“Thinking Catholic” about Ukraine and the just-war tradition

In its classic form, the just-war tradition’s mode of analysis involves two categories of moral criteria for thinking through the relationship of military action to the ends of peace, freedom, and justice.

A man walks by the debris of a cultural center and an administration building destroyed during aerial bombing, as Russia's advance on the Ukrainian capital continues, in the village of Byshiv outside Kyiv, Ukraine, March 12, 2022. (CNS photo/Thomas Peter, Reuters)

I really should get it rebound one day, my crumbling copy of The Catholic Tradition of the Law of Nations, originally published in 1935 and compiled by John Eppstein, a British scholar. The book is an annotated compilation of texts from the gospels, the Fathers of the Church, medieval scholars, and modern Church theologians and leaders, addressing everything from military service and civic duties to Augustine’s just-war doctrine (and its successors), the Catholic conception of peace, the origins of a Catholic theory of human rights, and Catholic thinking about international society from St. Paul through Dante and on to Pope Benedict XV. Browsing through this remarkable collection of authorities confirms that there once was a distinctively Catholic way of thinking about world politics.

And while that Catholic way of thinking was entirely realistic about the human condition, it had little to do with what is now termed the “realist” school of international relations theory. In the nineteenth century, foreign policy Realpolitik was identified with such figures as longtime Austrian foreign minister Klemens von Metternich, German’s “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck, and British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. In modern American terms, the “realist” school of foreign policy took its theoretical bearings from the many editions of Hans Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations, which argued that, power and national interest being the fundamental realities of the interaction of states, world affairs are often, and needlessly, confused by the profligate use of moral categories of analysis, as had often happened between the first and second world wars. Morgenthau did not deny that there was an ethical element in foreign policy decision-making. But he and other realists have long warned against confusing the ethics of interpersonal relations with the ethical dimension of international relations, as if the former could be applied to the latter in a kind of one-to-one correspondence.

For its part, Catholic international relations theory insisted that, as politics is a human enterprise, there can be no escape from moral analysis in thinking through the dilemmas of public life, even international public life. Every pope of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has insisted on this. And the Second Vatican Council, picking up St. Augustine’s definition of “peace” as tranquillitas ordinis [the tranquillity of order], began its discussion of world politics in these decidedly non-Realpolitik terms:

Peace is more than the absence of war: it cannot be reduced to the maintenance of a balance of power among nations nor does it arise out of despotic dominion, but it is appropriately called the “effect of righteousness” (Isaiah 32.17). It is the fruit of that right ordering of things with which the divine founder has invested human society and which must be actualized by man thirsting after an ever more perfect reign of justice. But while the common good of mankind ultimately derives from the eternal [moral] law, it depends in the concrete [upon] circumstances that change as time goes on; consequently, peace will never be achieved once and for all, but must be built up continually. Since, moreover, human nature is weak and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant effort to control the passions and unceasing vigilance by lawful authority. (Gaudium et spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 78]

The Just-War Tradition

The claims of Catholic pacifists notwithstanding, the just-war tradition is the normative way of thinking about the challenges of war and peace within a classic Catholic understanding of international relations. It has been since it was first given a basic, systematic articulation by St. Augustine, and it remains so today. Yet for all that historical longevity, the just-war way of thinking is often misunderstood as a kind of policy quiz, when in fact it is something quite different. Moreover, the just-war tradition has evolved to include a “peace imperative” that is too often neglected.

In its classic form, the just-war tradition’s mode of analysis involves two categories of moral criteria for thinking through the relationship of military action to the ends of peace, freedom, and justice.

The first is called the ius ad bellum, or “war-decision” criteria. Any just military action must be authorized by a competent authority, for a just cause, with a right intention. Military action must be a proportionate response to the grievance it is intended to remedy; it must have a reasonable chance of succeeding in restoring the peace of order; and other means of redressing a legitimate grievance should have proven unavailing.

The second set of just-war criteria is called the ius in bello: the “war-conduct” or “war-fighting” criteria. The war-conduct criterion of proportionality teaches that no more force than is necessary should be used to achieve a legitimate political and military end. The war-conduct criterion of discrimination insists on non-combatant immunity: there can be no deliberate targeting of civilians or civilian infrastructure in just war-fighting.

In addition to these classic criteria, the intellectual trajectory of just-war thinking points to what I began calling thirty-five years ago a ius ad pacem: a commitment to conducting a just war in such a way that a just peace is its result. Victory, in short, is the proximate end of a justly-fought war. The reconstitution of the peace of order, which includes freedom and justice within and among societies, is the more comprehensive end.

The temptation to use the war-decision and war-conduct criteria as a kind of check-list for policymakers has often proven irresistible. Succumbing to it tends to reduce the just-war way of thinking to a simple algebraic equation, however, when it is in fact something more richly-textured and therefore more useful. As I understand it, the just-war tradition is an intellectual framework for collaborative reflection among three principal interlocutors: public officials with the responsibility of providing for national security while enhancing international order; military leaders, whose responsibilities to provide counsel extend to strategy (ius ad bellum) as well as tactics (ius in bello); and ethicists. In the dialogue among these parties, it should be understood that the just-war criteria do not always yield simple, syllogistic answers: there can be no logical certainty, for example, about a given war’s “reasonable chance of success.” What this collaborative reflection can yield, however, is a measure of clarity about where the red lines in a given situation are, and how the inevitable grey areas in the proportionate and discriminate use of armed force for proper ends are to be handled. In all such collaborative reflection, and in the decision-making that follows, the operative cardinal virtue is prudence, which means fitting appropriate means to good ends. And the exercise of the virtue of prudence is not like solving a quadratic equation.

The complexities of just-war reflection notwithstanding, there are wartime situations, however, in which a straightforward application of the classic criteria do yield an unambiguously negative answer to the question, Is this war a just use of military force? The Japanese war in China in the 1930s was one. So was the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The Russian war on Ukraine is clearly another.

