If I have to reduce all of the laws of war into a single sentence, it is this. You divide the world into two, combatants and noncombatants. You can attack deliberately combatants, but not deliberately noncombatants. Israel acts that way. It attacks combatants and accidentally kills noncombatants. But in the case of the terrorists, it's the exact opposite. They deliberately attack combatants - noncombatants, civilians, deliberately.
Meantime the clang of the bows and the shouts of the combatants mixed fearfully with the sound of the trumpets, and drowned the groans of those who fell, and lay rolling defenceless beneath the feet of the horses. The splendid armour of the combatants was now defaced with dust and blood, and gave way at every stroke of the sword and battle-axe. The gay plumage, shorn from the crests, drifted upon the breeze like snowflakes. All that was beautiful in the martial array had disappeared, and what was now visibke was only calculated to awaken terror or compassion.
By day certainly the combatants have a clearer notion, though even then by no means of all that takes place, no one knowing much of anything that does not does not go on in his own immediate neighborhood; but in a night engagement ( and this was the only one that occurred between great armies during the war) how could anyone know anything for certain?
Against war one might say that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished malicious. In its favor, that in producing these two effects it barbarizes, and so makes the combatants more natural. For culture it is a sleep or a wintertime, and man emerges from it stronger for good and for evil.
It's necessary that everyone does his duty and works in his place - devotes himself to constructing a body of fundamental values - against the common enemy - in a network of active, supple, inderdependent, and confederated resistance - present on every front, at the level of Europe - with the aim of concentrating all the energies of the combatants.
My father and I rarely saw eye to eye when I was growing up. We saw the world differently. It was only when we were both adults that we were able to share spectacles. However, football, and particularly the World Cup, was when we, enemy combatants, could traverse trenches and be together.
What one Predator drone pilot described of his experience fighting in the Iraq war while never leaving Nevada: 'You're going to war for 12 hours, shooting weapons at targets, directing kills on enemy combatants. Then you get in the car and you drive home, and within 20 minutes you're sitting at the dinner table talking to your kids about their homework.'
P. W. Singer
Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.
Planning a wedding is hell. Things are said. Doors are slammed. Quarrels about the most inconsequential things--yellow tablecloths or white? hors d'oeuvres set out on tables or passed around on trays?--are often pitched at such a level that it seems the combatants may never recover from them. Much of the anxiety, of course, is tribal. It is wrenching to have to open the sacred circle to admit an outsider.
In 2014, impunity in journalism murder cases reached a staggering 96 percent and the remaining 4 percent obtained only partial justice, we have become targets. Insurgent groups no longer use reporters to transmit news, but instead kidnap them to make news. They treat us as enemy combatants and spies. This is our everyday reality.
At the end of the day...if your army won't fight, it's because they don't trust their incompetent, corrupt generals, they don't trust each other. This is an enduring civil war between the Shia, the Sunni, and the Kurds. So I don't think we've got any options and we'd be ill-advised to start bombing where we really can't sort out the combatants or understand where the civilian population is.
In the future, we should anticipate seeing more hybrid wars where conventional warfare, irregular warfare, asymmetric warfare, and information warfare all blend together, creating a very complex and challenging situation to the combatants; therefore it will require military forces to posses hybrid capabilities, which might help deal with hybrid threats.
Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono
The United States of course wants to follow the highest standards of conduct with regard to enemy combatants who follow the rules of war. It should and does follow the Geneva Conventions scrupulously when fighting the armed forces of other nations that have signed the Geneva Conventions or follow their principles.
In battle, combatants engaged in war against America get no due process and may lawfully be killed. But citizens not in a battlefield - however despicable - are guaranteed a trial by our Constitution. No one argues that Americans who commit treason shouldn't be punished. The maximum penalty for treason is death. But the Constitution specifies the process necessary to convict.
To the non-combatants and those on the periphery of action, the war meant only boredom or occasional excitement, but to those who entered the meat grinder itself the war was a netherworld of horror from which escape seemed less and less likely as casualties mounted and the fighting dragged on and on. Time had no meaning, life had no meaning. The fierce struggle for survival in the abyss of Peleliu had eroded the veneer of civilization and made savages of us all.
Eugene B. Sledge
No war ought ever to be undertaken but under circumstances which render all intercourse of courtesy between the combatants impossible. It is a bad thing that men should hate each other; but it is far worse that they should contract the habit of cutting one another's throats without hatred. War is never lenient but where it is wanton; when men are compelled to fight in self-defence, they must hate and avenge: this may be bad; but it is human nature.
Thomas B. Macaulay
Peace is not just a colored ribbon. It's more than a wristband or a t-shirt. It's not just a donation or a 5 K race. It's not just a folk song, or a white dove. And peace is certainly more than a celebrity endorsement. Peace is a fulltime job. It's protecting civilians, overseeing elections, and disarming ex-combatants. The UN has over 100,000 Peacekeepers on the ground, in places others can't or won't go, doing things others can't or won't do. Peace, like war, must be waged.
The Great War differed from all ancient wars in the immense power of the combatants and their fearful agencies of destruction, and from all modern wars in the utter ruthlessness with which it was fought. ... Europe and large parts of Asia and Africa became one vast battlefield on which after years of struggle not armies but nations broke and ran. When all was over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and they were of doubtful utility.
The belief that man is an irresolute creature pulled this way and that by two forces of equal strength, alternately winning and losing the battle for his soul; the conviction that human life is nothing more than an uncertain struggle between heaven and hell; the faith in two opposed entities, Satan and Christ - all this was bound to engender those internal discords in which the soul, excited by the incessant fighting, stimulated as it were by the constant promises and threats, ends up by giving in and prostitutes itself to whichever of the two combatants has been more obstinate in its pursuit.
If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful, but instead is applied as a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental relationship of man to government. It destroys the whole notion of individual rights. The Constitution recognizes that man has an inherent right, not bestowed by the state or laws, to personal dignity, including the right to be free of cruelty. It applies to all human beings, not just in America - even those designated as 'unlawful enemy combatants.' If you make this exception the whole Constitution crumbles.
Alberto J. Mora
UN peacekeeping operations are now increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, going beyond monitoring a ceasefire to actually bringing failed States back to life, often after decades of conflict. The blue helmets and their civilian colleagues work together to organize elections, enact police and judicial reform, promote and protect human rights, conduct mine-clearance, advance gender equality, achieve the voluntary disarmament of former combatants, and support the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes.
Thus when a barber and a collier fight, The barber beats the luckless collier-white; The dusty collier heaves his ponderous sack, And big with vengeance beats the barber-black. In comes the brick-dust man, with grime o'erspread, And beats the collier and the barber-red: Black, red, and white in various clouds are tost, And in the dust they raise the combatants are lost.
Nations tend to see the other side's war atrocities as systemic and indicative of their culture and their own atrocities as justified or the acts of stressed combatants. In my travels, I sense a smoldering resentment towards WWII Japanese behavior among some Americans. Ironically, these feelings are strongest among the younger American generation that did not fight in WWII. In my experience, the Pacific vets on both sides have made their peace. And in terms of judgments, I will leave it to those who were there. As Ray Gallagher, who flew on both atomic missions against Hiroshima and Nagasaki argues, "When you're not at war you're a good second guesser. You had to live those years and walk that mile.
James D. Bradley
If it were not for collectors England would be full, so to speak, of rare birds and wonderful butterflies, strange flowers and a thousand interesting things. But happily the collector prevents all that, either killing with his own hands or, by buying extravagantly, procuring people of the lower classes to kill such eccentricities as appear... Eccentricity, in fact, is immorality-think over it again if you do not think so now-just as eccentricity in one's way of thinking is madness (I defy you to find another definition that will fit all the cases of either); and if a species is rare it follows that it is not Fitted to Survive. The collector is after all merely like the foot soldier in the days of heavy armour-he leaves the combatants alone and cuts the throats of those who are overthrown. So one may go through England from end to end in the summer time and see only eight or ten commonplace wild flowers, and the commoner butterflies, and a dozen or so common birds, and never be offended by any breach of the monotony.
One day when I went out to my wood-pile, or rather my pile of stumps, I observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black. The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black. It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever trod while the battle was raging; internecine war; the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other. On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely.
Henry David Thoreau
There are members of our body politic who tell us that the public interest is best served when government action is reduced to a minimum and especially when it is kept negative in character. But just now, the nation as a whole seems to be moving rather swiftly and decisively-as is the world as a whole-in the opposite direction. More and more, we Americans are initiating new forms of positive government action for the common good. Between these two tendencies the struggle becomes every day more open and more intense. And as we wage that conflict it is well to remember that the logic of the Constitution gives no backing to either of the two combatants, as against the other. We are left free, as any self-governing people must leave itself free, to determine by specific decisions what our economy shall be. It would be ludicrous to say that we are committed by the Constitution to the economic cooperations of socialism. But equally ludicrous are those appeals by which, in current debate, we are called upon to defend the practices of capitalism, of "free enterprise, " so-called, as essential to the freedom of the American Way of Life. The American Way of Life is free because it is what we Americans freely choose-from time to time-that it shall be.
One of the biggest obstacles on the path of peace, or even peaceful coexistence, between Israelis and Palestinians was placed by the international community and media when it redefined Hamas as an "organization." One result is that outsiders try to reach a solution based on the assumption that Hamas has structure and leaders. It does not. It has no "political wing" or "militant wing." Hamas is a loosely-knit band of terrorists. Its leaders are whoever has weapons, plans, and influence. Hamas is thuggish and cowardly. Those who fly the green flag are not military combatants. Nor do they represent, or care a whit, for the Palestinian people, as evidenced by their strategy of hiding in and fighting from schools, clinics, hospitals, and people's homes. After what passed for an election some Hamas terrorists were further redefined as politicians and diplomats, though they were neither politic nor diplomatic, evidenced by the fact that many "govern" from Israeli prisons. Prior to the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, Hamas had been emasculated and nearly eradicated by Yassir Arafat, who rounded up, disarmed, and imprisoned the terrorist "leaders, " leaving its remaining members to return to their homes. Arafat ensured that members of Hamas had no place to hide among the Palestinian people. And that is the only way the terrorist cancer in Gaza will be excised today. In the absence of Arafat, the task falls by default to Israel, which would do better to enable the citizens of Gaza to purge themselves of Hamas and reward them for doing so than try to get rid of the bad apples by blowing up the barrel, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor.