Seven influential moral thinkers hammered just war tradition which has been distilled into seven principles where five of the principles judge whether a decision to go to war is actually justifiable while the other two are a guide to just conduct in waging a war. The principles of a just war include: legitimate authority, just cause, just intent, last resort, reasonable chance of success, principle of discrimination and the principle of proportionality.
The Spanish and Portuguese were not justified to go to war with the Guarani but the Guarani were justified to war with the Portuguese and the Spanish. Subjecting the Portuguese and the Spanish to the seven principles of a just war they were not justified to go to war. The first principle which requires that before a war is started, it must be declared by a legally recognized authority which in most cases is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces while in United states it the Congress was not met by the Spanish and Portuguese soldiers.
The soldier according to Alves were sent to relocate the Guarani but when they resisted they resorted to military action where many natives were killed and other were taken as slaves without the order of the legal authorities of the two nations (4). Before going to war with the Guarani the just war principles demand that Spanish and Portuguese leaders and soldiers were to seek an order from the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of their respective countries before waging a war with the natives which they did not do.
The second principle of a just war that requires that a war should not be started on the basis of expanding a territory or national pride but only for a just cause like resistance to aggression by means of threat of attack or attack was not met either by the Portuguese and the Spanish in fighting the Guarani people. They instead invaded the people with an aim to relocate them to take them as slaves but when the Guarani resisted they started war with them thereby breaching the just cause (Alves 4).
Another principle require that before starting a war the aims of the war should be just and limited which should be restoring justice and peace and not vengeance. The Spanish and the Portuguese breached this principle as well since their intention was not to restore peace or justice among the Guarani people. They waged the war out of their own selfish gain because the natives were living peacefully before. Their interest was the land of the Guarani and to enslave them as well. It was not the last resort for the Portuguese and the Spanish to start war with the Guarani people.
The principles requires that all other means should be used to resolve dispute between contending parties and that the means must have been tried and found to fail before going to war. In the situation of the Portuguese, Spanish and the Guarani people there was no dispute in the first place. It is the Spanish and Portuguese that were determined to take the land that belonged to the natives and to take them as slaves and even after the natives resisted their effort they never used any other means to resolve the dispute but war.
There should be reasonable chance of success before starting a war which the Portuguese and the Spanish did not take to consideration. The principle requires that the situation should be accessed to ascertain if there is a possibility of success before initiating or continuing a war. They never considered this fact and that is the reason why the war continued for several decades and they were eventually defeated (Elves 6).
Another principle of a just war tradition that the Portuguese and Spanish violated is the principle of civilian immunity or honor of noncombatant where the noncombatants are not targeted to avoid civilian deaths. It also requires that prisoners captured should be treated humanely and that military forces desist from rapes, massacres, looting and other atrocities. This was not the case in the wars of the Guarani where all sorts of atrocities were committed against the people since children, women and men alike were taken captives and were not treated humanely.
The principle of proportionality which requires that the harm to be caused by a war must not exceed the good the war can accomplish. Before the Europeans invaded the natives they were living peacefully in their land but after they attacked them they were left with sorrows since some died, others were enslaved, property destroyed and families disunited forever. It therefore goes without saying that the Spanish and the Portuguese caused several harm and zero good to the Guarani which is against this principle of just war.
The Portuguese and the Spanish were not justified to initiate and continue the war with the Guarani after being subjected to the seven principles of a just war tradition. In all the instances they went contrary to the principles. They were not interested in the plight of the people or the outcome of the war but their own selfish gains. Works Cited Alves, Wesley. The Mission. 2007. 3 May 2010 http://people. bu. edu/wwildman/WeirdWildWeb/courses/thth/projects/thth_projects_2007wesley_alves. pdf
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