Vladimir Putin is, by any reasonable standard, an autocrat who, despite a veneer of constitutionalism, is unaccountable to a legislature, a judicial authority, or the public. As he said on February 20, he is motivated by the imperial ambition of restoring to Russian control a people who have no claim to sovereign nationhood, but who are in fact “little Russians” properly located within the Russkiy mir, the Russian world: a world that Putin deems himself to have both a national and, in some senses, religious obligation to restore after its dissolution in 1991. Putin may well have thought that his forces would easily conquer the “non-nation” of Ukraine, but that expectation has been thoroughly falsified by events – and by the remarkable courage and skill of the Ukrainian army, Ukraine’s volunteer territorial defense forces, and brave civilians. His war-aim – the obliteration of a sovereign state – was hardly “proportionate,” and both his illegal seizure of Crimea in 2014 and the eight-year long low-grade war Putin facilitated in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine makes clear that he had no intention of trying to resolve by negotiation whatever grievances he may have believed to have existed between Russia and Ukraine.

The conduct of the war by the forces under his command has been barbaric, including (by his own foreign minister’s admission) the targeting of civilian facilities like a maternity hospital. His blitzkrieg against the Ukrainian military having failed, President Putin seems determined on a campaign of unrestrained attack on civilians as his method of war-fighting; and according to Russian military doctrine, such a campaign could include the use of tactical nuclear weapons in support of conventional forces.

As for the ius ad pacem, a Ukraine subjugated to Russia against the will of the Ukrainian people (including the great majority of the Russian-speaking Ukrainian people) cannot qualify as a just peace.

No Realpolitik gnattering about Russian “encirclement” by NATO (an alliance of now largely-pacifist countries formed, not to threaten Russia, but to deter and defend against Russian aggression) can alter the moral fact that a simple just-war analysis of Putin’s war on Ukraine brings into sharp relief: his is an unjust war. And no Catholic who understands the Catholic way of thinking about world affairs can possibly make credible excuses for such brutal aggression. As for Ukraine, its is a war of legitimate self-defense, which for two and a half weeks has been conducted proportionately and discriminately, in stark contrast to the war being fought by Russian forces.

Just-War Thinking and Policy Creativity

If the just-war way of thinking aims at both defending the right when the right has been violated and fostering serous policy reflection on post-war peacemaking, what might the tradition say about the use of economic sanctions against an aggressor?

It seems to me that it would suggest deploying at least some of the results of economic sanctions in ways that support legitimate defense and create conditions for the possibility of a just peace.

In a recent Washington Post article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ 2022/03/03/seize-dont-just-freeze-putins-billions/), Michael Doyle, Dorotha Koehn, and Janine Prantle made a legal case for not only freezing the foreign-held assets of Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs who help empower him, but seizing those assets – and then using them to provide humanitarian aid within Ukraine, to the almost two million refugees who have fled the country, and to the nations sheltering those refugees.

The sums involved here, it should be noted, are colossal. Reputable scholars variously estimate Putin’s personal wealth as being between $100 billion and $200 billion, much of which is held “offshore” and therefore liable to seizure. Then there is the vast wealth held outside Russia by its oligarchs, which the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated five years ago as being on the order of $800 billion.

The just-war way of thinking, in my view, would endorse such an asset-seizure, but would broaden the uses to which these extraordinary sums would be put, so that their seizure serves the ends of both a just war and a just peace.

In addition to providing humanitarian aid to refugees and the countries supporting them for as long as the war continues, seized assets would be used to purchase needed military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces. Then, after the war, these assets would be used for three purposes: to rebuild the civilian and economic infrastructure that Russia has destroyed in Ukraine (now estimated to cost at least $100 billion); to provide compensation to the families of Ukrainian soldiers killed or severely wounded in the defense of their country; and to indemnify Russian families whose sons were killed in Putin’s war of aggression (more than 10,000, at last estimate). Making these plans known in Russia through social media, the Internet, and radio broadcasting would be an additional tool in the war for the global information space that Russia now fills with lies and propaganda – and would demonstrate that the West is committed to a just peace in eastern Europe.

There is much more to the just war tradition than logic-chopping. When all concerned grasp that, real policy creativity is possible.


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About George Weigel 393 Articles
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (1999), The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (2010), and The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform. His most recent books are The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission (2020), and Not Forgotten: Elegies for, and Reminiscences of, a Diverse Cast of Characters, Most of Them Admirable (Ignatius, 2021).

64 Comments

  1. George Weigel suggest an effective, limited, external rather than direct military intervention into Ukraine as a just war policy. A wise decision.
    Whereas,”Both his illegal seizure of Crimea in 2014 and the low-grade war Putin facilitated in the Donbas, eastern Ukraine, makes clear that he had no intention of trying to resolve by negotiation” (Weigel). That’s not a factual statement, rather a personal value judgment that refuses the possible reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia. An extremely vital condition for peace.

  2. Additionally, a US, Nato oriented defeat of Russia in Ukraine absent of a negotiated bilateral agreement is virtually equal to inciting nuclear conflict as is a direct military incursion by the West into Ukraine.

  3. I would submit that the criterion of jus ad bellum pertains not only to the decision as to whether a war itself is just, but also to the particular acts of war which of themselves are capable of producing the effect of finally pacifying the aggressor.

    These acts share the same end as that of war itself, which is peace – they are different in kind from acts ordered to the acquisition of military advantage on the battlefield, which acts appeal to jus in bello.

  4. From Donum Vitae “God alone is the Master of life from its beginning until its end; no one under any circumstances can claim for himself the right to destroy directly an innocent human life.”

    Abortion is an act of violence upon the innocent, but even today as Christians, do we not still condone violence? As the term ‘Just War’(Theory) continually shatters the reality of this teaching given by the Church.

    The teaching by the church on a Just War is nothing more than a minefield with regards to its application of justified murder. Can there be anything more perverse than giving the Holy Eucharist to opposing Christian soldiers just before going into battle against each other?

    Prior to Luke 22:36, we have Luke 22:35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out without purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing, they answered”
    So, from now on we see the divide between the true believer/follower who trusts in God alone whereas those who rely on possessions need to protect them, as in

    Luke22;36 “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one” and since the time of Christ, we see the continual escalation of violence.

    But of course, society at large must be governed by the rule of law and we need a police force to enact it, etc. But the use of Violence-‘an act of physical force that causes or is intended to cause harm’ was condemned by Christ when Peter struck the High Priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear He said, “Put away your sword,” Jesus then told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword”(Violence)

    Before writing the poem below my initial thought prompting me to write it was, can anyone imagine Jesus Christ carrying a gun, never mind using one, dropping a bomb on civilians/soldiers from an aircraft, or sticking a bayonet into anyone, etc? I think not, as we see His disarming action when we approach Him on The Cross and when/if this disarming action is encountered in a real-life situation, it confronts our own values and for a Christian, it should induce humility.

