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WWI and Just War Theory
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Author:  theJack [ Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  WWI and Just War Theory

If WWI is taken to be an unjust war, as I take it to be rather universally, at least insofar as how destructive it was, does that mean that Wilson's neutrality was (theologically speaking) the correct position to take? And does that mean that he should have stayed out of the war, despite the Zimmerman Telegram (assuming, for the sake of argument, it was real)? I'm trying to ask this on entirely theological terms. I don't know enough to know if that can be separated, or if so to what extent, from political terms. Regardless, I hope my question is clear.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

Ius in bello and Ius ad bellum are two distinct questions. One can concede that the US had valid national interests in the war (I would have to think about that more than I feel like doing at the moment) without agreeing with the way the war was conducted.

Author:  ForeverFaithful [ Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Ius in bello and Ius ad bellum are two distinct questions. One can concede that the US had valid national interests in the war (I would have to think about that more than I feel like doing at the moment) without agreeing with the way the war was conducted.


What was the Ius ad bellum for the USA?

Author:  Vern Humphrey [ Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

We went to war because the Germans had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of their pledge. This is basically the same casus bellum that started the War of 1812 -- the British had been stopping and boarding American ships on the high seas.

Author:  Doom [ Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

Vern Humphrey wrote:
We went to war because the Germans had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of their pledge. This is basically the same casus bellum that started the War of 1812 -- the British had been stopping and boarding American ships on the high seas.


Both of these are historical myths.

A deeper study reveals that the British conceded all of Madison's demands before he declared war. And yet he declared war anyway. He did so because he didn't learn of the British concessions until after he had declared war. And he couldn't bring himself to accept British terms and end the war because he feared it would make him look weak to the war party in Congress led by Henry Clay. The treaty forged at the end of the war actually offered worse terms than they offered before the war, which Madison agreed to because he had no choice, the war was a disaster that was in danger of destroying his presidency, he had to end it to save his historical reputation. But, Madison did make Henry Clay pay for his role in starting the war by sending him to lead the delegation to negotiate the treaty. The War of 1812 was actually a step back for American Independence.

The Federalists said that the only reason the British were impressing American sailors was due to their desperation for sailors to use in the war against Napoleon and that as soon as the war was over, the impressments would end. And they were right. That is exactly what happened.

In the case of Wilson, the 'unrestricted submarine warfare was 'a pretext. The Germans warned that they would sink any ships that drifted into their waters, and Wilson kept sending them anyway. He was trying to provoke war. A president who genuinely wanted to avoid war would not have done this.

Wilson wanted war because he knew that it would be a great way to impose his authoritarian agenda by justifying his assuming near-dictatorial powers under the guise of 'emergency.' Not for nothing has Wilson been called 'the world's first fascist dictator.'

Author:  Vern Humphrey [ Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

Doom wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
We went to war because the Germans had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of their pledge. This is basically the same casus bellum that started the War of 1812 -- the British had been stopping and boarding American ships on the high seas.


Both of these are historical myths.

A deeper study reveals that the British conceded all of Madison's demands before he declared war. And yet he declared war anyway. He did so because he didn't learn of the British concessions until after he had declared war.

How is this relevant? He acted on what he thought to be true.


Doom wrote:
In the case of Wilson, the 'unrestricted submarine warfare was 'a pretext. The Germans warned that they would sink any ships that drifted into their waters, and Wilson kept sending them anyway. He was trying to provoke war. A president who genuinely wanted to avoid war would not have done this.

Wilson wanted war because he knew that it would be a great way to impose his authoritarian agenda by justifying his assuming near-dictatorial powers under the guise of 'emergency.' Not for nothing has Wilson been called 'the world's first fascist dictator.'

I'd be interested in a cite for that.

Nothing Wilson did violated international law. And the Germans HAD pledged to stop unrestricted submarine warfare.

Author:  GKC [ Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

Vern Humphrey wrote:
Doom wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
We went to war because the Germans had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of their pledge. This is basically the same casus bellum that started the War of 1812 -- the British had been stopping and boarding American ships on the high seas.


Both of these are historical myths.

A deeper study reveals that the British conceded all of Madison's demands before he declared war. And yet he declared war anyway. He did so because he didn't learn of the British concessions until after he had declared war.

How is this relevant? He acted on what he thought to be true.


Doom wrote:
In the case of Wilson, the 'unrestricted submarine warfare was 'a pretext. The Germans warned that they would sink any ships that drifted into their waters, and Wilson kept sending them anyway. He was trying to provoke war. A president who genuinely wanted to avoid war would not have done this.

Wilson wanted war because he knew that it would be a great way to impose his authoritarian agenda by justifying his assuming near-dictatorial powers under the guise of 'emergency.' Not for nothing has Wilson been called 'the world's first fascist dictator.'

I'd be interested in a cite for that.

Nothing Wilson did violated international law. And the Germans HAD pledged to stop unrestricted submarine warfare.


I'd be interested in a cite, too. WWI is greatly a subordinate interest, as compared, say, with my interest in WWII. But I had occasion to review some of the WWI naval warfare issues not all that long ago.

German's submarine policy as to civilian shipping was spotty. Originally, all the belligerents promised to follow the 1909 London Declaration that covered the subject, theoretically, but classic "cruiser rules" were a bad fit for submarine warfare. Say for about the first 6 months of the war, Germany did follow the rules, then occurred a couple of things (British blockade,Q ships) and the Germans declared a war zone, all targets good, but they promised to be restrained, as to sub attacks. Followed the Lusitania, of course. And eventually, for a couple of reasons, in early 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare on everything in sight. And then followed the US entry into the war, and eventually, all was quiet on the Western and other fronts.

Author:  ForeverFaithful [ Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

War of 1812? Oh you mean the War of Southern Aggression.

Author:  Vern Humphrey [ Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

GKC wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
German's submarine policy as to civilian shipping was spotty. Originally, all the belligerents promised to follow the 1909 London Declaration that covered the subject, theoretically, but classic "cruiser rules" were a bad fit for submarine warfare. Say for about the first 6 months of the war, Germany did follow the rules, then occurred a couple of things (British blockade,Q ships) and the Germans declared a war zone, all targets good, but they promised to be restrained, as to sub attacks. Followed the Lusitania, of course. And eventually, for a couple of reasons, in early 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare on everything in sight. And then followed the US entry into the war, and eventually, all was quiet on the Western and other fronts.


My point, exactly. Unrestricted submarine warfare was the casus belli.

As for Wilson's intentions, there is evidence that Wilson covered up acts of German sabotage in the United States so as NOT to inflame the people to go to war. And if he intended to go to war, why did he make no preparations? When Wilson declared war, the US Army was woefully unready -- we lacked heavy machine guns, artillery, tanks, combat-worthy aircraft and so on. We didn't even have enough rifles and pistols.

Surely if he intended to go to war, he should have ramped up production at least a year before, so as to field a fully-equipped army. As it was, the history of the AEF in WWI is a history of beg, borrow and steal.

Author:  Light of the East [ Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WWI and Just War Theory

ForeverFaithful wrote:
War of 1812? Oh you mean the War of Southern Aggression.


:laughhard :laughhard :laughhard :laughhard

You are a few years off. Right nomenclature (as we Southerners refer to it) but wrong year!

Also known as "The recent unpleasantness with the North."

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