verify the destruction Saddam’s WMD’s. The U.S. invaded Iraq, not because it believed Iraq was a direct threat to the homeland, but because it was trying to prevent the unaccounted for WMD’s from falling into terrorist hands. The stated policy after 9-11 was that the U.S. would make no distinction between terrorist groups and those that aided them. Thus the ultimate cause of the war was to protect innocents from further terrorist attacks.

Note: I have not said anything about inaccurate intelligence estimates concerning Saddam’s WMD capabilities. This is because the legal premise for the war was Resolution 1441. This resolution was not about intelligence estimates, but about Saddam’s failure to verify the destruction of pre-Gulf War arsenals. The world’s intelligence agencies had come to the conclusion that he had been producing new weapons after the inspectors were kicked out in 1998. But these suspected new weapons were not the focus of Resolution 1441.

Right Intention. Contrary to distortions in popular media, the aim of the Iraq invasion was to change the regime in Iraq and to destroy and/or verify the destruction of its WMD’s. The U.S. has not been exploiting Iraq’s oil resources.

Comparative Justice. Not only was Saddam Hussein not verifying the destruction of his pre-Gulf War WMD’s, he was also signaling to the world his intention to acquire more WMD’s (even nuclear weapons) as soon as global attention turned away from him. Preventing Saddam from acquiring these weapons had to be done, even at the cost of war.

Proportionality. By invading Iraq, not only did the U.S. make its own citizens more secure, it also liberated the Iraqis from a brutal dictator. In the long run, the war will have prevented more evil than it caused.

Probability of Success. Saddam was toppled within about three weeks of the initial invasion. Thus the regime change happened very quickly, as everyone anticipated. Standing up a stable, democratic government has taken much longer due to poor planning and too few troops on the ground after the initial invasion. However, the recent “surge” strategy is working and the probability of success in Iraq is very high if U.S. troops are allowed to finish the job.

Last Resort. The Iraq war came at the end of 11 years of failed diplomacy. There was no reason to expect that Saddam would ever verify the destruction of his WMD arsenal. To date, we still do not know what became of Iraq’s pre-Gulf War WMD arsenal.

For these reasons and others, I do think that both invasions met just war criteria. Let the conversation begin.

69 Responses to Were the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq Just?

  1. Faimon February 12, 2008 at 2:57 am #

    I think that’s a nice defense Denny. I am fairly sympathetic to it. There are two quick points I would like to make, however.

    1) The Taliban continues to destabilize large areas of Afghanistan, notably Helmand province. Additionally, they have created problems in Pakistan. While it may seem as if this was a successful action, I don’t think it has been as successful as we think it has. We have just been distracted by the Iraq war.

    2) In hindsight, the Iraq war was a huge mistake, politically, diplomatically, and militarily. It will take the US years to recover from that, far longer than we will have a significant military presence in Iraq.

  2. Don February 12, 2008 at 6:25 am #

    Both of the above points are wrong based on one simple fact. In the PC world we live in today we the United States should not go to war with anyone given the fact that in war terrible things happen. Now when our people shoot at a bad guy it’s treated like a police shooting in New York city or some other city in the US.. Our people are being handcuffed by lawyers in command post’s that are calling the shots. Look the surge has worked why? Not just because we sent in more troops. The rules of engagement were softened so the job could be done.. I agree with you Denny you are right on point, however the so-called leaders at the top think that by fighting fair and being careful will win over people is a huge error and plain silly.The job was made harder by this game plan.

    Plus the lack of sound leaders in each country has placed a huge burden on the military to do evreything, fight, train, and provide gov./services..

  3. Bryan L February 12, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    The idea of just war and Christians supporting it seems silly. Looking at it on a smaller scale I could hardly see Jesus saying, if that Roman soldier is a threat to you or your neighbor go and run him through with your sword. Nor could I see the Holy Spirit guiding the early church into overthrowing Nero and setting up the Apostle Paul in his place.

    The thing that makes me uncomfortable with these criteria for a just war is that for a country like America it seems like they could come up with a reason to invade any country and topple their government and they could give us a bunch of good reasons that would fit into all of these categories and Christians who support just wars would then be compelled to jump on board. I mean do you ever think they’re going to say we’re invading a country because we don’t like their leader or we want their oil? Of course not.

    In the end if you already think our country is Captain America then you will think that every intention they have for sticking their nose into other countries’ business is going to be justified.

    If nothing else Christians should oppose America going to war at all times just so that America will actually have a conscience and think a little harder about whether they really should go or not. Let’s not make it so easy for America to go to war, especially not with God’s blessings.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  4. naum February 12, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    As my previous comment was deleted, probably this one will be too, as it appears honest and respectful dissent is not tolerated in this forum…

    1. There is near universal unanimity or religious leaders on the illegality of Iraq War under “just war” doctrine…

    2. War was not the “last resort” here — killing millions of innocent by dropping thousands of thousands of bombs… …Iraq posed no threat to the U.S.

    3. WMD is significant as it was the casus belli raised by administration to justify public support for the war. And as we know from Downing street memos and Center for Public Integrity (and slew of evidence from Colin Powell and staff, other insiders), the intelligence was “fixed around the policy”) and there was deliberate deception about WMD – see the Center for Public Integrity study…

    3. U.S. did not have international authority for the overreaching goals of planting permanent bases…

    4. Iraq has been destabilized to an even worse state, most of the professional class has been decimated, and 10-20% have migrated…

    5. “Violence must not pass a point where it exceeds in injustice the original injury incurred.” – one cannot claim this is indeed the case…

    In short, the illegal and immoral Iraq invasion was not defensive, nor proportional, nor a last resort, nor conducted by legitimate authority, nor protective of innocents, nor likely to leave the world a better place. In short, it is unjust.

