Hey everyone. I know that the Church teaches that the use of weapons of mass destruction to decimate large areas and large numbers of people is gravely evil and a crime against humanity. But what about Osama Bin Laden had been living deep underground in a cave or in a fortified bunker? Would using a nuclear bunker buster bomb to take him out have been justified?
It would seem to me to be overkill.
The use of highly destructive weapons are not what are gravely sinful. It’s applying them to wipe out huge numbers of random people in addition to a few people you want to kill, and then shrugging it off as collateral damage. If you use a condom to hold a roll of quarters, you are not sinning (weird example, but you get the point :p)
I can’t see any moral difference between using a nuke to kill a single enemy in the desert and using a bullet to do the same thing (well, except the nuke causes lasting ecological damage and it would be a very impractical choice of weapon. A tactical nuke is much more controlled in its scope of damage).
If we were in a uniform culture that had a common understanding of the proper use of force then a limited use of smaller tactical nuclear weapons could be agreed upon or at least argued to be a proper weapon.
This is not how the real world works. It is naive to think that if we can go about using a few small nukes then another government can just use a little bigger one and the whole agreement breaks down and nukes are being used at every turn. It’s much easier and clear that all nuclear weapons are forbidden and will be met with an overwhelming counterattack for being the next user of any nuclear weapon.
The Jeannie must stay in the bottle.
There would have been no guarantee that he would be there when the bomb landed and no guarantee that it would kill him if it did. Also, even if it would have killed him how would we have known when there would have been almost nothing left of the body? Also, it could have easily killed a lot of the wrong people, and nuclear bombs are bad for the environment. And there’s the slippery slope effect of first accepting the use of a smaller nuclear bomb and then the next time one a little bit bigger, and then a little bit bigger, etc. So, I don’t think the use of a nuclear weapon would have been justified. I wish that no one would have ever invented the nuclear bomb. I think that the use of the nuclear bomb in WWII convinced a lot of people that the ends justify the means even if a lot of innocent people are to die in the process. And this same principle opened the way for many to accept the idea that the ends can justify the means with all the innocents that are killed with abortion.
Even from a military standpoint, that would not be an appropriate use of a small nuke “bunker buster.” As the name implies, it would be more usefully used to target a nuclear missile command and control facility buried deep underground and encased in concrete and steel.
I don’t know about “justified” from a religious sense, but from a military perspective the answer would be, no - not justified.
Conventional munitions work well as “bunker busters” (saw their result in one of Saddam’s bunkers), and they don’t have as much collateral damage due to fallout or an unnecessarily large explosion from a nuke.
That being said, he was probably moving quite a bit in Tora Bora, so I can’t say it would have been effective regardless of the type of weapon.
Even an atheist would see that using a nuclear weapon with the intent to kill one person makes no sense at all.