If a man is free to beat his wife inside their home, and believes he is free from his violent capacity to do so, does this mean he’s now created a “beating zone” where beating this woman is acceptable as long as it is done within the “zone?”
Explain how a man gets a “war zone,” where he is free to kill and destroy and is not arrested for doing it from nothing more than the violent capacity to do so. Can a man acquire the freedom to beat a woman from nothing more than the violent wherewithal to do so? No!
Yet a man can acquire the
freedom to kill and destroy in war from nothing more than the violent wherewithal to do so. This is war alone justifying itself, creating itself. How is this possible?
As far as I can tell, this happens from the misguided belief that war can exist as its own entity. That war, regardless of what it is about, that all by itself war can give you the freedom to destroy and kill.
Iraq is a perfect example. Our government has acknowledged that the Iraq War was wrong, but since it was done within the “laws of war,” this is somehow different than a terrorist attack — that “war” alone is all they needed to get into an acceptable killing realm.
This is like seeing war the same as a football game, where both sides have the equal right to hurt each other within the “rules,” and this comes from nothing more than your participation in war, regardless of right or wrong.
The problem with this belief that war can exist as a killing contest like a football game is that a football game can only exist if all participants agree to play. Just because someone’s responding to your acts of aggression does not mean you have them now “in war” with you and are free to kill them within the “laws of war.”
Don’t be fooled by the visual; you need more than the physical act of “war” — soldiers, bombs, battleships, civilians fleeing — to get this freedom to kill, because that is what “war” alone is seen as, the freedom to kill.
Thank you and Happy Holidays
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.