My take on current discussions about applying just war thinking (JWT) to the situation in Syria
The ongoing situation in Syria is horrible. ManyCatholicthinkers have weighed in on whether the US should get involved in the situation (a very good summary of this discussion so far can be found here). To do so, they have invoked (or at least referred to) the criteria of the just war tradition. However, they have often done so selectively, emphasizing one or two criteria at the expense of the others. The clearest example of this is that there is a just cause in Syria: protection of the innocent who are being exterminated by the Assad regime. For many, the fact of this situation alone overrides any further moral analysis of the situation.
However, as Robert Christian has stated, we need “serious moral thinking” about this matter. In order to do so, it might help to return to the just war framework for thinking about going to…
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