Philosophical issues presented by the matter of Lt Watadas court martial proceedings

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

Before this undertaking; the task will begin with the background issue in this matter. In the aftermath of the September 11 incident in the United States, Ehren Watada decided that it was in the best interest to join the United States military with a specific mission of putting an effort to defend the US from aggression targets by terrorists. Watada, having graduated and with a bright future lying ahead, he was left out of the poverty draft. Unfortunately, he considered himself a volunteer who had good intentions and committed to a noble course. Having been convinced by the then President Bush’s case against the invasion by Iraq, Watada was moved and fronted his desire to be deployed in the team heading for the offensive in Iraq.

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To address this issue, two concepts are covered. These include: (1) when is it considered just to go to war (2) when the war may be justly fought. This brings the case in this task to the point of declaring that it was just to declare war but then the war ended up being unjustly fought, as the case with the US military in their offensive of Iraq. Philosophically arguing, any aggrieved state that aims to wage war offensive with supposed enemy, it is important that such countries meet the following criteria: (1) the country must work out the probability of the success of the war, (2) must have the right intention, (3) just cause, (4) proportionality and (5)proper authority in place. The US Army, at the time of deployment to Iraq, lacked some of these considerations given the arguments by Lt.

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This was premised on the fact that under international law, such wars or aggressions must be cleared by special organizations, like the United Nations to be considered legal, something that did not take place. Therefore, the declaration by Bush was an illegal force (Francis et al. This task takes account of the extent to which theological or philosophical rationale was applied about the just war theory. One of the notable issues from the application of the just war theory is that the highlights of the separation between the laws that make war and those that declare war have played out. That is to say; there is a sharp disparity between jus in bello and jus ad bellum. Professor Hart submits to the idea of the separation of the law and morals.

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He defends the aspect of positivism in the school of jurisprudence from criticisms leveled against the insistence of having the distinction between what is law and what it is supposed to be. In his arguments, the critics have adopted the habit of confusing the separation of the same with other positivist theories on how a law that deserves to be criticized and then goes ahead to consider the benefits and merits of such separation (Hart, 611). It is worth noting that Hart, though having shared some concepts in jurisprudence with Austin, he appeared to have objected his approach. He was of the opinion that law was not a command of sovereignty backed by threats of punishment as submitted by Austin. He makes known the fact that positive laws made through analyzing various constituent concepts of the definition and bringing forth the distinguishing law from concepts that have similar bearings.

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Austin defined laws as being a prescription for actions that are without sanctions. He succeeded in delimiting legal rules and laws from religion, convention, morality, and custom (Adams, 256). What is unique about Austin’s approach is that he believed that whether or not something is or not the law or lawful for that matter lies on what a defined group has done. It should be noted that Austin’s main argument is not based on the argument of whether or not the law should be or should not be deemed immoral, nor fronting the idea that it rarely is. He says that a command refers to a set of wishes that someone declares so that something is done, especially duty. And such duties must be obeyed without which there are serious consequences in the name of punishment.

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From this standpoint, it is apparent that Austin would object to Lt. Watada’s objection of the orders to deploy to Iraq and thus deserved a legal trial and a possible jail term. As he signed up to serve in the military, he ought to have submitted and obeyed the orders to deploy, other than refusing the orders. This relates to the volunteer signing up of Lt. Watada who gave himself to the service of the country only to be disappointed at the manner in which the operation was to be carried out (Horwitz, 1825). While doing so, however, it is the moral duty of the officer who partakes of the mission to decipher details of the mission as informed by their moral justification.

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