Friday, May 26, 2017

War is Hell

Sherman was right (the Civil War Sherman, not Mr. Peabody’s.) War is hell. It should be avoided by any means possible at every juncture, every diplomatic mission, every détente, and every cultural and economic exchange. But if it is inevitable, then it must be fought resoundingly. There is no in between.

And when that happens, civilians die. This is why war must be the absolute last choice. Many who die and many more who suffer were non-combatants who wanted nothing to do with it, would receive no benefit from it, and had no say in it.

We accept that, except for actual war crimes, civilians will suffer. War crimes are punishable. Collateral damage is tragic and regrettable, but unavoidable. But what is even worse, if possible, is using collateral damage as propaganda. Our war machine kills civilians. Not just Russia’s or Syria’s. Every army ever raised in anger kills innocent people. Sun Tzu considered actual warfare a failure to reach your objectives by other means. If you went to war you fucked up.

Let us mourn them, not use them as cynical propaganda.

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