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32Bravo
09-22-2008, 02:35 AM
As we quite often hear arguments which include the rules of war being tossed about,

I ask:

why do we have rules of war, and should we have them?

Egorka
09-22-2008, 02:57 AM
What do you think your self?

aly j
09-22-2008, 03:37 AM
As we quite often hear arguments which include the rules of war being tossed about,

I ask:

why do we have rules of war, and should we have them?

Maybe its humiane to have them ,and what sthe piont of having them
when certain counties brake them.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 06:19 AM
What do you think your self?

Probably not dissimilar thoughts to yourself, I try to think laterally, but would like to explore other views and perhaps broaden my own.

Chevan
09-22-2008, 06:22 AM
Yes we have invented the Rules of War ( in 1899 for the first time)
But... nothing bother us to violate it. Just like during ww2.

flamethrowerguy
09-22-2008, 06:22 AM
I think the more rules you have to follow the harder it gets to win a war. E.g. when you have to worry more about avoiding "collateral damage" than the sake of your own troops.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 06:52 AM
One angle which comes to mind, and there are many, is the example of the Athenian invasion of Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War (not unlike the occassion of Stalingrad). The Athenians invaded with a huge force and laid siege. The Spartans sent a general by the name of Lysander to help the Syracusians. They turned the siege around and the Athenians found themselves besieged and isolated.

When the Athenians were finally defeated some thirty thousand survivors were sent to the mines, most of them never surviving to see Greece again – sounds reasonable to me they invaded of their own volition and suffered the consequences. No rules involved here.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 06:57 AM
On a more personal or individual level, I would suggest that the 'fear factor' plays a role in the actions of the individual (as does discipline and compassion), stimulating a desire to punish.

Egorka
09-22-2008, 07:47 AM
why do we have rules of war, and should we have them?
I think the rules of war came about largely due to advances in war technology. When the capabilities to kill started to grow exponentialy. As I remember, the machineguns, f.ex., were first described as almost criminal weapon (I think it was first used in Anglo-Bore war, right?).

The same goes for the rockets. When British bombarded Copenhagen in 1807 (arguably the first bombardment of the civilians in a city) it was very frightening and despicable event.

But give it a bit time and people get used to...

An other thought: I feel that the modern man perception that the wars in older times were much crueler is a bid exaggeration. True that some of them were pure slaughters. But not all of them. At least the notion “Total war” is relatively new. And it was not like that before. Very often war was just a matter between the noble families and such. So a peasant could just get about by paying high taxes and otherwise stay out of the conflict.

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 07:48 AM
What is the sense in rules that, for example, prohibit dum dums but allow small arms projectiles that are about as damaging, not to mention Claymores, land mines, grenades, mortars, artillery and aerial bombs? Would you rather be hit in the foot with a legal infantry round; an illegal dum dum; a legal mine; a legal grenade; a legal mortar shell; a legal 25 pdr shell; or a legal 500 pd bomb?

Completely illogical, in the same way that it's illogical to insist on Queensberry rules in a street brawl.

If you're fighting for your life, why isn't everything permissible?

Especially when your enemy isn't constrained by the rules you're observing.

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 08:05 AM
An other thought: I feel that the modern man perception that the wars in older times were much crueler is a bid exaggeration. True that some of them were pure slaughters. But not all of them. At least the notion “Total war” is relatively new. And it was not like that before. Very often war was just a matter between the noble families and such. So a peasant could just get about by paying high taxes and otherwise stay out of the conflict.

Depends what you want to use as an example.

The Romans weren't exactly charitable when they destroyed Carthage and killed and enslaved its citizens.

Medieval wars often saw the feudally conscripted peasant soldiers in terrible conditions and not infrequently slaughtered after battles while the royalty and richer knights were held for ransom (under a code of 'chivalry' which applied only to the rich and powerful), as part of the still standard practice of the rich and powerful refraining from specifically targeting each other in warfare while the proles are just cannon fodder.

The British weren't very charitable when they massacred civilian spectators after Culloden.

The groups which could be relied upon to suffer most in all wars were the peasants and townspeople caught up in battles between powerful interests which trampled militarily across geographic areas with the same contempt they have always shown in ravaging economies and the masses for their own profit.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 08:22 AM
I think the rules of war came about largely due to advances in war technology. When the capabilities to kill started to grow exponentialy. As I remember, the machineguns, f.ex., were first described as almost criminal weapon (I think it was first used in Anglo-Bore war, right?).