  5. Jim Hamilton February 12, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    Great post, Denny!

    Thanks for your clear thinking,

    Jim

  6. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 10:15 am #

    Denny,

    Thank you, this post has provided much food for thought (in the comments as well). Though I may state the reasons differently than you have here I believe there is such thing as “just war.”

    Nevertheless, what many advocates of “just war” have struggled with is whether the Iraq war is Constitutional. Article 1, sec. 8:11 states that it is up to the Congress to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” There are a few things that are noteworthy here:

    1)Congress never declared war on Iraq.
    2)Under no circumstances can we say that the UN gives the US the “legal premise” for going to war. The UN is a non-binding body that even our government recognizes as a waste of time and American resources.
    3)You framed the question in your post as “Was the American Invasion of Iraq “Just War”? If it was an American invasion then there must be a congressional declaration of war. If it was based on a UN resolution then why refer to it as an “American Invasion”?

    Again I want to thank you for the careful thought you have given to this issue. I am hoping to grow with you.

    Blessings,
    Paul

  7. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I would also note that “just war” and “preventive war” are not necessarily the same thing but one is an extension of the other. It seems that what you are arguing for here is preventive war (see Harold O.J. Brown, “The Crusade or Preventive War,” in War:Four Christian Views 153-68). Is this correct?

  8. Denny Burk February 12, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Paul (in #6),

    I’ll reprint your questions in italics and then respond to each:

    1)Congress never declared war on Iraq.

    Congress did authorize the President to use force to disarm Iraq. Here’s the exact wording from the Congressional resolution: “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to— (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

    2)Under no circumstances can we say that the UN gives the US the “legal premise” for going to war. The UN is a non-binding body that even our government recognizes as a waste of time and American resources.

    When Congress authorized the use of force, they authorized the President to enforce U.N. resolutions that Saddam had not complied with. So our own congressional authorization was linked to the U.N. previous diplomatic efforts. Congress wasn’t required to do this, but they chose to do so nevertheless. You need to read the full text of the congressional authorization to see just how tightly Congress’s action was bound to the U.N.’s.

    3)You framed the question in your post as “Was the American Invasion of Iraq “Just War”? If it was an American invasion then there must be a congressional declaration of war. If it was based on a UN resolution then why refer to it as an “American Invasion”?

    Resolution 1441 called on Saddam to verify the dismantling of WMD’s and WMD programs. It gave him thirty days to do so. After Saddam missed the deadline, the U.N. security council declined to enforce the resolution. The U.S. decided to enforce it without the imprimatur of the U.N. That is why we call it an American-led invasion.

  9. Paul February 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    Denny,

    first off, framing the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq together is disingenuous at best.

    The war in Afghanistan was fully and completely a just war, not in the sense that they declared war on us, but they aided and abetted those who essentially did. Even many of my friends at church hold their noses and say okay to that one. What was unjust was only sending 11,000 troops to Afghanistan when what was needed was a full blown invasion and occupation until every single member of Al Quada was caught. One of the few smart things that I thought the Bush administration did in the run up to the invasion of Afghanistan was coming right out and threatening Pakistan if they didn’t cooperate. Not that they’re cooperating all that much, but something is better than nothing. As I’ve said a million times before (mostly tongue in cheek), Gandhi would have gone to war with Afghanistan after September 11th.

    The war in Iraq was idiocy personified for a whole bunch of reasons, including…

    1) it took potential troops away from where the real threat is: Afghanistan.

    2) as Naum said, Iraq was no threat to us, and even if they did have WMD’s, they (1) had bigger fish to fry than the US, and (2) they had no way of delivering them.

    3) They didn’t think the invasion through AT ALL. Rumsfeld sent us there unprepared, unnecessarily. There was no time line for us going to Iraq, unless we were worried that at some point, they might get into line, and that our ability to invade would then be hampered. “They’ll greet us as liberators” all too quickly turned into “sometimes you have to go to war with the Army that you want, not the army that you’ve got.”

    Look at all three of those, and what you have isn’t a just war, what you have is an administration that was dying to go to war with Iraq, no matter the consequences. Those 935 lies that were told to get us there only further hammer home the idea that this wasn’t about just war or unjust war, this was about a very haggardly put together attempt at geopolitical politics.

    The last resort argument you put up is a joke and you know it, Denny. This was hardly a last resort. We could have kept diplomatic pressure on him, if we thought he really did have WMD’s. But we KNEW he didn’t, and we invaded under the premise that he did.

    Let’s face it, no matter how you slice it, no matter how many proofs you put up, a war based on lies is an unjust war.

    And, Denny, you ran around my question from the other thread by quoting Augustine instead of the Bible, so I’ll ask it again, this time asking for a Biblical response: how does the U.S. invading a sovereign nation that had not declared war on us and had no intention of doing so glorify Christ?

  10. Brett February 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    I understand and see how some people believe in the just war theory. This is fine if you do, and the reasons Denny stated seem to make logical sense to us. However, my main issue is calling it “biblical”.

