What is a War Hero?

[A guest column from a peace activist in Australia.  If you are interested a submitted articles to Come Home America, email Angela at akeaton@antiwar.com.]

by George Ikners

It seems a little amusing when you see headlines that refer to the question whether Petraeus is or was a “war hero”. Assuming that such a thing exists it also seems that what is needed to make a “war hero” is an “heroic war” and that is where the problem for the military and the politicians and others of a like mind starts. Wars start as an unlawful conspiracy, the object of which is far more often than not the enrichment of the elite that feel they own the invading country.

All conspiracies are capable of being joined or left once they are started. What occurs is that there are a number of acts that the law calls overt acts that witness the existence of an agreement by 2 or more people to effect an illegal purpose. Once that course is started the various ‘actors’ can come and go as much as they please but so long as the agreement is on foot the conspiracy is the same. The whole purpose of referring to a conspiracy in the legal sense is so that those involved can be prosecuted for the act of agreeing to affect the unlawful purpose.
Effectively the agreement and the putting it into motion all merge to become a single crime that originally started as a conspiracy. Remember that the original agreement could actually be to do nothing where the doing of some positive step could lead to a situation that the elite do not want to happen. If the intention is to deprive the citizens of rights and entitlements doing nothing to encourage that happening is exactly the same as dismantling measures already in place that give the rights and entitlements.
What the elite favouring legal system has been careful to craft is a definition of criminal conduct that as much as possible makes the conduct referred something other than criminal and therefore unable to be prosecuted. For instance taking a citizen’s rights away is little different to theft, but what is taken is not allowed to assume the same status as a citizen’s watch or wallet, for instance. Thus the thieves walk the walk and talk the talk with impunity.
Wars are probably the ultimate criminal act, as they involve all the basic elements of most crimes. You start with lies and deception, then branch out to coercion and abuse of your own population then extend that to the people invaded. To suggest that a soldier with a loaded gun in downtown Kabul is shooting in self defence is ludicrous. Not only is the person shot invariably not in any sort of ‘enemy’ uniform but the shooter does not even know why he is shooting apart from following orders. There must be a limit to asserting superior orders particularly when you do not even know why those orders are really issued. Where the orders themselves a part of a fabric of lies and deceptions the person following the orders is really on notice that he/she should investigate whatever claims or justification is being offered.
It could very well be that the only power available to a citizen that is legitimate is the power to control or regulate his own actions as long as that does not adversely affect others. In this manner people having power over themselves can get together with others to create a system that is based on mutual respect and just good old fashioned decency. 


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