Probably came about around the time of the Crusades, if not earlier(?). Chivalric knights and all that.

(“ ‘O ‘tis expressly against the law of arms!”) Willaim Shakkespeare ...Henry V

If a besieged city held out longer than it should, then 'Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!'.



The same goes for the rockets. When British bombarded Copenhagen in 1807 (arguably the first bombardment of the civilians in a city) it was very frightening and despicable event.

The Turks bombarded Constantinople with the heads of their fallen victims.
The Romans were rather adept with artillery as were the ancient \Greeks.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 08:23 AM
What is the sense in rules that, for example, prohibit dum dums but allow small arms projectiles that are about as damaging, not to mention Claymores, land mines, grenades, mortars, artillery and aerial bombs? Would you rather be hit in the foot with a legal infantry round; an illegal dum dum; a legal mine; a legal grenade; a legal mortar shell; a legal 25 pdr shell; or a legal 500 pd bomb?

Completely illogical, in the same way that it's illogical to insist on Queensberry rules in a street brawl.

If you're fighting for your life, why isn't everything permissible?

Especially when your enemy isn't constrained by the rules you're observing.

Agree

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 08:45 AM
Agree

So, we're agreed.

But do you, like me and just about everyone else, still have the gut response that some things are 'unfair' and should not occur even if they are the best way of fighting a war?

Such as targeting Main Dressing Stations for artillery or aerial bombardment or, better still, hospitals further back to kill combatants who have survived an RAP and ADS and depleted resources hugely by getting the wounded to the RAP and ADS, at least on the WWII basis that it takes four men to carry one stretcher and it's more effective to cause grave injuries than to kill enemies, at least in Western armies, as a wounded man takes more men out of the battle than a dead one. So the best weapons are ones which cause serious but not necessarily fatal wounds. Which should make the pacifists happy. :rolleyes:

Plus there is the negative effect on morale of realising that if a man survives and gets to the MDS or hospitals further back, he's just about certain to be killed in a bombardment despite surviving the battle.

That is an efficient way of running a war, but most people still think we ought to leave people alone after they're badly wounded.

Don't kick a man when he's down, and all that.

But if we're trying to beat his lot, why not kick him when he's down? It'd be stupid not to.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 08:50 AM
So, we're agreed.

But do you, like me and just about everyone else, still have the gut response that some things are 'unfair' and should not occur even if they are the best way of fighting a war?

Culturally...probably, after the event (RC guilt complex and English fair play). It's paradoxical.

Big boys games etc.

Terror is not a new tactic.

Egorka
09-22-2008, 09:12 AM
Probably came about around the time of the Crusades, if not earlier(?). Chivalric knights and all that.
I speaking of writen rules between the countries.
The era of Chivalers had different rules. As well as Roman era and so on.
Every period has certain customs. But they are not nesseseraly writen ones.

F.ex. how the infantry battle was done in early 18th century. Two armies gathered on the field in rows. Then they would start approaching. At certain range they would stand and fire salvoes at eachother. In turns. And when the enemy would fire at you, you were suposed to be standing fully erected. Then after certain number of fire exchange the armies would clash in hand fight. That is a raugh idea of course but it shows how customs of war were back then. Idiocy by the todays standards.


The Turks bombarded Constantinople with the heads of their fallen victims.
The Romans were rather adept with artillery as were the ancient \Greeks.
Bombardment of the city with the heads of victims is a phsyhological (and a bit biological) warfare. Besides IIRC the rople of the "artillery" in Roman age (it also goes for seige of Constantinople by Ottomans) was mainly in braking the walls. So it was the means, an assistant action, but not the aim itself. In 1807 the bombardement was the aim - the destruction of the town until the inhabitants surrender and fullfill the seigers demand.

The Copenhagen 1807 was a bombardement in modern sense (though it, probably, was not the very first one).

Egorka
09-22-2008, 09:14 AM
(RC guilt complex and English fair play).
What is RC?

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 09:19 AM
I speaking of writen rules between the countries.
The era of Chivalers had different rules. As well as Roman era and so on.
Every period has certain customs. But they are not nesseseraly writen ones.

F.ex. how the infantry battle was done in early 18th century. Two armies gathered on the field in rows. Then they would start approaching. At certain range they would stand and fire salvoes at eachother. In turns. And when the enemy would fire at you, you were suposed to be standing fully erected. Then after certain number of fire exchange the armies would clash in hand fight. That is a raugh idea of course but it shows how customs of war were back then. Idiocy by the todays standards.


