A Former State Department official, Tom Pickering, cautioned the US Senate to “cease hostile policies against Iran”, reminding members that Iran is capable of attacking a host of American “soft targets” in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.
Speaking at a US Senate hearing session on foreign policy toward Iran, former US undersecretary of state, Tom Pickering, noted that foregoing diplomacy and negotiation as well as the use of sanctions in favor of a military strike on Iran can unleash a wave of attacks against “soft American targets” worldwide, a press tv report said.
“Iran or surrogates could attack businesses, non-governmental organizations, missionaries and virtually every American establishment in the region and beyond,” added Pickering, who served as former US ambassador to Russia, India, Israel and the United Nations.
US officials has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran’s progress in nuclear technology.
Iran has repeatedly warned that in case of a pre-emptive US military attack it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian navy has adopted a asymmetrical tactic of keeping the majority of its submarine fleet at sea where they lay close to the bottom of the Strait, where they are extremely hard to detect so they can hunt multi-billion dollar US nuclear aircraft carriers and battleships…
40 percent of the entire world’s oil supply passes through the strategic waterway and chokepoint of the Strait of Hormuz…
In addition the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Congressman King said he believed that the terrorist group Hezbollah has “hundreds of operatives” inside the US, who might conduct suicide bombing and carry out acts of sabotage and murder in response to a military attack on Iran.
“Why should we attack anybody who hasn’t attacked us”, says martin Gomez of Charlotte, N.C an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who is a self describe “Catholic”. He subscribes to the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas and the “just war theory”. We contacted a Catholic church in Charlotte and asked for clarification of the church’s position on the application of Just war in terms of Iran and they declined to speak on this matter because it is politically sensitive…They referred us to the Vatican website for the churches official position.
JUST WAR THEORY
Just war theory(or Bellum iustum) is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a violent conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.
Just War Theory has two sets of criteria. The first establishing jus ad bellum, the right to go to war; the second establishing jus in bello, right conduct within war.
JUS AD BELLUM
The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: “Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations.”
While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.
Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war. “A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice. Dictatorships (e.g. Hitler’s Regime) or a deceptive military actions (e.g. the 1968 US bombing of Cambodia) are typically considered as violations of this criterion. The importance of this condition is key. Plainly, we cannot have a genuine process of judging a just war within a system that represses the process of genuine justice. A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice”.
Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.
Probability of success
Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;
Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.
The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.
In modern terms, just war is waged in terms of self-defense, or in defense of another (with sufficient evidence).
JUS IN BELLO
Once war has begun, just war theory (Jus in bello) also directs how combatants are to act or should act:
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of distinction. The acts of war should be directed towards enemy combatants, and not towards non-combatants caught in circumstances they did not create. The prohibited acts include bombing civilian residential areas that include no military target and committing acts of terrorism or reprisal against civilians.
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of proportionality. An attack cannot be launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of minimum force. An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction.
Fair treatment of prisoners of war
Enemy soldiers who surrendered or who are captured no longer pose a threat. It is therefore wrong to torture them or otherwise mistreat them.
The US is accused of violating this article in the mistreatment of prisoners of war in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay secret prison camp.
No means malum in se
Soldiers may not use weapons or other methods of warfare which are considered as evil, such as mass rape, forcing soldiers to fight against their own side or using weapons whose effects cannot be controlled (e.g. nuclear weapons, cluster bombs…etc.).
Needless to say the United States does not subscribe to the Just War theory or adhere to Christian ethics in the right conduct of war. US conduct in war is questionable in terms of motive and intent. The US in fact violates the Just war theory by adopting a “pre-emptive” war strategy which is in many ways the opposite of just war theory.
The Just War Doctrine is the standard used by leaders to determine when war is justified. The Just War Doctrine defines both the necessary conditions for going to war and the considerations while prosecuting the war.