Though the moral argument for a ‘just war’ has its roots in older Indian texts; the Western world traces the theory to St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas Aquinas, and later schools of thought in Europe. The idea is based upon ‘proportionate justice’. Proportionate justice in turn is based upon the assumption that rewards and punishments can be meted out rationally and thus fairly.
The theory of just war belies yet another assumption. That assumption is that moral people can determine whether or not an act of military aggression is justified based upon facts and if warranted how much aggression should be acted out on an aggressor.
They also argued that a war is unjust and illegitimate if it is rationalized on the grounds of ‘national self-interests’, ‘individual interests’ or if the people needed to support the war do not want war. Here, they clearly assumed that a democratic scale of measure would be used to make decisions on war and peace.
One problem the American people face is that the plutocrats who have amassed control of Federal and State governments do not act upon moral grounds unless the consequences of doing so will benefit them. We are left with this fact. Plutocrats generally are amoral persons and some of them are evil. Therefore, theological or philosophical moral arguments against a military strike on Syria would not be persuasive to them.
Yet another problem faced by the American people is the problem of ‘legality’. One might think that even in the absence of theology and or philosophy at least there can be a consensus on rules or law. But plutocrats bend, change, and ignore laws so that no matter what the circumstance their purposes are served.
The Constitution vests the American people with the power to declare war and to fund war. Limited wars must also be approved by Congress. Neither the President nor the Supreme Court has inherent war power. That power is solely vested in the People who at the end of the day fight the wars and shed blood. Nevertheless, the facts of history compel us to be on notice.
5,000 years of human history afford us not only a clear understanding about the nature of war and the kinds of persons who wage it but of the reasons for which war is waged. War is waged to dominate, control, exploit, and profiteer off more peaceful folk and their resources. Wars waged for those purposes are not waged on principles of legality. On the contrary, they are waged outside of civilized law unless those laws benefit those whose intent is to plunder the wealth of others.
Therefore, arguments on the legality of a strike against Syria would not be persuasive to those who intend to wage war. They push aside all rules of evidence that stand in their way. For example,
One method used by the plutocrats is the ‘false-flag’ method. It is analogous to a police officer planting a gun on an innocent person or claiming that he or she saw a gun to justify either arresting or killing that innocent person.
Hitler used a false-flag to trigger the invasion of Poland. Sixty million (60) dead later the Nuremberg War Crimes Hearing had to sort out and weigh the evil involved in World War 2.
Lyndon Johnson used a false-flag to arouse public sentiment for bombing North Vietnam. Thirty five years later and over 50,000 dead Robert McNamara confessed that it was an unjust war. See the documentary: ‘The Fog of War’.
George Bush used a false-flag to argue that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and to arouse the American people to bomb and invade Iraq. Now, over 50,000 casualties and 1.5 trillion dollars later it is generally acknowledged that the allegations against Iraq were false. Now, it is President Barak Obama.
The plutocrats in a faceoff with the American people subscribe to a Darwinian world view. They are persuaded that conflict is a universal law of nature and that the stronger necessarily dominate the weaker in nature and so, too, in politics. Theirs is an amoral theory of justice in an amoral universe, but they are rational. It is the zero sum game; it is the game of ‘all or nothing’ they play. So, what argument must be used by the American people to persuade them to stand down?
Only a utilitarian argument will persuade them. The American people must make a utilitarian argument to the plutocrats who have amassed control over the White House and much of Congress. That argument to them must be that the cost of them acting against the will of the American people will immeasurably outweigh what they augur their gains or benefits to be from war with Syria. They must be persuaded to understand that what Congress now knows is that a military strike against Syria is against the will of the people. They must be persuaded that torrents of rage will rain down on Congress and the lobbyist they are financially beholden to if the will of the people is ignored and that the rage will be unbearable.
Neither the President nor the Supreme Court has war power. War power is solely vested in the People of the United States who at the end of the day are those who fight the wars and suffer loss of blood. We the People must make it categorically and unequivocally clear to all that we, the People, are in charge of this government.