Sunday, November 09, 2008

War crimes

A few weeks ago I was talking with some friends on IRC. We were discussing a hypothetical Russian invasion, and whether poisoned vodka would be an effective weapon against such. Being the kind of person who is interested in the legal distinctions between offering the enemy soldiers poisoned vodka and putting it somewhere where they'd steal it themselves, I raised the question of the laws of warfare, and what do the various Geneva conventions think about poisoning the enemy soldiers.

The unanimous answer was "who the fuck cares"?

I tried to mention the issue among some of my other friends, in different parts of the political spectrum. The answer - right, left and center - was "who the fuck cares". Mind you, these are all very nice people who generally condemn war crimes, or at least the war crimes committed by somebody else. It's just that the idea of the rule of law tends to pale in comparison with the idea of Russian tanks in Helsinki.

I can hardly condemn the feeling, especially since I share it. But next time somebody wonders "where do war criminals come from?" I just might try to search in a mirror.

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