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Breaking News--Paul Johnson killed by captors

Paul Johnson Obituaries American Hostage Beheaded

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#41 Drew

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:13 PM

My bad (as the kids say). I was really thinking of Aquinas, . . . not Augustine, although Augustine had a lot to say as well. But I'm more familiar with Aquinas. Here's the pertinent section of the Summa Theologica.

Of War (Four Articles)

Quote

In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Rm. 13:4): "He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil"; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Ps. 81:4): "Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner"; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): "The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority."

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (Questions. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): "A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly."

   Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [*The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine's works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): "True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good." For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): "The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war."

And here is an interesting analysis the basic premise being that failure to engage in a just war is a failure to love thy neighbor.

Edited by Drew, 18 June 2004 - 05:14 PM.

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#42 Aurelius

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:16 PM

Rest in peace Paul Johnson.

This is an utter disgrace. Those terrorists never had any intention of letting him go.

What's next!!!! Bombings, shootings, mutilations, kidnappings. Is there no end to the barbarity. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. As a species we've been finding grusome ways of killing each other for thousands of years.

What really makes my blood boil (as if the killing wasn't bad enough) is that we see Muslims and others shouting "God is great" when things like this happen. The audacity and sheer nerve of imagining that God would be pleased by this brutality is mind-boggling and completely offensive!

Saying that, I don't believe for one second that all Muslims are like that, not for one second.

This is a sad day, but sadder yet, it's just one of many. And there's more to come. This situation will never be solved. Never.


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#43 Chipper

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:23 PM

F***


I don't htink killing the AQ prisoners will do anything much.  If anything, they'll get angrier and take even more people prisoner and behead them.


*sigh*


Mankind is truly the worst species on the planet.  If we can accomplish this...and in AQ's case...for PLEASURE....ich.  I feel like trhwoing up.
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#44 Jid

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:30 PM

On the flip side of the coin, it's now being reported that al-Muqrin and two other AQ members were killed while trying to dispose of Johnson's body.

http://www.cbc.ca/st...ld/muqrin040618
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#45 Jid

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:53 PM

Drew, on Jun 18 2004, 03:54 PM, said:

They've never needed any kind of excuse before.

Don't you get it?
For the sake of clarity, Drew, I get it.  I get it far more than you obviously think I do.

I get that 'Al Qaeda' literally translates as 'the base' or 'the foundation' upon which bin Laden believes a new extremist Caliphate of muslim nations will be built.  

I get that they believe, quite correctly, that before they'll be free to do this, they have to weaken the US and incite such hatred against this to whip as many followers of islam as they can into willingness to engage in US in a jihad.

I get that the west has effectively got one hand tied behind it's back politically, because we run on 4 year election cycles, whereas AQ has the luxury of planning for a war they recognize will last decades, if not over a century.  And believe me, I get that they're committed to it as an organization.

But you know what else I get?

I get that AQ numbers are swelling with every week that passes while US troops remain in Iraq.  I get that despite whatever intentions we have, AQ has been successful in spinning the invasion of Iraq to show the US (which devoted roughly 1/5th the number of troops to actually hunting AQ in Afghanistan as it has sent into Iraq) is more concerned with invading an oil rich arab nation, rather than actually hunting the people who inflicted the terrible events of 9/11 on America.  I get that if the US started executing prisoners in the name of retribution, they'd have zero trouble convincing how many more young arab men that the US slaughtered martyrs who were doing Allah's work.

Please, spare me your lectures on the evils of AQ - I'm as literate and able to read as the next man, woman, and child that possesses the intelligence to access the internet.  I fully recognize that the only way AQ will ever be stopped is to destroy it.  

But more importantly, the most important burden upon the west is to show all non-AQ Arabs and muslims that we are precisely *not* the great Satan.  And the way to do that is to not wholesale slaughter prisoners, it is not to degrade them, humiliate them, and then only show regret at being caught.  To do so would be to precisely keep up the game AQ is baiting us into.  They *want* the wakened giant to exercise its full might, to become hardened, and cruel, and angry, and embittered.  Because doing so would perpetuate their mythos, strengthen their words in the eyes of all their future followers, and ensure beyond all doubt that they'd never be lacking for fresh recruits to fight their most decidedly UNholy war.

