The Ethics of Pre-Emptive Violence

Obama's intention to wage war in Afghanistan is explained as a way to eradicate "Al Qaeda" who are believed to threaten America. That threat was manifest in the "attack" in New York on 9-11-2001.

It is believed that some Muslims, often labeled militant, extremist, and terrorist, have found Americans to warrant killing. Certainly some Muslims have waged war on their fellows whose beliefs and practices were judged wrong.

How can Obama, a man who deliberately included Christianity in his inauguration ceremony, justify a pre-emptive war on Afghans?

Does he believe American soldiers can eradicate Al Qaeda? Does he believe that such an effort will gain us admirers in the Muslim world? The desire to kill Americans en masse grew from nothing once—and it can do it again. The spirit of Al Qaeda can outlive its current members.

So much for practical considerations. My real concern here is an ethical one. What ethics justify violence, especially pre-emptive violence? This is not the God of Jesus. These ethics are the primitive "eye for an eye."

How can we in 2009 so blindly abandon the God in whom we trust?

Revision: 4-4-2009.