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Regarding Donnie Johnston's column "War being waged so differently now" [Feb. 8] and Chris Castelli's letter to the editor, "First Paul, now Johnston besmirch U.S. heroes" [Feb. 15]:
The principle of Jus ad bellum ("right to declare war" or "just war") dictates that "war should be limited to achieving the goals that started the war and should not include [wholesale] destruction [for destruction's sake]. Wars must be brought to an end as quickly as possible, and people and property that do not contribute to the war should be protected against unnecessary hardship."
Jus in bello protects "both combatants and noncombatants from unnecessary suffering, [safeguards] human rights of prisoners of war, wounded, sick and civilians and [facilitates] the restoration of peace."
A third principle, Jus post bellum addresses military and political behavior after victory.
Under Jus ad bellum, England, France, and the U.S. were justified in declaring war on Nazi Germany. Jus in bello refers to the manner in which the military behaves during war. Jus post bellum focuses on rebuilding efforts and rehabilitative measures.
On the battlefield we find those who commit egregious violations and those who uphold the principles for which they are fighting to the degree of self-sacrifice.
Let us not forget that there is a Judge who sees all and misses nothing. Those who live outside those principles will be held to the highest accountability. Those who honor it with their courage will be rewarded with gratitude, respect, and eternal salvation.
Finally, we need to educate ourselves before we begin casting aspersions and initiating a war of letters.