You say that we cannot be peaceable in our responses.  I agree to a point.  But I also cannot help but acknowledge that Gandhi ended racial violence in Calcutta just by starving himself in protest, and that the early Christian church was rarely violent in the midst of decades upon decades of persecution at the hands of the Romans, yet survived to be come one of the largest religions in the world.  Let those who live by the sword, die in combat by that sword.  But let the prisoners be treated as human beings, and let the olive branch go forth to everyone else.  The only way this war will truly ever end is when the US has satisfactorily demonstrated that it is everything AQ says it is not.  Until then, for every AQ that's killed, another will rise in their place.

I get that.
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#46 Cardie

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 06:09 PM

Bravo, Jid!

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#47 Rov Judicata

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 06:10 PM

Jid, on Jun 18 2004, 03:51 PM, said:

I get that AQ numbers are swelling with every week that passes while US troops remain in Iraq.
I've always wondered where AQ posts their recruitment numbers...

Quote

I get that despite whatever intentions we have, AQ has been successful in spinning the invasion of Iraq to show the US (which devoted roughly 1/5th the number of troops to actually hunting AQ in Afghanistan as it has sent into Iraq) is more concerned with invading an oil rich arab nation, rather than actually hunting the people who inflicted the terrible events of 9/11 on America.  I get that if the US started executing prisoners in the name of retribution, they'd have zero trouble convincing how many more young arab men that the US slaughtered martyrs who were doing Allah's work.

Here's the problem:

When the US does right, it barely gets reported in our own press, let alone the Arab press. Unless you pay very close attention to the news, you miss stories like this as well:

Quote

The G8 leaders on Wednesday adopted a compromise version of Bush's plan to push democracy across the greater Middle East, but tied such an effort to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, at European insistence.

The plan aims to spur democracy by providing support to grass-roots groups, training 100,000 new teachers over the next decade and providing loans to fledgling entrepreneurs.

While all countries endorsed the aims, European countries grumbled that they have been pursuing many of these goals for years in the Middle East.

The problem is only partially US actions, and we're-- by and large-- doing the best we can. But in politics, it's all about perception. The part of the war we have to work on most is information distribution. Until the western world does more on that front, AQ is always going to have the edge in the spin department. How many people in the Middle East have heard about, for instance, the men who got their hands cut off by Saddam and had them replaced-- for free!-- by Americans?

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 18 June 2004 - 07:36 PM.

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#48 QuiGon John

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 06:36 PM

Drew, on Jun 18 2004, 06:11 PM, said:

And here is an interesting analysis the basic premise being that failure to engage in a just war is a failure to love thy neighbor.
Since we're speaking about loving thy neighbor and Aquinas and quoting Scripture and such, will you kindly point me to the place in the Gospel where Jesus says "If your neighbor strikes you on the right cheek, go ahead and kill him?"

Don't get me wrong.  I despise what Al Quaeda is doing, and I'm not entirely opposed to the viewpoint that we might have to get rough with them in order to put a stop to it.  I'm not sold on that view either, but there is an argument to be made for it.

But to my mind, there's a real easy line between espousing the benefits of religion and faith (as we who call ourselves Christians ought to be doing) and using it to advance an evil agenda, as Al Quaeda does:  If you're using it to justify hurting someone, it's wrong.  

On a secular level, I want to gut some of these guys as much as the next person.  But using spiritually-based concepts to argue that it's somehow "right" is a misapplication of faith-- particularly so if you're a Christian, because Jesus never said that, or anything like it.  Anywhere.

#49 Bad Wolf

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 06:44 PM

That's why I wubbs me some John Burke.   :love:
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#50 LittleRedhead

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:23 PM

emsparks, on Jun 18 2004, 11:52 AM, said:

I think the way things are going Iran is going to be glass shortly....
Sparky::
Methinks you are right Sparky.

