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If actions in war can be just or unjust, might some Hamas actions be justified?

Let us assume for a moment there are some rules which should typically be followed in war, and that these rules are generally agreed to have legal and/or moral force. For those who think rules, laws, and ethics do not or cannot apply to war, that war is too barbaric or too disorderly to allow for rules, or that a sort of cruel pragmatism which places victory as the sole and ultimate value attains during times of war, I ask that you pretend to deal within other people's views and follow this post's assumptions for its duration.

So there are rules. As rules, they probably have exceptions. Let us say, "Killing civilians tends to be wrong," is among these rules. People have argued over whether going after those who indirectly supply the war effort is just or justifiable, in talking about allied bombing raids of civilians during WWII. As a result of the Gazan conflict, there has been some debate on whether it is wrong to kill civilians being treated by one side as human shields. But it strikes me as odd, I have seen no one ask if Hamas could be justified in attacking civilians in a state where military service is compulsory, such that any person of or near military age is a potential and likely combatant and any adult of breeding age is a potential and likely source of more fighters who will harass, shoot, and bomb Palestinians.

Now, I do not suggest Hamas is a good organisation. They are wrong to think they can stand up to or topple Israel in any meaningful way. They are wrong not to accept coexistence. They are wrong to work against peace. But, in the present environment where war seems to merely ebb and flow in the lands that have been Israel and Palestine, in a situation where people feel it necessary to justify Israel's apparent use of white phosphorous on civilians and humanitarian facilities, is it possible Hamas is justified in trying to kill or demoralise their potential enemies?

My answer would be 'No,' but it can be wrong, only if one also acknowledged Israel is wrong to kill civilians for tactical reasons. Of course, many are unwilling to admit Israel has done anything unjust. And what do they say of Hamas's rockets?


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Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.