Friday, September 12, 2014


       Wars have been fought for many reasons: religion, politics, territory, resources, riches . . . most of them are not morally justified.   St. Augustine originaated the phrase 'just war'; later St. Thomas Aquinas laid out the conditions for which a war is deemed morally justified.

       Today politicians argue the pros and cons of our country becoming entangled in yet another military conflict on foreign soil.  This nation is war-weary; our involvement in conflicts far away has cost American lives and brought about a finincial debt which future generations will still be paying in years to come.

       What we are faced with now is not just 'another war'.  With the rise of terrorism we are face to face with evil.  Evil that knows no limits or boundaries, evil that will stop at nothing to achieve its objective to control by whatever means and impose its will on all within its sphere.  This scourge is the antithesis of love, justice, and compassion -- while defiant of all rule of law and scornful of human rights.  We've seen suicide bomber enter crowds of strangers with explosives strapped to their bodies to blow themselves up in order to kill as many unknown people as possible; we've seen them march  scores of prisoner stripped naked, beaten, then laid face down in the sand and executed; we've seen them attack children on a school bus while proclaiming it wrong to seek an education then later kidnap scores of girls from their school to emphasize the point; we hear of these men amputating body parts for minor offences and stoning women to death for 'bringing shame'  upon their families for their having been raped.  We refused to broadcast the video tapes the jihadists arrogantly sent of them beheading American journalists;  and as a nation we wept at the hijacked planes crashing into the twin towers filled with thousands of ordinary people just going to work on a lovely sunny day.

       When speaking of the terrorists we search for words with which to describe them and their deeds--all of our strongest words seem inadequate; they have transgressed the boundaries of what is considered human behavior, yet to call it beastly or inhuman is inaccurate-- beasts kill, but don't commit these horrors; they can't rightly be called inhuman (lacking human qualities) or unhuman (not resembling or having the qualities of human beings) for these are indeed heinous actions consciously chosen by members of the human species, choices arising out of pure evil--they are malhuman acts (the prefix mal- from French and Latin meaning evil, wrong, bad).  This so called Islamic state is malhuman and to fight them constitutes not only a 'just war', but also a necessary one to preserve the dignity of mankind.

1 comment:

  1. malhuman... it is the right word. And, although it's sad to see this new battle unfold, you are right that it's necessary. I am afraid that America will retreat from the world at a time when all our power and military might could actually help.