Meet 10 Conditions Before War

The above title headlined a piece in Albany’s Times Union newspaper yesterday, written by a male U.S. citizen, 61 years old, whose adulthood stands framed by two tragic wars carried out under the banner of stars and stripes unfurled. Thanks to non-blogger myrln for emailing me about it.
The author of the piece, Brian O’Shaughnessy of Troy New York, states:

As a person of faith, I have consistently applied the Just War Theory to our country’s war deliberations. Dating back to St. Augustine, this theory reflects the Gospel presumption against violence and establishes numerous conditions as a firewall to war. All of its conditions have to be met before the expected violence can be morally justified. They include using all nonviolent means to settle a conflict before resorting to violent ones. Also, the good to be achieved must outweigh the probable costs and damages.

While the entire piece is worth reading, at some point it will disappear from the paper’s internet archives, so I quote here (and urge all my readers to widely share) the author’s suggestions for conditions that should be met before we wage any more wars:

&#9733 1. The sons, daughters and grandchildren of all members of Congress and the executive branch, between the ages of 18 and 30, shall be drafted into the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force for the duration of the war.
&#9733 2. Professional football and baseball and hockey and basketball shall be suspended for the duration. NASCAR, too.
&#9733 3. All rabbis, all imams, all pastors and other religious leaders shall fast from solid food from dawn to dusk for three days a week for the duration of the war.
&#9733 4. A 3 percent tax on the income of America’s richest families and a 50 percent tax on bonuses given on Wall Street shall fund the war. This year, one company alone, Goldman Sachs, will lavish more than $16.5 billion in end-of-year bonuses on its employees.
&#9733 5. The casket of each soldier killed shall be returned to the United States and brought to the Capitol Rotunda for a 24-hour vigil and tribute — following permission of grieving family members.
&#9733 6. All soap operas, on cable and network television, shall be suspended for the duration of the war.
&#9733 7. All golf courses shall be closed following confirmation of the first casualty.
&#9733 8. All cats and dogs of U.S. citizens shall be quarantined for the duration of the war.
&#9733 9. The commander in chief shall not take a vacation during the duration of the war.
&#9733 10. American classics such as Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” shall be taught in schools and read in houses of worship during the duration.

While I don’t understand how #8 will help, and I’m not crazy about #6, I can certainly wholeheartedly support the rest.
A new year. A new start. A new hope.

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