Invasions are never justified

Historical justifications can always be found for invasions.

In Summary

• There are increasing reports of civilian casualties during the Russian invasion of Ukraine

• Historical arguments can always be used to justify the invasion of other countries

There is mounting international anger over the killing of civilians in Bucha
Image: BBC

War is brutal. Atrocities are inevitable in war. Nevertheless it does appear that the Russian army has deliberately eliminated civilians in Ukraine.

The shelling of cities like Mariupol appears intended to persuade civilians to flee their homes. 

Then there are increasing reports of civilians being executed in towns like Bucha. Russia says those killings took place after its army left but, judging by the scores of vehicles burned out on the Bucha road, it is quite plausible that Russian soldiers were infuriated by the casualties that they took in Bucha.

In this modern era, invasions of foreign countries can never be justified. The American and Russian invasions of Afghanistan did not end well. The Western invasion of Iraq was a disaster. The Russian invasion of Ukraine will turn out to be a disaster for the whole world.

Historical justifications can always be found for invasions. Somalia could invade Ethiopia to liberate the Ogaden, or vice versa. There would be a logic to it but it would be wrong.

Whatever the Russian rationalisations about Nato and Lenin, there can be no excuse for the invasion of Ukraine, a peaceful neighbour. Invasions of other countries are wrong. Period.

Quote of the day: "A human person is infinitely precious and must be unconditionally protected."

Hans Küng
The Swiss Catholic priest died on April 6, 2021