Locke, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Walzer points out that while a surrendering soldier is not to be killed, a fleeing one is a legitimate target (Walzer 1977). Walzer then questions the reasoning of this fact because the basic theory behind killing a fleeing soldier is to prevent him from returning to the fight. It ends up soldiers who fled did return to fight, rather slaughter, during the Kurdish rebellion after the war. But Walzer sees that as an internal issue and therefore because the soldiers were not going to return as combatants against coalition forces, killing them was not morally correct. The facts are that a state of war still existed and during a time of war, the killing of enemy soldiers, even if in retreat, is an acceptable act. While the atrocities they committed as an occupying force in Kuwait would seem to warrant the destruction of the convoy, that mentality falls too close to raw revenge. As distasteful and horrendous as the Iraqi conduct in Kuwait was, destroying their convoy as they fled solely for revenge would not hold up under jus in bello (Justice in War). But not only were they legitimate targets, they were also thieves. They had plundered Kuwait and were attempting to return with the ill-gotten booty. As part of just-war theory, the legalist paradigm states that aggression justifies two kinds of violent response: a war of self-defense by the victim and a war of law enforcement by the victim and any other member of international society (Walzer, p.62). Because the war was still in effect at the time and just-war theory dictates that a member of international society can respond violently when enforcing laws, the "Highway of Death" was a just act in a just war.

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There are those, however, who ignore the dilemma: these are thebelievers in history, heirs of Hegel and Marx who imagine a time wheninequality and oppression will cease and humans will finally behappy. For Camus this resembles the paradise beyond this life promisedby religions, and he speaks of living for, and sacrificing humans for,a supposedly better future as, very simply, anotherreligion. Moreover, his sharpest hostility is reserved forintellectuals who theorize and justify such movements. Accepting thedilemma, Camus is unable to spell out how a successful revolution canremain committed to the solidaristic and life-affirming principle ofrebellion with which it began. He does however suggest two actionswhich, if implemented, would be signs of a revolution’s commitment toremain rebellious: it would abolish the death penalty and it wouldencourage rather than restrict freedom of speech.

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There are various paradoxical elements in Camus’s approach tophilosophy. In his book-length essay, The Myth of Sisyphus,Camus presents a philosophy that contests philosophy itself. Thisessay belongs squarely in the philosophical tradition ofexistentialism but Camus denied being an existentialist. Both TheMyth of Sisyphus and his other philosophical work, TheRebel, are systematically skeptical of conclusions about themeaning of life, yet both works assert objectively valid answers tokey questions about how to live. Though Camus seemed modest whendescribing his intellectual ambitions, he was confident enough as aphilosopher to articulate not only his own philosophy but also acritique of religion and a fundamental critique of modernity. Whilerejecting the very idea of a philosophical system, Camus constructedhis own original edifice of ideas around the key terms of absurdityand rebellion, aiming to resolve the life-or-death issues thatmotivated him.

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