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A Critical Analyis

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Just War - or a Just War" & "Peace isn't Possible in the Face of Evil"

In March of 2003 war seemed to be on the horizon for the United States due to a struggle in relations with the Iraqi regime and as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. For many a struggle came with the bleak idea of war, whether the U.S. had the right to invade or if we are acting to rashly in moving into a war without out exhausting every other option of prevention. Along with many other two well know keepers of the peace in our time, two have stated their thoughts and reason for why we should or should not move into this war. Ex-President Jimmy Carter, who since his presidency is serving as a chair in the Carter Center and has won the Nobel Peace Prize submitted an article " Just War - or a Just War" to the New York Times conveying his opinion that the war in Iraq is an unnecessary one. On the other end Holocaust survivor and also Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel contributed a piece to the LA Times entitled " Peace Isn't Possible in Evils Face" demonstrating his support for the current war.

Both articles by fellow peace prize recipients demonstrate a justifiable reason for war based on their experience and participation in historical events, maybe being the most convincing parts of their articles. In "Just War - or a Just War" Carter uses his experience as President of the United States to convey a sense of authority and knowledge on why a war should be entered into. A large point in his defense is the criteria that is a requirement of our nation to be met in order to engage in military conflict. He states that "Commitments have been predicated on basic religious principles, respect for international law, and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint. Our apparent determination to launch a war against Iraq, without international support, is a violation of these premises."(Carter pg 259) That point was used in order put a sense of defiance to rest of the world and our constitution by the United States in entering this war, based on lack of evidence and United Nations support. Elie Wiesel on the other hand uses that point in a difference sense in "Peace Isn't Possible in the Face of Evil" saying that the criteria to enter in war is in this case a measure of prevention (be it terrorism, tyranny, or safety,) and despite support for our country it is imperative that we act and that is truly what our constitution has laid out for our protection. Since the constitution is based on a interpretive process of justification both have points, but what one must realize is that this war is not just effecting the United States its also effecting people all around the world. In defense of Carter the good of America is not always good for the world. Innocent people could die, and as a country our country could alienate our allies who are against the war. On the other hand Elie makes a very strong argument for our countries biggest concern, the citizen's safety. Without acting our country is allowing a tyrant who is not following world law to push the U.S. around, and it could without action come back to be a bigger problem than it already is and, by not acting now we could have a worse war and more death in the long run.

Both writers use a large amount of personal experience to suggest their points. Carter obviously uses his presidential standing to let the readers know that he has dealt with foreign policy and there are other ways of prevention that jumping straight into a war. Many ways he uses this to his advantage is by taking certain concrete situations and explaining why they are ineffective in this war. One main example used is the lack of evidence of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The author states "Its violence must be proportional to the injury we have suffered. Despite Saddam Hussein's other serious crimes, American efforts to tie Iraq to the 9/11 attacks have been unconvincing" (Carter Pg 260) what Carter is saying is although there is a large amount of speculation



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