In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics. – Earl Warren
Again the uncivilized ambush the civilized.Yesterday Barcelona—along Las Ramblas (a walking street trod more than 35 years ago while in port during a Med float and a clear memory of having my pocket picked by a clever old gypsy woman).
Now 14 (civilized) dead. More than a hundred (civilized) injured.
The uncivilized proudly stake claim.
What’s the civilized response?
Moments of silence; tears; hand-holding; hugs; prayers; lights—some burning (candles, cell phones), some extinguished (Eiffel Tower); social media memes; words of outrage; strong political statements; intel analysis; blah, blah, blah.
Over and over and over again—about the world. Country to country. City to city.
What’s the difference between civilized and uncivilized?
(The) civilized embrace laws and rules of how people behave and interact. Respectful and reasonable and polite facilitate good order.
Not so the uncivilized.
That’s the war.
The uncivilized aim?
Collateral damage of innocents.
The civilized aim?
Minimize, if not entirely avoid, collateral damage.
That’s it—so a war, so played, without end.
It’s not complicated.
The uncivilized are ruthless.
Ruthless the civilized must be.
Change the rules.
Embrace, however distasteful, collateral damage as a consequence of destroying the uncivilized.
Simple as that.
Ruthless and civilized are not mutually exclusive.
Neither is there anything unethical nor unlawful about being ruthless.
Otherwise, this war, you see, floats (air, land, and sea) on and never ends.
That’s natural law.