On the Sunday political talk shows, it was all about “Air Strikes!” vs. “Boots On The Ground!” Missing from the debate – not unlike back in 2001 – was any serious discussion of military action vs. another kind of intervention. Perhaps the adage really is true – “when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” And so on Monday evening, the US launched air strikes inside Syria against ISIL.
The Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite called for a wider discussion this past weekend on State of Belief Radio, relying on Just War Theory (which demands both an imminent threat, and the likelihood of success before resorting to violence.)
Dr. Thistlethwaite identified two specific tactics that have worked in the past against foreign terrorists: fostering political opposition, and “getting their money.”
Speaking of money, she’s suspicious that the profit motive plays a role in the decision to launch a military attack.
The fact is, the morality of deadly force is explicitly addressed by Just War Theory – and Dr. Thistlethwaite’s area of specialty, Just Peace Theory.
Dr. Thistlethwaite published a strongly-worded commentary on this crisis at OnFaith. Read it here.
Here’s the extended interview from the September 20th, 2014 edition of State of Belief Radio.