Rules of War

If you’re a typical country like Syria, the “international community” (the United States) has gamed the arms control norms so that you can’t possibly win.

14 thoughts on “Rules of War

  1. Testicles have nothing to do with anything here. The issue is privilege.

    Privilege is power without commensurate responsibility, where said asset is at the expense of another. Aristocrats, by definition, enjoy privilege. As such, when they start a war, they do not pay the appropriate price for the war. Others do that — their own people. This is where That Göring Quote That Everyone Knows goes.

    The original point of laws is that they are rules that benefit the ruling class, first and foremost. It is only in the modern era that this notion has been perverted with populism; the natural state of law is that of a regulation that serves the state. Arbitrary distinctions about how we murder each other are excellent examples of this phenomenon. Human life doesn’t mean shit to human aristocracies, but the lives of their members do mean something, so stuff that kills them is right out. I’ve even seen this principle applied to amateur game design:

    http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29/War_in_D%26D#Fighting_with_Honor

    And that’s probably the weirdest link ever posted on this site.

  2. Aaron,

    I don’t think you can boil history down to one word. Just like you can’t boil love down to one word. There’s too many kinds of it. There’s the history of politics, race, food, gender, sexuality, democracy, technology, etc.

    But if you’re looking for an overarching theme to put over all of it? I’d take a stab at “evolution.” Certain ideas speciate (e.g., women should have the right to vote) while other ideas go extinct (e.g., only white, land-holding men should vote).

    Those ideas that increase the likelihood of more peaceful coexistence have a tendency to survive. Those that do not, tend to weed out. Look at war. Read the History of the Peloponnesian War. The soldiers had to stop the fighting each year to go home to help with the harvest and the planting of the crop! Most of the “fighting” consisted of sitting around waiting for a battle to get started. Large standing armies were a rarity for most of history. The “evolution” of things like the current U.S. military is similar to a negative mutation. It doesn’t improve the organism’s likelihood for survival.

    Wait until the next multistate power failure. Or when all the pipes under New York (the ones that are 100 years old) start failing simultaneously because they’ve never been upgraded (do you know how much that would cost!?) Don’t even think about what happens when the next hurricane floods New Orleans again or romps up the East Coast and puts New York City under water again like Sandy did.

    Evolution dictates that a military-heavy state simply cannot survive indefinitely.

  3. The first quote, Aaron, is from the Talmud…it’s an old Hebrew saying….the second I just made up on the spot, but do have a long history of writing heavy metal lyrics.

    The Power, Prestige, and Property paradigm is the purview (like my alliteration, Ted, eh? eh?) of Max Weber, although he notably would not have added the 4th P as he was quite dysfunctional in that arena. I agree with Henri…humanity is still tribal, provincial, short sighted and organized along the lines of brute force and bullying.

  4. Despite many attempts over the centuries to change the way the world is run, it’s still the province of the schoolyard bully. Seen in this light, the fact that over 50 % of the US federal budget goes to a bloated military and (in)security apparatus, while the country’s infrastructure, both material and intellectual is allowed to erode, is not without its rationality. Cui bono ?…

    Henri

  5. Many such as Obama already have their “pussy,” (I doubt Obama has much passion in him anyway) they just genuinely enjoy power, prestige, and property for the sake of each on its own…and then there are plenty of losers with none of those who get pussy just fine. And then further there are people like Dick Cheney who seem most focused on forging some fanciful grand legacy…I didn’t think you were serious at first but you seem a little more now and too serious about the point I think.

  6. @Aggie. Thanks for fleshing out the point a bit.

    Love these poetic lines:

    “From the Forest Itself Comes the Handle for the Ax.”

    “Embrace the chaos and push the red button, to hell we ride with glory on our minds and lust in our hearts!!!”

    I am trying to get down to the ultimate driver though, and of the 4 P’s, three are means to the end.

    Boil history down to one word: testosterone.

  7. Alex, there was some thought of these measures given after World War I….The history written of World War II clearly blames this peacenicking for Hitler’s rise and early success -whether valid or not, that’s the canon history of the first half of the 20th century…..shying away from war leads to Hitler.

    Aaron’s point is close…everything in history comes down to “the 4 Ps” – Power, Prestige, Property and Pussy…..the problem with all of the potential solutions is they are always implemented by one group who is from the beginning corrupted by lust…because after all…we’re all human (except for Ann Coulter, I don’t know what the hell it is)….Again, Ted.

    From the Forest Itself Comes the Handle for the Ax.

    Embrace the chaos and push the red button, to hell we ride with glory on our minds and lust in our hearts!!!

  8. We are doomed as a species because of testicles and vaginas.

    What is the first thing you do in order to domesticate an animal? You cut the males’ nuts off. The reason for this is simple, males with balls fight over females.

    So now on the planet there are 3 or so billion men running around fighting over females. End of story.

  9. Simple fix for all the war drumbeating. Have the war, whichever one it is. At the end, the leaders of the winning side and the losing side all dig a mass grave 12 feet deep. They’re all pushed into it, then a giant cement mixer fills in the hole with cement. As soon as the cement’s finished being poured, the new elections can start.

    While those elections are being put together, the trials of the industrialists can be held. Same set up. Any industrialist who made any money off the war, even so much as a penny, draws a sentence of hard manual labor for the rest of his life, no possibility of parole. Who’s to decide whether the industrialist made money? I suggest a jury of family members of people who died in the war: parents of dead soldiers, siblings of dead civilians, children who were maimed as “collateral damage,” and so forth. If they think there’s something funny with the books, that’s good enough for me.

  10. The only rules in modern war are internal rules of engagement within organized regimes like the US military. There are actually no enforcible rules of war…civilians are fair game..everyone is fair game….the frontline is everywhere.

    This kinda sucks, we need to shake up the world system so that we can have a reassessment and restructuring…the best way to do that is to go balls deep into Syria and see where the cookies crumble

  11. I think it’s time to adopt world-wide treaties that limit wars to the use of spears and bows-and-arrows! (Of course, the U.S could continue to ignore signed treaties.)

  12. 1) Syria is not a typical country. 2) Not only is the arms control system gamed to benefit core nations, the entire world system is gamed to benefit core nations….after all, that’s what the heck they’re ‘core’ nations. “….so that you can’t possibly win.” . . .again, absolutely…the point is that countries and their populations are locked into a rigid system of stratification. Assad knows the game, he should have done a better job of playing that game – the game of ‘we look the other way as long as you continue to be the person we want’…..Personally, I think this is the beginning of the first collosal readjustment in the world system of the 21st Century, and we need to jump into it full bore.

Leave a Reply