    Nowhere in the NT can we find the grounds and evidence for such a heretical theory. As I’ve said in previous posts, reformed folk have a tendency to listen to Augustine and Calvin more than than do Jesus and the Bible. In fact, the commands Jesus gives us seem to be the exact OPPOSITE of a just war theory. Sure, you can find a few proof-texts to justify the theory, but it is clear otherwise that it is not Christian. In fact, it is anti-Christian. Augustine says we must do this out of love…pardon me, but how can you pull the trigger and shoot another human being out of love? The theory is utter and complete heresy to the Christian life and has been the cause of much bloodshed throughout all of church history. How do you think Christians justified the crusades? Though Augustine probably meant the theory for the greater good in his day, the theory has proven to be for the complete worse throughout all of history.

    It is wrong and unhealthy to accept and agree with all the government does. It is also wrong and unhealthy to believe everything a church history father believed. Articulate the theory and the situation however you want, but the bottom line is it is unChristian and antithetical to Jesus Christ. Let the kingdom of the world do what they deem proper, but we are citizens of the kingdom of God, and these 2 kingdoms are antithetical and resist one another. Kingdom of God folk defeat people by service and love, kingdom of world folk defeat them by force. I’m absolutely astounded that Christians can believe this way.

    I would like to see Scot McKnight respond to Denny’s post and hear what he has to say. He is a very well-respected scholar and can give a good balance to Denny’s just-war, pro-American Augistinianism.

  11. Ted Rellsman February 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    I’m sure glad that according to Denny’s premise(s), God’s enemies happen to be America’s enemies. I would love for an enemy country to attack America by appealing to the just war theory. Then, it won’t seem that unjust when our children are killed on accident.

    The “Just War Theory” has justified needless deaths and militaristic excesses. Therefore, I’m sure Jesus would support it (sarcasm).I find it absolutely absurd and a total loss of priorities when Christians appeal to the just war theory. Sorry to be crass, but this is just rediculous.

    What I find absolutely crucial is reflecting on Christ’s death and resurrection. What that means is that God would rather die, God would rather have God’s own Son die, than to redeem the world through violence. And that central story is what Christians are about. – Stanley Hauerwas

    Post like these, with appeals to nationalism and tribalism make me all the more thankful for men like Dr. Hauerwas.

  12. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Denny,

    Thank you for your helpful reply. I understand your point here. However I think you have hit on the very issue that I’m struggling with.

    Does Congress have a constitutional right to “authorize” another branch of government to do what only it has the right to “declare”? Just because they (Congress) have made such an authorization does that mean they 1) had Constitutional authority to do so or 2)that this “authorization” is the same thing as a “declaration of war.”

    The specifics of the resolution state, “Congress has authorized the President ‘‘to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to
    United Nations Security Council Resolution[s] . . .” I think we are on dangerous ground when we begin to enforce, with the full strength of our military, UN resolutions because Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to enforce foreign charters or resolutions (e.g., of the UN). In regards to declarations of war, it is the Congress that possess the sole authority to “raise and support armies” and even the funding and the declaration must be re-authorized by vote every two years.

    Within a just war framework, Congress should make a “declaration of War” which should either be approved or vetoed by the President (if vetoed then held for a vote by 2/3 majority of the House and Senate) and then the Commander in Chief can send troops into battle as his government has legislated for him to do.

    The fact that Congress did not make a formal declaration of war is part of what makes it convenient for certain Senators to say that they never authorized the President to declare war (e.g., H. Clinton). Technically they’re right because Congress didn’t authorize anyone to declare war (they can’t under the Constitution!). One of the results of a formal declaration of war is that there is no debate about the language of the law and what is intended. If Congress said we are declaring war on Iraq then they cannot say “the President abused his power.”

    A major part of the debate on Iraq is over “how” we got there. If it is decided we should go there then Congress should send our troops under the law without any language caveats about

  13. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Denny,

    Thank you for your helpful reply. I understand your point here. However I think you have hit on the very issue that I’m struggling with.

    Does Congress have a constitutional right to “authorize” another branch of government to do what only it has the right to “declare”? Just because they (Congress) have made such an authorization does that mean they 1) had Constitutional authority to do so or 2)that this “authorization” is the same thing as a “declaration of war.”

    The specifics of the resolution state, “Congress has authorized the President ‘‘to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to
    United Nations Security Council Resolution[s] . . .” I think we are on dangerous ground when we begin to enforce, with the full strength of our military, UN resolutions because Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to enforce foreign charters or resolutions (e.g., of the UN). In regards to declarations of war, it is the Congress that possess the sole authority to “raise and support armies” and even the funding and the declaration must be re-authorized by vote every two years.

    Within a just war framework, Congress should make a “declaration of War” which should either be approved or vetoed by the President (if vetoed then held for a vote by 2/3 majority of the House and Senate) and then the Commander in Chief can send troops into battle as his government has legislated for him to do.

    The fact that Congress did not make a formal declaration of war is part of what makes it convenient for certain Senators to say that they never authorized the President to declare war (e.g., H. Clinton). Technically they’re right because Congress didn’t authorize anyone to declare war (they can’t under the Constitution!). One of the results of a formal declaration of war is that there is no debate about the language of the law and what is intended. If Congress said we are declaring war on Iraq then they cannot say “the President abused his power.”

    A major part of the debate on Iraq is over “how” we got there. If it is decided we should go there then Congress should send our troops under the law without any caveats about UN resolutions.

  14. Kyle February 12, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    Brett, you asked…

    “…how can you pull the trigger and shoot another human being out of love?”

    It depends on who you’re demonstrating love towards. What about the Iraqi women raped by Hussein’s cronies? Do you refrain from shooting their assailants because it wouldn’t be loving?! Which neighbor are you supposed to love? I’m not necessarily onboard with just war theory but you can’t just dismiss the theory because people die.

