The Government of The United States of America is not accepting responsibility for the Missile attack against Syria on April 6th, 2017!April 8, 2017
This is the war we are here to consider:—private war, or that which is carried on between private individuals, belongs to the law of nature
properly so called.
their defence, and for the preservation of their rights. This principle is generally acknowledged: reason demonstrates it; and nature herself has engraved it on the heart of man.
(Book II. §49, &c.), the inference is manifest, that, since the establishment of political societies, a right, so dangerous in its exercise, no longer
remains with private persons, except in those rencounters where society cannot protect or defend them. In the bosom of society, the public authority decides all the disputes of the citizens, represses violence, and checks every attempt to do ourselves justice with our own hands. If a
private person intends to prosecute his right against the subject of a foreign power, he may apply to the sovereign of his adversary, or to the
magistrates invested with the public authority: and if he is denied justice by them, he must have recourse to his own sovereign, who is obliged to
protect him. It would be too dangerous to allow every citizen the liberty of doing himself justice against foreigners; as, in that case, there would
not be a single member of the state who might not involve it in war. And how could peace be preserved between nations, if it were in the
power of every private individual to disturb it? A right of so momentous a nature,—the right of judging whether the nation has real grounds of
complaint,—whether she is authorised to employ force, and justifiable in taking up arms,—whether prudence will admit of such a step,—and
whether the welfare of the state requires it,—that right, I say, can belong only to the body of the nation, or to the sovereign, her representative.
It is doubtless one of those rights, without which there can be no salutary government, and which are therefore called rights of majesty (Book I.
taking up arms, and attacks a nation that lived in peace with him, wages offensive war. The object of a defensive war is very simple; it is no other
than self-defence: in that of offensive war, there is as great a variety as in the multifarious concerns of nations: but, in general, it relates either
to the prosecution of some rights, or to safety.We attack a nation with a view either to obtain something to which we lay claim, to punish her
for an injury she has done us, or to prevent one which she is preparing to do, and thus avert a danger with which she seems to threaten us. I do
not here speak of the justice of war: that shall make the subject of a particular chapter:—all I here propose is to indicate, in general, the various
objects for which a nation takes up arms,—objects which may furnish lawful reasons, or unjust pretences, but which are at least susceptible
of a colour of right. I do not therefore, among the objects of offensive war, set down conquest, or the desire of invading the property of others:—
views of that nature, destitute even of any reasonable pretext to countenance them, do not constitute the object of regular warfare, but
of robbery, which we shall consider in its proper place.