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No Rules

Is the Geneva Convention a bad thing? Can war ever be civilised, with codes of conduct and rules? War is brutal and brutalizing. It's not fair. I remember as a kid that when I complained that something wasn't fair I was told that "Life isn't fair". To which the answer should have been "Maybe, but that's no excuse for making things worse". There is an argument which says that by pretending that there can be rules and laws in War we actually make it more likely. Those who argue in favour this point of view point out that War should be known to be so terrible that it will always be a last resort. In the really olden days, those who led their people into war also led their people in war - literally. Leading meant being in the lead in those days and the guy in front was often the first to die. War was not undertaken lightly. But in the West these days the people who declare a war are actually the least likely to die. They can retreat to secure well guarded bunkers if things go pear-shaped while the rest of us on the surface face oblivion. Perhaps the only rule of war that we need is that whoever declares one should literally put their life and the lives of their family members in prime position on the chopping block. But somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

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