Introduction As human beings, we live in a world where differences exist. Despite these differences, human beings have the capacity to choose which direction they ought to follow. This is usually based on the values and principles which are held by individuals. Essentially, choosing what is right or wrong is what constitutes to what ewe term as an ethical practice.
Ethics begins when a person seeks to establish why a belief is good and why he thinks another belief is bad. It begins when one seeks to give reasons explaining the nature of something, that is, why something is termed as good or bad, and the appeal to reasons which have been put across defining why a given approach is preferred over another one. When people are faced with challenges in life, one has to determine what is truly good for oneself and what is to be avoided.
The wisdom which is usually associated with this kind of reasoning is usually based on traditions and previous experiences which describe the aspect of goodness or badness of an action or belief. It is worth noting that traditions can at times mislead us; for instance, the traditions which were held with regard to slavery centuries ago were acceptable, however in the current time and age, they are unacceptable.
Thus it is important to understand the nature off goodness in light of humanity in order to enhance the human capacity to achieve the stated objectives of life (Devettere). International ethics: statement of the problem It is worth noting that every human being is defined within a given international code of ethics.
This implies that we are subject to a given set of standards which govern our conduct and inform the direction that one should take. Internationally, there are a set of standards which define what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Many people have held the idea that international relations do not lie within the sphere of morality. However is important to note the fact that ethical concerns are part of international affairs.
Essentially, the current judgments of the rights and wrongs of foreign policy are affected by past efforts to articulate the legitimate claims of political communities, to lay down rules for civilized diplomacy, to distinguish just and unjust wars, and to establish procedures for the peaceful settlement of international disputes (Nardin and David). Many people have held the opinion that ethics is simply a branch of philosophy.
Furthermore, other eras of existence and civilizations have treated this subject as an aspect which is in relation to law. The premise of this paper is to seek to elaborate our understanding off ethical dimension with regard to international affairs. This is based on the fact that there has been minimal understanding of what international relations entail. Consequently disagreements have arisen with regard to which courses of action ought to be taken over others.
We must not down play the fact that the narrow understanding of ethics that prevails in the modern societies has a great impact on the international affairs. Essentially, international ethics in a strict sense involves a set of principles. In addition to this, it also deals with the interpretation and the rightful application of these principles by persons in particular circumstances (Gunning, Soren and Ian).
Thinking ethically entails the process of moving back and forth in light of the general and the particular. In this case, international ethics entails the utilization of principles, interpretation, choice and action. It is also important to take note of the fact that international ethics is not just limited to acts of judging what is right or wrong (Devettere).
Some of these ethical considerations involve the application of principles of conduct which is categorized as right. In addition, international ethics is concerned with acts which can be classified as desirable or not. This is usually in line with the outcomes of the actions which are produced by the choices which have been taken. Case study Just war is a war that is directed towards establishing lasting peace and stability within a given region.
Historically, philosophers such as St. Augustine believed that when called upon, people have the moral obligation to use force in circumstances that protect the innocent (Heinze). This notwithstanding, a just war should be initiated and sustained by an authority which is legitimate and the ruler in this case should posses intentions which are deemed to be rightful. In this case, the intentions should include an absence of passion intended to hurt or the quest to conquer.
The case for war The US – led invasion of Iraq presents a classical case against which we can evaluate the case of international ethics. In this case, the Bush administration held thee opinion that failing to capture Saddam Hussein increased the danger levels (Heinze). This led to framing the case for war to be based on the terms of both urgency and uncertainty.
In the president’s terms, non – violent approach would be calamitous. This was based on the fact that the previous 12 years of sanctions against Iraq seemed not to work (Nardin and David). The American argument was made prior to the passage of the UN Resolution 1441. Furthermore, it ignored the International Atomic Agency which had declared that Iraq was not in any position of possessing nuclear program.
Evidence suggested that the Bush administration was certain on the conviction that Iraq had hostile intentions towards the United States of America. This was based on the premise that Iraq supported acts of terrorism which were aimed against the Bush administration. Furthermore, this administration held the believe that Iraq was actively preparing weapons of mass destruction.
