How can we know if a war or military conflict is justified?

Jordan Bates (@bashfulkoala) 6 years, 3 months ago

A justified war?!?! Poppycock! Treason! Heresy!

I know, I know. HighExistence is a pretty pacifistic place. By nature I too am wholeheartedly pacifistic. However, when you get into complex matters of global politics, things are not always as simple as, “Let’s just all get along, man.”

For instance, in the time leading up to WWII, Hitler was gaining strength, expanding his domain into other countries, building his army and his strategy. During this time, the British leadership was adamantly pacifistic, insisting that they would rely on diplomatic solutions to handle the situation with Hitler. By the time it finally became clear that diplomatic solutions just weren’t going to cut it with this guy, Hitler had expanded his power tremendously, making it much more difficult to snuff him out, and ultimately creating the conditions for WWII, one of the greatest tragedies in human history. This, at least, is one interpretation. 

So it seems that sometimes military action is justified. The problem is: how can we — especially normal citizens with limited information — possibly determine whether a war or military conflict is justified or not? Where can we find reliable/complete information/perspective? It almost seems unknowable. 

For further reading, here’s a really interesting thread with a lot of fascinating, differing perspectives on the United States’ military involvement throughout the world. 

Really curious to hear any of your perspectives on when, if ever, war and military conflict are justified. Would also love any links/insights into where to find good information/perspective on certain current military conflicts. 

April 28, 2016 at 4:07 am
Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

The wars of modern times are never justified. Only Americans believe so. Because they live in the power centre of the 21st century axis powers.

WWII was caused by a struggle between Central European (mostly German) and British/American corporations. Otherwise it would have been a pan-European war, central vs east and west.

WWI was a war of bankers. The German traditional banks were gaining power, the British central bank (then centre of the international debt-factory banks) didn’t want  competition. The British army couldn’t win, so they tricked America into sending their cargo on British battle ships through German-infested waters, where they got shot down, forcing them to join the war.

All the arab wars under various names have all been about destabilization. Arming militias and guerillas to get rid of leaders you don’t want.
Iraq was taken down because they were becoming powerful and a threat to Israel.
Libya because it was becoming prosperous and a threat to cheap African goods, also because they stopped the hordes of migrants from flooding Europe, so now Europe is becoming poor and crime-ridden.

The Syrian war of today is another example. Former dirtpile rises to power under a strong leader who won’t cooperate with international oppressors. Arm the criminals and denounce take out the leader. Syria was also cooperating with Russia and posing a potential threat to Saudi Arabia.

The Ukraine farce was all about making it harder for Europeans and Russians to work together, keeping the geopolitical map of the world in a state of chaos where most power flows to USA and Saudi Arabia.

Europe is the source and natural seat of western power. Globalists do everything to keep Europe divided and confused, while partially controlling certain parts. This way, the world remains a mess and Russia cannot tackle the problem without aid from Europe or at least the Middle east (an area that’s artificially kept on its knees by war and religious lunacy).

Sorry Americans, but your people are the bad guys. And have been for a century.

Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

Hey St Emillion!

It would not surprise me if all of what you said of these wars was true, we’re burdened by a plague of corruption. Would it possible for you to share some proof for what you stated?

As far us Americans go.. It’s the powers that be here that are the bad guys. They’ve done a swell job at brainwashing the people though- convincing them their “bad” actions are in fact good!

Jordan Bates (4,684)A (@bashfulkoala) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

interesting points, as usual, @manimal. however, also as usual, i’m left wishing for any sort of clue as to the sources of your information. links? book titles? 

i think we basically agree: i think very few, if any, modern wars have been justified. however, you can say that WWII was about bankers, which i’m sure may be true to an extent, but it must have been at least somewhat about an authoritarian ruler conducting a massive genocide. Hitler basically wanted to “purify” the planet by murdering all Jews and other “invalids.” who knows where he would have stopped. do you really believe no one should have intervened? do you really believe he should have just been allowed to commit a mass genocide and take over the world? 

i think other similar mass tragedies — Cambodian genocide, Rwandan genocide, etc — often call for some sort of military intervention. i also think that if some sort of psychopathic, mass-murderous regime is gaining significant power, the global community may be justified in snuffing them out. you might reasonably say that the US military has been a psychopathic, mass-murderous regime. i agree that it has been many times. however, i also think we’ve been the “good guys” in many situations, and when some kind of horrible tragedy or conflict erupts and the US doesn’t respond, the international community tends to ask, “Where is the US?”

i think it’s a bit more complex than saying “the wars of modern times are never justified” and claiming that the Americans have been nothing but the “bad guys” for the past century. 

Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

Agreed, 100%.

Mike Wuest (510) (@mikeyw829) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

Instead of looking at the issue from a geopolitical level, I think it can be more helpful to look at it from an individual level.  Is it ever justifiable to fight and defend yourself?  From my perspective, of course it is.  

It seems to me that being a “moral” person means to allow people to walk all over you, and to smile while it happens.  You can’t counter violence with pacifism.  

