On War

BY FAR the greater number of wars have in common the idea that both sides fervently believed they were right. Therefore the honest observer, in my opinion, will find that there is no morality in war, and there is no immorality in war, there is only the awful reality of it, for war is a singularly dirty business which ensnares both the innocent and guilty in the same web of violence.

War is today, as it has been in all ages, a conflict between self-interested nation states, which I find the ultimate denigration of the individual. I do not believe that this is some self-indulgent philosophy of a weak age, rather it is, to me, recognition in the modern age that individuals have worth, even if they are totally unable to control events, and even if their ideas conflict with the ideas of the majority of their contemporaries.

Blockades, bombing cities, laying seige to cities, destroying countrysides, concentration camps, and similar acts, are, to my mind, all immoral acts, which punish the guilty and the innocent with equal relentlessness. So, when one speaks of war, generally, one should speak not of morality or seek to justify a violent act in any other way except by stating simple goals, i.e., we are attacking Iraq in order to keep them from annexing bordering, commodity rich communities, which our allies carved out in order to minimize their cost for these commodities by reducing the number of people who share in the benefits from selling to them. Of course one has to be prepared, when one does this, to notice that acts of war have not changed much since the day that marauding nomads decided to attack settled, rich agricultural communities in order to loot them. But we can handle the truth, can't we?

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