more from Michael Walzer

Single Idea 23580

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / a. Just wars]

Full Idea

Whenever there is some substantial chance of success, reprisals are the legitimate resort of a victim state; for no state can be required passively to endure attacks upon its citizens.

Gist of Idea

States need not endure attacks passively, and successful reprisals are legitimate


Michael Walzer (Just and Unjust Wars [1977], 13)

Book Reference

Walzer,Michael: 'Just and Unjust Wars' [Penguin 1984], p.221

A Reaction

My concern is whether the reprisals have any direct connection to the attacks. They killed some of ours, so we will kill some of theirs is immoral. E.g. bombing Tripoli as reprisal for crashing the Lockerbie plane.