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International Ethics Essay, Research Paper

??????????? For a long time there has been a

distinction made between crime that are worse then others. Our criminal system

itself when it comes to sentencing is based on the idea that there are varying

degree?s of an action. We have; first, second, and third degree murder, along

with manslaughter. In the international system there is little differentiation

between the types of crimes that states can commit against each other. The

example given in the reading is the following; Consider for example the German seizures of Czechoslovakia and Poland in

1939. The Czechs did not resist; they lost their independence through extortion

rather then war; no Czech citizens died fighting the German invaders. The Poles

chose to fight, and many were killed in the war that followed. But if the

conquest of Czechoslovakia was a lesser crime, we have no name for it. At

Nuremberg, the Nazi leadership was charged with aggression in both cases and

found guilty in both. (Walzer, Michael. The rights of political Communities, ?International Ethics. P.166) ??????????? An aspect that is significant to

this discussion is the nature of punishment in the international system is the

type of punishment incurred by each act of aggression. Aside from the example

of Germany and the level of reparations that were inflicted upon the country

after the war, the most common response to aggression by one state upon another

is sanctions against said state by those that are in agreement with the ?defender?

or ?saviour? state. I am thinking specifically of the case of Iraq and Kuwait.

While Iraq? was clearly considered the

aggressor in and ?in the wrong by the majority of the international community, the

punishment inflicted upon it has been the same in response to almost every form

of aggression that it has exhibited so far. Each aggressive move that it makes

results in sanctions by those countries that feel that the aggression of Iraq

is morally wrong, and or against the international order and detrimental to their

interests. Once every little while when Iraq acts up it will result in air strikes

against their military or supply positions. While it may be fair to take issue

with the face that there is little differentiation in the types of aggression that

are considered wrong in the international system, it is also important to realise

that even if we were to have first, second, and third degree aggression, there

is no system of punishment, or court in the international system that is able

to adequately dole out this punishment in the appropriate degrees. The

punishment of a nation requires the co-operation and ability of the rest of the

nations of the international scene to all be able to dole out the same

punishment in the case of each of the varying degrees of aggression. The

problem is that states cannot be relied on to consistently dole out the same punishment

in each case. A state will commit to the action that best serves their national

interest along with what is morally right. If a major trading partner of the

United States were to be considered guilty of third degree aggression the

chances are good that said state would not receive the same level of sanctions

as a minor partner that the US was not all that dependant on for trade. Until

there is a actual frame work for the equal punishment of states that are guilty

of aggression the idea of differing levels of aggression and that they should

be punished to different extents is little more then this is, a theoretical discussion

of international concepts with at this time little actual application to the

international system. If a frame work is established wherein we are able to punish

states and offenders in an consistent manner then the question of having

varying degrees of aggression is one that will become much more important.

However we still need to be able to get an adequate international court system

in place. ??????????? The question of whether a war is

just or unjust and thus aggression or a noble fight against a tyrannical forces

is often relative to whom is writing the text, and which regimental frame work

that they are working from. ?You also face

the question of what to do when neither side holds a just position. Do you

apply differing levels of aggression to both sides, or is the side that is more

successful in their aggression guilty of a higher aggression, then the side

that intended the same aggression, but did not have the means to inflict it.

Are we looking at a case of ?Second degree aggression with intent to third

degree aggression?? ?It is possible for

each side to feel that they are just and therefore guiltless, but that makes

either side no less guilty of aggression, or does it? It depends on which

ideological framework that you are working from. Each side can feel that they

are in a war for the requisition of territories lost and thus be justified, and

the judgement of said conflict will depend on which state is better friends with

the deciding members of the international community. To sum up, there is really

no case of a just war, self defence is justified, but war is not. War is

however a reality of the international system. Until the international system

becomes a community that lives under a set of agreed upon rules and laws, and

establishes an effective international court system, there will not be a consistent

and level degree of punishment for a degree of aggression. That is not to say

that it isn?t something to work for, but varying degrees of aggression have

little application in the current international context.


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