I don’t think violence, manipulation, and trying to use or control other people (which is what causes war, as far as I can see), should ever be initiated.  But as long as people are acting this way, they can’t just be ignored.

Only bullies initiate war.  And being pacifist towards them only gives them easier access to what they want.  

Mike Wuest (510) (@mikeyw829) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

I also think that people use the term “pacifism” to justify a fear of confrontation with an aggressor that they think is stronger and more intimidating than them.  The spelling should be changed to “passivism.”

Look at your average American or westerner in general. They are all pacifists. Pacifism = apathy. They turn a blind eye to the fact that corporations and the elites walk all over them and use them as human batteries.  Yet underneath their technologically induced apathy is a deep fear that can’t be consciously pinpointed to anything.

Is physical violence justified or even helpful in this case? No.  But pacifism (fear based apathy) and pretending like it will all go away if we watch enough Netflix is not the answer.

Jordan Bates (4,684)A (@bashfulkoala) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

great points, Mike. i agree that pure pacifism is simply not an adequate tactic in the face of a violent aggressor. i like that you brought it down to the personal level: if someone is maliciously chasing my family member with a butcher’s knife and a sadistic grin, i’m not going to start meditating for peace. i’m going to strike that person with whatever hard object is within reach. similarly, if some hyper-violent nation or regime is trying to kill millions of people, i think something needs to be done. 

the difficult thing is that most of the wars of the last 100 years have not resulted from something like the situation i just described. i think most of them have either been wars to protect economic interests or wars to prevent the spread of communism. i think (though i am no expert) that the vast majority of these wars have been unjustified, tragic events. so i think we should acknowledge that war is occasionally justified, but we should exercise immense caution in actually pursuing war and should exhaust all potential diplomatic solutions first. 

as for the latter situation in the modern West that you describe, that’s another issue altogether that i don’t have a good answer for. as dystopian as things might seem, i still believe the average Westerner has it much better than the hundreds of millions of people who are without clean water, sufficient food, housing, and/or healthcare worldwide, so lately i’ve tended to think more about those latter people than about the people who are “trapped” within the Western rat race of endless labor and consumption. i tend to think that those who want to badly enough will find a way to escape the Western rat race.

Mike Wuest (510) (@mikeyw829) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

I think that all the large scale wars of the past 100 years haven’t been so balck and white, I agree.  Although Nazi Germany is debatable.  But even in that case, they themselves felt justified in their war efforts, as I’m pretty sure even Hitler legitimately felt that he was acting in self defense against communist Jews who were infiltrating and subverting his nation (that’s not my view, just stating his). 

That’s a good example that goes to show how we might even delude ourselves into going to war even when we think it is justifiable out of self defense, which often is based on paranoia in those cases.  

onlymee (0) (@onlymee) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

There is no such thing as a justified war.
People who argue the point that it is required in some way or other have been programmed to react that way and do not understand the nature of their position within the construct in which we exist.

The maniacs who govern are generally psychopathic individuals who hold core beliefs that individuals must be controlled and all manner of mechanism is used to that end. War is one mechansim.

Morality is formed out of hypothesising on the notion of life itself and justly many philosophies are centred around this thought process and are simply an investigation of whether something is life affirming (good) or detrimental to life (bad). The process is extrapolated and fundamental ideals can be arrived at though not always universally.
Authoritarianism removes our capacity to rationalise  & discriminate since this is done for us in various ways mostly through conditioning (education, media) that indoctrinates us into a system of governance.
Each step of our training reinforces the authoritarian position of the state and this continues throughout life.

How many wars are been genuinely instigated by people and not involved authorities in some way?
Authoritarian involvment is always present (often hidden) and resources and ecconomic manipulation always accompanies such activity. The US for exmple have instigated over 40 coups in its short history though this would be counterproductive to include this in the so called education curriculem.

Many state that man is a violent animal but if that were so then we would see abject violence everywhere in every city and town but this is not the case and most like to resolve matters peacefully and logically.

Where violence does occur it is the result of authoritarian interference on some way and related to economics and access to subsitence level resources.

The majority of our knowledge is tainted in some way with deciet that has perpetuated and convoluted so that we as a whole have a disparate understanding of ourselves. Our convenient lifestyle of modern society lends itself to sloth and apathy.

Our survival depends on our ability to rationalise and think individually. No one can think for another since it removes the individuals capacity to rationalise clearly in its own favour. Therefore it can be argued that authority is immoral.
It is also therefore abundantly apparant that we are each our own highest authority!

Our western societies are awash with authoritarianism and all actions of the state could thusly be regarded as immoral and unjustifiable especially war.

We would all be better off if no authoritarian state existed at all.
The number of wars would vanish out of existence as a result!

All we need to apply is 2 simple rules and that is to cause no harm and no loss.

Everything else can be worked out by us; humans!

