Category Archives: War and Peace

War at Machine Speed

So, I wonder what the Catholic “Just War Theory” has to say about robot wars. Will the robots be programmed to care about the Just War Theory as much as the folks at the Pentagon have been trained to care about the Just War Theory of Christianity? (Yeah, that was a joke.)

“So far, new weapons systems are being designed so that humans must still approve the unleashing of their lethal violence, but only minor modifications would be needed to allow them to act without human input. Pentagon rules, put in place during the Obama administration, don’t prohibit giving computers the authority to make lethal decisions; they only require more careful review of the designs by senior officials. And so officials in the military services have begun the thorny, existential work of discussing how and when and under what circumstances they will let machines decide to kill.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/09/killer-robots-and-new-era-machine-driven-warfare/597130/

“The Good Communist”

From James W. Douglass’s book, The Nonviolent Coming of God:

“To understand Jesus parable we have to begin, then, by realizing that the man in the ditch had a deep hatred and suspicion, nourished by his history and culture, for the man who out of compassion resurrected him. Samaritans were hated enemies. Jesus is saying in his parable that the kingdom of God is like being saved from death by a hated enemy. The kingdom of God breaks into our lives in a form that we may not expect, in a form that we may in fact loath and want to destroy.

We can recall that in the chapter of Luke’s gospel just before the Parable of the Good Samaritan, James and John wanted Jesus’ approval to call down on a hostile Samaritan village “fire from heaven to burn them up” (Luke 9:54). But Jesus had rebuked them. Thus, in Jesus’ parable, the disciples’ object of hatred and destruction becomes a source of salvation.

When we understand it in Jesus’ context, the Parable of the Good Samaritan initially moves us to thank God that we, at least, are not lying in a ditch where we have to be saved from death by our enemy. But that is exactly what our situation is: We can only b saved from death by our enemy, and only if we believe in that enemy and are willing to be saved by him. Our enemy has been not a Samaritan, but a Communist. We are in the ditch of nuclear death, and during a now forgotten period of our recent history, Mikhail Gorbachev was the Good Communist attempting to rescue us from that death.

In July 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev made a public commitment to halt all nuclear tests from August 6, 1985 – January 1, 1986, even if the United States continued an active nuclear test program — as in fact we did. After the time expired Gorbachev extended the Soviet Union’s nuclear test moratorium three times, to a total of eighteen months. In each case the United States continued its underground tests. Gorbachev repeatedly made the further commitment never to test a nuclear weapon again, if the United States would cease testing. In other words, the Soviet Union unilaterally stopped its testing of new weapons and allowed the United States an eighteen month advantage and twenty-five unanswered tests, with the explicit goal of signing a comprehensive test ban treaty. In affect, Gorbachev was initiating an end to the nuclear arms race. The United States government was not, however, willing to reciprocate. As a result, the U.S.S.R. announced its resumption of testing in February 1987. Our steady drift toward annihilation continues.

The Unites States treaty with the Soviets to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces from Europe was, as a response to Gorbachev’s diplomacy, a disappointing step. Only about four percent of the world’s nuclear weapons were affected by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. President Bush’s September 27, 1991 proposal to Gorbachev for the elimination of all multiple-warhead land-based missiles would retain a huge United States advantage over the Soviets at sea as a result of the more numerous, more accurate Trident warheads. The “modernization” of other nuclear weapons critical to a United States first-strike policy would be allowed to continue under the Bush proposal. In spite of the Good Communist’s efforts to help, we have refused the leave the ditch.

As the president of a disintegrating empire, beset on all sides by growing freedom movements, Mikhail Gorbachev has on at least six occasions used tanks and lethal force against civilian dissenters, resulting in some 200 deaths…Jesus’ parable assumes that the Samaritan — or in our case, the Communist — has a history and capability of violence which rightly (and righteously) preconditions our attitude towards him. Neither the Samaritan nor the Communist is a saint. On the contrary, the point of the parable is in fact the shocking reality, in our eyes, of a well-proven enemy with a violent history acting in a redemptive way toward us — and if we refuse that redemptive action, the impossibility of our being saved from our own situation. Because the rejected Good Samaritan/Communist will then revert to our worst expectations of him as our enemy and will in turn use our violence to cover his own, as in Gorbachev’s repression of Lithuania in January 1991, simultaneous with President Bush’s triggering of the Persian Gulf War.”

Latest podcasts!

Don’t miss the latest podcasts.

Meet the Catholic activists involved in the Kings Bay Plowshare movement.