Bombardment of the city with the heads of victims is a phsyhological (and a bit biological) warfare. Besides IIRC the rople of the "artillery" in Roman age (it also goes for seige of Constantinople by Ottomans) was mainly in braking the walls. So it was the means, an assistant action, but not the aim itself. In 1807 the bombardement was the aim - the destruction of the town until the inhabitants surrender and fullfill the seigers demand.

The Copenhagen 1807 was a bombardement in modern sense (though it, probably, was not the very first one).


Okay, I could go off on a tangent, here, but I take your point.

War is war, modern, medieval or ancient, it's about killing .

RC = Roman Catholic.

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 09:25 AM
Culturally...probably, after the event (RC guilt complex and English fair play). It's paradoxical.


And usually judged by those who weren't there, some of whom might not even suffer from RC guilt (which is mild compared with the Jewish version and profound compared with the Proddies who lack the understanding of and need for the sacrament of confession).

Yet there remains the fact that at national levels we have so far, apart from a WWI excursion into the C aspect and two instances of N in WWII, refrained from NBC warfare despite having huge capacity in all NBC aspects.

Because somehow we find those things too terrible, or too unfair, or maybe we're just too afraid of the MAD response they might provoke.

But, really, why should the Yanks have sent soldiers into, say, the boonies in Vietnam instead of just nuking NVN when they had the capacity to turn NVN into a glass-surfaced carpark for a few thousand years?

The answers are all about politico-military reactions and consequences, not fair play for the poor bastards who would suffer the consequences.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 09:40 AM
Aah, you're going to get me going on about economics: need and greed; power and influence and all that....

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 09:59 AM
Aah, you're going to get me going on about economics: need and greed; power and influence and all that....

Not unless you want to ..... ;) :D

And there is a great but less apparent similarity there with war, which after all is the cause of most wars.

It's no coincidence that the arseholes in America who have threatened the global economy because of their clever **** sub-prime loans which were supported by American banks which oppose federal regulation in a stock market which opposes federal regulation are all going to be bailed out by the federal government while the poor bloody home buyers will get sweet FA because they, as people trying to buy homes which many of them will lose, don't matter and the same people, along with other American people as distinct from corporations, will fund the federal bail out of the institutions of capital through taxes on their wages.

Meanwhile Bush the Idiot and his cabal haven't quite grasped that America is no longer the unassailable world power because it is a borrower rather than lender of global capital and its ability to project military power around the globe is accordingly limited and decreasing, as will become increasingly and distressingly apparent to Americans of the Sarah Palin variety over the next few decades as they get their noses rubbed in the dirt they drop around the planet.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 01:31 PM
Not unless you want to ..... ;) :D

And there is a great but less apparent similarity there with war, which after all is the cause of most wars.

It's no coincidence that the arseholes in America who have threatened the global economy because of their clever **** sub-prime loans which were supported by American banks which oppose federal regulation in a stock market which opposes federal regulation are all going to be bailed out by the federal government while the poor bloody home buyers will get sweet FA because they, as people trying to buy homes which many of them will lose, don't matter and the same people, along with other American people as distinct from corporations, will fund the federal bail out of the institutions of capital through taxes on their wages.

Meanwhile Bush the Idiot and his cabal haven't quite grasped that America is no longer the unassailable world power because it is a borrower rather than lender of global capital and its ability to project military power around the globe is accordingly limited and decreasing, as will become increasingly and distressingly apparent to Americans of the Sarah Palin variety over the next few decades as they get their noses rubbed in the dirt they drop around the planet.

I've lost count of the number of times I've argued on this site that most wars are fought for economic reasons. Following the most basic law of economics i.e. Supply and Demand.

e.g. The Cod War.

32Bravo
09-22-2008, 01:36 PM
So, if someone decides to wage war on someone else while that same someone else does not want to fight a war, but is forced into defending himself, why then should said soemone else have to follow some rules of war if he turns out to be the Victor - in a skirmish, a battle or the war? After all, he his having to waste his resources in fighting to defend himself. Why shouldn't he be able to annihilate the aggressor, or enslave him? Why should he, as the victim, have to observe some ridiculous rules being imposed upon him?

pdf27
09-22-2008, 02:03 PM
So, if someone decides to wage war on someone else while that same someone else does not want to fight a war, but is forced into defending himself, why then should said soemone else have to follow some rules of war if he turns out to be the Victor - in a skirmish, a battle or the war? After all, he his having to waste his resources in fighting to defend himself. Why shouldn't he be able to annihilate the aggressor, or enslave him? Why should he, as the victim, have to observe some ridiculous rules being imposed upon him?
Problem with that is ostensible justice - it is entirely possible for both sides to believe in good faith that they have right on their side and are fighting a just war.
In any case, the whole point of the various Geneva and Hague conventions is to improve the lot of noncombatants - the wounded, civilians, etc. It shouldn't matter who started it to them.

