Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular


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Teaching about the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib and Guantonomo Bay

View Preview. Learn more Check out. Abstract Social science research has revealed how U. Citing Literature. Volume 33 , Issue 1 March Pages Related Information. In this singular examination of the American discourse over war and torture, Douglas V.

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Porpora, Alexander Nikolaev, Julia Hagemann May, and Alexander Jenkins investigate the opinion pages of American newspapers, television commentary, and online discussion groups to offer the first empirical study of the national conversation about the invasion of Iraq and the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib a year later. And while many writers and commentators have opined about our moral place in the world, the vast amount of empirical data amassed in Post-Ethical Society sets it apart—and makes its findings that much more damning. Table of Contents. Chicago Blog : History.

Events in History. Sign Up. Twitter Facebook Youtube. With the ill-planned withdrawal of US forces in December , Iraq is on her way to a chaotic and unstable state of governance with many internal challenges coming her way. It is therefore important to shed light on the invasion of Iraq by US led forces under the pretext of saving her from the decades-old brutal tyranny of Saddam Hussein and curbing the proliferation of WMD.

Under the iron-clad dictatorship of Saddam Hussein from to , the Iraqis faced absolute oppression which manifested in the crushing of opposition and using brute force and state propaganda by Hussein to secure his power.

Apart from these coldblooded policies, the regime was also defined by aggression to foreign powers. Iraq then went on to invade Kuwait on 2 nd August Having invaded and occupied Kuwait, violating the prescriptions of international law, Hussein was not hesitant to further display his contempt to said law by breaching international terms and conditions including weapons inspection and ending the production of WMDs agreed to at the end of the war that marked the defeat of Iraq by an international coalition in early s.


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Owing to his disregard of international laws and conventions, the country had to face numerous sanctions that caused relentless human suffering until the end of his rule in The invasion took place against a backdrop of Iraqi compliance with the demands of the weapons inspectors [15] after a long period of non-cooperation that could have actually provoked the US-led West.

Despite positive gestures shown by Iraq towards the weapons inspection programmes, the US decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Since an in-depth analysis of the actual reasons behind the invasion is beyond the scope of this chapter, this will only provide a brief account of the chronology of events leading up to the Iraq invasion and the post-invasion situation of Iraq.

The reasons for the invasion will be dealt in detail in subsequent chapters. War on Terror will be given special emphasis and elaborated in subsequent paragraphs as an important landmark of the invasion of Iraq. Having failed that, US formed a coalition with willing states and invaded Iraq on 19 th March despite heavy opposition from most of the UN member states. About , US and British troops were involved in the invasion. Though the US found it easy to emerge victorious in the early phase, the situation soon turned out to be chaotic.

Due to sloppy security arrangements, violence soon took to the streets and prowling became the norm. The National Museum of Baghdad was ransacked with some invaluable relics gone missing. In December Saddam was found in a hideout. This was a time when US troops were becoming distasteful to the Iraqis, especially among pro-Saddam factions due to which uprisings occurred against the troops. In Saddam went on trial for crimes against humanity, ironically against a backdrop in which Iraqi prisoners were abused by American soldiers.

In the US sent additional troops with the aim of reconciling rival groups within Iraq who contributed to growing violence each day. In the Iraqi government called for the withdrawal of US troops, to which the newly-elected US president Barak Obama responded positively.

By December , the last brigade of US soldiers left Iraq, ending their eight-year long presence. Though US ended her presence in Iraq in late , the current situation of Iraq poses a very important question.

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With a rising death toll, surging violence, political commotion and escalation of terrorist activities especially Al-Qaeda attacks, has the proclaimed US mission, which was to save the Iraqis from the iron grip of a brutal dictator and to establish a peace loving democracy, been actually accomplished? Iraq today finds herself arguably in a more difficult situation than her pre-invasion self did. The thesis intends to provide an answer to the question in the succeeding chapters. In shaping an answer to the question, it is important to review and assess the actions taken by the US before, during and after the war in order to evaluate its conduct and gains.

In the process, the morality of war will be questioned in terms of the Just War Theory. Following is a brief introduction to the Just War theory that will be used as the principal theory of the thesis. Just War theory is the theory of permissible war that advocates just criteria for the launching of, conduct in and ending of war. It has a long historical tradition that dates back to medieval times. The traditional focus of the theory was predominantly on two spheres namely. There is however a recent development that concentrates on just peace which relates to the ending of war and returning from war to peace.

This addition to the just war tradition is known as Jus post bellum or justice in the termination of war. The Just War theory is important in analyzing a war situation since it occupies a middle ground between Pacifism and Political Realism, the two most commonly used theories that discuss the morality of war.

Theory of Just War hence began to dominate the intellectual discourse on war.

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It is therefore important to shed light on the historical evolution of the theory to identify its essence that has sustained through the great many debates that have taken place over the centuries. The Just War theory has evolved over many centuries and stands today as a significant criterion to determine the morality of warfare. The origins of the theory as some believe date back to the classical Greek and Roman periods and are also enshrined in Christian traditions. In the 5 th Century A. To achieve this end, St. Augustine provided a limited justification for war. Following the example set by him, the idea was developed and progressed by thinkers such as St.

From there on until the mid twentieth century, no significant improvement took place in the theory. The 20 th century was marked by events of great significance that included two world wars. As Nicholas Rengger correctly points out, the development of the Just War theory in the twentieth century was context specific and was generated by events in the political arena. Thus, during the Second World War, for example, there was a debate in Britain about the legitimacy of the bombing campaign against Germany. Many, particularly in the churches, had severe doubts about this policy, especially the campaign against German cities.

Led by the Anglican Bishop George Bell of Chichester, the opponents of the campaign lodged serious sets of objection against it, basing them quite explicitly on criteria developed in the just war tradition. Later in the s, the Just War theory was re-discussed by American Catholic Bishops due to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Their fear of a nuclear war made them question the morality and ethics of war. The theory therefore has enjoyed a continuous process of revision and development over the centuries.

The classical version of the theory which focused more on justice, moral rights and obligations has today grown into a more legally-focused version with an emphasis on principles drawn from law. Today, the international agreements augmented by the theory are understood more within a legal framework than in moral language. The legal outlook poses severe problems to the development of the theory since law concentrates more on what is right to do during war rather than concentrating on the very decision to wage war.

Consequently the theory is seen as diminishing in its value since its only being used in retrospect rather than being used as the criterion to evaluate all decisions pertaining to war, i. This new development undermines the whole essence of the theory which only permits justifiable wars.


  1. Douglas Porpora | FifteenEightyFour | Cambridge University Press?
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  7. At present, the theory is used as a justification to any war under vague interpretations. This is partly due to its intricate nature which aims concurrently to limit waging war and to counter violations of justice.

    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
    Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular

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