How Would We Apply These Teachings to the Afghan situation

As the war on terrorism has been declared, there is no doubt that there is a good cause or not whether you are for or against the campaign. The needless loss of 6,000 innocent people can be seen as nothing else than a terrorist attack. Bush and Blair had a difficult job to provide an appropriate response to these attacks. As far as I can see they have tried to obey the 7 points of the just war theory as much as possible.A legitimate authority has declared the war, seeing as George Bush is essentially the most powerful man in the world. The governments of the U.S. and Britain are seen as legitimate authorities. However not everyone agrees, for example the U.N. is opposed to the attacks. Some people might argue that the U.N. is a more powerful authority as it represents the views of many nations and not just two.The cause of this war is the needless deaths of 6,000 people. Some people say that this reason on its own is enough to fulfil this aspect of fighting a just war. There are more reasons apart from this, such as freeing the Afghan people from a harsh and oppressive regime. The fact that the government is harbouring the most wanted man alive so that he doesn’t have to go on trial in the U.S.The intentions of the war are ultimately to establish peace and order in Afghanistan. This is to be done by the destruction of the Taliban and the Al Quaeda terrorist network. This in turn will free millions of oppressed Afghans who the right to life.The war was a last result as all political options had been exhausted. Soon after the incidents of September 11th the U.S. government asked the Taliban to hand over Osama Bin Laden, but all offers were refused. The only condition that the Tailban would agree to hand over Bin Laded on was that he should be tried in a neutral country. The U.S. viewed this as completely unacceptable. Some say that this offer should of been accepted, however the U.S. argue that almost any neutral country chosen was likely to have pro Muslim views, and that it would not be a fair trial.The good that would come as a result of the war would far outweigh the evil that led to it. As a result of the war millions will be freed and given a chance of a much better standard of living, which all human beings have the right to under the Human rights act.The innocent civilians in the country being attacked must not be killed, this essentially means that the weapons used to fight the war must discriminate between innocent people and military targets. Using this rule people say that nuclear weapons can never be used in a just war as it is impossible for them to do this. However nuclear weapons are not being used in this conflict, the main influence of the American attacks has come from the air in the form of guided bombs and missiles. So technically they are abiding by this rule.The force used must be in proportion to the needs of the situation. This rule is1probably the closest to being broken at this moment in time. The aerial bombing has undoubtedly killed more people than died in the World Trade Centre attacks. Also innocent Afghans have died who played no part in the attacks or even harbouring the terrorists.Pacifists say that all violence is wrong and should be condemned, this is because it goes against the Christian idea of love. In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace. At the last supper Jesus was clearly upset by the injury caused to a slave. They will also use bible quotes such as Luke 22:35-53 and Matt. 5:38-45. This means that all pacifists e.g. the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) are against the current campaign in Afghanistan. There is no obvious and easy pacifist solution to the problems in Afghanistan. It has already been demonstrated that the Taliban does not want to hand over Bin Laden on any reasonable terms. So in my view there is no possible way of capturing the worlds most dangerous man without some form of offensive weapons.A Christian view on warfare that can sometimes support war is that of Liberation Theology. Effectively Tony Blair and George Bush are Liberation Theologians, this is because they are allowed to use violence as long as it will lead to thee freeing of the oppressed. Despite the main aim of the war in Afghanistan being to capture the terrorists the downfall of the Taliban government will result in the liberation of millions of Afghan civilians. To support their views liberation theologians will refer to passages like Exodus :7-14, “The Lord went to great lengths to set his people free.” He also sent 9 plagues and killed thousands of Egyptians in the Red Sea. Also Exodus 14:18, “Then the Egyptians will know that I am lord.”If you are justifying a war using Situation Ethics, the question that you have to ask is whether or not it is the loving thing to do. Therefore you have to ask yourself is it the loving thing to do to hunt down and bring to justice those responsible for 6,000 murders. In my view this can only be seen as the right thing to do. However does the situation change when innocent Afghans are getting caught up in it? Most would argue that this changes nothing, as only a few will die from stray bombs, yet millions will be freed, so it is still the loving thing to do.All war goes against many of Jesus teaching in the New Testament. For example; Mark 9:50 “Live in peace with one another”, John 14:17 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you.” Mark 9:50 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God”. And in Isaiah 9:6, the Messiah is described as “Prince of Peace”. There are many more quotes like this in the bible, however it is seen that when God is confronted by a threat such as terrorism he can be very violent, an example of this is the deliverance from Egypt.

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