These chapters explored the reasons people develop anti-civilian ideologies. People want revenge, are forced, or simply because it works as a military tactic. I view people being forced to harm their own people as one of the worst things that can happen; its one thing to attack people simply because you want to or because you feel like you need to, but to have your freedom to choose whether you harm or not taken away from you is horrible. Our autonomy is what makes us human, even when someone is doing something to you, you have the choice to let it happen or to fight back (even if fighting back could get you killed or harmed even worse).
When Slim discussed the fact that people kill civilians purely because it works as a military tactic, I immediately thought about Machiavelli’s book The Prince. In his book, Machiavelli basically declares that the end justifies the means. I can’t fully understand how people can see their tactics as okay simply by looking at the end result. It also surprised me by how much those our society viewed as the “good guys” supported these theories. Our high school textbooks barely touch these subjects and always paint them in a light that we can accept (which just goes to show you how bad our public school system is). Political leaders knew that these tactics were bad; Churchill questioned if we were “beasts” and yet still continued with these tactic.
I view those who have no opinion on the deaths of others, who don’t care if the enemy civilians die as the worst kind of people there are. At least have an opinion one way or the other, that way others know where you stand and know how to react. Someone who doesn’t care about the enemy civilians is easily swayed to kill those civilians and then hide behind the aspect that they didn’t want to kill them, they just didn’t care if they died or not.
Civilian identity has increasingly become muddier as the years go by. No longer can you separate combatants and non-combatants by those who carry guns and those who don’t. People now have the luxury of having an opinion on the war, but that doesn’t give the enemy the excuse to harm them. People should have opinions, and not everyone is going to agree with each other; that’s good, that means progress can happen.
Now that I talked about all that sad, depressing stuff, here is a picture of a cat: