Would Korea and Vietnam be justified under just war?
By - DependentShirt8089
I think that Korea was a just war. Vietnam had a just cause, but was waged in an unjust manner and didn’t meet the other conditions about conduct and possibility of winning.
Yeah I tend to think the principles of the conflict were just. Maybe not the means in some cases.
Interestingly, I just watched Fr Casey Cole’s video on what’s a “[just war](https://youtu.be/qcvX2qfdHkA).”
He outlines a “checklist” for jus ad bellum
1) just cause
2) comparative justice
3) competent authority
4) right intention
5) probability of success
6) last resort
Now, I’m no theologian nor historian, but I think we were OK with 1-4. However, based on #5, I think we can make a good case that Vietnam wouldn’t qualify as a just war. Also, hard for me to examine whether all other diplomatic alternatives were fully explored on either conflict (failing #6).
Reading CCC 2309, I find it interesting that the Church frames it in terms of defense. As in, we are only justified in war as a way of defending ourselves (which probably includes allies). However, it makes no mention of limiting the spread of evil government/political systems (like communism).
In short, mostly agree.
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Korea can be justified as defending a US ally but the Americans excuse for putting American boots on the ground in Vietnam was weak and the incident that caused it is often disputed over the fact it may not have even happened. Vietnam was not over politics it was to satisfy the military industrial complex within the United States. Men were sacrificed in Vietnam for money. Of course communism is terrible and in both these countries after the wars the communist governments set up camps to re-educate or kill capitalists.
My Vietnam vet family hated their presence there so much they won't talk about it.
No, even if we disagree with their government and political ideology doesn’t give us the right to murder them. The USA killed 1/3rd of the Korean population during the war, it’s in living memory for them, and the continued status of the war is the reason North Korea focuses so much on building up their military because their enemy is the world superpower. Also, very baffled why we’d go kill Vietnamese now, they’re doing just fine?
As Catholics we are part of a universal brotherhood, nation-states are a modern construction, we place God and the Church above all which demands we do not seek out violence but actively seek peace through nonviolent means. War is only justifiable under strict criteria.
I believe Saints have even spoke on the evil that is communism? Even JPII I think? (Could be wrong).
Yes, it's condemned by the Church, but that's not enough reason for a justified war, there's more criteria. And it definitely doesn't justify the acts done by USA, likewise the Atomic Bombs in WW2.
Yeah there was some war crimes for sure.
I guess I look at it as the bully in the school yard. Are we just supposed to let evil exist or are we to do something about it if we can?
I admittedly struggle with the idea of being pacifist. “On one hand we are called to turn the other cheek” but also called to drive the money changers out of the temple.
I think of it another way too. Like the cartels throughout South America. Part of me (a just anger) wants us to bring these organizations to their knees. There is literally nothing good about the conduct of these crime cartels. They affectively have their corruption at all levels of government and are feeding addiction throughout the states.
This isn’t directed towards you but as a patriotic American I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but much of the world especially in the Global South, America is seen as the bully in the schoolyard and most of them have fair and right reasons for thinking so. I won’t go into all the puppet dictatorships we’ve supported that have systematically murdered thousands upon thousands of people sometimes for the crime of being against their dictators, as much as I want to see the cartels be brought to justice it isn’t our duty as a nation to go into other countries and act as a police force *unless* the nation requests our assistance.
Maybe in some cases but I think you downplay the amount of aid we give to other nations, while other countries deliberately close the door. We don’t live in a perfect world and America isn’t close to being perfect. But I think generally speaking it’s unfair to call us the bully in the schoolyard on the global stage. Without our support many nations would’ve cease to exist or be controlled by some totalitarian regime.
I think murder may be an unfair way to look at this. If you look at what Mao did in China, that’s murder. That very political system was threatening to take over the peninsula. Unless I’m missing something here (and I very well could be, because I’m not exactly a historian). I think communism is more than a political idea. It’s a dangerous form of governance that disregards the people. Again I point to the peninsula today. The North uses the US as a scapegoat because it keeps their people focused away from the real problems (the Kim regime).
As a vietnamese person living in the United States. My family are thankful for America attempting to eradicate communism in the war. Obviously the end result was not beneficial to the citizens of Vietnam nor to the United States but I do not take freedom for granted . Living in a country where I can freely practice my catholic faith is truly a blessing.
> pretty hard to argue against getting involved in WW1 and WW2.
Huh? I’ll give you WW2 (Holocaust), although USA was slow to act until Pearl Harbor, so we didn’t really get involved ***because of*** the Holocaust. But nothing comparable happened in WW1, so I don’t follow your logic at all
> we lost 500,000 million men
I don’t think your information is accurate.
To be fair the US was indirectly helping with the war effort with how their trade with the allies. And a lot of people wanted to get involved but their wasn't really an excuse to get involved until , if memory serves right, the Germans tried to get Mexico to attack the US.
Sorry meant 500,000 thousand. The Holocaust was never a driving factor because we largely didn’t know about that until after the war.
I seriously doubt there was any moral wrong in the US involving themselves in both conflicts. Especially when you consider our involvement was the “final nail in the coffin” for the axis powers. Could be wrong but I feel strongly about that thought.
I don’t think them to be one way or another. Korea had a dictatorship that the US backed, but the goal was to build them as a democracy. Which they did and the South is now very prosperous as opposed to the North. I don’t think it’s as simple as demonizing the US entirely or building them up as some kind of savior either. I just think it’s an interesting talking point as it relates to just war and our faith. My personal opinion is that, despite her flaws, America GENERALLY has other nations best interests in mind. That’s not to say that we aren’t looking out for our own, but what country is willing to sacrifice men and equipment or take the lead when we may get very little in return.
I often think of the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Europe and the sacrifices we put forth. Without us the world may be very different. Without the US in Korea the south would look very different.
To further speak on that point are “Western” interest something that is wrong? Especially when your contrast them with the “Eastern” interest of the time.