Re: Solidarity with Peruvian Guerrilla!

Chris Rapier (rapier@psc.edu)
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:07:45 -0500 (EST)


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On Sat, 21 Dec 1996, Charles J. Reid wrote:

> Well, Chris, I have to admit that your answers a good one...except that
> the rules of warfare have chnaged.

There have never been any "rules of war" only general guideline to further a political goal. Sometimes you drive through the center, sometime you flank, sometime you scorch the earth and sometimes you kill every living thing and sow the soil with salt.

> (Remember how the American
> Revolutionaries were called cowards, because they did not engage the
> British enemy according the traditional orders of battle? While the
> British marched in formation, the colonial guerrillas fought from the
> trees, and won! This was considered immoral at the time.)

Of course it was immoral because the code of conduct was much different. However, exceptions to the rules can be found going back centuries. I prolly don't have to remind you of the horrible actions taken by Henry V at Agincourt?

> The American Civil War (and Sherman's destructive march to the sea)
> changed the rules of war, ending with the US dropping a nuclear bomb on

True, but also the technology changed moreso than the tactics. I was about to talk about minne balls and rifiled barrels but i'm way to tired to be coherent right now. Lets just say that the people didn't change as much as the technology involved in warfare. The odd thing is as the technology increased the level of brutality decreased.

> innocent civilians, or engaging in an undeclared war

Ummm... careful where you go with this one. by earlier arguments put forward by people supporting the Tupac actions it couldbe said they the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were *not* innocent.

> Where does your morality come from?

K-mart. It was on sale. Actually, my morality comes from having the immorality kicked the fuck out of me. Pain and the threat of extinction can be a wonderful teacher of common curtosey.

> We clearly see an immoral world
> order, and we see people in power who kill innocent people to preserve
> their privileges, while children the world over go hungry.

And thats part of life. Do what you can to alleviate the suffering of those around you but take care not to become that which you hate in the process.

> We cannot judge the tactics used by people in their own countries in
> their own struggle to make their own lives better.

No. We can't but the tupac rebels didn't do it in their own country. They basically invaded the sovereign territory of another nation. It therefore ceases to be a purely internal matter but places it in the common realm of war.

> And here, we saw what the state strategy of saving women and children did
> at Waco.

Uh huh... and you really don't want to know what i would have done in that situation. Ya see... I don't have a problem with killing or war or revolution. It part of the process. What I do have a problem with is moral revisionists who can justify acts of violence against people who are, for the most part, unconnected with the struggle they are engaged in.

> Perhaps the best you can hope for, Chris, is that you never have to make
> a decision like that made by those who took over the Japanese embassy.

Too late.

> What was the name of that Graham Greene novel about the "principled"
> American who caused more harm because of his stupidity? Check it out.

The Quiet American. Good book.

If I may make a suggestion to you as well...

Michael Walzer, "Just and Unjust Wars" Very good. Make sure you have a passing knowledge of Clauswitz' On War and some familiarity with the Peloponesian War.

Chris Rapier Systems Programmer/Cabin Boy 2nd Class Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center 11EE

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