I disagree (Gaming)

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:25 (211 days ago) @ kidtsunami
edited by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:56

The concept of a war crime has only existed with any kind of legal weight or enforceability since the formation of the United Nations, and is only enforced by the existence of the United Nations. Technically we’re not even supposed to go to war with each other at all, “we” meaning any nation that is a member of the UN, since the UN Charter prohibits member states from doing so unless they have met certain very specific (and subjective) criteria. All of our “wars” since WWII have been legally obfuscated as “police actions” and “extraordinary measures” and the like. That is to say, lame and transparent euphemisms for war. Again, we encounter the contemporary desire to “civilize” war, because if we can’t stop it, I guess it is easier on the conscience to call it something other than war?

The real question is, what happens to all of this meaningless posturing and idealism when, inevitably, UN member states do formally declare war on each other? What happens to the enforceability of “war crimes”? I would think it will go right out the window… wouldn’t you? Every major war ever fought has involved “war crimes”, so what exactly do we expect will happen next time? There will be a next time, hopefully not for a long time, but it is an inevitability.

I say this not to upset you or anybody else here, and not because I think war is fine and dandy, or even desirable - because it very much is not. I just think we’ve kind of forgotten, as a global community, what war is really like, because we haven’t really had to deal with war on a global scale since the 1940’s. Simply put, war is hell. War is not fair at all. It is the manifestation of the ugly side of humanity that we like to pretend doesn’t exist - and yet it does. Some might even call it mass hysteria of the absolute worst variety for the extremes that it reaches. Really bad shit goes down in times of war, including inhuman things that can scarcely be imagined by those of us who have been lucky enough not to live through a real war. It is very easy to look back at a war and declare it criminal, or some aspect of it anyway, but I always wonder what the people on the ground at the time were thinking. We are not better than them. We are not above them. We have just convinced ourselves that we are, and that, I think, is actually dangerous and kind of terrifying. The assertion that “war crimes” are a legal fiction is not that upsetting. It’s the idea that human beings are capable of doing those things that really upsets, because it is frightening to realize that any of us can be pushed to that extreme given the right incentive.


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