    “Attach bayonets! courage and glory are the cry, do or die
    First over the Parapet
    John leads the Ferocious attack
    While opposing Hans reciprocates the advance to the death dance
    In crater of mud both stood
    Eye met eye one must die
    But who would hold true to the Christian creed they both knew?
    ‘To be’ the sign of the Cross,
    To ‘give’ without counting the cost
    Abandon bayonet, bowed head, bending knee, faith/love the other did see
    Worldly values gone the other in humility now holding the same song/pray.~

    Two quotes from another poster on another site, in italics.
    “But it (Violence)must sometimes be used in self-defence” I am sure that we all would respond and defend a loved one or vulnerable person if they were been attacked and attempt to restrain the attacker within the confines of the law and violence could occur but it would not be premeditated. In English law, if a burglar entered your house and in attempting to restrain him, you killed him, you would not be guilty of murder but if you had kept a machete under the bed to use in the possibility of an attempted break-in and you killed the intruder with it, you would be prosecuted for murder as the occurrence would be premeditated. So yes, our intent is the key.~

    “According to you we must let Hitler get away with his plan since we cannot fight back”

    Jesus tells us that His Kingdom (Values) is not of this world. We are not to be alarmed by wars or rumours of them. And by implication partake in them. Terms such as collateral damage (definition: 1. during a war, the unintentional deaths and injuries of people who are not soldiers.) Are just a cover to justify the premeditated ‘ever-increasing violence of war.

    I personally believe that as Christians we cannot fight back with the weapons of the world for to do so is to contribute to the never-ending ‘increasing’ cycles of injustice within war, leading us further into the “Signs of the End of the Age” see Matt 24:1-28 but we can fight back with His teachings on love/truth/justice that are found within the Gospels when we also recognize/embrace the reality of The Cross (The Way the Truth and the life)

    Quote from another poster on this site “After nearly 2,000 chaotic, planet-destroying years of going our own way (always ‘In His Name’, of course!) isn’t it time, at last, for us to follow Jesus in truth?’

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

      • Thank you Catherine for you friendly comment, may you also have a peaceful lent and a jolly St Patrick’s day (If you celebrate it)
        kevin your brother
        In Christ

    • Addendum to my post above
      A previous posters comment to my post above “Not giving Holy Eucharist, a Viaticum, to Christian soldiers, would be more perverse”

      Perverse- definition is – turned away from what is right or good; Corrupt.

      Here are some similar responses to yours in italics given under another article with my responses which demonstrate Perversion definition- alter (something) from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended:

      “Is the individual on either side to be denied salvation?

      Salvation comes from serving a lively conscience, reception of the Holy Eucharist should enliven it, as Christians, we serve God first.

      “Only God reads the individual’s hearts. So yes, combatants on either side should be given Communion and the Sacraments”

      By giving the Holy Eucharist to a combatant on both sides just before going into battle is to deaden that man’s conscience in relation to the teachings of Jesus Christ the King of Peace, Love, and Justice.

      “Soldiers are not always able to discern what it is exactly all about”

      Knowing and giving the Holy Eucharist by the ordained ministry is to collude with that ignorance by condoning it, in effect, they are propagating the violence of War between Christians. You may not see this as being perverse, I do.

      “There are many complexities to war. So, the individual combatant is not always aware nor capable of discerning what is actually happening”

      Yes as many complexities (Crimes of violence) are associated with war while combatants and military personal often say ” We were just following orders” But our Christian faith demands more of us, as our consciences must serve justice.

      “We are not pacifists as other sects are”

      The first recorded conscientious objector was Maximilianus, conscripted into the Roman Army in the year 295, but “told the Proconsul in Numidia that because of his religious convictions he could not serve in the military”. He was executed for this and was later canonized as Saint Maximilian.

      We all walk in our fallen nature, nevertheless, I am sure that throughout the ages many Christians have gone into battle on both sides thinking that they are doing God’s will aided and abetted by a worldly hierarchical church.

      So “Can there be anything more perverse/corrupting than giving the Holy Eucharist to opposing Christian soldiers ‘just before’ going into battle against each other?”

      I think not, to think otherwise is to hold the teachings of the crucified Christ in contempt.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

  5. “Seized assets” should be synonymous with “stolen assets.” But that aside, we can hope that Russia completes its occupation as quickly as possible, and I would hope that Christians would be anxious for this to occur. Notably President Zelensky has been pushing for negotiations with Russia, to end Russia’s Just War, but has been stymied by American establishment pressure for the war to drag on. One hopes that this is not true.

    • It seems to be a peculiar yet predictable part of Mr. Weigel’s rhetoric, a sort of virtue-signaling, to resort to bizarre red herrings.

      If I am somehow mistaken I will be happy to hear of it and apologize for criticizing Mr. Weigel, but despite having read a number of opinions from Christian and Catholic thought leaders, I am unaware of any specific Catholic thought leader suggesting that Putin is waging a “just war” according to Catholic Just War criteria. And beyond the Catholic world, I am unaware of any person asserting the “realist” viewpoint (i.e., along the lines of Mearsheimer) suggesting that Putin’s war is somehow just.

      And if it is correct that there are no examples of Catholic or Realist thought leaders declaring that Putin’s war on Ukraine (which I consider an atrocity) is “just,” then why on earth is Mr. Weigel serving up these red herrings in his essay? Does he feel like he must conjure up some non-existing boogeyman in order to somehow magnify and/or justify the point he is trying to make?

      This just seems like a lame way to enter into an excruciatingly difficult and heartbreaking topic like the Russian War against Ukraine.

      Mr. Weigel would serve public discussion better to call out specifics rather than asserting seemingly unfounded narratives, which if unfounded simply undermine his own standing as a commentator.

      Why are there no quotes from thought leaders giving evidence of what Mr. Weigel is suggesting? Narratives are a dime-a-dozen, and without facts, they may well indicate an unspoken agenda.

      If there are no facts to back up these suggestions by Mr. Weigel, then he is failing at doing what is right, which is getting to the truth of things, and pursuing justice, prudently.

