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Is War On Iraq A "Just War"
Religious Freedom Coalition
January 22, 2003 5:13PM EST

Is War On Iraq A "Just War"

On January 21st, I was part of a panel discussion on the upcoming Iraqi war sponsored by the National Clergy Council in Washington, DC. The National Clergy Council is better known for its Ten Commandments Project, which has for many years presented a stone copy of the Ten Commandments to every incoming congressman and Senator. The panel was to discuss whether an attack by the United States on Iraq would be a "just" or "unjust" war.

There were noted pacifists on the panel, such as Joel Volk, who is the executive director of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). This is the Quaker lobbying organization in Washington. Also on the panel were Michael Gorman, Rev. Dr. Paul Schenck, and Father Alexander Webster. I was the only Baptist on the panel.

Those who were against an Iraqi attack by the United States held surprisingly similar views. For example, it was intimated that Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany because of the harsh economic conditions imposed on that nation by treaty after World War I. Thus, all of World War II and the Holocaust were the fault of the United States because we were a party to the Treaty of Paris. Similarly it was stated that the United States "created" Saddam Hussein by giving him chemical and biological weapons to fight Iran. The reasoning was: "Hitler and Saddam are not evil men; they are the result of circumstances set up by the United States." In other words, all the wars since 1776 were really the fault of Americans.

The second line of reasoning was that war is only justified if a nation is directly attacked, but neither a preventive nor a preemptive attack is justified. Oddly, those on my side in the debate thought that preemptive war was permissible but that preventive war was not. Thus, it would have been justified to shoot down Japanese Zeros on their way to Pearl Harbor just before they attacked, but it would have been unjust to sink the Japanese aircraft carriers before the aircraft were launched. Go ahead, figure that one out, I dare you!

What really amazed me was the simple mindedness of the antiwar position as exemplified in their argument about the cause of World War II. While harsh economic times did befall Germany as a result of draconian measures against it after World War I, this was not the only reason for the rise of Hitler and the acceptance of fascism. This infantile line of thinking would be comparable to saying that every American woman who voted for Bill Clinton did so because he was "sexy" and for no other reason.

My argument was vastly different than that of anyone on the panel. I pointed out that more people died at the hands of communist governments in the 20th century than in all the wars in all the history of mankind. I pointed to the 40,000,000 non-war deaths in the Soviet Union. My argument was that the greater sin of the United States and Europe was in allowing the slaughter of human life rather than intervening. Not fighting a war with the Soviet Union in the 1930’s cost many times more lives than would have been lost in an actual war. I was, in reality, the only one supporting "preventive" war which is what President George W. Bush proposes in dealing with Iraq, although some supported the war saying it is a preemptive war.

The liberals kept saying, "What would Jesus do?" And I kept saying "Jesus would intervene and stop the slaughter of innocent people." My conclusion that Jesus on the earth today would intervene against evil was rejected, despite the fact that Revelations says this is exactly what he will do when he returns triumphantly to earth.

At the conclusion of the meeting the press rushed forward to interview Joel Volk and the other "anti war" panelist. There were no questions for myself or those who believed in the concept of "just war."

Given that background I have reprinted below my opening statement before the panel on the "just war" concept. You may find it of interest.

"In the Beginning, the very hour of Creation, God the Father knew the sinful nature that would befall man through free will. For that reason He prepared the personage of Christ to die on the cross as a sacrifice for that sin.

War was the inevitable by-product of free will and the sinful nature of man. Thus God has protected the righteous, even directed the armies of righteous nations to victory over the evil forces of the heathen. And, He has removed His protection as well. When the Crusaders protected the Pilgrims against the ravages of the heathen they found victory. When they succumbed to human desire and profit they met defeat.

God stood with the Allies against the satanic forces of the Nazi Reich just as surely as He stood with the armies of King David. God’s hand of protection is upon those who believe in Him, follow His commandments and call upon His name.

Civilizations have police and sometimes those police break into homes to stop crime. Likewise righteous nations have armies that must on occasion act as police against tyrants. The very presence of evil gives the righteous the right and the responsibility to place their armies upon the field. As the barbaric Taliban met defeat so that the righteous would be victorious, so then will God bless the forces of the United States in freeing the world’s peoples from the fear of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, weapons that a satanically driven leader such as Saddam Hussein would indeed use.

As Christ blessed the Centurion by granting his wish for healing of a servant, so will Christ stand with the armies of the righteous. Revelations 17:14 reveals Christ defeating the armies that are called against Him upon His return.

Had God not stood by the armies of the righteous, by those called in His name, Israel would never have existed and slavery would exist in America today. As we move forth to battle let us recall the prayers for victory in the Psalms of David." (01/21/2003)

William J Murray, Chairman


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