In the popular Western imagination war resembles a sport with what Joe calls “teams” with differently colored uniforms on an identifiable and uninhabited “battlefield” where mostly soldiers die.
That almost no war has resembled this since World War One does not stop the endless outcries, during each and every war:
“This is not a war! It’s an occupation!”
“This is no war! Stop calling it a war! It’s a genocide!”
“This is not a war at all! It’s an invasion!”
“The important thing is to stop the media calling this ethnic cleansing a so-called war!”
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It doesn’t matter which mass-murder spree you’re looking at. It’s a fucking war. You are over a century out of date. And you, not just the corporate media in this case, are perpetuating a sick and deadly idea that war exists in some acceptable civilized form from which a particular war (in fact every goddamned particular war in sight) unacceptably deviates. Stop it.
War does not need to be restricted to acceptable standards and never has been. They’ve never even been defined, much less pursued. Proportionality is meaningless bullshit, never once calculated to anyone’s satisfaction, much less acted upon. Sending trucks of bread and bandaids to people you are bombing does not turn genocide into good old rules-based war. It turns humanitarians into sadists. Stop it.
War is war is war is war is war. It needs to be abolished.
There is nothing in the world, and never has been, worse than war.
This is war.