    • When a worldwide group of highly organized people wickedly silence all opposition, steal elections, and then proceed to create crisis after crisis in order to weaken a nation economically…that is war. When they use propaganda to destroy nationalism, justice, and established norms…that is war. When they insert a New World Order and an accompanying power structure called the great reset…that is a cause for just war. Just because they use subterfuge, propaganda, and lies as their weapons don’t make them any less evil OR effective. Will we wake up before it is too late? Putin has.

    • Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine violates Just War Principles snd is un-Christian. Your god Putin whom you worship in place of Christ okayed the use of vacuum bombs and cluster munitions against civilians, and the bombing of children’s hospitals. You are either a deeply deluded man or a troll neither of which qualifies as Christian

      • Johann,
        In opposing the American Establishment’s attempt at increasing hegemony in Eastern Europe, and weaponizing the Ukraine, Putin is engaging in a just war.
        Of course, the conduct of war, and the justifications for war, are two different things. America’s war against Japan in the 1940s was just. Its conduct in deliberately incinerating Japanese civilians, might not have been. Did bombing Nagasaki bring that war to a swifter resolution? Yes, but then Russian use of vacuum bombs may act to do the same thing.
        Finally, if you want to look for someone who has replaced Christ with an idol… perhaps you should start by looking in the mirror. You should stop calling yourself a Christian until you sort yourself out.

        • Absent a threat to international peace, or a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression on the part of Ukraine, Putin’s war is a war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter and of customary international law.

          The contrary is not arguable.

          • Trying to bring the Ukraine into NATO was a threat to international peace. No amount of obfuscation will change this.
            As a total aside, for me the UN Charter is absolutely zero weight.

        • Hegemony is a candidate for the most infantile word and concept ever indulged. The degenerate Putin has no just basis in the least for pursuing a land grab simply because independent nations desired to receive aid from the West to build up sufficient military support were he to ever pursue his demonic ambitions at some future time. How demonic for anyone to call his carnage in any way “just.”

          • Opposing the American Establishment’s hegemonic drive is in no way demonic, nor unjust. Quite the opposite.

          • Ignore Robert, he is clearly s brainwashed Oikophobe who worships Putin, and took it onto himself to lie and deceive others (and himself) by spreading pro-Putin propaganda.

          • Monsieur Du Toit,

            Very very funny. Oikophobia is actually what the American Establishment is promulgating as its very legitimating ideology. Explicitly. Look around. It attacks blood and soil on principle. And it DEMANDS this oikophobia’s spread (and why Russia is in the doghouse). No blood and soil. No established Church. No traditio (at least no European Christian traditio) as a matter of course.
            Propaganda? That’s what you want to use as a fig leaf? Really???
            Yes, go ahead and ignore, but everyone may eventually have to evaluate the two positions:
            I posit: The “West” has been hijacked. And the hijackers propose that the hijacking spread. Mr. Putin, thanks be to God, has demurred.
            Mr. Du Toit posits: The West has not been hijacked. It is the virtuous.
            Thus, its enemies are the enemies of Christ. God speed Washington D.C.

            One must make up one’s mind.

  6. The Lord knows the outcome of this conflict. Informed parties may or may not be correct in their assessment.
    Strength, resolve and unity can push Putin back, however he should not feel he is cornered.

    Nukes concern everyone. Conquering, yet, having desolation at the end of the day is short sighted. Particles blow back and affect the aggressor as well. Tyrants are as merciless with their own people as they are against others. Megalomania is not reasonable nor is it satiated.

    David would ask of the Lord whether or not to go into battle. If we join Ukraine in their struggle, prayer warriors are much needed to show the way.

    We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and we pray for peace in Ukraine.

    Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

    Romans 13:4 For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

    Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

    Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

    Prayers for Peace.

  7. As an armchair analyst every bit as unqualified as many other commentators, this spectator is inclined to look for an historical precedent to Ukraine…
    Is it the complex entanglements of Sarajevo in 1914? Or, maybe the relative simplicity of the Sudetenland in 1938? Or, heroic Poland for three weeks in 1939?

    Or, maybe the closest comparison is the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the aggressor Khrushchev was given a way to back out—partly by the United States agreeing to remove its own missiles from Turkey.

    So, does that successful standoff-plus-diplomacy in 1962 apply somewhat to Ukraine today? Oh, wait, what? Ukraine already (!) transferred its last nuclear warhead to Russia in 1996, and dismantled its last strategic delivery vehicle in 2001. Thirteen years before Crimea…So, I guess now all that the citizens of Ukraine have left to hand over to the Pharaoh is real estate and civilian lives.

    Well, the biblical Pharaoh had every reason to feel threatened by the Hebrews: ”Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies [NATO?], fight against us and leave the country” (Exodus 1:10).

    Something to think about, for Catholic thinkers inclined to become literalist Fundamentalists in quoting other scriptural passages as if to solve a convoluted and now barbaric evil. The Hebrews had every reason to leave Egypt, and Ukraine and every other captive nation already left the Soviet Union in 1991.

    • God has blessed you and in turn you bless others with your perspective.

      To solve what appear to be insurmountable problems, should we not turn to the one who created us and wants us to have peace in our hearts. His wisdom is unassailable, He is a light to our paths.

      We find sound general principles within scripture and we also find answers to our specific needs.

      Thank you and continued blessing.

  8. Where to start? Mr. Weigel says that the just war way of thinking would endorse the United States seizing Russian assets. But, we are not at war with Russia. You can’t use just war principles to justify actions if you are not at war. Is Mr. Weigel proposing that we be at war with Russia? I would hope not.
    Russia is the Goliath in this war, but I don’t see Ukraine as St. David. An internet search of “Ukraine corruption” gives many examples so I won’t list them here.
    The suffering of the people of Ukraine is terrible, but president Zelinsky keeps saying how he is arming civilians with rifles and molotov cocktails. This being the case, the distinction between the military and civilian non-combatants is lost.
    Finally, Kevin Walters should just say that he does not accept the Church’s just war teaching and leave it at that. His statement, which he has used before, that keeping a weapon in your home for protection would be pre-meditated murder if you had to use it on an intruder is…ridiculous. I’m sorry, I don’t know how else to put it.

