The Moral Debate: A Just Conflict, or Just a Conflict?

George Bush invokes a long-standing Christian doctrine to defend his military action against Saddam

"We know that this is a just war, and we know that, God willing, this is a war we will win."

George Bush prefers action to abstraction, but last week he delivered a fervent argument to bolster support for the war with Iraq. In a speech before a Washington audience of radio and TV Protestant evangelists, he invoked a long-standing Christian doctrine in the battle against Saddam Hussein, that of the "just war."

Bush's words were a direct response to the unusually widespread criticism of the war in American religious circles. The Roman Catholic hierarchy has questioned whether the U.S.-led military...

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