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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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