    • Thank you, Crusader, for your comment keeping a weapon in your home for protection would be pre-meditated murder if you had to use it on an intruder is…ridiculous.

      In the relative paragraph I was trying to demonstrate intent behind the actionas in the use of a machete hidden under the bed which demonstrates premeditated ‘intent’. The USA permits her citizens to bear arms, for self-defence I assume, as in a measured response (Within the confines of the law) within the USA.

      Please understand I was stating what English law states; as it looks at the ‘intent’ behind the ‘action’ which forms the basics of all just judgements no matter where you reside. So, it is all about the legality as an example in the UK the holding a licenced weapon, as in a Shotgun licenced for killing vermin which under unforeseen circumstances might (Not premeditatedly) be used to commit a violent act (Kill someone) against an intruder say. If the Courts in England judged that you purchased the shotgun for self-protection (Not for killing vermin) or had used undue force in relation to the crime that was committed, in law you would be charged with murder or manslaughter. Manslaughter- The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice”

      “Kevin Walters should just say that he does not accept the Church’s just war teaching and leave it at that”

      I can only respond by saying will you Crusader, personal remain silent to the question below as it confronts the reality/intent (Collusion with the Prince of this world) of the Church’s just war teaching or will just run away and hide like a hireling’ with so many others

      “Can there be anything more perverse than giving the Holy Eucharist to opposing Christian soldiers just before going into battle against each other?

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

    • Although the US is not at war with Russia, the seizure of Russian assets can be justified on grounds of public interest, in so far as a war of aggression violates customary international law erga omnes.

  9. Has anyone thought about producing an updated “Catholic Tradition of the Law of Nations” or perhaps “The Catholic Tradition of Public International Law”?

  10. A well thought out and presented commentary on a very complex issue. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and be willing to be wrong as we wrestle with our consciences. Mind and heart must come into congruence. We must be humble and forgiving and willing and able to put others first. The aggressor is wrong, but we must long for his salvation rather than his annihilation. Love rather than hate. Killing is a last resort but should never be enjoyed. All life is precious. May God help us all.

  11. Since Kevin Walters asked for my response to his last sentence I will give it. First, since I referred to his premeditated murder example as ridiculous, I will take no offense at his referring to me as a hireling. I find it somewhat amusing.
    As to his question, yes I do find something more perverse, and that is giving the Holy Eucharist to politicians who vote for, and promote the killing of the unborn.

    • A good response Crusader and yes, it certainly is perverse to give the Holy Eucharist to politicians (and others) who vote for, and promote the killing of the unborn. While you state that it is ‘more’ perverse than giving the Holy Eucharist to opposing Christian soldiers just before going into battle against each other, so can I take it as a given that you see this action as being perverse also?

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

    • I wouldn’t give much consideration to anything Walters posts on this site. Just self-absorbed attention seeking most of the time. Pay it no mind.

  12. In George Weigel’s universe, the principal actors who get to apply to the just war doctrine to particular conflicts are politicians and bureaucrats (like Joe Biden, Anthony Blinken and Victoria Nuland), the military brass (like Generaly Milley) and ethicists (like George). Ordinary people really have no say. Also, intellectuals like Mr. Weigel arrogate to themselves the right to decide who qualifies as a public official or an ethicist. Congress and other public figures really don’t have much standing. Popes, like John Paul II, who condemned both wars against Iraq don’t really count for much either.

    • The principal actors to whom it falls to apply just war doctrine are those who bear legitimate authority to wage war. But this is, within the United Nations system, subject to the supervision of the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter.

      Once the Security Council had decided to rake enforcement action against Iraq on account of its aggressive war of conquest against Kuwait, Pope John Paul II had no authority to condemn the enforcement action as unjust.

      • Petek your construct does not allow that JPII took all that into account at the time and arrived at a different conclusion which was the right one. I suspect you have not considered all the just war headings circumspectly

        • In order for Pope John Paul II to have been correct, he would first have to have determined that the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and its annexation was not an act of aggression.

          The UNSC Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and for determining the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.

          The Church has no authority to set aside its determination save in judicial review, on the grounds that the facts do not support engagement of Chapter VII. In my country (the UK) applications for judicial review on what are known as Wednesbury grounds seldom succeed.

          • I think you’re not applying just war principles. They aren’t merely to do with legal frameworks. They include the demand not produce worse evils, among other demands.

            JPII was both 1. right in his assessment and 2. prophetic.

            One of the definitions in US law of treason, is, levying war against the States (of the USA). There doesn’t have to be a defined enemy for this nor any actual engagement or formal declaration of war.

            Today the USA has to be very careful about Zelensky, who is a war monger and charlatan. He should have been rejected, in the first place.

            In addition, US officials should not be acting punitively on Russia. The Russian containment of belligerent -murderous- Ukrainians and Ukraine mercenaries, neo-Nazis, Azovs, Maidan radicals, Banderas, etc.; is NOT some kind of Russia attack on the USA or Europe or the free world.

            Helping those groups can tip Europe into a re-ignited nationalism.

            Instead the USA is obliged to help expose their networks inside Ukraine and the international connections as well.

            Excluding Russia from INTERPOL is only giving them present and future advantages. Also, when Lindsey Graham calls for assassination and take-down by any means, he is aligning himself with those groups and offering himself as an international outlaw ringleader figure.

            Finally, in respect of the issue of aiding and abetting Ukraine belligerents, I understand that Russia has certification on Soviet weapons abroad that limit by agreement and international law, how those weapons can be used.

            The FRANCE 24 article is February 2022.

            The YOUTUBE link is a 3-minute news clip from TRT (TURKISH RADIO) NEWS “31 years since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait” – reviewing what happened. The discussion is made by peers at the London School of Economics.

            The WIKIPEDIA link is Stepan Bandera.

            https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220209-un-panel-wraps-up-after-iraq-pays-52-4-bn-for-kuwait-invasion

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk-581aQnjc

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera

          • Replying to Elias Galy: Since peace is the supreme international good and aggressive war is the supreme temporal evil and international crime, there is by definition no equal or greater temporal evil or disorder.

            Given the fact that Iraq had invaded Kuwait and extinguished its political existence by the annexation of its territory, for Pope John Paul II to be right in his assessment of the Iraq wars, he had first to determine that Kuwait was not lawfully independent of Iraq, but was an integral part of its territory. If so, then the invasion was not internationally wrongful let alone an act of aggression.

