Archive for the ‘Civilianism’ Category

Human Shields in Palestine

20 November 2006

Hundreds of Palestinians recently formed a human shield around the houses of two militants, according to Yahoo, causing Israel to call off its planned airstrike. This comes after Israeli troops killed two women who were part of a group acting as a human shield for militants inside a mosque.

It remains to be seen how Israel will respond to this new form of resistance.

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Conscription

11 November 2006

88 years ago today WWI officially ended. WWI was noted for being the first “Total War,” and resulted in the deaths of about 15 million, roughly six million of which were civilians. Many of the nine million military deaths though, were the deaths of soldiers who were conscripted. Though most Western nations no longer have a system of involuntary conscription, they have in the past, and many nations still do. Draftees, though they are armed, are armed through no fault of their own; they may not want to fight or kill, but they are made to, and all too often they are killed.

Regardless of whether conscripted soldiers are technically civilians or not, the death of someone conscripted to fight a war they did not believe in, when they did not want to kill, is the death of a civilian.

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Permission to Fire at Stone-Throwers

28 September 2006

Israeli forces in Lebanon have been given permission to fire on stone-throwers, according to the Jerusalem Post. First they can fire above their heads, then at the legs, then to kill if they feel threatened. This obviously raises a number of questions, one of which is why they can fire before they feel threatened. If they can’t shoot to kill before they feel threatened, but can fire at their legs before feeling threatened, why do they need to fire if they don’t feel threatened?

More importantly though, this raises questions about what a civilian is. Someone throwing stones isn’t likely to kill or even seriously injure someone, but are they still a civilian?

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