Rising Sun*
09-22-2008, 07:04 PM
In any case, the whole point of the various Geneva and Hague conventions is to improve the lot of noncombatants - the wounded, civilians, etc. It shouldn't matter who started it to them.

But if they elected or supported the government which started an unjust (we'll ignore that debate for the purposes of this argument) war, as did about a third of the German population with Hitler, why should they be exempt as targets?

Obviously those individuals can't be identified by the enemy and bombs etc don't discriminate, but if civilians are part of the problem there is no reason in theory why they should be immune from war's effects.

The same as conscipts who don't support the war still get wounded and killed.

Walther
09-22-2008, 07:20 PM
I think the rules of war came about largely due to advances in war technology. When the capabilities to kill started to grow exponentialy. As I remember, the machineguns, f.ex., were first described as almost criminal weapon (I think it was first used in Anglo-Bore war, right?).

The same goes for the rockets. When British bombarded Copenhagen in 1807 (arguably the first bombardment of the civilians in a city) it was very frightening and despicable event.

But give it a bit time and people get used to...

An other thought: I feel that the modern man perception that the wars in older times were much crueler is a bid exaggeration. True that some of them were pure slaughters. But not all of them. At least the notion “Total war” is relatively new. And it was not like that before. Very often war was just a matter between the noble families and such. So a peasant could just get about by paying high taxes and otherwise stay out of the conflict.


If I' not mistaken, the Maxim gun was first used in the Ashanti wars in today's Ghana.

Jan

Major Walter Schmidt
09-23-2008, 12:52 AM
And usually judged by those who weren't there, some of whom might not even suffer from RC guilt (which is mild compared with the Jewish version and profound compared with the Proddies who lack the understanding of and need for the sacrament of confession).

Yet there remains the fact that at national levels we have so far, apart from a WWI excursion into the C aspect and two instances of N in WWII, refrained from NBC warfare despite having huge capacity in all NBC aspects.

Because somehow we find those things too terrible, or too unfair, or maybe we're just too afraid of the MAD response they might provoke.

But, really, why should the Yanks have sent soldiers into, say, the boonies in Vietnam instead of just nuking NVN when they had the capacity to turn NVN into a glass-surfaced carpark for a few thousand years?

The answers are all about politico-military reactions and consequences, not fair play for the poor bastards who would suffer the consequences.

Youre turning into Herman2 (old ver)..... Be careful, you realy shoudnt take those medications with alchohol or narcotics..

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 02:22 AM
Problem with that is ostensible justice - it is entirely possible for both sides to believe in good faith that they have right on their side and are fighting a just war.
In any case, the whole point of the various Geneva and Hague conventions is to improve the lot of noncombatants - the wounded, civilians, etc. It shouldn't matter who started it to them.

Yes, but in total war, is there such a thing as the non-combatant. Bevan Boys comes to mind.

pdf27
09-23-2008, 06:36 AM
Yes, but in total war, is there such a thing as the non-combatant. Bevan Boys comes to mind.
That's a simple one to deal with - the likes of the Bevin Boys were able-bodied men who were actively contributing to the war effort. What is the contribution of a two year old child? You could I suppose argue that they will grow up to contribute, but that's in 15 or so years time - by when the war will almost certainly be over. Until then they are merely a useless mouth, consuming resources which could be dedicated to the war effort and providing no material benefit to it.

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 06:49 AM
That's a simple one to deal with - the likes of the Bevin Boys were able-bodied men who were actively contributing to the war effort. What is the contribution of a two year old child? You could I suppose argue that they will grow up to contribute, but that's in 15 or so years time - by when the war will almost certainly be over. Until then they are merely a useless mouth, consuming resources which could be dedicated to the war effort and providing no material benefit to it.


To be sure.

But then the soldier might refuse to go to war for fear of his family being anihilated.

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 06:55 AM
Bringing it down to a personal level.

Scenario:

I'm cut off from my unit in enemy territory.

As I try to make my way back I'm suddenly confronted by an enemy fighter. I'm quicker than him.

He's only a kid but he's armed with an automatic weapon, and I only have a knife.
I don't want to hurt him, he's very young and terrified. But if I let him go he might step off a coupe of yards and gun me down.
So, I stick him.

