Wednesday, November 29, 2023

On Medium: The Laws of War are Feats of Orwellian Gaslighting

Read on about POWs, PTSD, legalistic gaslighting, and the clash between the international acceptance of war, and the domestic outlawing of murder.


  1. Your article reminds me of this science fiction novel that I keep intending to read. In the novel there are these extraterrestrials who, for whatever reason, declare war on humanity. But unlike humanity, they don't observe any hypocritical 'rules of warfare'; they understand what a horrific thing war is and prosecute as efficiently and swiftly as possible to the end and once it over and finished, every individual involved commits suicide -- the idea being that no one who has committed mass murder deserves to live, even if what they did was necessary to preserve the species as a whole.

    1. That's a coincidence. I read that Rama book too and was also struck by Clarke's depiction of the spider species. It's a case of avoiding the squishy middle ground, or the centrist normalization of war. It's all or nothing: avoid war as much as possible until it becomes an existential crisis, in which case you wage a war of annihilation and genocide, and then terminate everyone in your military who was tainted by those operations. I wonder which system would end up producing more atrocities.

    2. Yes, that was the name of the book. Thanks for reminding me what it was called so I can finally check it out. I'm going to pick it up at the library today or put it on hold if it's checked out.

      The atrocities would be on a grander scale, but there would be less of them because there would be no one left to fight. As you mentioned, it would entail genocide. If Germany had been annihilated in the first world war, there would not have been a second. If Bush Sr. had fought the gulf war to completion, there would have been no follow up war for his son to fight and no ISIS for Obama to contend with. If the cold war had only ended in a volley of nukes, the whole planet would be at peace right now. Total war is peace at any price.

    3. Just to clarify, the book is one of the sequels to Rama, one of the later sequels, I think.