All war is evil. Period. No exceptions. There are rare occasions when war becomes a necessary evil because a country is attacked, but no matter how necessary, the taking of a human life is still evil. The concept of a "just" war is, at best, a moral obscenity.
Unless you’re Barack Obama.
In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama stepped up to the podium in Stockholm and used the occasion to reinforce GWB’s Manichean worldview when he said:
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflicts in our lifetime. There will be times when nations—acting individually or in concert—will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
There you have it: our Eternal War of the Empty Policy will go on and on and on because the first rule of missionary zeal is that you must fight evil with evil.
To paraphrase the Chilean journalist Ximena Ortiz, Obama intends to fight evil using other people’s lives. But that’s the way it is with missionary crusades. It’s always easier to slaughter than to covert.
Of course, evil is evil as defined by the reigning power. This is one of the ways in which power corrupts. The more power a nation acquires, the more it becomes convinced that it is the moral center of the universe, and moral centers brook no opposition and are convinced that the carnage they leave in their wake is good for their victims since it introduces to the benefits of civilized behavior.
Cynics argue that morality has nothing to do with wars of aggression. Our wars have been all about acquiring land and resources or expanding markets. (No, the Civil War wasn’t fought to free the slaves. That was only an afterthought on Lincoln’s part to give a moral patina to the butchery the war produced.)
Since the Revolutionary War, we have sacrificed 1,314,400 military personnel in our attempts to reform the world. The civilian body count is even greater, especially since the introduction of industrial warfare.
Of course, Obama is correct when he says we will not eradicate violent conflicts in our lifetime because America keeps starting them.
But who ever thought Moral Purity was easy? It takes a lot of work and a lot of bloodshed to make the world a safe place for our Corporatists.