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Problems of Reality the Vietnam War - Essay

If Walzer is right that in war, outside of supreme emergencies, we mayintentionally kill only people who are liable to be killed, and if asignificant proportion of unjust combatants and noncombatants areresponsible to the same degree as one another for unjustified threats,and if liability is determined by responsibility, then we must decidebetween two unpalatable alternatives. If we set a high threshold ofresponsibility for liability, to ensure that noncombatants are notliable to be killed, then we will also exempt many combatants fromliability. In ordinary wars, which do not involve supreme emergencies,intentionally killing such non-liable combatants would beimpermissible. This moves us towards a kind of pacifism—thoughwarfare can in principle be justified, it is so hard to fight withoutintentionally killing the non-liable that in practice we must bepacifists (May 2015). But if we set the threshold of responsibilitylow, ensuring that all unjust combatants are liable, then manynoncombatants will be liable too, thus rendering them permissibletargets and seriously undermining Discrimination. We are torn betweenpacifism on the one hand, and realism on the other. This is the“responsibility dilemma” for just war theory (Lazar2010).

Antiwar poster, replica of a woodcut by Anton Refregier, 1970 (Library of Congress)

When I got home, I think everybody, including myself, was sick of the war. We abhorred it. It was not only cruel, it was absurd. Foreigners came to our country from out of the blue and forced us to take up arms. Don’t you think that’s absurd? We just wanted to be prosperous and live like other people. Of course we had to fight to protect our country but we were really sick of the war. Deep down we didn’t like it. Casualties were enormous. And not just that – our savings, our houses, our plants and animals, everything was wasted by that war.

Problems of Reality the Vietnam War

Actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam in 1972, making her infamous with American war supporters

“On Wars of Liberation,” prepared by the Council of the War Resisters’ International at its meeting in Vienna, August 12-17, 1968, A J. Muste Memorial Institute Essay Series (pamphlet), pp. 7-8.

“Manifest destiny” was an informal doctrine that combined religious, political, and racial ideas into a righteous justification for American territorial expansion. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine of 1904 was the American equivalent of the French and British “civilizing missions,” applied to the Americas. The Truman Doctrine of 1947 established the basic ideological framework of the Cold War, intellectually dividing the world into communist totalitarians and freedom-loving peoples, which tragically failed to acknowledge British and French imperial domination in Asia and Africa.

Maria Martinez – Reality of war essay

Nixon’s secret plan to end the war (Herb Block, Aug. 1972, Library of Congress)

I am sure the great American people, if only they knew the true facts and background to the developments in South Vietnam, will agree with me that further bloodshed is unnecessary. And that the political and diplomatic methods of discussions and negotiations alone can create conditions which will enable the United States to withdraw gracefully from that part of the world. As you know, in times of war and hostilities, the first casualty is truth.

The first problem with this proposal is that it rests on contentiousempirical speculation about whether soldiers in fact consent in thisway. But setting that aside, second, it is radically statist, implyingthat international law simply doesn’t apply to asymmetricconflicts between states and non-state actors, since the latter arenot part of the appropriate conventions. This gives international lawshallow foundations, which fail to support the visceral outrage thatbreaches of international law typically evoke. It also suggests thatstates that either don’t ratify major articles of internationallaw, or that withdraw from agreements, can escape its strictures. Thisseems mistaken. Third, we typically regard waivers of fundamentalrights as reversible when new information comes to light. Whyshouldn’t just combatants be allowed to withdraw theirrights-waiver when they are fighting a just war? Many regard the rightto life as inalienable; even if we deny this, we must surely doubtwhether you can alienate it once and for all, under conditions ofinadequate information. Additionally, suppose that you want to jointhe armed forces only to fight a specific just war (McMahan 2011b).Why should you waive your rights against harm in this case, given thatyou plan only to fight now? Fourth, and most seriously, even ifBenbaji’s argument explained why killing combatants in war ispermissible regardless of the cause you are serving, it cannot explainwhy unintentionally killing noncombatants as a side-effect ofone’s actions is permissible. By joining the armed forces oftheir state, soldiers at least do something that impliestheir consent to the regime of international law that structures thatrole. But noncombatants do not consent to this regime. Soldiersfighting for unjust causes will inevitably kill many innocentcivilians. If those deaths cannot be rendered proportionate, thenCombatant Equality does not hold.

Jeffrey Race, War Comes to Long An (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), p. 67.
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The Reality of War - A-Level English - Marked by …

Jeremi Suri, Review of Jessica Elkind, “Aid under Fire: Nation building and the Vietnam War,” American Historical Review, February 2017, p. 204.

American History Essays: Problems of Reality the Vietnam War

Robert Mann, A Grand Delusion: America’s Descent into Vietnam (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 512, 594, 682; “Gallup Poll Reports 49% Believe Involvement in Vietnam an Error,” New York Times, March 10, 1968, p. 4; and Charles DeBenedetti, with Charles Chatfield, assisting author, An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era (Syracuse University press,1990), p. 310.

Reality of war essay introduction - FitnPerfect

George Kahin, unpublished paper, November 1988, p. 6, cited in Young, The Vietnam Wars, p. 264. George and Audrey Kain were in Hanoi at the behest of Senator J. William Fulbright who wanted to clarify the Vietnamese position on negotiations. Ellsworth quoted in David F. Schmitz, Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War: The End of the American Century (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), p. 118.

The Reality of War Essay examples - 819 Words | …

Wilcox, Waiting for an Army to Die; and Michael Uhl and Tod Ensign, GI Guinea Pigs: How the Pentagon Exposed Our Troops to Dangers More Deadly Than War – Agent Orange and Atomic Radiation (Playboy Press, 1980).

The reality of war Essay Example for Free - …

Fred Wilcox, Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), pp. 4, 51; Fred Wilcox, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2011); “Effects of Chemical Warfare in South Vietnam,” in Frank Browning and Dorothy Forman, eds., The Wasted Nations: Report of the International Commission of Enquiry Into United States Crimes in Indochina (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), 117; and Duffet, ed., Against the Crime of Silence, p. 335.

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