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Iraq War. Just War or a War of Injustice?. What makes a war just?. Principles: Just Cause Legitimate Authority Comparative Justice Right Intention Probability of Success Proportionality Last Resort. Just Cause.

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iraq war

Iraq War

Just War or a War of Injustice?

what makes a war just
What makes a war just?


  • Just Cause
  • Legitimate Authority
  • Comparative Justice
  • Right Intention
  • Probability of Success
  • Proportionality
  • Last Resort
just cause
Just Cause
  • A real, lasting grave and certain damage inflicted by an aggressor on a nation
  • e.g. threatens lives of innocent people, self-defense, etc.
  • Our view:
  • There was a just cause to go to war. The rationale for the war by the Bush administration was that Iraq possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, which posed a growing threat to the US and the world. Bush stated that the US must not wait until the threat is imminent because they did not know Saddam’s intentions. No evidence was found of such weapons programs, but the US needed to defend themselves if there were such weapons. Other reasons were that Saddam Hussein could have connections to Al-Qaeda and human rights abuse in Iraq.

. Score:

legitimate authority
Legitimate Authority
  • The right to declare a war of defense belongs to those who have the legitimate responsibility to represent the people and are entrusted with the common good.
  • Our view:
  • Bush was voted as President by the people of his country. This shows that people trust him to do the right thing in a time of conflict. Though people may question Bush and his motives, we believe that Bush fits the description of “legitimate authority” because of his rank as President.
  • Score:
comparative justice
Comparative Justice
  • The rights and values in the conflict must be so important that they justify killing.
  • Our view:
  • The reasons for war was: weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein could have connections to Al-Qaeda and human rights abuse in Iraq. After the invasion no evidence of weapons of mass destruction were found, and in order to “help human rights abuse in Iraq”, other human rights abuse tactics, such as torture were used. If critics “oil theory” is partly correct, we feel that financial reasons are not justifiable. This makes us conclude that there was not comparative justice.
  • Score:
right intention
Right Intention
  • War must be waged for the best reasons and commitment to postwar reconciliation with the enemy. Needless destruction, cruelty to prisoners, and other harsh measures cannot be tolerated. Peace and justice is the only reason to use arms. Mass extermination of people is sinful.
  • Our view:
  • Though there was just reason to go to war, cruel and harsh measures are being used. There is human rights abuse that it going on.
  • Some allegations included: torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraih, the murder of 24 civilians in Haditha, including women and children, etc.
  • Many acts of injustice, needless destruction, and cruelty have been taken.
  • Score:
probability of success
Probability of Success
  • The odds of success should be weighed against the human cost of the war.
  • Our view:
  • When the war started, the goal was to overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and occupied Iraq in an attempt to establish a new governmental regime. The attempt to restore order to the entire country was unsuccessful, and the number of deaths of innocent lives continues to increase. The war started March 2003, and now, over 4 years later, the war continues….


  • The damage to be inflicted and the costs of the war must be proportionate to the good expected. Minimum force necessary to obtain military objectives should be used.
  • Our view:
  • Though we are sure that when the war started, it was not predicted that so many lives would be lost and that the war would last this long, in our opinion the Iraq war has failed the principle of proportionality. Though some gains have been made, the cost of this war has been high. More than minimum force has been used, and innocent lives have been lost.
  • Score:
last resort
Last Resort
  • War must be a last resort. All peaceful efforts should have been tried prior. There are no other alternatives.
  • Our View:
  • The war was not a last resort. The United Nations weapons inspectors wanted a few more weeks to come up with peaceful alternatives. Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspectors commented about the possibility of there being chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, saying “One must not jump to conclusion that they exist”.
  • Bush said the U.S. must not wait until imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction, but after the invasion, no evidence was found of such weapons.
  • Other peaceful measures, and more research could have been done before the invasion.
  • Score:
the score
The Score:



Therefore, we believe the war is a war of injustice!

moral standard now that there is an armed conflict
Moral Standard Now That There Is An Armed Conflict?
  • Immunity of noncombatants
  • Proportionality
  • Right Intention