Why didn't I simply take the weapon from him?..Well, I didn't think of that in the heat of the moment.

How should I feel about this?

Have I committed a crime?

Rising Sun*
09-23-2008, 07:28 AM
Bringing it down to a personal level.

Scenario:

I'm cut off from my unit in enemy territory.

As I try to make my way back I'm suddenly confronted by an enemy fighter. I'm quicker than him.

He's only a kid but he's armed with an automatic weapon, and I only have a knife.
I don't want to hurt him, he's very young and terrified. But if I let him go he might step off a coupe of yards and gun me down.
So, I stick him.

Why didn't I simply take the weapon from him?..Well, I didn't think of that in the heat of the moment.

How should I feel about this?

Have I committed a crime?

I remember having impassioned debates about this sort of thing during the Vietnam war with people who were anti-war or pacifist.

My position was always that a ten year old with an AK47 pointed seriously in my direction was going to be treated exactly the same as a twenty year old like me. (Whether I could have done so is a different question. I suspect that my natural hesitation to shoot a child in such a situation could have got me killed by a child, which demonstrates that it is entirely justifiable to shoot the kid first.)

My opponents always took the position that it was appallling and immoral and the worst sort of brutality to kill or shoot a child, independently of their well reasoned and, as I worked out later as they knew at the time, justifiable opposition to a bad war in which we were wrongly involved.

I still think my position was and is acceptable. Kill or be killed. Everyone who takes up an equaliser has to expect to be treated equally.

Strange thing about the pacifists (as distinct from the anti-war people who weren't pacifists) is that they had a disturbing tendency to threaten physical violence against me and my mates when they thought they were losing those debates. Apparently violence is acceptable to stop violence, but it's not acceptable to shoot a kid to stop him shooting you. Bugger that for a joke!

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 07:39 AM
Strange thing about the pacifists (as distinct from the anti-war people who weren't pacifists) is that they had a disturbing tendency to threaten physical violence against me and my mates when they thought they were losing those debates.

Threatened you with violence?...the bastards!!:D



Apparently violence is acceptable to stop violence, but it's not acceptable to shoot a kid to stop him shooting you...

I would have thought it one and the same?

In the above scenario, you are in enemy territory, so there is a fear factor on your part - fear of being killed or captured (which might be worse).

Did the fear factor come into your arguments with the pacifists?

It's my belief that many of these so called criminal acts which happen on a personal level are usually the result of fear and the adrenalin which it generates.

Egorka
09-23-2008, 08:31 AM
How should I feel about this?
Have I committed a crime?
As a descent person you should feel pity for the boy you killed. You should regret it happened.
You most likely did not commit a crime against neither human nor, most importatly, God's law if your action was driwen by selfdefence and not by blind hatred to the enemy.
IMHO

Rising Sun*
09-23-2008, 08:43 AM
In the above scenario, you are in enemy territory, so there is a fear factor on your part - fear of being killed or captured (which might be worse).

Being behind enemy lines wasn't part of our discussions, nor do I think it makes all that much difference to the decision to kill a child, apart from the obvious consideration that behind enemy lines some methods of killing might give away one's position which is rather different to being in a village as part of, say, a cordon and seach and being confronted with an armed child.

I think there might have been an incident or incidents involving children being shot which provoked our ancient debates, or it might just have been that awful picture of that poor burned little girl running away from a napalm strike or something similar. Hard to recall as there were so many terrible images from that lousy war.



Did the fear factor come into your arguments with the pacifists?

Apart from being scared of some of those rabid peaceful bastards :D, no. My mates and I were always arguing on a kill or be killed basis, although obviously there is a fear factor in that which is to fear the loss of our own lives and to take someone else's to preserve our own.


It's my belief that many of these so called criminal acts which happen on a personal level are usually the result of fear and the adrenalin which it generates.

Firstly, I wouldn't call an act of self-preservation criminal.

Secondly, whether it's fear, adrenalin, or training, what does it matter if the response was reasonable to the threat?

Anyway, why should a soldier get wound up about shooting a single armed child presenting a threat when bomber crews killed countless unarmed children presenting no threat in a single raid?

And the answer is: because the infantryman is on the ground and, unlike artillery and bombers and naval gunners, sees and kills people who at very close quarters are trying to kill him, be they adults or children, and the rifleman has to walk through what he has done and often rummage through the bodies for papers for intelligence and generally immerse himself in the gory mess of what he and others have done while the air, naval and artillery forces don't.

