The Just War Myth: The Moral Illusions of War

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007 M12 7 - 188 pages
As the war in Iraq continues and Americans debate the consequences of the war in Afghanistan, the war on terror, and the possibility of war with North Korea and Iran, war is one of the biggest issues in public debate. Andrew Fiala in The Just War Myth challenges the apparently predominant American sentiment that war can be easily justified. Even most Democrats seem to hold that opinion, despite the horrific costs of war both on the people being attacked or caught up in the chaos and on the Americans involved in carrying out the war.

The Just War Myth argues that while the just war theory is a good theory, actual wars do not live up to its standards. The book provides a genealogy of the just war idea and also turns a critical eye on current events, including the idea of preemptive war, the use of torture, and the unreality of the Bush Doctrine. Fiala warns that pacifism, too, can become mythological, advocating skepticism about attempts to justify war.

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About the author (2007)

Andrew Fiala is associate professor of philosophy at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of What Would Jesus Really Do? and lives in Fresno, California.

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