Whatever the true nature of our existence is? it is a truth that everything we percieve is a manifestation within a specific range of the electromagnetic spectrum and that spectrum includes every thought and action that has ever taken place or will take place since time is a subjective perceptual construct particular to our specific expression within this range.

We live in abundance & can manipulate our environment to our advantage with ease.
Lack of resources or access to such resources necessary for life are usually blocked by the actions of authority or authorities who are not in compliance with one another.

If our thoughts remain locked in the society construct which centres on a requirement for authority then the true nature of the question of whether war is ever justifiable can never be really answered in full and as such is moot.   

Jordan Bates (4,684)A (@bashfulkoala) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

There is no such thing as a justified war.”

is that a conclusion you’ve reached through a rational evaluation of evidence or an ideal based on your own internal desire to avoid violence? 

take the following scenario: let’s say North Korea (arbitrary example; no real reason for this choice) suddenly reveals that they’ve somehow invented an army of killer robots. they start expanding their empire outwards, slaughtering millions of South Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. they seem poised to take over the world. 

in that situation, do you really believe that the US and other nations are not justified in taking military action to wipe out the North Korean threat? you believe we should just stand idly by until we’re all killed? let me know. 

Jonathan Toniolo (486)M (@toniolo) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

I’m really interested in this, seeing as I consider myself a pacifist as well, but I’ll respond later once I gather my thoughts. In the meantime, I think this podcast with Sam Harris and Jocko Willink offers lots of insight into this topic. 

Jordan Bates (4,684)A (@bashfulkoala) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

thanks, dude. jon brooks recommended the very same podcast to me. will have to check it out. 

everpresence (0) (@everpresence) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

This is a very compelling topic of immense importance, obviously.  I have yet to peruse the above responses in entirety, yet am very appreciative of the caliber of the perspectives offered from the little I have read so far.  I am online for just a few more minutes now, so I intend to make a few initial comments before signing off until another time.

It is perfectly apparent from a conscious perspective that the prospect of war arises from a very low vibration on the continuum of intelligence, and that where consciousness is present, there are innumerable creative avenues available to take as options to the immensely egregiously satanically stupid path of homicidal-suicidal combat/battle/war.  The main underlying basis for getting anywhere near the prospect of war is due simply to operating under the influence of unevolved ego identification.

Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

I believe war is justified if it’s a matter of self-defense. While there may be exceptions to this belief of mine, I’d say those exceptions are usually in-line with the purpose of defending oneself, in one way or another.

I’d say the following scenario, of which you recently left on one of the comments on this post, could be classified as one of these exceptions:
let’s say North Korea (arbitrary example; no real reason for this choice) suddenly reveals that they’ve somehow invented an army of killer robots. they start expanding their empire outwards, slaughtering millions of South Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. they seem poised to take over the world. “
Imagine that the US attempt to retaliate against this mass slaughter by attacking a North Korean headquarters where these robots are being manufactured.. It’d be considered offensive, but it’s done in hopes to defend the United States.
Eating at Wasabi, so I’ll be back to finish this reply in a bit. Haha

Sami (0) (@Sami-Usaf) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

I am born in muslim family I don’t know how parents force to do this to do that nobody see god heaven but belive I belive in god but I don’t believe in religion we are humans and religion cut us into pieces if you are christian you only love christian if you are muslim you only love muslim and hate others I am right that’s just intaligent make into us

Mark (26) (@MarcvsMaximvs) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

In my humble opinion no war is just, but some are necessary. War simply is a faillure of compassion that leads to crimes from and to all parties involved. It was necessary for the allies to invade Europe to free it from Nazi tyranny, but they too were guilty of hideous warcrimes.

At this point, not only is war used as an economic endeavour. It is also done in an automated way, without discernment for innocent lives. Also, the US government has been arming terrorist groups like ISIS and destabilising the Arab countries for decades now.

Perhaps in some point of view some wars were justifiable once, but these times are well behind us. Today, war is an ugly beast that eats lives and shits money.

everpresence (0) (@everpresence) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

The end of war coincides with the awakening of mature, sane self-awareness in humans.  However, the contagion of war persists while insanity, ignorance, falsehood, selfishness, and greed prevail.  In a societal construct and backdrop of such widespread falsehood, megalomania, and fearmongering, no stated belief should be accepted merely because some well-fed conservative ‘authority’ asserts its veracity.  War is perpetuated by those whose perceptual systems are so hopelessly clogged with past beliefs and traditions that their minds are neither yet sufficiently free, imaginative, nor trusting enough even to consider the possibility of a world beyond war…however, this has nothing whatever to do with any actual limitation in reality, but is due merely to limitations in habitual human (non-)thinking patterns and beliefs.      

To any awakened human—i.e., to any Buddha—war has been already revealed as satanically dense, stupid, insane, unnecessary, obsolete…and anybody who asserts differently thereby merely advertises their own yet unevolved density, paucity of maturely awakened intelligence.  War is for tyrants, slaves, idiots, satanic minions, despots, sheeple.

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