Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Edited by Shin Chiba and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Noted international scholars from a range of disciplines present in this book Japanese and East Asian perspectives on the changed prospects for international peace post September 11. Because East Asia has not been preoccupied with the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the authors’ views serve as a balance to the war on terror declared in the United States.

Chapter 5: Kant and Anti-War Pacifism: The Political Theory of the Post-9/11 World

Osamu Kitamura

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


5. Kant and anti-war pacifism: the political theory of the post-9/11 world Osamu Kitamura I INTRODUCTION1 The history of human beings is a sad chronicle of war and terrorism. Almost every year there is a conventional war or an act of terrorism somewhere in the world. On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four airplanes. Two of the planes hit the World Trade Center; a third plane hit the Pentagon. The fourth attack was aborted when the plane was crashed in the countryside. It is estimated that more than 3000 people were killed,2 making this the most devastating terrorist attack in United States history.3 The United States produced convincing evidence that Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network of ‘terrorists’ had full responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. After that, US and British forces attacked Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, US, British, and other coalition members’ troops invaded and occupied Iraq because the US government assumed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda. Many innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq were killed. Since 9/11, the US government has made ‘the war on terrorism’ its number one priority. However, 9/11 was a crime rather than an act of war. Therefore, the proper response is a criminal investigation and a prosecution within the rule of law. It cannot be justified that the United States overthrew the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq, even if they were tyrannical governments. It is...

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