Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Ways of War

Syrian Civil War

Consider the motivations and ways of and for war:

1. War for Excitement and Profit
(Allegedly the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the Great War,)

2. War is Our Nature
(War according to Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Realpolitik, etc.)

3. War for Revenge
(The Trojan War, Nazi War,)

4. War over Land
(Palestine/Israel, U.S. War Between the States, usually called the American Civil War though it really wasn't a civil war, Mexican War of Conquest by the United States, Attacks against Indian lands by U.S., Seven Years War at least in its North American part--the French and Indian War, a battle between Britain and France of which will own North America.)

5. War for Duty, Honor, and Patriotism
(Robert E. Lee, etc.)

6. War for Victory
(General George Patton, General Curtis LeMay, General Ulysses Grant, etc.)

7. War for Liberation
(American Revolution, French Revolution, Marxist Wars of Latin and South American countries against despotic rulers of the late 20th century)

8. War for Peace and Justice
(Acclaimed by nearly all opposing participants in all wars such as the current one in Syria.)

9. Total War
(Another name for total war is terrorism; a government intentionally attacks, plunders, harms, destroys, and usually slaughters many thousands of civilians including children, firefighters, doctors, etc. Examples include the French Religious Wars, the 30 Years War Sack of Magdeburg by the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic League, General Sherman's "March to the Sea" in the American War Between the States, the French Revolution, the Blitz against Britain and many other civilian attacks by Nazi Germany, the bombing of Dresden by the Allies, the firebombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities by the United States.
"There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not trying to fight an armed force anymore. So it doesn't bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders." General Curtis LeMay)

10. Holy War, War for God, Crusade, Jihad
(HAMAS, ISIS, the Crusades of the 1000 to 1200's, the Muslim Conquests from 623 to 1683 C.E., etc.)

11. War as Self-Defense

12. Limited War for Justice
(Examples include the famous rules of war organized by Augustine of the Roman Catholic Church; another is the Geneva Conventions of War, 1864, 1906, 1929, 1949.)

13.Opposition to Particular War
(Barack Obama is the best current example of this. He strongly opposed the Iraq War, but in contrast supports war in general, even 'first-strike' war.)

14.Non-violence within War
(Medic, Non-combatant; examples include many Seventh Day Adventist such as the WW 11 medic Desmond Doss, who received the Medal of Honor for rescuing over 70 wounded Americans from a cliff.)

15.Vocational Non-violence to War
(Some conservative Mennonites and other religious groups take this view. They themselves oppose participation in war, yet they think other humans are to soldier because war by the government has been instituted by God.)

16.Non-violence for Peace, Love, and Justice
(Conscientious Objection, Civil Disobedience, Protecting Enemies, Protesting; Desmond Tutu, Thich Nhat Hanh, Badshah Khan,)

17.Non-resistance for Religious Belief
(Some say they aren't pacifists, but that they don't participate in human wars; Jehovah Witnesses.)

18.Removal from War (Many thousands of young men immigrated to other countries such as the United States to avoid serving in various European wars for various reasons.)

19. Passive Response to War
(For instance, many civilians neither support a war nor resist it, but just try and avoid the belligerents of both sides. Even when attacked, passive civilians sometimes don't fight back--the Amish, many Jewish people in the 1930-40's, etc.)

20. Cowardice in War



Take your pick. What way will save people from suffering and destruction and death? What is the most humanistic way to respond?

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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