The Importance Of Just War

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When President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States was in the odd predicament of fighting two wars. Obama noted the apparent strangeness of this, but didn’t outright say war was bad or unnecessary. Instead, Obama claimed that war was in fact necessary in order to attain lasting peace, (3). He stated that while non-violent intervention is ultimately the desired solution instead of armed conflict, it is sometimes impossible to secure peace from non-violent actions, (3). He further stated that in order for lasting peace to be attained, war must be fought justly and that peace must encompass all rights, not just civil or political, (7). In Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech, he argued that just and lasting peace cannot be attained solely through nonviolence, but, instead, through “just war”.
With the acute awareness of the strange situation he found himself in, Obama found it necessary not only to justify “just war” to the audience, but to justify the serious consequences that inevitably follow armed conflict. Obama said, “While it’s hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished,”
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He did so to convey that just peace does not end when the last bullet was fired or the last bomb was dropped, but instead was a constant process. Obama said, “They [drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise,” (6). He made this statement to argue that one can’t simply fight the “just war” and expect peace to follow. Peace could never be attained without meeting the needs of individuals and guaranteeing those needs will be

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