The first chapter of Killing Civilians by Hugo Slim has us exploring the different attitudes people have on war, the juxtaposition between the proportionality of limited war, and the brutality of “the scourge of war.” Although it was rather hard to read as a pdf form, this chapter interested me as it got into the psychology of why people had the views they did. The antidote about the people of Bakedu had gotten me thinking. What were the underlying tensions that caused the NPLF to behave the way they did; and why did they specifically target this small town of people? (other than the fact that the were Mandingos?) These innocent people were slaughtered where they laid, even after doing everything they were told. And for what!? Not a decade later, their back, living on their old land, surrounded by the constant reminder of the destruction that had happened around them. If it wasn’t for that one unknown soldier, the entire village, an entire group of people, would have been wiped out from existence. This pure carnage was, ultimately, useless and a waste of materials.
It kind of upset me that, when people did focus on limited war and “just war,” most focused on the military aspect of it, not about the lost lives of helpless people. It seemed almost as if those who did worry about the destruction of war, still didn’t think about all aspects of it, especially the effects war has on the citizens living in those areas. They seemed to be disconnected from the aspects of war from a civilian standpoint, from the standpoint of someone who sees it first hand and doesn’t have any way to protect themselves.
While it’s great that the UN has taken an interest in punishing those who violate crimes against humanity and other war crimes, the ultimate question is if this threat of retribution will stop anyone who truly wishes to harm others.
Now that we have talked about all this sad, depressing stuff, here is a picture of a cat: