4) The good end being sought must not be outweighed by the foreseen evil to be done. This is known as the Catholic principle of proportionality, which states that a good end can be rendered unjust to pursue if a judgment is made that the amount of the foreseen evil to be done in the prosecution of a just war will cause greater evils than the one the war is being waged to eradicate. This is different than the heresy of proportionalism (heretics use Catholic sounding phrases so as to connect themselves in the minds of Catholics as understanding Catholic principles), which asserts that a preponderance of "good intentions" and of the "relative exigencies of the moment" can make a moral act that is naturally evil capable of being pursued justly on the part of one who believes the weight of the evidence in his case justifies a subjective violation of an objective moral law to do good. Thus, proportionalism, which has been propounded by Father Richard McCormick, S.J. (not to be confused with the priest from the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, who foments dissent at the University of Notre Dame and in his nationally syndicated columns, Father Richard McBrien), can be used by a woman to justify the killing of her preborn child. After all, more good will be done in her life by killing the child than if she permitted him to interfere unduly with her life's goals.
The principle of proportionality contained in the Just War Theory requires a very careful and prayerful prudential judgment to be made by a policy-maker prior to the advent of war. This is not a matter of infallibly received truth. This is a judgment that has got to be based on a clear-headed and most realistic assessment of the harm that will be caused by the onset of armed hostilities. The impending war with Iraq will cause far more harm than good, as I outlined in my previous section. Rather than making us more secure, we will be less secure. We will contribute to the furtherance of anti-American sentiment around the world, and will contribute to deteriorating, not improving, the situation within Iraq itself. How many truly innocent Iraqis must die to liberate their country of a man who is far less of a threat to them on a daily basis than American "freedom" is to unborn children every day in this country?
Mind you, I am an American. I love my country. However, as I have noted over and over again, love is an act of the will. To love another is to will his good. We must love others as God loves us. God's love for us is an act of His Divine Will to provide us with all of the supernatural helps we need to save our souls so that we will be with Him for all eternity in Heaven. Our love for others is premised upon doing or saying nothing that will in any way interfere with the salvation of their immortal souls. And our love of our nation must seek her good, the ultimate expression of which is her subordination to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as it is exercised by Holy Mother Church. Pope Pius XI noted this very clearly in Quas Primas in 1925. This is Catholic doctrine from which no one can dissent legitimately (including popes themselves, as this is the constant teaching of the Church which is beyond the ability of any pope to change).
There is enough, though, of nationalism left in my bones to say, "Ah, forget the Just War Theory. Saddam Hussein is a despot. The Iraqis are all infidels. Let's just blast 'em. They deserve it." However, that is not a sentiment in concert with the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. Anyone, infidel or not, guilty of crimes against innocent human life must be brought to justice. A nation is not justified to engage in the use of massive military force to remove one person in a crusade for the imposition of "ideals" that themselves undermine the binding precepts of God's laws and His sovereignty over men and their nations. And it is worth noting that Iraq is a fairly secular nation in the Islamic world, and there are more than a handful of Catholics living in Iraq who trace their Catholic ancestry back to the Apostolic era. Hussein might be a despot. An application of the principle of proportionality to our imminent war with Iraq reveals once again that said war is not justified.
There is also the real possibility that war with Iraq could escalate rather quickly in the Middle East. This is not a possibility that it is out of the question.
5) As far as is possible, noncombatants must never be deliberately targeted in warfare.
The United States has a mixed record when it comes to the realization of this part of the Just War Theory. Our military forces have tried to use remarkable restraint in many instances. Other times, however, they have not. William Tecumseh Sherman used raw terrorism against civilian population centers as he cut a swath of fiery destruction from the Atlantic Ocean to Atlanta during the War between the States. As noted earlier, we aided bloodthirsty revolutionaries in Mexico. Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki (the latter two of which were known to contain the highest concentrations of Catholics in Japan) were bombed during World War II. Something less than laser precision caused thousands of civilian casualties during the Gulf War and during our continued bombing in Afghanistan, which commenced on October 7, 2001. It is unclear what steps would be taken to protect noncombatants in a war with Iraq, especially in light of the fact that Hussein is not above placing forcibly his own citizens in military areas to use them as a shield against bombing. Presuming that best efforts would be made by the United States military, the injustice of the cause itself, though, renders the inadvertent bombing of civilians in a war with Iraq beyond the pale.