    Bryan L…

    Don’t you think there’s a distinction made between individuals who have not been given the right/responsibility of the sword and governments who have? I appreciate your comments especially about the Church being a conscience for its nation. But at the same time if the government has a responsibility to maintain justice, via the sword if necessary, then the discussion over just wars is a needed one.

    kb

  15. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Brett,

    Just a few thoughts: If just war is “heretical” as you maintain here then we should have clear evidence of Paul calling for Cornelius, Sergius Paulus, Erastus and Zenas to all resign from their various occupations within the Roman government. Each of their jobs would have played a non-passive role in the exercise of capital punishment and war. Paul would even use the example of a “good soldier” as one who is faithful in ministry (2 Tim. 2:3-4).

    Additionally, Jesus gave approval of a king waging war against wicked people (Matt. 21) and in John 18 stated that defending His kingdom with force would have been proper “if” His kingdom had been of this world.

    Using the charge of “proof texts” is probably not helpful to the discussion.

  16. Paul February 12, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    Paul Lamey,

    No one is denying that there is a need for a military, and that there is a need for good soldiers. There most certainly is need for both. However, it has been the downfall of many empires to use those good soldiers for less than good purposes. Rome, Napoleon’s France and the U.S.S.R. all come to mind. How much longer will we be able to stand while we elect such vile people to lead us?

    And sure, while Jesus did give approval of waging war against wicked people, those wicked people attacked first. The people of Iraq never attacked us, and according to your very own quotes, they have the right to then attack us, if they find us to be wicked (and while are soldiers are more than likely not, the people that sent them there ARE).

    There is no Biblical precedent set for invading a country for geopolitical or financial gain.

    I wonder where all these chicken hawks would be on the issue if we still had a draft and they could very well be the next one to go die for an unjust cause.

  17. Bryan L February 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Kyle,

    I do think the discussion is needed and I don’t think it is very simple either. I tend to side with McKnight’s pacifism stance but I know this raises a lot of questions and scenarios that when answered from the pacifist viewpoint are not very attractive (and even somewhat offensive). And that is one of the problems I often see in this discussion is that the objections to pacifism generally have to do with people being offended at it’s answers or finding them to difficult and costly (even i do).
    In fact our theological positions often come down to what we can stomach and what we can’t (think of the Gender debate or the Theodicy debate).
    But it being offensive or too hard should not be a reason we reject pacifism. We should reject it if it’s unbiblical. If not then pray that God will give us the strength and ability to be faithful to him in difficult times when a pacifist stance might be necessary. Also I think because people find pacifism too difficult or even offensive they want to throw it off in all cases. At the least lets try to follow it consistently and when in extreme cases we fail let’s ask God for his grace and forgiveness.

    Now onto your question “Don’t you think there’s a distinction made between individuals who have not been given the right/responsibility of the sword and governments who have?”

    Umm… not really (I’m willing to be changed on this). The government is made up of individuals and it’s individuals that carry outh the government’s orders. That brings up the interesting situation of Christian loyalty and whether Christians in the military are serving 2 masters/kingdoms. Is it ok for a Christian soldier to torture someone at work but not when he gets home? Does their employer give them that authority and God doesn’t?

    Also your question brings up a view point that the governments responsibility to to bear the sword for justice not only relates to keeping peace in it’s own land, but also to go to war with others (beyond just self defense). I think Romans does endorse the former and not so much the latter.

    “But at the same time if the government has a responsibility to maintain justice, via the sword if necessary, then the discussion over just wars is a needed one.”

    Again the question comes up: does the government give Christians the authority to do things that God doesn’t in their own lives? Is something that is considered immoral and even evil for a Christian to do then ok if they are required to do it at work (in the military or whatever)?

    These are some questions that come to mind and as I mentioned there are no easy answers and some are outright offensive.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  18. Mike Bird February 12, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    Denny,

    The Afghanistan conflict is justifiable and winable.

    The Iraq conflict was unjustifiable and unwinnable. It was the biggest military blunder since Augustus sent the legions into Germany.

  19. Faimon February 12, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    Dear Paul,

    You wrote: “There is no Biblical precedent set for invading a country for geopolitical or financial gain.”

    I beg to differ. The Israelites invaded Canaan in search of just those types of gains. Not only that, but the term “Biblical precedent” is woefully imprecise. The Assyrians invaded Israel and Judah for political and financial benefit. The Babylonians did the same, as did the Persians. All of those were Biblical. 🙂

  20. Lucas Knisely February 12, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Good post, Denny.

  21. Paul February 12, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    Faimon,

    I was wondering if someone would bring up Canaan. That was one time, as dictated by God.

    Now, God might have talked to Bush. I don’t think He did, and I don’t think Bush would have understood a word that He said. But God might have directed Bush to invade Iraq. That said, I doubt it highly.

    And sure, the Assyrians and the Babylonians DID invade Israel and Judah. But do we want to be like the Babylonians and or the Assyrians?

    I’d think not.

    A little lightheartedness is all too necessary in discussions like this. Nice work.

  22. Lucas Knisely February 12, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    Faimon, you’ll no doubt be accused of “proof texting”. Your point, however, is a good one.

  23. Paul February 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    great, I’m back to having my posts moderated again.

    Is this just me, or all of the more liberal posters here?

    I didn’t even say anything mean this time!

    sheesh.

  24. Bryan L February 12, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    I’ve had a few of mine moderated Paul, but I doubt it’s Denny selecting it. Instead there may be some key words causing it to go to moderation or comment length.