            If Kuwait was lawfully an independent state, then Iraq’s invasion was an act of aggression, and no one is entitled on the facts of the case to determine that it was not.

            It is in any event beyond the jurisdiction of the Pope for him to rule on questions of the political independence of any state.

          • Petek, very confident rejoinder, I’d say; BUT, the actual outcome proves JPII’s case and it’s incontrovertible, irrevocably and for all time; AND the proof still is in process today.

            During the Obama years Tom Donilon was making the case publicly for The Iron Law of History, which is the way of crippling nations and regions in order to dominate the scene. This is unjust in itself, because reasoning is removed and reality is ignored or manipulated.

            There’s another issue never popularly addressed, that history will determine eventually, which is, that the Kuwaiti regime should have been overthrown; and Saddam Hussein was able to do it non-aggressively with minimum effort and violence. In which case the US then stepped in wrongfully; and on top of it made a mess of it all, that the US is having to struggle with continuously up to the present.

            In effect, what is absent is the real story, that the USA failed to defend and cultivate a healthy regional system that would have been a benefit to the international order and a discipline upon nations.

            I do not say these things with glee. I look to the USA with respect and admiration and the things I am describing are a source of disappointment. One good Administration can easily be undone by the one succeeding it. In the case of the Middle East, successive Administrations, Republican and Democrat, have perpetuated unjustifiable policies.

          • Replying to Elias Galy: The whole of your most recent posting is both fanciful and misconceived.

            In customary international law governing the use of armed force in international relations (and which was the legal basis for the trial of the leaders of Germany and Japan for crimes against peace), the first use of armed force, against a state which is not shown to be threatening international peace or to have committed a breach of the peace or act of aggression, is itself prima facie an act of aggression. The deliberate use of force for the complete conquest of a state is the gravest degree of aggression.

            Within the United Nations system, it is for the Security Council to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, and to identify the State which is responsible for it. Where it makes that determination on facts which reasonably support it, it acts within the powers God has committed to the civil authorities, and no court, and not the Church, has any jurisdiction to challenge it.

          • Petek, events have bourne it out that peace was never achieved; and when it eventually comes the injury will have been unjustifiable.

            With respect, you’re being circular. You change premises, in arguing, as in, now it’s “peace is supreme”, now it’s “international convention bars unprovoked invasion”, etc. When you jump among your premises like that, it means we are back at the beginning of the discussion.

            Also you do not cite your text. If you are referring to the UN Definition of Aggression adopted in 1974, see the link, some other things have to enter:

            1. it’s not meant as an absolute, but as a framework

            2. long-standing convention can supersede

            3. it has an historical context which conditions it

            4. it can be revised, or, dropped, or, determined as not applicable or advisable in a particular instant

            5. all situations are subject to moral law and even more basic laws

            6. missing facts can vitiate a decision on the Definition -same for suppression of facts

            7. JPII is free to make his position known as Pope.

            What this would mean is that the cited text can be shown to be either faulty, or out of step, or misapplied, or some combination.

            The subsequent absolute destruction of Iraq, indicates that something more is needed beyond that Definition. But it also reveals inhumane over-step of American force.

            In terms of historical transparency, the case against Kuwait has to be studied; so that one can’t just invoke a UN Definition and oust the inquiry by the historian and the invigilation of history.

            https://legal.un.org/avl/ha/da/da.html

          • Replying to Elias Galy: I’m not referring to the Consensus Definition of Aggression, though it is helpful, but to Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and to the equivalent rules (peremptory norms) of customary international law that pre-dated the Second World War.

            The best definition of situations which engage Chapter VII and the conditions for the justified use of armed force are as follows.

            (1) “The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain”.

            Damage” means that there must be an internationally wrongful act, a violation of an international obligation binding on the State.

            “Grave” means that the violation must be so serious as to amount to a threat to the peace, in that the use of force to redress it would not be wholly unreasonable, even if it were unlawful. The internationally wrongful use of armed force is graver than a threat to the peace, and it is called a breach of the peace. The gravest of all is an act of aggression – this gives rise to criminal liability and occurs where armed force is directed against the territorial integrity or political independence of another State (territorial conquest), or is inconsistent with the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security.

            “Lasting” means that the grave violation must have a continuing character, either alone or in combination with the failure of the aggressor to implement the legal consequences of the injury.

            “Certain” means that the competent authority must be certain so as to be sure of the above matters on the facts and in law.

            (2) “all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective”; and (3) “there must be serious prospects of success”.

            There is no obligation to extend the deadline for (2) beyond the point at which serious prospects of success begin to deteriorate, as long as the aggressor has been given ample time to reverse his wrongful act and to comply with Security Council resolutions.

            (4) “The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

            The correct application of this principle is that the use of arms by the injured State and its allies must not itself be a breach of the peace in response to a mere threat to the peace, and must never be an act of aggression, which is the gravest of all temporal evils.

            (5) “The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”

            It for the State, not the Church, to apply these principles – the Church can intervene only in judicial review, and then only if a determination in favour of the use of armed force is not open to a reasonable person acting reasonably and in good faith.

          • Petek, I express my appreciation for your patience in expounding your position and working through my replies.

            Your citations do not change or diminish anything I said; rather, 1. the same analysis applies to them and 2. the basic sense of my analysis is amplified.

            You mention norms that “pre-dated the Second World War” without identifying them. From what I know of all of these, what I am saying still would take precedence.

            The fact that you can not be convinced after the events, which prove the defense of Kuwait to have been wrong, means that you will always have a block in understanding international relations even prior to any crisis. In cases like yours, crisis will add to erroneous results.

            International convention and law, etc., is, in jurisprudence, an area for prudential judgment. All your citations and Article 2 (4) come in for discretionary application. You didn’t cite the Charter’s Article 51; but this too is subject to prudential management.

            Some call it deliberation, some say disputation, some say unsettled. These vocabularies are incomplete. It is prudential.

            International relations is the classic area for ex post facto law, where, upon the sound assessment of what has happened being met, what is then applied is not necessarily a pre-existing code or set of coda, but also includes remedial law which can include normalization.

            A hint can be found in Article 51 – in the Kuwait invasion, the act was complete, there was no further threat to anything let alone collective security, nor was there anything of substance to be achieved beyond Kuwait surrendering, as it was bound to do.