May Mr. Johnson rest in peace. My condolences to his family.
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#51 Drew

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:25 PM

Skyler, on Jun 18 2004, 06:34 PM, said:

But to my mind, there's a real easy line between espousing the benefits of religion and faith (as we who call ourselves Christians ought to be doing) and using it to advance an evil agenda, as Al Quaeda does:  If you're using it to justify hurting someone, it's wrong.
But the point of the article I linked (included in the portion you quoted) suggests that war can be an act of charity, and such an idea is based on the tenets of the Christian faith. As I said (and as you quoted) failure to go to war to prevent evil is failure to love your neighbor.
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#52 DWF

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:41 PM

Drew, on Jun 18 2004, 05:54 PM, said:

Don't you get it? You don't fight these people by quoting MLK. You don't overcome them by joining hands and singing "Kum Bah Yah." The only way to fight them is to utterly destroy them.

For the sake of civilization itself, we must win this war.
By now the AQ is an idea, a concept and you can't destroy an idea, even if you kill all the members of AQ the idea the concept remains. We learned that lession with the Nazis, the Romans learned it with the early Christians. We have to learn how to destroy an idea and it can't be done by force of arms or nuclear weapons.
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#53 Kimmer

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 08:56 PM

May God be with his family. :cry:


I'm with President Bush when he said:

"These [the murderers of Paul M. Johnson] are barbaric people."

#54 ZipperInt

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:29 PM

RIP Paul Johnson.

I agree with what Jid, John, Gaius, Gode, DWF, Chipper, etc., are saying. We have to destroy Al-Qaeda, but we cannot become monsters in order to do so. Fighting the reason to become a terrorist is a much more effective method than killing terrorists as they emerge (I have the image of one of those gopher-banging games in my head).

Edited by ZipperInt, 19 June 2004 - 11:10 AM.

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#55 parisindy

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:38 PM

it's very sad...

in war there are no winners just a whole bunch of losses  :(
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#56 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:41 PM

For all those who have voiced, or thought, along the lines of: "If we sink to their level then we are no better then they are."....I applaud your idealism, but this isn't your Grandfather's war.

The rules have changed boy's and girls, and the US had better stop treating these monsters with kid gloves.

Because it is a *fact* that these monster's know the rules we operate by. They know what we will and will not do in situations. That gives them the advantage. When the enemy your fighting knows the rules you *have* to follow, and doesn't follow the same rules...more then likely they will win.

As the opening line in Chroniles of Riddick pointed out.

Quote

Ordinarily Evil would be fought with GOOD. But sometimes the only way to fight evil is with another kind of evil

Because look at the facts that we know right now. The Saudi security force killed the leader of the group that killed Paul Johnson. How many hours after they committed this crime did it take for them to find the group??? You can't seriously believe that they *didn't* know where this group was. They knew EXACTLY where the group was....and did nothing. Until they got nervous the US might get pissed at them.

Nukes are out, for obvious reasons. But executing the prisoners they wanted released isn't...IMO. They B***h and moan about the abuse scandal...I say we show them exactly how brutal things can get.

If that makes more terrorists....well, we can kill those also. I say it's high time that we make clear to these bastards that if you frell with US...we will wipe even the memory of you off the face of the Earth. We'll kill your family, your dog, preferably with them watching.

If my approach offends some, I apologize....But times change, the US had better get it's game on if it hopes to win.
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#57 Chipper

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:49 PM

Drew, on Jun 18 2004, 08:23 PM, said:

Skyler, on Jun 18 2004, 06:34 PM, said:

But to my mind, there's a real easy line between espousing the benefits of religion and faith (as we who call ourselves Christians ought to be doing) and using it to advance an evil agenda, as Al Quaeda does:  If you're using it to justify hurting someone, it's wrong.
But the point of the article I linked (included in the portion you quoted) suggests that war can be an act of charity, and such an idea is based on the tenets of the Christian faith. As I said (and as you quoted) failure to go to war to prevent evil is failure to love your neighbor.
*looks incredulous*

War can be an act of charity?!?!?!