6) A just cessation to hostilities must be realized as soon as possible. Once again, the record of the United States in this regard is very mixed. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was done so as to force an unconditional surrender from Japan, something that the Soviets insisted on in the Potsdam Conference as their condition for entering the war against Japan (so that they could recover claims lost in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.) Japan was willing to surrender conditionally. Those who are convinced of their absolute moral and racial superiority over others, though, cannot consider ending hostilities even if it is possible to conclude a peace that is just without having humiliated one's enemies. Not even considering in this reflection that war with Iraq could escalate regionally and globally quite quickly, the United States would likely continue hostilities until Saddam Hussein's body is found (and proved to be his by means of DNA testing) or he surrenders and is brought to a show trial in the United States. Once again, the United States might prolong a war by seeking an unconditional surrender.
President George W. Bush lives, as so many people have noted, in a Manichean world. The United States is "good." Her enemies are "bad." We are the embodiment of virtue and truth and goodness and freedom and democracy. Others are the embodiment of all that is evil. The President has the temerity to say that we value "precious life" while castigating those foreign leaders who do not. What he doesn't realize is if we lived in a Catholic world, an alliance of Catholic leaders would be asking themselves if the conditions existed to invade the United States and to overthrow a regime that permits the killing of innocent human beings under cover of law, permits the manufacture, sale, and exportation of contraceptives both domestically and internationally, exports all manner of pornographic entertainment around the world to make corporate executives (who donate mightily to both Democrat and Republican campaign war chests), and which undermines the stability of families by funding sterilization abroad and promoting special rights for sodomites at home. This nation has put to death over 40 million innocent unborn children under cover of law by surgical abortion alone in the past thirty years. The government of this nation poses a far more imminent threat to its own citizens than Saddam Hussein does to his, and we do so sanctimoniously under the guise our being a peaceful and just and freedom-loving nation.
No, I am not calling for any nation to invade the United States. Even if an alliance of Catholic nations did exist in the world today, which it does not, the just cause of seeking to end violence sanctioned by the American government upon innocent life would not be accomplished by military action from those nations or from a revolt of American citizens. The sheer force of the American regime would make a successful prosecution of such an enterprise next to impossible in human terms, thereby failing to fulfill condition three The goal must be well-defined and have a reasonable chance of being realized listed in Part One in this Just War Theory essay.
What I am pointing out, however, is that we are the embodiments of virtue no more than Iraq under its present leadership is the embodiment of Bush's "axis of evil." No causus belli exists for the United States to commence hostilities with Iraq at this time. Oh, the war might make Americans feel good for a time. But it will not make us more secure. Others will disagree with this assessment. However, history is not on their side.
As citizens, we have the obligation at all times for the safety and well-being of our troops. If war does break out, then we will pray for their mission to be successful and for the war to be short-lived. It is a fundamental requirement of the natural law to pray for the safety of those charged with the protection of a country's borders. We want every single one of our service personnel to come back home safely to their families, and we want innocent civilians kept from harm's way in Iraq. I will shed no tears if Saddam Hussein is deposed. The deposing of Saddam Hussein, however, will not make this country or the world one bit more secure than it was before. And it will not produce regional peace and security in the Middle East.