In as much as Iraq had a role to play towards fulfilling the commitment to disarm, the United States of America had her commitment to ensure that she adhered to the UN restrictions on issues regarding authorization of war. Essentially, Article 39 enables the Security Council to analyze the nature of a threat and to decide the appropriate measures to be taken in case of a perceived threat.
In this case, an absence of imminent threat denies that US the Legitimate Authority to enforce the UN resolutions and in this case, against Iraq. Essentially, rightful intentions for engaging in war should involve goals and set principles upon which the objectives and the goals would be achieved. Ethically speaking, the intentions of war should not be driven or governed by personal intentions (Heinze). Any state can attack another based on a cause that is classified as just.
Though it is unethical if any state should engage in war against another state based on the desire to occupy or exploit the resources which are this nation. International ethics stipulate that war should be aimed at promoting peace and any other just cause with regard to the human wellbeing.
The research process Carrying out this study was based on the fact that historical data is crucial towards the establishment of the decisions which were arrived at with regard to the prevailing conditions (Nardin and David). Furthermore, the main approach that was taken in carrying out this study was based on historical perspectives, that is, going to the archives and seeking to establish factors which led to the state of affairs within the stated case.
Some of the questions which were asked in this pursuit included, what was the role of the US government towards taking part in the US led invasion of Iraq? Was the invasion justified? What were the consequences of the invasion? What were the international ethical considerations that were involved? Should this be the way in light of any other prevailing war? Ethical dilemmas of the war Following the invasion, some ethical dilemmas came to the fore. For instance, there was the question of the principles which were considered before going to the war.
Essentially, after the capture of Saddam Hussein much of the stated weapons of mass destruction or chemical weapons were not found (Nardin and David). This questioned the legality of the invasion thus questioned the intention of the US led invasion into Iraq. Secondly, following a report that was prepared by the energy task force which shed light on the Persian Gulf with regard to the vast energy resources present posed the validity of the intentions to invade Iraq.
Findings and implications The implications of the Iraq invasion are felt to date. This is because, instead of making headway, arguments have been brought to the fore with regard to the state of security in Iraq. Currently, there are sectarian wars which are taking place that have debilitated the efforts towards establishment of peace (Heinze). Essentially, concerns have been raised questioning the legality of this war, and consequently the ethicality of this war (Nardin and David).
The war has been widely characterized by well respected personalities across the globe as a mistake that should have never taken place. This has led to untold damage to the image of the countries that actively took part in the war and has brought to the fore the subject of moral credibility that the US holds with regard to international affairs (Gunning, Soren and Ian). Conclusion The humanitarian state within Iraq is still wanting.
Cases of violence have been reported not forgetting the cases of corruption among the government officials. It cannot go without mention that the ethical dilemma which has been brought to the fore in light of this war has debilitated the global perspectives with regard to international ethics. The role of international bodies which uphold these ethical grounds have also been questioned.
However, despite the negative repercussions, it is important to note the errors which have been made in the past and what can be done to ensure that these historical international ethical errors are not repeated. Thus, it is important to let the global citizens to be aware of the international ethical standards and the role they play towards human wellbeing.
Works cited: Annotated Bibliography Devettere, Raymond. Practical decision making in health care ethics:cases and concepts. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press, 2009.Print. This book analyses the general description of ethics within a healthcare settting. It enables the reader to understand the interpretation of ethical terms in several settings.
Gunning, Jennifer, Holm Soren and Kenway Ian. Ethics, law, and society. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, 2009. Print. This text analyses papers from international experts. This is the aim of bringing to the fore the subject of international ethics in a clear manner. Heinze, Eric. Waging humanitarian war:the ethics, law, and politics of humanitarian intervention. New York: SUNY Press, 2009. Print. This book examines the several aspects which causes of military interventions.
The aspects herein include ethical, legal, and political dimensions. Nardin, Terry and Mapel David. Traditions of international ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Print. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of how ethcial traditions have an impact on the current ethical interpreattion of ethical matters. This is with a special empphasis on internatoinal ethics.