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State Of War

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Our Current State Of War

A "State of War" is a period when two nations, parties, or even individuals are in open and armed conflict with each other. But how does this come about, and how would John Locke and President George W. Bush feel about how it is that a state of war originates? What actions must take place for war to exist? Is there a period of time that must be spent deliberating the possibility of entering into a state of war to determine its necessity? Is there even a choice in the mater, or is it born in all of human kind as a sort of character trait, which must at times be expressed. If a state of war is inevitable, should the support of others be established, and at what moment in this conflict does it become apparent that a state of war has just been entered into? Is this idea of "State of War" similar or different when comparing the writing of John Locke, with the actions of President Bush?

To understand how it is that a state of war comes about we must know what it is. John Locke defines a state of war saying, "I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destructionÐ'...and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him." (Ch 3 sec. 16, "Two Treatises of Government") This gives a reasonable idea about what war is, when it is necessary to enter into a state of war, and how it is that it can be entered into. Locke is saying that war is a response to a threat. A threat can be a physical attack, or a verbal declaration to harm. The attack, or evidence of intent to harm is then reason enough for a state or war to be declared. With this understood and given the current state of war between Iraq and the United States can it be said, based on Locke's statement, that George W. Bush had reason enough to enter into a state of war with Iraq? In a speech made to the American Enterprise Institute President Bush said, "In Iraq a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world Ð'- and we will not allow it." The development of these weapons could be interpreted as a threat, and a threat against the civilized world would justify an interest in a state of war. This statement shows that the actual threat is the development of weapons, so the goal of any sort of war would be to prevent this. So at this point it could be said that the statement Locke made could justify the intentions of President Bush.

If it is clear that there should be an interest in a state that actions that take place before the war according to Locke should be afforded little time. Locke writes about the value of time when he says, "for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power with out my consent, wouldÐ'...make me a slave." (Ch 3 sec. 17, "Two Treatises of Government") Because it is clearly



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