‘Just War’ or just war?

As Irish republicans prepare to remember those that have died in pursuit of a free unified Ireland, rededicate themselves to that cause and in some cases commit themselves to supporting current armed action to advance that aim I noted a comment by ‘Scaramoosh’ on this thread:

“Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.”
– Ernesto Che Guevara

This quote has always jumped out to me as a revolutionary socialist rewriting age old ‘Just War’ theory best articulated by Thomas Aquinas:

The war must be started and controlled by the authority of state or ruler.
There must be a just cause.
The war must be for good, or against evil. Law and order must always be restored.

Later added:

The war must be a last resort.
The war must be fought proportionally

As Easter inevitably merges religion and political remembrance in Ireland I wonder if many are reflecting the legitimacy of previous ‘wars’ and if they believe that to be the case how they feel about current armed struggle some will present as ‘just’.


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