Cecil Turner, in a comment at Just One Minute lays out a shorthand version of Just War Ehics that I find interesting:
1. Fought as a last resort;
2. by legitimate authority;
3. must redress a wrong;
4. must have reasonable chance of success;
5. must be a peaceful goal;
6. violence must be proportional;
7. and methods must be just (specifically not targeting civilians)
He also provided a link to a long hand version that still remains a summary of "THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA, part II: Question 40 - "ON WAR"
Establishing the predicate for item (1) remains the most obdurate of tasks. Should we take the word of ElBaradei “Iran has no nuclear weapons program, but I personally don’t rush to conclusions before all the realities are clarified. So far I see nothing which could be called an imminent danger. I have seen no nuclear weapons program in Iran." or should we listen attentively to the words of ElBaradei “If they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponisation program along the way, they are really not very far -- a few months -- from a weapon”
If we take the head of the prestigious UN IAEA organization, ElBaradei, then no reasonable person could presume that the predicate for a just war exists. If, on the other hand we listen attentively to the words of the head of the prestigious UN IAEA organization, ElBaradei, then we would be foolish not to initiate mobilization towards a preemptive strike to remove a very dangerous weapon from the hands of this man.
The use of the conditional "if" just doesn't provide much of a sense of security. I'm in favor of dropping the conditional "if" and proceeding to dropping some rather concrete objections to Iran's dreams of nuclear blackmail in a manner that would win Curtis LeMay's approval.
Faster, please, no longer cuts it.