Libertarian commentary on the news, #14-34E: Military? Civilian? Does it matter?

By Nathan Barton

War is not fun.  It may be exhilarating, it may be fulfilling for some, but it is death and destruction on a scale that is often difficult to comprehend. War is not good, even if necessary.  It is also one of man’s most common activities, whether it is a raid on an enemy village to steal horses and count coup, or massive, mechanized invasions of hundreds of thousands of incredibly well-equipped men in either defense or offensive. It’s glorious horror is one reason that most of the “civilized” world made a clear distinction in the past between soldier or military, and civilian.  Though honored in the breech as often or not, the attempt was to make war less damaging and less destructive of life and limb and property – yes, and liberty.

Today, that is going away, like so much else.

The relatively new and slick Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack; urges bombing of Vegas, military targets, including some military colleges.  And not the ones you would expect, like Norwich or VMI.

Mama’s Note: “There is no mention of using any actual government buildings or assets as targets. Military colleges wouldn’t qualify as far as I can see. Seems obvious they have no idea how Americans think or react to things.”

Nathan: Of course, DC has no qualms about treating military colleges as military targets: witness VMI in 1864 and possibly even the Mexican military academy in Ciudad Mexico in 1845.  But “military” targets are plentiful and relatively soft Stateside.  I would think that USAF bomber bases, since those DIRECTLY strike at the Islamic homelands, would be very high on the target list.  But clearly Hamas and the Caliphate and other Muslims define military and civilian differently than the West.  As the next story relates to.

In Canaan, The Gaza war still rages in a fight over numbers. Although fighting has sorta stopped, the conflict continues. The U.N. says 7 in 10 Palestinians [sic: Arab residents of Canaan] killed in Gaza were civilians. Israel disagrees.  Of course, it is a battle over terms: Hamas and the other Islamists consider many of their warriors “civilians” (especially younger ones) while the UN seems to declare anyone under age 21 to be a civilian regardless of enlistment.  Military status is much in the eye of the beholder.

In yet another similar situation, rebels besiege trapped Ukrainian volunteer soldiers or at least what Ukraine claims are volunteers – even though the country is conscripting people.  Meanwhile the West appears to continue to goad Russia and Ukraine into all-out war.  Ukraine has backed down on claims that Russia has invaded, but NATO insists otherwise and is pushing for Ukrainian membership in what seems to be a validation of the old (and then bogus) Soviet claims of Western aggression. The volunteer’s plight and apparent dispatch into battle with little training and inadequate gear has sparked scorn across Ukraine, but ideology and Western demands seem to count for more than sense.

This confusion between military and civilian IS a problem Stateside.  Cops are SUPPOSED to be civilian, but act like old-style freebooting military mercenaries. One of the great crimes of government of the last forty-plus years, and the war on drugs, is the abomination of civil forfeiture.  It is far more common than the cops killing and torturing people, but is part of that hideous system of tyranny that is modern law enforcement.  Political Outcast features one city, Philadelphia, and how it “rapes” its own residents.  It is an extreme form of theft and corruption by police for the benefit of themselves and their masters.  It is immoral and should be illegal, as I can find NO way it is constitutional. I suspect that just shooting the perps will not be enough to get this ended: it will take lynching  of several groups.

This guy is clearly a civilian, but acts more and more like a dictator all the time. The Fuehrer was mocked by media for wearing taupe suit in White House address.

As Mama Liberty pointed out,  “Don’t we wish this was Obummer’s most glaring deficit? He could wear pajamas for all I care, if he were just honest.” My first thought was, “but then, he would not be in politics at all, would he?” Ah,  but this way, the press can say that they had an article critical of him published.  Is the next story headline, “Obummer hairdresser allows too much gray to show.  The honeymoon between the Fuehrer and the mainstream media continues with almost six years now…

Sometimes the distinction is really not there at all.  Streets and roads are NOT supposed to be a battlefield, but sometimes… A Texas man has been found not guilty of murder for killing the drunk man who plowed his vehicle into the defendent’s truck, killing the defendent’s two young sons as the three were pushing it down the road.  The details are not available, but it would be unlikely to be premeditated.  At the same time, it makes no sense (especially morally) to kill the murderer AFTER the boys were killed.  Murderer?  Yes.  People don’t drink “accidentally” and it is beyond mere negligence to go out and  drive when you’ve been drinking to the point of drunkenness.  It might be a lesser degree of murder, but not the same as an accidental homicide.  Was this part of a war?  Clearly, in the eyes of some.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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