What is my alternative to making the United States more secure apart from ending baby-killing under cover of law? Well, that "apart" is a big part of making us more secure. Additionally, however, we can follow the advice of Patrick Buchanan, who has been telling us for some time how we have made ourselves less secure by our lax, politically motivated immigration laws - and by the failure of presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, to enforce the deportation of those persons who are here illegally and who pose a real and serious threat to the security of the citizens of this nation within our very boundaries. President Bush lacks the political will to do this as it is not popular, especially with Islamic pressure groups. The plain fact of the matter is, however, that most of the September 11 terrorists would not have been able to execute their schemes of mass murder as easily as they did if they had been denied student visas and/or deported for coming from countries hostile to the interests of the United States of America. Islam of its nature is not, as President Bush as simplistically and positivistically asserted, a "religion of peace." Its adherents should not be permitted to enter this country as anything other than temporary visitors whose deportation is immediate if they should overstay their visas. It is as though we have learned nothing from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and from the Battle at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. There are slews of Mohammedan sleeper agents in this country precisely because one presidential administration after another has played politics with the security of our nation by not seeking to buck the forces of political correctness. A firmly enforced immigration policy will make us far more secure than all of the bombs dropped on either Afghanistan or Iraq.
War is sometimes justified. Sometimes it is not. However, even a just war can never be truly successful unless we realize the root of all wars is found in a wounded human nature caused by Original Sin and our own actual sins. As long as people and their nations make war upon God and His Holy Church by means of their unrepentant sins, then all use of armed hostilities, no matter the justice of the cause at issue, will fail to provide any true security for any nation or for the world.
The United States of America can never be made secure as long as she permits the American holocaust to continue. Her claims to be an instrument of justice in the world are eroded entirely when she will not take even basic steps to stop the shedding of innocent blood in her midst.
As nasty a man as Saddam Hussein might be, as important as it is to bring those who are directly tied to al Qaeda to justice, we have to understand that the real enemies of American security are within our own borders. They are the people, both citizens and office holders, who support the destruction of innocent human life and who make war upon the rights of Christ's true Church to direct matters of fundamental justice for the realization of the common good here and the fullest measure of happiness imaginable in eternity.
There are many, if not most, Americans who will disagree with this analysis. There are some who might even put my patriotism into question, thinking that I am giving aid and comfort to the likes of former Vice President Albert Arnold Gore and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and the scores of professional leftists who want to do nothing domestically or internationally to secure the safety of American citizens. I am not. As a Catholic, I am simply making a non-infallible prudential application of the standards of the Just War Theory, especially in light of how we are one of the most terroristic nations on earth.
Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary is the weapon we must use to make ourselves secure personally - and thus to make our nation a true beacon of fundamental justice founded in the splendor of Truth Incarnate. As an indispensable part of total consecration to Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary has the power to convert ourselves and our enemies. As the late John Cardinal Carberry, the long-time Archbishop of Saint Louis, Missouri, until his retirement in 1979, noted at a meeting of the then-called National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1982 (at a time the bishops were considering their infamous "The Challenge of Peace" pastoral letter), "Gentlemen, it seems to me you have forgotten something in your considerations. Our Lady's Fatima Peace Plan. That is the only way to bring the peace of her Divine Son to this fallen, fractured world."
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for the United States of America.
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: War could also escalate here on the homefront for Osama bin Laden has supposedly surfaced again and has promised retribution. If a sniper or snipers can hold three to four states paralyzed for three weeks, think what terrorist threats can do. In a time when there is a need to turn to our shepherds to guide us, we are stuck with pabulum like Cardinal Bernard Law's weak, ambiguous statement on behalf of the USCCB released Wednesday of the bishops' opposition to a war in Iraq. If they really intended to make a statement, they would have reinforced what Cardinal Carberry said. They should have promoted that plan His Eminence strongly recommended twenty years ago. Had they done so and been loyal to the Blessed Mother's sure-fire plan, there is a strong possibility we would not be on the brink of war today and that perhaps 40 million more citizens might be alive, a healthy percentage that would most certainly have produced many good priests and bishops. Had the bishops promoted Our Lady's Fatima Peace Plan, abortion wouldn't even be on the radar screen. Families would be large and loving and the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ would be near. Since they did not. We are faced with the reality of the consequences the repetition of sin causes. We have done this to ourselves. For the first part of Dr. Droleskey's reflection on the Just War Theory, see Part One