Just War Illusions

by Project Censored

News outlets across America focus on issues pertaining to the American people such as universal health, gun control and same sex marriages. What about the humanitarian crises in Syria and across the globe? The United States and other superpowers have no interest in helping countries in turmoil. Instead they get involved only for economic and political gain, using military force only to obtain their goal.

Ronald E. Osborn, Just War illusion   “Just War Illusions: Shrouding Brutalities with Theological Euphemisms” March 7, 2014 – 3:45pm


Student: Wesley Andre, Indian River State College

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College



Violence has been used throughout history in order to obtain land, or to protect the people of a nation if necessary. But the rationale for going to war can always be questioned, ethically. The Just war illusion by Ronald E. Osborn states that Russia, United States and other parties had a self interest in Syria; the United States had intel that Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, was using chemical weapons on his own citizens; but the United States did not take military action. According to Osborn,“Realism demands that we pay close attention to the sheer power interests, often cloaked in idealistic rhetoric.” Is self-interest more important than saving innocent men, women, and children from the perils of war?

On September 11, 2001, the U.S. was attacked destroying the Twin Towers and ending many lives. We all vividly recall this act of terror and the distress we suffered on that day. Yet, “The existential irony of Obama’s policies may be lost on the families of the Yemeni civilians who, according to an October report by Human Rights Watch, were killed “indiscriminately in clear violation of the laws of war” by U.S. drones—just a few of the likely hundreds of innocent persons executed in distant lands, and under a veil of secrecy, since Obama took office.” The United States government attacked these citizens, claiming that they were terrorist but was the attack justified when it also killed entire families just to take down a relatively few terrorists? This clearly shows how far the US will go to obtains it goals even at the expense of innocent lives.

Let’s also not forget the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which served as a way to end the war with the Japan, but not without mass devastation and loss of innocent life. Should a country’s self-interest take precedence over human suffering, death and destruction? This objection is rarely addressed by the mass media. According to Osborn, “A realistic assessment of U.S. foreign policy since World War II would speak, for example, not of the Niebuhrian “irony” involved in the exercise of U.S. power, but rather of our persistent use of violence in pursuit of ‘the national interest.’”

Atrocities such as the Syrian chemical weapons and genocide crisis in the Central African Republic have not been adequately covered by mainstream American media organizations. Such coverage might help to stimulate an international resolve to help stop chemical weapon assaults against the Syrian people. Unfortunately, Bashar al-Assad still commits airs assaults, guerrilla tactics, and slaughters his own people. The international community, aided by big media coverage of the atrocities currently being committed, should step in and aid the Syrian people. Superpowers should look beyond their self-interest and do what is morally right by helping preserve innocent lives across the globe.

The United States invests billion overseas in attempting to advance its political interests. It has installments across the globe keeping an eye on countries’ economic and political stability. These political and economic interests are only for advancing US interests, not to lend a hand in time of need. This includes “the Pentagon’s estimated nine hundred military bases and installations in every corner of the globe, our staggering military budgets, and events such as Washington’s installation of dictators in countries like Greece, Vietnam, Guatemala, and Iran in the 1950s; its overthrow of democratically elected leaders in Chile and Brazil in the 1960s…”

People of all nations should not be muzzled by big media and government but should denounce the injustice of standing on the sideline while masses of innocent people are killed. Just because mainstream media doesn’t address the issue doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!