The Rules Of Making Up Rules

Are there any?  Should there be some order in trying to put the world in order?  Are there some can’t do’s and must do’s when inventing a system of guidance?  I am pretty sure I can think of one.

If I declare myself King and demand that all monkeys start speaking to humans in English will it happen?  Given them monkeys are independent beings who aren’t capable of vocalising their thoughts, it’s rather unlikely.  To be able to put things in order you need power.  So perhaps if I invaded England, dissolved parliament and declared myself Emperor on national television and gave the same order would it work?  No.  What you need in conjunction with power, is control or perhaps the tools of control.  So what if took the same steps to become emperor, ordered the British army to invade the zoo’s and order the monkeys at gunpoint to speak English?  It still won’t work will it.  So what on earth is the rule of making up rules?

I am talking about the death of Baha Mousa and many others.  I have absolutely no intention on delving deep into these cases.  Last night I was watching a report on BBC about the circumstances surround this tragic case and was absolutely gob smacked by an American ambassador who claimed that the overwhelming cause was the failure of the soldiers in question to follow the rules of war.  The first thing I want to say is that the death of Baha Mousa and the numerous acts of torture and murder which have been committed around the world in the name of war are wrong.  The second thing I want to say is rules of war?  Rules of fucking war?  What is wrong with you bureaucrats?

We routinely send the mostly heroic young men and women of our nations to places where strangers try to kill them.  When they arrive there we insufficiently arm them, often medicate them with amphetamines and blithely grasp in the darkness hoping that if we hang around long enough the baddies will stop.  In the midst of these stress we try to subjugate them with often bizarre and banal rules which in many cases cause innocent people to lose their lives.  Whether it be the U.N troops who were refused permission to engage without being fired upon in Rwanda or Srebrenica, the cost is the same.  You cannot apply rules which require active participation from both sides of an armed conflict.  Mainly, it’s due to the fact that they are in conflict.  They are not going to stop and say ‘look here, you just broke rule number 42, you just poked me the eye you rapscallion’.  It is not boxing.

The problem is not a question of breaching someones human rights or any Geneva convention.  It is the fact that recent wars have been fought with 24/7 media coverage in a shameless effort to garner public support against an action which was unequivocally wrong in its beginning.  Due to the close proximity of the PR machine to all aspects of modern conflicts governments are desperate to avoid being attached to any act which demonstrates the brutal reality of war.  It’s as if the aristocratic officers of the first world war have been promoted one step higher and are now in government.

The basic rule which underscores the terms of war is its overwhelming objective.  The complete destruction of the opposition.  Another term synonymous with war is collateral damage.  War causes thousands of people to die.  Every time.   The longer it goes on.  The more people die.  The higher percentage of innocent people die.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s a fact.  If any statesmen was really serious about stopping the murders of innocent people in conflict zones they would only need to do one thing and one thing only.  STOP FUCKING WARS!   It does not matter how much smoke you try to screen it with.  People still have their own noses.  And they are very familiar with the smell of bullshit.

It seems to me that the rules of making up rules are quite simple.  Rule number 1.  Don’t be fucking ridiculous!  Rule number 2.  See number 1.

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