"War against Iraq is Immoral"
By Professor Hans Kung
[This excerpt is translated from the German in the Spiegel interview of March 17, 2003, http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,240443,00.html.]
As a theologian, I am against this war out of conviction. According to classical theological teaching, six criteria must be fulfilled to justify a war.
· The first criterion is the just cause. A mere threat assumed to be emerging is not a reason for war. A preventive war on suspicion is immoral and against international law.
· The second criterion is honest intention. What about removing weapons of mass destruction or regime change? No. In reality the US seeks to enforce its concept of a worldwide US empire.
· The third criterion is proportionality. A humanitarian catastrophe with thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees cannot be accepted on account of removing a misanthropic dictator.
· The fourth is full power authority. Only the UN Security Council was such an authority since no one was attacked and no immediate threat existed.
· Fifthly war must be the ultima ratio, the last possibility, for removing evil. Saddam's containment was undoubtedly possible without war with an exact timetable and work schedule for UN inspectors and constant surveillance.
· And lastly number six: International law must be observed. No guarantee exists after the experiences of the Afghanistan war that the Americans will respect humanitarian rules.
All six criteria must be fulfilled to justify a war. Not one single criterion was actually fulfilled. Therefore war against Iraq is immoral.