So, as in every other aspect of war, it always comes down to the poor bloody grunt on the ground to experience the most acute experiences of war, where fear and adrenalin can provoke direct and immediate harm on people within feet of the grunt and leave the grunt with moral and other questions which don't arise when bombing on flares from 30,000 feet or firing artillery or naval guns at unseen targets.

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 10:59 AM
As a descent person you should feel pity for the boy you killed. You should regret it happened.
You most likely did not commit a crime against neither human nor, most importatly, God's law if your action was driwen by selfdefence and not by blind hatred to the enemy.
IMHO


I like that. As I said, my thoughts are probably not that dissimilar to your own.

32Bravo
09-23-2008, 11:07 AM
Being behind enemy lines wasn't part of our discussions, nor do I think it makes all that much difference to the decision to kill a child, apart from the obvious consideration that behind enemy lines some methods of killing might give away one's position which is rather different to being in a village as part of, say, a cordon and seach and being confronted with an armed child.

I gave the scenario as being in enemy terrritory as it was one of which I have first-hand knowledge. But you are quite right, the geography isn't so important.


I think there might have been an incident or incidents involving children being shot which provoked our ancient debates, or it might just have been that awful picture of that poor burned little girl running away from a napalm strike or something similar. Hard to recall as there were so many terrible images from that lousy war.




Apart from being scared of some of those rabid peaceful bastards :D, no. My mates and I were always arguing on a kill or be killed basis, although obviously there is a fear factor in that which is to fear the loss of our own lives and to take someone else's to preserve our own.



Firstly, I wouldn't call an act of self-preservation criminal.

Secondly, whether it's fear, adrenalin, or training, what does it matter if the response was reasonable to the threat?

Anyway, why should a soldier get wound up about shooting a single armed child presenting a threat when bomber crews killed countless unarmed children presenting no threat in a single raid?

And the answer is: because the infantryman is on the ground and, unlike artillery and bombers and naval gunners, sees and kills people who at very close quarters are trying to kill him, be they adults or children, and the rifleman has to walk through what he has done and often rummage through the bodies for papers for intelligence and generally immerse himself in the gory mess of what he and others have done while the air, naval and artillery forces don't.

So, as in every other aspect of war, it always comes down to the poor bloody grunt on the ground to experience the most acute experiences of war, where fear and adrenalin can provoke direct and immediate harm on people within feet of the grunt and leave the grunt with moral and other questions which don't arise when bombing on flares from 30,000 feet or firing artillery or naval guns at unseen targets.


Did you go this far in your debates?


Forthcoming in International Military & Defense Encyclopedia. ©1990.
Morality & War
Kenneth W. Kemp
Department of Philosophy
University of St. Thomas

Most people acknowledge a strong presumption against the moral
permissibility of killing others, but nevertheless believe that in some
circumstances this presumption is overridden by other morally important
considerations. This article will survey a range of positions that have been
taken on the question of whether, and if so how, warfare can be justified as
one of the exceptions to the presumption against killing.
There are two fundamental questions which must be answered by any
adequate account of morality and war: (1) Is it ever morally permissible to go
to war? and (2) What is it morally permissible to do in war? The answers to
these two questions have received the names ius ad bellum and ius in bello, respectively.
http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/kwkemp/Kosova/Morality&War.pdf

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 07:29 AM
Did you go this far in your debates?

http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/kwkemp/Kosova/Morality&War.pdf

Yes.

Everybody does, regardless of how detailed or historically well-informed the arguments.

It's usually a simple question in practice: Is this war justified or not?

That's different to the question: Is this war just or not?

If you're the agressor, it's always justified, like Japan attacking in WWII to defend itself against Western sanctions which threatened its survival on the terms it wanted to survive.

If you're the defender, it's always just, like the West defending itself against Japan in WWII in a war caused by its sanctions after a long period of economic, racial and diplomatic discrimination against Japan as it threatened Western interests in China and elsewhere.

But it always depends where you stand, so that Sarah Palin thinks America's (and Britain's and Australia's) aggressive war on Iraq is justified because it's a mission from her god while the people opposed to it in Iraq think defending it is a mission from their god, who just coincidentally happens to be the same god Palin and her crew worship like the crew opposed to them.

Gott mit uns! :evil:

32Bravo
09-28-2008, 10:30 AM
Gott mit uns! :evil:

Well, apparently, there was a distinct lack of mittens at Stalingrad, nobody got any! :twisted: