A few notes from a series of Facebook posts:
Five principles to consider as a whole, and it's pretty clear that Russia can make no claim to a just invasion except by lying about Ukraine's military capability and intent.
What about Ukraine, then?
It seems their military response meets all 5 criteria, but I wonder about #4. Is it really prudent/reasonable for Ukraine to hope that they can prevail against Russia? How much loss of life will ensue in their effort to do so? How much damage to the country?
I'm thinking the only hope they have of prevailing is that the sanctions against Russia are so severe that the oligarchs, people, and perhaps even military leaders rebel against Putin's hostile plans.
Self-defense is considered a just cause, but one must have a reasonable chance of succeeding. As even Jesus taught in Luke 14:
"31 Or what king on his way to war with another king will not first sit down and consider whether he can engage with ten thousand men the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other king is still far off, to ask for terms of peace.…"
Jesus wasn't really giving a teaching on Just War so much as on prudently considering the cost of discipleship, but it's interesting that he chose that as an example.
The Catholic Church teaching consolidates the principles into four, and #3 is the one I'm concerned about: "there must be serious prospects for success."
I just don't know that such exists for Ukraine, their courage notwithstanding.
It would be interesting to hear from Christians who adopt a pacifist approach.
What if Ukraine had done nothing to oppose the Russian invasion, but had simply allowed the sanctions to play out? They could have refused to cooperate with the Russians in any way, not even selling groceries or fuel to them. Russia would have to basically just steal everything, but a non-cooperative people would make their lives very complicated. This would have all needed to be thought out in advance, with contingency plans for leadership, communication, etc.
(A Facebook friend replied)
Showing no resistance and/or non-cooperation in their case might mean certain death either immediately or drawn out over time. It is a natural reaction to fight with all you have for your life. A strong self-preservation instinct that we all have to a degree. When the tanks are rolling in on you and your country is being wantonly destroyed...you either lay down and die or go out fighting. They did not provoke this attack. I am one for peace but I sure "get it" regarding their actions and reactions. Turn the other cheek might not be the answer in this case.
My response: Non-violent resistance is not simply turning the other cheek, but it would call for careful, strategic planning. I'm not at all sure that could work against a country like Russia in the same way Gandhi pulled it off against the Brits in India, but it's a question to wrestle with. At this point, it's a moot discussion for Ukraine.
|Powered by Social Strata|