And I was delighted to have an interesting conversation with Fr. Brian McNavish about refugees, militarism, pacifism, Just War Theory, and more!

In three short months we’ve made it to 10 episodes! Thanks for listening and if you find the content compelling, please spread the word. You can also send suggestions for future guests to contact@catholicsagainstmilitarism.com.

New Anti-Imperialist Think Tank?

Scott Horton interviews Andrew Bacevich about the new Quincy Institute, which is “trying to bring support from the left and right together in opposition to foreign intervention. Funded by both George Soros and Charles Koch, the institute will seek to supplant the current bipartisan consensus that America must be the world’s police force with a more reasonable one that will not lead to the deaths of millions and the squandering of trillions of dollars from the productive economy.”

Funded by Soros and the Koch brothers? Hm…..

Question from a viewer

Anyone have an answer to this? –Cammy

******

Hello,
     I saw an interesting interview that a lady with your organization did with a gentleman named E. Michael Jones.  I really appreciated the interview, subscribed to the Youtube channel so I can see more, and read the manifesto and f.a.q. on your website.     

I am writing because I want to know if you know of anyone who has done a Catholic analysis of Proxy War.  I think that waging war by proxy poses a number of serious ethical issues that are relevant both to questions of Jus ad Bellumand Jus in Bello, which need to be analyzed separately from analyses of conventional war.  War by proxy seems to be the rule, and not the exception, and probably more so than at any other point in history (being what President Eisenhower cynically called “The cheapest insurance in the world”).  And while I do believe it is possible that a conventional war could be just, I have not been able to figure out whether war by proxy is malum in se.  I have strong suspicions that it is intrinsically evil.  If you can think of any articles or interviews that focus in this, and that could help me think through the many issues involved, I would be grateful to know.  If you can find someone with expertise, I dare to suggest that it would make a fascinating subject for an interview.  But I do not know of any Catholic moral theologians who have dealt with this issue.  If you find or know of any, please let me know.  And thank you for the work you are doing; these are important conversations that will have to continue to go on for as long as boys become men.  I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, though thanks to God not a veteran of war (as I do not believe that the wars fought in my lifetime have been just).       Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, [anonymous]

Email from a Viewer

Hi,

I’m enjoying your podcast and I particularly liked your interviews with Mike (EMJ) and Captain Carmody even though the latter was harrowing at times. There is another podcast on the Nick Turse book called “Kill Anything That Moves” that exposed what happened in Vietnam and the farcical My Lai “enquiry” which was using the truth to hide the wider truth and that was similar to the exposure of the “Abu Garib” torture incidents in Iraq. The lads discuss the conflicts of the 20th century using an unbiased and objective approach and, in the case of Yugoslavia, they get some of it wrong but most is accurate. I just thought it might be of interest to you (see youtube link). 

I’m reading a book at the moment entitled “The Remnants of War” by John Mueller that was written just after the Iraq and Afghanistan military interventions. Mueller proposes the contention that War between civilized nations is becoming less “popular” to such an extent that it’s becoming an anachronism. Mueller is a former (I think) policy maker who’s at Ohio University, (I think) where he lectures, and his book is preposterous because the glaring contradictions in the book with events back when it was written make his premise completely absurd. However it is useful in gaining an insight into these people’s ideas and thoughts which are fixated on World War 2 mythology. They want to present a picture to the public where Anglo America and the allies are the good guys and the enemy is “Hitler”. In Mueller’s book he wanted to portray Anglo America as part of a global police force helping to manage Governments all over the World to “police” the “thugs and outlaws” who “cause trouble”. I suppose that involves outrageous ideas like having an independent country and “stuff” like that.

My advice is to find out if World War 2, and indeed the previous War and the Spanish intervention etc were necessary. They came nowhere near meeting the conditions for Just War. The World War 2 myth is the most pervasively used lie and I recommend you to explore what really went on. Hitler had sued for peace and Churchill agreed and the decision to go to War wasn’t saving anyone apart from Churchill’s house. David Irving is controversial but he is undoubtedly an excellent historian and he uses genuine documentation and archived records. The myth of World War 2 continues to prevail and that’s deadly for all of us. That’s at the root cause of continued misadventures that have cost lives and disastrous consequences for the entire World. Hope you continue to seek the truth, raise consciousness and make people see that violence is counter productive and destructive for all who engage in it. Good luck with the podcast.

Tim’s podcasts are good too

Thanks

Attachments areaPreview YouTube video Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Preview YouTube video Nick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. InterventionismNick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. Interventionism