Former President Jimmy Carter and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel are both notable and knowledgeable men, who, through experience have their different ideations of how to achieve peace during a time where war seems inevitable. Carter’s, Just War or a Just War and Wiesel’s, Peace isn’t possible in Evil’s Face express the views of entering a war in Iraq. The insight that Carter and Wiesel brings to the situation comes from the circumstances of their past and are occuriences that some of us have not and hopefully may never experience. While Carter wants to explore solutions that doesn’t involve war, Wiesel conveys the need to intervene in the situation with Iraq before more people perish. Carter and Wiesel have different experiences which shape their views of the situation in Iraq, yet both have made strong appeals for their stance. Although I feel that neither Carter or Wiesel are wrong, I do believe that if war can be avoided than we should explore alternatives that could lead to peace before jumping into war.
Jimmy Carter was the 39th president of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981 which gives his article an ethical appeal as he mentions that as a president who has been provoked by international crises he is familiar with the principles of war. Being familiar with the principles of war, Carter knows that war should only be an option when all other attempts have been exhausted. I agree with this statement by Carter because if alternatives do exist, than war and the taking of lives can be avoided. Carter continues with the plan to “launch 3,000 bombs and missiles on a defenseless Iraqi population”. This statement works as an emotional appeal because there is not a discrimination between the innocent who are defensless and will ultimatly be considered collateral damage in the aerial bombardment, making the reader feel sympathetic for the people who maybe innocent. Carter’s reasoning for wanting to find alternatives is something that I believe many readers hope will be considered before going to war.
Jimmy Carter’s Just War or a Just War is a well written article that lacks the appearance of logical fallacies, yet there are somethings that I don’t completely agree with. Although I agree with Carter that there are alternatives that should be explored first, sometimes the opposing side doesn’t an alternative or to reason for any means. This can be due to things such as differences in language and culture between the United States and Iraq. I also feel that the more time that is spent looking for the alternatives of war, the more innocent lives will be taken in the meantime as well as the potential for the situation to get worse. Although I disagree with some of these points that Carter makes, most of Carter’s arguments are strong.
Elie Wiesel’s Peace isn’t Possible in Evil’s Face is a well written article that makes strong points with facts that support his argument. Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor which took the lives of more than 6 million Jews, Carter and his two older sisters were the only members of his family to survive. Elie being a survivor of the Holocaust and experiencing what it is like to be an innocent casualty of war, makes the argument of his article an ethical appeal. Wiesel states in his first paragraph that under different circumstances he would have joined demonstrations against an invasion of Iraq, expressing that he has seen enough violence due to war. Similarly to Carter, Wiesel states that although he is opposed to war, he is in favor of intervention when no other options remain. Being a Holocaust survivior and living during times of war were if someone intervened sooner more lives would have been saved, Wiesel believes that this situation applies to Iraq. I agree with Wiesel in the fact that sometimes there is no other option and you have intervene at some point to save lives. Wiesel notes that the Iraqi ruler is a mass murderer, gassing thousands of people to death in the late 1980s, this is a logical appeal that gets the reader to acknowledge that it is time to intervene. I agree with Wiesel’s argument that it is important and there is a moral obligation to intervene in places were terrible things are being done but there is no one to help.
Wiesel’s arguments were strong, and there is not much to disagree with as most of his claims are supported by facts and statistics. I do disagree however, that intervening is always the best solution. As in Carter’s article, the first plan in intervening in Iraq was an aerial bombardment on a defenseless Iraqi population, causing more trouble for the noncombatants of war. Hasty intervention could leave a place like Iraq, war-torn and its citizens in worse conditions. Another reason why disagree is that even after invading Iraq it took years to reach the conclusion of the war, as it took eight years for the war to end after the U.S. invaded. Intervening in acts that threaten the lives of many is an obligation but not exploring other options first could be more dangerous.
Carter and Wiesel had great arguments about the war in Iraq, with the experience and knowledge of war that shapes their opinion. I agree with both Carter and Wiesel on certain points of their argument, I am more persuaded by Carter. To say that either Wiesel or Carter lack the trustworthiness and professionalism would be wrong, but I feel that from a logical perspective Carter’s argument is more persuasive. Although Wiesel has the experience of surviving a war and has seen almost the full extent of what could happen if it is too late to intervene. From Carter’s view it hasn’t met the conditions that would justify a war, as well as it being a violation without support internationally.
Carter and Wiesel are intellectual and qualified for the topic of war, and both arguments are knowledgeable and persuasive. Ultimately I was more persuaded by Carter due to his more logical appeal in finding alternative solutions before invading Iraq. although conclusively the invasion of Iraq lasted eight years, causing a lasting impact with the lives lost and financially. The conclusion of the war has had the government split on whether or not the war was a mistake. But whether it was a mistake or not there is a lot to learn from the Iraq War, and it continues to influence foreign policy.
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