For who, Drew?

For the destruction of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups?  That'll be a blessing for the world.  But before we can so easily say let's go to war!, why can't we consider everything else?  The Bush administration obviously overlooked all of the "everything else" because they are playing after their turn.  After they are called on their miscalculations and mistakes!

For who?
For the millions of men and women civilians in the areas where the war will take place?
For the families of all the soldiers?
For the soldiers themselves?  Do we WANT another lost generation?
YOU probably will not be made to fight (becuase really, I don't see this "war" you so want happening without a draft).  

I will.  I'm 16!  I WANT a future, and I DO NOT want my future to be on the battlefield killing people, no matter how evil they may be.  I may want these people dead but I could NEVER accept that *I* would have to even take responsibility for it.

War isn't charity.  War is pain.  War is death.  War is full of a glimmer of hope that can easily be stifled.  Because even war won't get rid of these people.  They are eternal, unfortunately.  They are eternal as long as we take violence and use it against them, as long as we do not show the people who they claim to stand for that WE are the good.

War doesn't do that.  It makes things worse in the end.  

Charity my ass.
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#58 ZipperInt

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:49 PM

You're view doesn't offend me in the slightest LOTS - I almost agree with you. If this were our grandfather's war, I'd say go for it - destroy Al-Qaeda down to the last man/woman/child, hell, they probably deserve it. But this *isn't* our grandfather's war, the main difference being that technology/globalization (gotta love those other threads!) ensures our actions are well known clear across the world, and the enemy is currently winning on the spin factor. More importantly, we have to start setting an example to the rest of the world, including future generations, on how life on this planet should work, and how human beings should treat each other; if we stoop down to their level, we're not only causing more harm to ourselves and our moral position in this war, but we run the risk as a species of never being able to overcome our innate desire to destroy ourselves.
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#59 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 11:49 PM

Quote

(Chipper) I will. I'm 16! I WANT a future, and I DO NOT want my future to be on the battlefield killing people, no matter how evil they may be. I may want these people dead but I could NEVER accept that *I* would have to even take responsibility for it.

Then be glad that there are people who will take that responsibility.  You make it sound as if those who choose to fight are forfeiting their future and everything that they are.  I believe the opposite is true.

Quote

War isn't charity. War is pain. War is death. War is full of a glimmer of hope that can easily be stifled.

All true.  But war can also result in positive change... and sometimes, real, lasting peace.

Quote

Because even war won't get rid of these people. They are eternal, unfortunately.

Really?  I suppose radical groups may seem eternal if you look at them from the perspective of a few decades, but few last longer than that.  I give Muslim extremism a generation before social change knocks most of the fervor out of it.

Quote

They are eternal as long as we take violence and use it against them, as long as we do not show the people who they claim to stand for that WE are the good.

That's a very nice thought, but "they" don't care.  The widespread anti-US sentiment in the Middle East is another matter, but again, I don't see that shifting for at least a generation.

While we can deal with some of the issues that foster terrorism over time, for right now, the best way to deal with terrorism is to kill the terrorists.

Quote

War doesn't do that. It makes things worse in the end.

Not always.

Edited by Lord Ravensburg, 18 June 2004 - 11:53 PM.


#60 G1223

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 12:24 AM

Thanks milord.


  I'd like to add. No one wanted a second world War those who provoked it wanted everyone to do nothing. Those who were attacked wanted left alone.  We saw with that war a set of mosterous acts and we called upon them to stop. when we kept them from getting the materials they wanted they attacked us.

In the 90's when the word ethnic clensing was released concerning Bosnia. I was upset and I would have accepted using the full weight and measure of our armed forces to beat those murderers to death if need be.

There are people on this planet that will do anything to attack us. They will lull is to sleep and then strike I think that we and the world forget that we are still the sleeping giant. Chipper you want peace? The realize that it comes from people who have to be ready to murder to defend you. They are policemen and they are soldiers.

Edited by G1223, 19 June 2004 - 01:05 AM.

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