Was World War Ii a Legitimate War? in the Context of Just War Theory.

3960 Words Dec 19th, 2010 16 Pages
Was World War II a legitimate war? in the context of just war theory.

'In war some sorts of restraint, both on what we can legitimately fight for (jus ad bellum) and on how we may legitimately fight (jus in bello), are morally required'.1 However, recent theorists also add the responsibility and accountability of warring parties after the war (jus post bellum) to the main two categories of just war theory. From Christian perspective the function of the JWT was simply an excuse of making war morally and religiously possible writes Michael Walzer. He also agrees with its defendants, that it made war possible in a world where war was, sometimes, necessary. JWT is therefore to be used as a sort of moral rule-book from which legitimate
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The case of Walzer's subject of Churchill's description of Britain's predicament in 1939 as a 'supreme emergency' which to Walzer also contains an argument. As Allies thought Nazi's victory in years 1940-1 was ever so close, Britain changed their policy about bombing. British leaders issued bomber crews in early 1940 to bomb German city centres and residential areas (of no military bases, shipyards, factories etc.). The intent was to destroy German civilians' morale instead of military. Clearly, as he says, the intention was wrongful, the bombing criminal, the victims were innocent people; if soldiers or munitions workers were hit, it was just accident, a morally defensible side effect of an immoral policy. But if there was no other way of preventing German victory, then the immorality of killing innocents was also, morally defensible. This is in Walzer's words 'the provocation and the paradox'. However he claims these acts are defensible only for these years, further bombings which took place, according to him, cannot.7 Many, especially in churches, had severe doubts about this policy, particularly the legitimacy of this bombing campaign against German cities. Led by Anglican Bishop George Bell of Chichester, the opponents against bombing campaigns lodged and based

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