Monday, March 21, 2022

What Is War

Now that Putin is a The Big Bad (and he is very bad!), it's acceptable to say any stupid shit about what's going on there and any argument about it is seen as DEFENDING PUTIN or WHATBOUTISM or other nonsense.

I find as time fades, even anti-war liberals tend to remember the atrocities of the Iraq war more generously, and that's even without mentioning General Droney and his War On Weddings Everywhere.

This is what war is, not two armies in different costumes squaring off in a field in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, if you correctly saw the Iraq war for what it was when it started, do not let the passage of time convince you that it was, actually, not so bad, because Our Intentions Were Good. They were not good. Dick Cheney's intentions were not good.

Invading countries is bad. The Ukrainian military don't deserve to get slaughtered any more than their civilians do, and precision targeting by the various flying exploding death machines is a myth. The distinction between "intending to blow up hospitals" and "oopsy accidentally blew up a hospital" isn't really that important if hospitals (for example) are being blown up.


War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
"When we do it, we do it differently" is just that usual American Exceptionalism, and it doesn't require you thinking Dick Cheney is precisely as bad as Putin to understand that. "We" also did things like "tell everyone to leave a city, prevent the young men from leaving, and then bomb the shit out of it."