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12 Questions Statesmen Ask
Before Going to War
by Daniel Newby, July 31, 2005

1) Independent of all other persons or earthly factors, am I morally and ethically obligated to participate in this war?

2) Is this war a matter of the survival for my people?

3) Does any oath that I take to serve in the armed forces provide the clear latitude my conscience requires to solely serve the interests of freedom, morality, decency, and the immutable laws of nature irrespective of any persons, governments, or other affiliations?

4) Could this warfare be avoided or curtailed by another, less bloody, or less broad, course of action?

5) Is this warfare defensive or offensive in nature? Am I being asked to clearly defend the lands and existence of my country? Or am I being asked to invade and occupy another sovereign country in an attempt to subject them to our standards and way of life?

6) Does this conflict have objectives, an entrance strategy, and an exit strategy that are crystal clear, sound, moral, and wise?

7) Have those administering my country been strictly moral, honest, and just in the past toward those I am considering warfare against? Are there legitimate reasons to believe that those administering my country have needlessly exacerbated relations through their conduct?

8) Are those directing the warfare strictly moral, honest, and just toward all human beings? Do they have a worthy track record of presenting accurate information about the rationale for the conflict? Are they consistently solid in their words and actions with regard to basic human rights and behavior toward others? Do they adhere to the constitutional restrictions that are supposed to regulate their own power and actions?

9) Will those who are incapacitated (i.e. severely wounded), who are captured, or who attempt to surrender be treated humanely perhaps to include more decency and respect than what they have shown to others? Will they receive basic due process prior to punishment, to include the right to a fair trial in a reasonable period of time?

10) Am I justified in potentially maiming or killing human beings of every kind, including those who consider my incursion as an attack on their sovereignty, and innocent civilians who may be caught in the middle of the warfare?

11) Am I prepared to oppose my commanding officers if they demand that I take actions that are immoral and unjust? If these actions involve human rights abuses, am I prepared to violently if necessary oppose my commanding officers if they refuse to desist in their course of action?

12) Will I be asked to do things to people that I would never consider doing to people in my own country under similar circumstances? Would I feel comfortable if people from another country did to me and to my people what we are proposing to do to them?



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