            Capitulation and submission by Kuwait was the collective security.

            In other words nothing at the time obliged the defense of Kuwait.

            Prior to the First World War convention was an array of diverse things – all of which brings us back to what I am saying.

            The one convention that pre-dates WWI and is very long-standing and preeminently rooted in history, is the jurisdiction and seniority of the Holy See, in these arenas and questions.

            You seem to be determined to exclude the Holy See and substitute “judicial review”. I do not accept that you can exclude the Holy See.

            Moreover, with JPII it happens we have a very sound Pope proved to have been prophetic. It is reckless and insupportable to say he has no weight or bearing.

            Judicial review is a concept in law to do with public law/governmental administration. Whereas the ICC and the ICJ have some conventional status but it is not universal.

            You write clearly but you omit mention a lot and it slows down everything and suggests a distrust of transparency and a lack of prudence. Your precision with definitions is unhelpful.

            The Kuwait question remains outstanding and is VERY COMPELLING. When issues to do with Kuwait finally come to the fore, it will have a major bearing on the perspectives and why the current affairs were treated in such a mangled fashion.

      • Of course, the UN – after duly consulting the works of Augustine and Aquinas- is the ultimate authority on deciding on when war is justified. Thanks for the clarification, Mike! Perhaps, when it comes to the USA, you would at least consider requiring that Congress debate and formally declare war. I think that can be found in the Constitution. It might actually force a little deliberation. Or do you think it should be exclusively the prerogative of the Executive Branch?

        • I live in the UK, so I’m not as familiar as you are with the detail of how your Constitution works.

          Your post raises some interesting points about how international law and domestic law interact.

          When the US Congress declares war, I would expect that the effect of that declaration is conclusively to establish the status of enemy states and enemy persons under domestic US law, and it has consequences for the application of the law of treason.

          I would expect that, absent a Congressional declaration of war, it is left to the courts to decide on the facts before them whether the US is at war or not.

          When the executive branch decides how the US is to cast its vote at the United Nations, then that has consequences within the international
          forum. That is a matter for the executive branch as it falls within the sphere of the foreign relations of the US.

  13. Absent from Mr. Weigel’s piece is any discussion on how to end the current slaughter as soon as possible. The conduct of the Biden Administration and other “Leaders of the Free World” has been thoroughly deplorable in that regard. The Kremlin has outlined the terms that could at least serve as a starting point for negotiations: A firm promise that Ukraine will not join NATO, a commitment that it will remain neutral and reversion of Donbas to Russian control.

    Biden has already made it clear that the US will not intervene militarily in the war. He has also vetoed sending warplanes to the Ukraine. Even with other military aid, Ukraine will not be able to stand up to the full force of the Russian Army in the long run. By encouraging the Ukrainians to fight on indefinitely without seeking a realistic settlement, the US government has a share of the blood of dead Ukrainians on its hands, along with the Russian and Ukrainian governments. Finally, the longer the war goes on, the more severe the terms will be that Russia imposes. The Ukrainian people deserve our sympathy for what they are suffering as a result of Russia’s unjust aggression and our admiration for defending their homeland. The best way to help them now is to make a concerted push for a ceasefire and immediate and serious peace conference.

  14. Strzok, Hill, Vindman and others, not only fought hard “against Trump”, they were “defending a position” difficult to identify and frame. At the core of it seems to be the delay of sending weaponry. Yet, this very process of delivery of weapons would feed into the concept of war crime.

    Tainted relations between the US and Ukraine from the time of Obama down to the time of Zelensky, would be pregnant with blowback for the Democrats and President Biden. Information like that would render “just war” debating and elite vs. ordinary intercourse, facile; and would open up the whole area of treason – a prejudicing of the USA for the sake of undermining a US President in office, Trump.

    It would reveal what Zelensky was up to before he became President.

    Similarly, US Congressmen who potentially turned the Trump impeachment inquiry etc., into abuse of process and abuse of office, would have to answer for their contorted management and application of the intelligence to which they were privy.

    Many of the actors from the Obama wars are still around and active inside the Ukraine fields of action, eg., Nuland is one and CNN Correspondent Clarissa Ward is another. Ward was making ground contacts during the Afghanistan evacuation, shortly before the suicide bombing occurred that killed 13 American servicemen and more than 160 civilians. And she warned that “something might be coming”.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/suicide-bomber-who-killed-us-troops-and-afghans-likely-used-unguarded-route-to-kabul-airport-gate

    https://theintercept.com/2016/06/30/american-journalist-in-rebel-held-syria-reports-barely-dodging-a-missile-strike/

  15. What is “just” about this war?

    Don’t the Ukrainians have the right to defend themselves from the bullies who have invaded their country, killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying property, etc.

    The ONLY way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them. T’is so now and always has been.

        • Engineering a coup d’etat in Kiev in 2013 against a regime friendly to Russia, to install a regime that was hostile–and at least as corrupt and undemocratic as the previous one. Corrupt in a pro-“Western” way of course.
          Indeed, that regime became quite aggressive in suppressing dissent, particularly Russia-friendly dissent–if anyone had been paying attention. The gall of recent commentators to call the Ukraine a democracy, while Russia is an autocracy, beggars belief.
          Committing literal atrocities against the Russian people living in the Eastern Ukraine with separatist sympathies (in borders drawn for the Ukraine by the former Soviet Union for bureaucratic reasons). Again, unreported here. Finally, threatening to join an overtly anti-Russian military alliance. That was the last straw. That’s the explanation.

  16. Elias with respect the Trudeau family tree it is rotten to the core. Hopefully the Canadian people will replace this liberal left wing Prime Minister sooner rather than later. With regards to former U.S. President Donald Trump in an earlier comment you made, to borrow a famous movie line from the former body building actor and Governor of California “I’LL BE BACK.” Trump too will be back for another term. The Holy Hermit of Loretto,Italy, American Tom Zimmer Italy correctly prohesized in 1980 that Mr. Trump would become President of America. Of course that part of the prophecy has already been fulfilled. The second part of the Trump prophecy of 1980 by Trump stated that he would bring America back to God. This too will be fulfilled when Mr. Trump is re-elected President of the United States of America. Zimmer was related to Don Zimmer the former world series third base coach of the World Championship winning team Boston Red Sox. Biden out. Trump back in. Thank God!