    I could be wrong though and it might just be because you’re a liberal, which in that case you clearly deserve it! ; )

    Bryan

  25. Lucas Knisely February 12, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    If you’re posting hyperlinks, Denny previously said that they sometimes get automatically moderated. It happened to one of mine that had hyperlinks in it.

  26. Brett February 12, 2008 at 3:25 pm #

    Paul Lamey,

    You can’t assume just because Paul doesn’t say anything about it to somebody in a CONTEXTUAL situation means he is approving it and saying it is okay. Those things happened in a particular context for a particular reason. For example, Sergius Paulus came to faith as a result of seeing a miracle of God happen. After he came to faith, it appears that Paul and the others left. When you come to faith in Christ, it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. I believe a job in the government or in some type of security situation is just fine for Christians as long as they are true to Christ’s words and are moral/ethical. Erastus was a city treasurer…he was in charge of money, so I don’t see your point there. Zenas was a lawyer, what does that have to do with this? Also, it is never recorded that Paul had contact with Cornelius. I believe you’re thinking of Peter. Again, if I were to lead somebody to Christ who was in the military or who was an officer in the military, I would not tell them to leave their job. That is a matter of conscience and scripture does not give the command to do so. The main issue is the main authorities anyways in this debate…the ones who declare war, not the ones who follow orders. It is Denny Burk saying that just war is biblical (which it’s not), and then declaring Iraq to be just (which it’s not) which is heretical. I understand sometimes war may be necessary, and it should be up to your conscience if you want to participate or not. But I cannot justify going to Iraq and killing people because Paul didn’t tell a couple of people to leave their jobs. The evidence really falls up short.

    I don’t know how Paul using the example of the good soldier has anything to do with this. He was using an illustration, not giving approval. This really doesn’t strengthen the case at all. He was only comparing followers of Christ to soldiers because they were probably very familiar with what being a soldier entailed.

    Matthew 21 does not contain any such words! Can you tell me what you’re talking about? Jesus never gives approval for this. I assume you might be speaking about another passage, if so, please let me know.

    John 18 backs up my point it seems more than yours. I’m saying this is how the kingdom of the world operates…by force. I didn’t say it should stop using this, because this is how it is. I’m saying kingdom of God people shouldn’t operate this way…period. And when we start putting so much hope in ridiculous presidential candidates so they can pass laws and kill people then we have put our hope in the wrong place.

    So your examples really aren’t any evidence for defending this position. I stand by the claim that “just war” is heresy for kingdom of God citizens, and I will stand by that until the day I die. I worry much more about this heretical doctrine than I do e.g. open theism or pelagianism

  27. Brett February 12, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Faimon,

    Maybe “biblical” is not the right word to use. Maybe it’s better to say that it’s not Christian, or there’s no Christian precedent. I think that communicates the point better, because you’re right, technically speaking, they are “biblical”. Thanks for bringing that to our awareness.

  28. Paul February 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    Nope, no hyperlinks. Just wondering if God had told Bush to invade Iraq the same way that God had told the Israelites to invade Canaan.

  29. Benjamin A February 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    It seems that most who argue against war in Iraq have this idea that America as a country is a Christian country and thus the Bible, i.e. Christian principles, are governing America.
    That’s not the way it is however.
    Christ is building His church, and the church didn’t attack Iraq or Afghanistan. A nation, raised up under the providence of the Almighty, did attack those countries. And though America was founded on Biblical ideals, that alone does not make a ‘Christian Nation’.
    If God ‘shed His grace on thee’ and has blessed America as a nation, my only rational for that would come from Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you”- America the nation has always tried to be a blessing to Israel.
    12:3 “And the one who curses you I will curse.”- Could God be using America as a nation to inflict such curses against other nations that curse Israel? I do NOT claim to know how God operates His ruling the nations business. I do know however, that He is ruling.
    He is both Holy and Just at the same time.
    And the gulf between God’s specific providential will for the nations and our finite knowledge regarding the same is indescribable.

  30. Quixote February 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm #

    I mostly skimmed the comments because I’ve heard the rhetoric (for and against) before, but didn’t see any mention of “Al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Or of Syria and their Al-Qaeda aid and real presence in Iraq…we made it clear that those who harbor or aid or supply money and arms to terrorists are just as culpable. So Iraq was a likely target. For all the reasons Denny gave, and more. If you don’t like the Iraq war, maybe (just maybe) you have a problem with war in general and with the definition America has given to terrorists and those who harbor/aid them. Any serious discussion with military personel will include the very real threat of “Al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

  31. Paul February 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    Quixote,

    You didn’t hear mention of Al-Qaeda in Iraq because it’s well known that they started operations there AFTER the U.S. Invasion. Under Saddam, an outfit like that would have been “taken care of” before it got off the ground. But our completely wretched handling of an already wretched situation allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to get a foothold and start killing everyone and everything in sight.

  32. Paul February 12, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    and, Quixote,

    “if you don’t like the Iraq war, maybe (just maybe) you have a problem with war in general…”

    well, I think any sane person has a problem with war as an abstract. However, in real life conditions, things are not quite that utopian.

    This is certainly not new ground for us. We bullied Spain into war at the turn of the century. We wrongheadedly decided to swoop in and save the allies in WWI, and the end result was Hitler’s reign in Germany. We installed puppet governments all over the world, none of them to good effect, and now we continue the trend in Iraq.

    If we are going to call ourselves a Christian nation, we’d better go back and read the Bible some more. A lot more.

  33. Benjamin A February 12, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    Paul,
    We can call ourselves what ever we want. We are not and there is no such thing as a “Christian Nation”.
    Christian’s living in nations all around the globe, but not one of them is a ‘Christian Nation’. Sorry for the bad news.

