June 24, 2015
People keep asking me questions about war. I haven’t even been in one, so questions such as these are hard to answer.
What is this term “war crime”? Is this an entendre? An oxymoron? Or a double negative? – Would it be the opposite of a war legality, a peace crime, a peace offering?
Would it be on the order of an “illegal robbery” or a “dishonest scam” or an “intentional murder” or an “accidental fumble” or a “painful ache”?
Would it be like a “rule of war” being similar to a “legality of murder” or a “right of assassination”.
What are the rules of war? Do you have to get the war approved by the War Mongers Association? Or can you just contact Dark Chimney or Gorge W. Shrub and request the right terminology to make it sound like you are just going to spank an errant child?
What are the penalties if you violate a rule of war? Do you get a fifteen yard penalty for being off-sides? Suspended for one battle because you killed the enemy before the starting gunshot? Evicted from the war for unsportsmanlike conduct? Give up free-throws of grenades for fouling the enemy?
How about participants? Can you choose them from a pool of would-be warriors, like the football draft? Can you trade warriors with other participants? Is the pay universal, or can you offer a wicked warrior more money to fight for your team?
What would constitute a war crime? Killing the enemy too harshly? Taking captives who have already surrendered? Sneaking up on the enemy without warning? Intercepting enemy communication? Spying on the enemy? Taking too much territory is any given battle? Dropping too much napalm, too many bombs, destroying water supplies, destroying cities, homes, roads, railroads, communication? How about unnecessary killing of women and children? How about beheading a captive troop or hostage? Would dropping 10,000 bombs from 1000 bombers on civilians be a war crime? Would it be covered by a rule of war?
How do you go about proving a war crime? Where are the rules of war written down? Are they written down somewhere and sworn to by all participants who agree to abide by the rules of the war or just understood amongst warring countries such as ours, which has had lots of war experience? If you commit too many war crimes can your enemy be declared the winner by the War Mongers Association?
Can you change a rule of war? Who decides? Do you get together with the enemy and negotiate the rules before the war or stop and negotiate changes to the rules during the war? Surely you wouldn’t just want to walk away and refuse to fight because you disagreed with a rule violation.
Taking it a step further, how do you decide who wins? Does someone have to throw in the towel? Can the referee call the fight and declare a victory if he or she decides one side is beaten badly and cannot survive? Or do you have to kill all of the enemy participants and destroy their habitat such that it would be unlivable?
Do they have officials who count the killings and injuries and, according to their severity, award points to the opponents and keep it posted on the score board? They must, otherwise you wouldn’t know if you were winning or losing. And then you might not know when the war was over.
In so far as being a legal participant in wars, do you have to qualify by being in previous wars? Do you have to have a favorable win/loss record in order to keep getting matched up with an enemy? Can you pick your own enemies, or are they assigned by the war officials? Are the various battles seeded like a tennis match according to your record in previous wars?
After fully considering all these unanswered questions, reading the Bible and the world history books and considering the record of human behavior over the last 3,000 years, and all of the war mongers’ imperatives to do God’s work with a sword, and all of the self-imposed leaders’ imperatives to take over more territory, more resources and more riches, it would seem like there were rules to go by somewhere along the line, otherwise everyone would just keep killing each other and if they lose just declare rule-of-war violations, and then just have to start the war all over again.
Boy am I glad we got all of this settled many years ago and now we all just get along. The world is pretty much at peace now, with the possible exception of a few dozen countries that may still have some unresolved disputes and are murdering each other. Fortunately, we are only involved in a couple of dozen of them, so – “peace be with you.”
Now that things have settled down, I guess I don’t have to try to answer all of these questions. It seems unlikely that we will have any more wars anyway.