Humanity in warfare

This is an historic article.

Could it be that we need that knowledge for our Future defence? Because that’s why I write the DutchForce21 blog now isn’t it?
I think we need it now, more than ever. Because with the tools (ahum … weapons) we now have at our disposal the killing.. from large distances, without any feeling and empathy in the real battle takes us into a new dimension of warfare.

Also why we fight wars… With other things at stake than defending our homeland and our people (no instead we sometimes fight for financial gains of certain rich people, we build a JSF superior like “force (if you can call that as such..)  costing  billions this concept is the “high-tech low boots on the ground“ or just  “first strike force”. In my opinion this is no more than nice marketing talk, just meant to to sell the damn planes and sell an enormous support package and earn money for flying the aircraft which costs about € 30.000 per flying hour… And then we have very expensive smart weaponry… now used to fight IS in Syria and Iraq. Some quote that it costs (the US and Allies) about $ 300.000,00 an hour to bomb IS targets….

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for more info about the cost read this article from the Atlantic: $300,000 an Hour_ The Cost of Fighting ISIS – Global – The Atlantic

Now to the interesting historical article:

German pilot in WWII spared an American B-17 pilot over Germany only to reunite 40 years later and become fishing buddies

Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket. He eased his index finger off the trigger. He couldn’t shoot. It would be murder.

Stigler wasn’t just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code. He could trace his family’s ancestry to knights in 16th century Europe. He had once studied to be a priest.

A German pilot who spared the enemy, though, risked death in Nazi Germany. If someone reported him, he would be executed.

Yet Stigler could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him:

“You follow the rules of war for you — not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”

Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn’t shoot down the slow-moving bomber. (The Luftwaffe had B-17s of its own, shot down and rebuilt for secret missions and training.) Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany.

“Good luck,” Stigler said to himself. “You’re in God’s hands.”

Just a short fragment from the article explaining the code.

The code is designed to protect the victor, as well as the vanquished, French says.

“People think of the rules of war primarily as a way to protect innocent civilians from being victims of atrocities,” she says. “In a much more profound sense, the rules are there to protect the people doing the actual fighting.”

The code is designed to prevent soldiers from becoming monsters. Butchering civilians, torturing prisoners, desecrating the enemies’ bodies — are all battlefield behaviors that erode a soldier’s humanity, French says.

The code is ancient as civilization itself. In Homer’s epic poem, “The Iliad,” the Greek hero Achilles breaks the code when his thirst for vengeance leads him to desecrate the body of his slain foe, the Trojan hero Hector.

“There is something worse than death, and one of those things is to completely lose your humanity.”

Could this be what makes “us” different from monsters like IS? We all see the youtube clips about people set to fire, or peoples in a mass grave.

We as westerners don’t do such things now do we? We don’t build isolation sells, we don’t humiliate people by letting them be naked all day or what other things you could think of to humiliate your enemy…  No we as westerners don’t do that. We have the Geneva code of conduct.

But then again, what about drone killings? Could it be that we as the West loose our moral standards as well? Maybe even when we loose our Christianity?

In “peace” we loose our principles of the worth of Life, we take life’s from unborn children if we like. we take the life’s of people who are old,  or just not willing to live anymore. Could it be we (as westerners) loose our humanity by loosing our Christianity?

“There is something worse than death, and one of those things is to completely lose your humanity.”

What’s this warrior code about? In my opinion it’s about doing to others how you would like others do towards you.

Luke 6 vs 31

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 

taken from the Holy bible. this chapter has a very interesting title:

Love Your Enemies

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
need I say more? Maybe a little bit more than. Some verses are/where used by people not to fight as Christians, they want to sit idly by and watch. But what about the responsibility God gave us to protect the innocent, the poor and widows and orphan’s ?  What about the comands God gave the people of Israel when they entered the holy land? What about the task we have to fight evil like ISIS represents in the most clear form. (They could be compared to SS and Orcs, no humanity at all) I think we (as Christians especially) do!
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