  34. Brett February 12, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    America is not God’s chosen nation. God is not an American. Iraq is God’s chosen nation every bit as much as America. God is just as much of an Iraqi as he is an American. It breaks God’s heart to see the Americans kill Talibani troops just as much as it breaks his heart to see Talibani troops kill Americans.

    We really need to get over our ethnocentrism and see God’s heart for the nations and destroy the notion that he is on our side.

  35. Paul February 12, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Benjamin,

    I know that, and you know that. But the James Dobsons and the Tony Perkinses of the world don’t.

    And if they’re going to try to call us a Christian nation, then they need to take the first step in leading us there. And part of that means that we stop playing the part of the bully around the world when another nation doesn’t do our bidding.

  36. Brett February 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    Benjamin,

    I understand your point, but a lot of people honestly do think America is a “Christian” nation. I totally agree that it’s not. However, it is a popular belief that God is always on America’s side and we are a light to the world. This is only evidenced by the popular phrase, “Lets take America back for God!” I’m sorry, when was America ever for God? Was it when we slaughtered millions of Indians when we invaded the land (that some of the big pious Puritans participated in)? Maybe it was when we boarded 6 million Africans on ships and brutally treated and enslaved the 3 million that survived.

    I’m sorry people, getting prayer back in schools, ending Roe v. Wade, continuing to outlaw homosexual marriage, and putting the 10 commandments back in the courthouses is not going to make us a “Christian” nation any more than it did before those things were allowed.

  37. Quixote February 12, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Paul#30, all the more reason we shouldn’t leave the country immediately. Given that scenario, you might soon write: “Our utterly wretched departure after a completely wretched handling of an already wretched situation allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to achieve success and continue killing everyone and everything in sight.”

  38. Quixote February 12, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    Brett#33, Are you serious? I’ve never responded to you before, but this comment made me smile. “Iraq is God’s chosen nation every bit as much as America”???

    I’m not going to debate “chosen nations,” (the Bible’s pretty clear about God’s chosen people and ‘nation’), but have you ever studied Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants?

    Modern Iraq is one more move in the cosmic chess game that has been playing out for centuries ever since Brother Abe decided to have a child of the flesh rather than wait for the promise.

  39. Paul February 12, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Quixote,

    I’ve already stated elsewhere that we can’t leave Iraq immediately. I just think that we should have never gone in in the first place.

    I also get sick and tired of people talking about how much we should be there fighting the war on terror without going to their local enlistment office and putting their money where their mouth is.

  40. Benjamin A February 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    Brett,

    I’m not denying your statement. “America is not God’s chosen nation. God is not an American.”.

    Yet, how do you understand Genesis 12:3?
    “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse”.
    Has Iraq ever been a blessing to the seed of Abraham and the nation Israel?
    Has America ever been a blessing to the seed of Abraham and the nation Israel?
    Do you think Genesis 12:3 could have any bearing on how God rules nations?

  41. Bryan L February 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    Quixote are you sure the decedents or Ishmael are Iraqis?

  42. Paul February 12, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    The descendants of Ishmael were the Arabs, but I believe that the Iranians and Iraqis are Persians.

    Ignorance is bliss for the republican party, though.

  43. Paul Lamey February 12, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    I want to be clear since some have taken my comments to mean something I did not say. It is possible to affirm “just war” and not certain wars (like Iraq).

    1. I’m simply asking if the Iraq war was justified on Constitutional grounds. I’m not convinced it was but I am open to correction if someone could make the case.

    2. I believe there is such a thing as just war but that should not be confused with preventive war which is what Denny seems to be arguing for (in the case of Iraq). However I would rather hear Denny speak for himself on this.

    3. If indeed I were to concede that this was a justified preventive war (with Iraq) then how does “nation building” factor in to the mix? I heard Bush say this week that we can’t leave until democracy is in place. I think this is a major problem that has been overlooked in the debate. Is war justified in order to bring democracy to another nation and should that be our role in the world?

    4. One of the obvious problems I have seen with the preventive war position is that proponents would not wish it applied to themselves. I am certainly open to be corrected on this but I have not heard any intelligent responses on this particular issue.

    Denny, thanks again for allowing this discussion here.

  44. Bryan L February 12, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    That’s the thing Paul, I’m not sure Arabs are even descended from Ishmael. I mean I suppose some Arabs could have Ishmael as a descendant but not in the sense that all Arabs are descended from him and had he not been born there would be no Arab people.

    Bryan

  45. Mark Gibson February 13, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    People that are opposed to the Iraq War always seem to conveniently forget that the Persian Gulf War never ended. A cease fire ended the fighting. Saddam not only did not provide proof that he got rid of the WMDs, but he also repeatedly fired upon our Air Force patrolling the No-Fly-Zones. Therefore, you can’t call it illegal or unjust.

    Criticisms about strategy are valid. There probably should have been more troops at the beginning, but name a major war where we haven’t made mistakes. Americans win wars because we know how to adjust. The correct adjustment has been made. Our job as Americans is to get behind them so that we can win the war and our guys can get home.

  46. Paul February 13, 2008 at 1:56 am #

    Mark,

    I suggest joining them, then, so that you can be part of the war winning effort.

    Even if your point is true, the invasion was done at a time when we were looking for the mastermind(s) behind attacks that took several thousand American lives. That should have taken precedent over greed and the want to have a geopolitical stronghold in the region, which has horribly backfired.

