Tuesday, October 8, 2013

War and peace

Thanks to terrorism there is much less difference between war and peace than there used to be. "War" used to be a matter of governments openly declaring war and sending armies across national boundaries to fight against each other. Civilians were often casualties but, at least, it was considered to be a war crime if armies deliberately targeted non-combatants. Violent attacks in times of "peace" -- governments not officially at war -- were crimes even if commited across international boundaries. The perpetrators were criminals and police, "peace officers", not soldiers, were dispatched to deal with them. Unfortunately, governments, including ours, got into a habit of lending support, usually covert but often overt, to terrorists treating them not as criminals but as freedom fighters or defenders of the faith or some such. Now laws that used to work well based on a distinction between war and peace are no longer realistic. That is a loss. Civilization, such as it was, is set back.

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