War Is People Too
By Jeffrey Hutchins, 2014
It’s very interesting that Corporations are now legally invested with nearly all the same rights and protections as individual people. We have made Corporations the second androids: beings made out of non-living parts.
The first android, of course, was Religion. Every person’s vision of God or No God is so sacrosanct in America that we allow no laws that deal with the establishment of any particular religion or the free exercise of religious observance. In other words, when it comes to what you believe about God and laws for human behavior, anything goes. We do not punish belief (in theory, anyway), but we do forbid believers from engaging in certain behaviors, such as human sacrifice, financial fraud, etc.
Now our Supreme Court has decided to invest Corporations with nearly all the same protections as Religious organizations.
Since “Corporations are people” is now the Law of the Land, I would like to propose another addition to the android population, and that is War.
We Americans have always treated War with reverence. We go to War more often than any other country. We shower great respect – if not jobs – on our former Warriors. We treat War like a God, something over which we have no power but to respond. If War comes, so be it; we will not resist its call. We’ve never been that comfortable with Peace.
So why not now give War the same constitutional protections as Corporations? In the same way that Corporations now write their own rules and get nothing more than slaps on the wrist for the most egregious violations (of the few laws they could not revise to their benefit), War should be given carte blanche. All is fair in Love and War, but especially in War. Civilians killed? That’s collateral damage… or maybe it’s the civilians that were the target all along. Torture? Why not? Is it worse to torture someone and let them live… or to kill them? Gas warfare? What’s the difference how our enemy dies?
Americans have accepted the notion that either we must be at War, or getting ready to be at War. We never, never take the time to stop and smell the peace lilies. Our political leaders love to declare War on anything they can. War on Poverty. War on Drugs. War on Pornography. War on Terrorism. How about a War on War?
Colonial nations used to have rules for civilized warfare… as if there were such a thing. Modern nations such as Vietnam and Iraq showed what foolishness it is to have “rules.” They recognize that War is an all-in affair.
No, if there’s going to be War in our world, it is going to be nasty and brutish and bloody and unfair. Civilians will die by the millions. They will be “disappeared” and tortured. That is the way of warriors today. Dick Cheney understood that “new math.”
That’s why we must do everything we can to banish War from our lives. We must stop accepting it as inevitable. We must refuse to play that game. If we wage War the way War wants us to, with no moral judgments, then we cannot tell others to behave any differently.
If America is going to engage in War, we must accept who War is. We do not make the rules; War itself does that. War says that if Side A follows rules that Side B does not also follow, then Side B is going to kick Side A’s butt. Israel’s Netanyahu accepts this fact. He is very comfortable killing civilians, including children. Hamas feels the same way. They would be well-matched opponents if Hamas did not have an extraordinary disadvantage when it comes to armaments and soldiers.
We Americans want Israel and the Palestinians to play nice… have a nice little War, in which only armed combatants are killed, and the quaint Geneva Conventions are respected. Ain’t gonna happen. Either pony up, America, and stop complaining when children are killed, or stand up and say, “No more! No more sending weapons to Israel. No more placating Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There will be no more War in the Levant. We will wage Peace, not War.”
Photograph of the robot Maria, from a scene in Fritz Lang’s 1927 Metropolis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(1927_film)