    As the surge winds down this year, and the cease fire with Al-Sadr ends, will we still be winning? That remains to be seen. Either way, had sane minds been in power in 2003, we wouldn’t be gambling with our soldiers’ lives to find out.

  47. Jason February 13, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    Sane minds like John Kerry and Al Gore no less.

  48. Paul February 13, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    simply sane minds that can say the word Nuclear, Jason.

  49. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Brett and/or all,
    Breaking this into two posts to avoid moderation (I hope)-
    Still wondering how you understand Genesis 12:3? When God tells Abraham that He will curse those who curse him and the nation (Israel) that God makes from him.
    Which middle east nation has been a blessing to Israel? Do you know of any?
    What might God’s curse look like today on nations that curse Israel? Do you think God simply moved on from that promise He made to Abraham?
    Do you think God ultimately is ruling the nations to accomplish His plan for humanity? or are the nations ultimately run by men with evil plans? Maybe you think it’s both?
    Answers to these or other questions like these could have bearing on how Christians discuss wars between nations.
    And though we don’t have to like war or even advocate for ‘just war’, we realize that war is unavoidable. History alone bears that reality out. And not just American wars. Sinful people have been killing each other from the beginning. Especially in the Middle east where it all began. It’s one of the sad evidences of mans fall into sin. There have been more American innocent/some not so innocent lives killed in the streets of LA/New York/etc. than in the streets of Iraq since the invasion began. That’s not a justification, just pointing out what is obvious; Sin leads to death. People kill people. Everywhere.

  50. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Part II-
    I’m suggesting there is a divine narrative at work behind all of the sinful madness of men and that God is at work to accomplish things we only have echo’s of in scripture. Daniel’s O.T. book is a primer on God’s sovereign rule over nations and how He is using them for His means to His ends. So while I don’t like war or the horrible realities they bring against ‘man’, I also know we are told there will be wars and rumors of war (as well as other humanitarian crisis like famine, earthquakes, etc.) until our sovereign God brings this world peace through the Prince of Peace.
    This is why the church was given a commission. That in the middle of all the sin cursed realities of this world we live in, God’s chosen people (those of faith like Abraham) are to be salt and light (ambassadors/ soldiers/ etc.), in order to proclaim the gospel with our lips and our life.
    At a micro level it is difficult to understand it all; at the macro level, as understood through God’s revelation, it makes more sense.

  51. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Part II got stuck in moderation- and it was the smaller portion? Go figure???

  52. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    It’s out. Thanks Denny.

  53. Paul February 13, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    “This is why the church was given a commission. That in the middle of all the sin cursed realities of this world we live in, God’s chosen people (those of faith like Abraham) are to be salt and light (ambassadors/ soldiers/ etc.), in order to proclaim the gospel with our lips and our life.”

    Okay, so once again, I ask, how does the war in Iraq glorify Christ?

    How does some chicken hawk sitting in his comfy computer chair glorify Christ when he uses any number of justifications for other people going and dying for their freedom, safety or what not?

    How does an administration that knowingly put soldiers in undue harms way (by not equipping them with proper armor or a decent game plan), and lied 935 times in the run up to war glorify Christ?

    I get it that this might be part of God’s sovereign plan. And considering some of the thugs in Biblical history, I know that it’s not even entirely out of the question to use someone like Bush to accomplish God’s end goals.

    But where does that leave us who question the tactics, methods and people used to accomplish God’s goals? Are we just to shut up and accept the idea that this might be SOLELY God’s plan? Or do we still fight what we consider to be injustices where we find them?

    Food for thought. And worth what you paid for it.

  54. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Paul,

    “Okay, so once again, I ask, how does the war in Iraq glorify Christ?”

    As I said, on a micro level it is hard to understand.

    Read Romans 11:33-36. “Oh the depth . . .”

    “But where does that leave us who question the tactics, methods and people used to accomplish God’s goals? Are we just to shut up and accept the idea that this might be SOLELY God’s plan? Or do we still fight what we consider to be injustices where we find them?”

    This is the kind of dialogue we should be having. Imagine if we were fighting injustices and in so doing we were arguing ultimately against God. Like the Israelites who argued against Moses (the desert was their reality, it was all they could see and they were thirsty).
    I still need some time to muse over some of these questions of yours, especially the last one, because the answers are not easy.

  55. Brett February 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Benjamin A.,

    Sorry I haven’t addressed your question yet. I honestly haven’t studied this and have no knowledge of it. I assume the answer would be different for dispensationalists than covenant theologians (which I am neither). I honestly don’t know if you can say that God holds the same standards of countries to the nation Israel as we have it today as he did throughout the Old Testament. I think there’s some legitimacy in thinking that the church has primarily replaced Israel as a nation and as a light to the nations, but then again, you could also argue that God still has a plan for Israel.

    I don’t know bro, I haven’t really studied and looked at these issues. At the moment, I would not take what Genesis 12 says and make that applicable to Israel the nation in today’s time. I think to do so is hyper-dispensational and a mistake. Even though it was extremely popular and prevalent at one point, and still continues to pop up here and there (re: Left Behind), dispensationalism is really losing ground in both the public square and the academy. Mainly do to some of the ridiculous eschatological claims. For instance, I honestly don’t give a crap about eschatology and think part of the reason for that is because I see how bad dispensationalism has burned people in the past by doing ridiculous things like predicting dates and trying to figure out which nations in the Bible are nations today. Also, I highly doubt most of the things dispensationalists look at eschatologically were never fulfilled and are still waiting to be fulfilled.

    I laugh at people like John Hagee and Tim LaHaye with some of the ridiculous claims they make.

    Anyways, I got off on a rant. I couldn’t give an informed answer to your question. What do you think?

  56. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    Brett/Bryan L.-

    Are you done with this conversation?
    Was really wanting your thoughts on post 49&50.

  57. Brett February 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    I answered it

  58. Paul February 13, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    “I laugh at people like John Hagee and Tim LaHaye with some of the ridiculous claims they make.”

    Hagee is incredibly entertaining, though. He put out a DVD at some point called Vanished, and it was supposed to be viewed by people who had been left behind by the rapture so that they would know what to do.

    Not as good as the Omega Code part II, but entertaining nonetheless.

  59. Brett February 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Paul,

    You’re right, it’s definitely entertaining. However, I view it as embarrassing as well.

  60. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Thanks Brett

  61. Benjamin A February 13, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    Brett,

    I’m suggesting there is a divine narrative at work behind all of the sinful madness of men and that God is at work to accomplish things we only have echo’s of in scripture.

    I think there is still something to the Genesis 12:3 promise.

    Galatians 3:29 “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to PROMISE”. (see all of Ch. 4)

    When was that promise made? Genesis 12:3

  62. Mark Gibson February 14, 2008 at 2:07 am #

    Paul,

    We’ve already had the discussion regarding whether or not an American citizen wants its military to be successful when at a time of war. A military veteran has already agreed with me. I learn most of my beliefs regarding the military from my father, who is a United States Marine. There is nothing wrong with me wanting them to be successful.

    It is also interesting that you didn’t counter my point with something of substance but emotion. No one likes seeing our guys get killed, especially because it is because of rules of engagement and not body armor. Our military is built to destroy not to be a police force. That is why I said that strategy is a valid criticism. To say that Bush lied means that everyone else in the world lied including General Tommy Franks. Call him a liar. A recent article even stated that Saddam wanted us to believe that he had WMDs. He was the master of miscalculation (see his invasion of Kuwait).

    By the way, keep me updated on your new cd.

  63. Don February 14, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Mark, Your right on point.. The military is just that and not a Police Dept. ROE have caused loss of life and time. Paul I just about never agree with you but good luck with your CD…

  64. Paul February 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Mark,

    you’re right, there’s nothing wrong with you wanting our armed forces to be successful in a battle that they’ve already been plunked down into. However, there is a HUGE difference between wanting to see our armed forces do well and banging the drums for war, especially a preemptive attack on a country that we knew was just fronting.

    Insofar as the 935 lies in the lead up to war go, they’re well documented, and you can easily find them for yourself. I posted the link in the Romney thread. And insofar as Tommy Franks goes, if your job is to take orders from a liar, then you will probably lie as well (see Colin Powell).

    Insofar as the CD goes, we’re stalled. You know when a band tells you that they play everything? Well, we really do, and that causes problems, because we’re too jammy for the jazz clubs, too jazzy for the rock clubs, and nobody else knows what to do with us. Which I guess makes sense. There are few bands ever that can say that they sound like a direct cross between the Nat King Cole Trio and Anthem of the Sun era Grateful Dead. And with little in the way of gigs (we’re playing 4-5 times per month, which isn’t much for a band with the caliber of players that this group has), we have little ability to sell CD’s. So far, we’ve sold 110 CD’s, which doesn’t even pay for the licensing costs on the covers. Not to mention, the cost of actually printing the CD, recording or mastering. Which means that we can’t fund the next one, even though we’re slowly recording stuff anyway, if just for demo purposes at this point. So, if anyone wants to buy a copy of mainstreamism so we can get closer to our next one, feel free to click on my name. There’s a CDBaby link on our myspace page.

    I think no matter what, we’re going to cut a Christmas CD in July or August so that it’s ready by November. So, far, that set list is looking like it’s going to be a far more sacred album than we originally had in mind, but then again, that’s the point of Christmas, right?

  65. Mark Gibson February 14, 2008 at 7:12 pm #

    Paul,

    Funny how that study of the 935 lies doesn’t include the lies told by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, etc.

  66. Paul February 14, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    They weren’t angling for war with Iraq before they were elected into office, either.

    Quit shifting blame. Nobody is claiming that the Clintons or John Kerry was a saint. But at the end of the day, we can easily say, no Bush, no Iraq invasion. No thousands of dead soldiers, no tens of thousands of injured soldiers.

    Thanks for responding. For a second, I thought my whining about the travails in the music industry had killed the thread. 🙂

  67. Brett February 15, 2008 at 2:11 am #

    Mark,

    That’s so typical of your kind to make a statement like that. Those people haven’t been in office the last 7 years to create this mess…your boy George Bush has. He is a joke and, trust me, will go down in history as one of the worst presidents in the history of the USA. It’s amazing how you right-wing conservative evangelicals put your hope in such an idiot…he’s held up real well to your promises that you said he would do. What a joke

  68. Mr. G March 10, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    I think that your argument is very thought provoking, however I disagree with your assumption that there is a connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. There have been many reports published that show that there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11. The most important report, published by the United States government, is the 9/11 commission report (www.9-11commission.gov/ – 8k). The report shows that there are no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda which means that there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11. I also have to disagree with your assumption that America is the world police. It is not the job of America to police the world. America has no right getting involved in international matters and trying to take on the world like some police force. The UN is the world police and America has no right to try to take the job of world police as if they are the UN. America should not try to get involved with other nation’s affairs and pay closer attention to want is happening to America itself. The UN was created to so that no one nation had to police the world and this why America should follow UN regulations. The war in Iraq is unjust and unnecessary because there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11, and because America is not the world’s police.

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