  17. Elias with respect the Trudeau family tree it is rotten to the core. Hopefully the Canadian people will replace this liberal left wing Prime Minister sooner rather than later. With regards to former U.S. President Donald Trump in an earlier comment you made, to borrow a famous movie line from the former body building actor and Governor of California “I’LL BE BACK.” Trump too will be back for another term. The Holy Hermit of Loretto,Italy, American Tom Zimmer Italy correctly prohesized in 1980 that Mr. Trump would become President of America. Of course that part of the prophecy has already been fulfilled. The second part of the Trump prophecy of 1980 by Trump stated that he would bring America back to God. This too will be fulfilled when Mr. Trump is re-elected President of the United States of America. Zimmer was related to Don Zimmer the third base coach of the World Championship winning team Boston Red Sox. Biden out. Thank God!

    • I have read that article but find the phenomena very disturbing as I have encountered it everywhere on the Internet: for some posters, they no longer find the MSM trustworthy and praise the pro-Putin narrative as ‘objective’. Who is left to work for -or stand for -a West that remembers the best of itself? In the meantime, and contrary to some earlier media narratives, Putin is gaining in support and popularity at home; wonder about the enigmatic ‘z’ symbol that is being exhibited everywhere from tanks to T shirts and which seems to stand for a ‘new ideology’ that goes with a raised fist. I am reminded of something I read about the ‘latter days’: “the rate of contraction will approach the speed of light.”

  18. George “the Iraq War is a just war” Weigel should sit out any discussion about just war theory. George derives his theology from his neo-con politics. It’s disgusting that CWR gives him a platform.

  19. Here, in perhaps a grossly overly simplified way, is what Vigano said. Sounds true to me. Perhaps that’s why George Weigel the deep state court sophist hates it:

    The entire conflict is a trap designed by the global Deep State to purposefully provoke a war.

    The West knows expanding NATO upsets Russia but is doing it anyway, despite previously saying it wouldn’t.

    NATO and various other countries are illegally pouring ammunitions into Ukraine, thereby violating international law. This is making Ukraine a tinderbox ready to explode.
    There are many economic factors at play in Ukraine — gas pipelines, biolabs, technologies, etc. — that make it attractive to outside parties.

    President Zelensky is a corrupt individual acting as a puppet of Klaus Schwab and the Great Reset. He is selling out Ukraine to the West and not preventing neo-Nazi forces trained by the US from wreaking havoc on Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

    Joe Biden has been tied to Ukraine since his time as Barack Obama’s Vice President. His son Hunter is connected to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

    There was a Color Revolution in Ukraine backed by George Soros and other Western groups. This has caused great social unrest since taking place in 2013/2014.

    Rhetoric has been ratcheted up in the last several months by Zelensky (and the West) about nuclear and atomic weapons, thereby heightening Putin’s mistrust and prompting him to dissolve the Minsk agreement.

    The media cannot be relied on to report about what’s going on in Ukraine. Their COVID track record is proof they can’t do anything but lie. They are purposefully trying to entice Westerners to support an escalation.

    The US, EU, and NATO promise the Ukrainian people prosperity if they side with them but in reality, they seek to enslave Ukrainian citizens to the same freedom-robbing and culturally depressing policies that have destroyed the now godless West.

    The West needs to return to Christ and seek peaceful relations with Russia so all people can live in harmony. Rome has fallen silent about the true crimes being committed across the world. Perhaps God is going to use Russia as His bulwark against the secular West.

  20. This dialog leaves me, an engineer, a number’s guy, with little guidance on a fast moving event with epic consequences. It is classified, beyond my knowledge, but both Russia and the US possess thousands of thermonuclear bombs. No other nations have this capability. One denotation over a modern city will kill 500,000 people within an hour. If all of them are exploded, some thinkers predict the end of the human race, currently about 8 billion people over a time frame of perhaps a year. Yet Putin hints at their use, “to send a message” That is demonic. The devil does not favor one side over the other; he seeks death and suffering for all humans.
    With modern delivery systems, it is a military conundrum, “Use them or lose them.” Both combatant commanders will be given a few minutes to decide on launch or risk probable defeat by an undamaged enemy. Nuclear war has rendered victory meaningless, except for the dead, an end time concept.

    It is time to pray.

  21. To agree with abortion is to carry the guilt of abortion and I am sure that those that do so, will be held accountable before God, may God have mercy on them. To agree with the dropping of the atomic bomb is to carry the guilt of all of the innocents who perished by those who used it and I believe that they also will be held accountable before God, may God have mercy on them. I believe that the atomic bomb is ‘The Abomination of Desolation. May God have mercy on all of us.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • I correct Kevin on a crucial technical point, not his religious judgment as many may share this misunderstanding.

      An Atomic bomb can be thought of as the match that sets fire to a H bomb, the main charge. Atomic bombs are no longer used by militaries of the super powers, Russia and the US; A bombs do exist in the inventories of lesser powers. In the hell of nuclear war, H bombs are roders of magnitude more destructive, in many ways.

      I share his judgment on the use of both weapons, they are “The Abomination of Desolation. May God have mercy on all of us.

      • Thank you, R.L. Hails Sr., For your correction and informative comment. Also, I am most grateful for your supportive comment “I share his judgment on the use of both weapons, they are “The Abomination of Desolation. May God have mercy on all of us”

        Sincerely
        kevin your brother
        In Christ

        • Read your Bible carefully, if uou have one. And review your history while you’re at it. The atomic bombs were not the Abomination of Desolation, not even close. Good job proof-texting, though.

    • Another predictably ridiculous and self-righteous comment from KW. Par for the course. You should brush up on your history before standing in judgment. Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Second World Wars might be a good place for you to start. Dropping the bombs on Japan was both necessary and just. People who study these issues carefully understand that.

    • Absolutely agree Kevin. Guilt is the ultimate and the all punishment and so it should be. You certainly hit many nails on many heads. May the Lord have mercy on all sinners. God bless Kevin Timothy. I don’t think Jesus would
      ever agree with any violent act, war or not.

      • Thank you once again Hannah for your supportive comment. Yes, guilt can have a profound effect, as in self-punishment but thankfully we all have the opportunity to accept God’s healing mercy.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

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