Fighting Age Male
“Then there was the war, and I married it because there was nothing else when I reached the age of falling in love.” ‘The Forgotten Soldier’ – Guy Sajer
War is an imbalance of outcomes, those who profit from it seldom sacrifice in it. It’s also the greatest expression of collective ownership, it’s often assumed that a certain group of individuals owe the nation their lives. Usually young men are compelled or coerced into fighting wars that make little sense to them. A call of duty, patriotism and other incentives ensure that they kill and die for government or tribe. If they don’t serve they can be punished or ridiculed and once they have served they are often neglected and at times despised by the very government that required their loyalty. War is generally the domain of men, though boys are often used to wage it. When though does a boy become a man and in war what’s the difference between the two?
On the other side of those who serve their government are the individuals defined as the enemy. It’s widely assumed that women and children are innocent, when one thinks of what a civilian they come to mind. Boys and men however classified are viewed as fighting age males, by defeault of age and sex are considered suspect based on their potential to wage war and by default are often considered legitimate targets. Regardless of their own actions or guilt, fighting age males can be treated and killed with little regard. They are assumed to be the enemy, terrorists or suspects.
What does winning look like with Kony 2012 and refugees?
In 2012 Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistance Army became internet famous, in a well-meaning online campaign the intention was to raise awareness about the use of child soldiers. The LRA, like many other warring factions abducted children forcing them to be soldiers and sex slaves. Child soldiers in the 21st century is considered an abhorrent practice, an ugly ancient violation of rights. Part of the ‘Kony 2012’ campaigns virality was in the wide acceptance that the young are innocent and lack a certain agency to be mature enough to volunteer for combat. It is understood by most that children and even the reluctant at any age are themselves victims of those who would coerce them for war. This is what made Joseph Kony the villain of the online campaign.
If the children of the LRA were in an active insurgency against the US military or its allies, a certain context would likely have arisen, allowing for a nuance of understanding. Child soldiers are armed, dangerous, brain washed and press ganged, therefore a threat. As such, likely ‘legitimate targets’. Their guilt is defined and any innocence is lost once they are capable of handling a weapon. If the LRA was in conflict against the US government it would be unlikely that the campaign would have been as viral or widely accepted. Many historic and recent examples have shown that the innocence of a child can be washed away once the righteousness of a belligerent faction is ensured.
Many allied forces in Afghanistan observed a vile culture that involved the rape and kidnap of boys. In the war on terror the compromise on human rights was tolerated. In the 2012 Vice documentary “This is What Winning Looks Like”, US military personal expressed their disdain as they tolerated an Afghan army and police rife with rapists. Many of the boy victims going on to be willing recruits for the Taliban and in some instances, killing the men who had raped them. At the height of the ‘Kony 2012’ Western military men helped to train, supply and protect boy rapists, it was their professional duty to do so. The rapists, allies in a war on terror.
The classification of a fighting age male is one that lacks any clarity, it apparently doesn’t need any or even arbitrary legal definition because it’s understood in the moment. In some places men can enlist or suffer conscription without being allowed the vote, they can also be forced to pay taxes without legal access to certain vices that ‘adults’ can enjoy. At times a teenager can be considered a victim of perversion and manipulation based solely on their age and other times their age is no defence should they perform a violent criminal act. So if the understandings are marred in moments of emotion, arousal and violence then they certainly will be in situations when a nation state can destroy entire cities with self-declared legitimacy to do so.
At times a perception exists that males of a certain age are not allowed to be refugees, when large groups of people flee disaster or conflict the image of any fighting age male is one of both concern and disdain. The outsider sees the foreign males as both cowards and threats, it’s either an invasion of potential violators or an example of weaklings fleeing the fight. The males are assumed to be guilty based solely on sex and age as they seek refuge, that is assuming that they are allowed to leave at all. Many males of a certain age are ‘recruited’ by governments and factions that are often desperate for ‘volunteers’ to fill their ranks. While many males will enlist eagerly, others are motivated via other means, including threat of death. The plight of a refugees or migrants are despised by those who hold borders sacred, it’s especially a paranoid fixation that every foreign man is a rapist or criminal. Though in the case of the reverse when ‘ex pats’ or soldiers cross borders for profit and imperial service, it’s seen as noble.
“I don’t see refugees, just an invading army of fighting age males” A meme that circulated on social media regarding mostly Syrian refugees.
“In America, conscription is unknown; men are enlisted for payment. Compulsory recruitment is so alien to the ideas and so foreign to the customs of the people of the United States that I doubt whether they could ever dare to introduce it into their law.” Alexis de Tocqueville, ‘Democracy in America’
Alexis de Tocqueville in his book ‘Democracy in America’ praised the United States, one such virtue he saw was that it refrained from the use of conscription. A practice that allowed for great wars and assumed that men are the property of government. American governments in time would disprove his boasts about the greatness of such exceptional ideals. The American Civil War would introduce conscription as both sides imposed it upon the men they deemed suitable for war. Eligibility for the draft is a government tradition that haunts the lives of men of a certain age into the 21st century and no doubt soon other genders will also be invited to enjoy this ‘duty’. If a nation could enslave people for labour it was inevitable that it would also do so for war and the United States was no exception.
Ukrainian president Zelensky in February of 2022 forbade men aged between 18 to 60 from leaving the country in response to the Russian invasion. As one of the most recent examples of a government’s power to nationalise human beings in a crisis. The invading Russian government itself also relies on the use of conscripts. Conscription is still common place the world over and it’s assumed that the government has the right to train men to fight for national protection. In the minds of many this is the only way that a nation can deter and fight the threat of instability and foreign attack. Wars in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Middle East for the past century have shown that a determined resistance can function without exclusively relying on conscription or a traditional standing army. That doesn’t mean that non-state actors do not kidnap and enlist individuals but when they do so it’s considered criminal and frowned upon.
Individuals who are drawn to conflict because they believe in the moral legitimacy of the fight tend to fight longer and harder than those who are forced to or are only motivated by pay. The central state also wastes resources and conducts itself with incompetence that can lead to more lives lost than need be. The Russian governments early expeditions into Chechnya in 1994 with the use of inexperienced conscripts was an example of a government treating humans that it ‘owned’ as fodder. Teenagers with little experience and training thrown against a determined defender in a modern war as savage as any ancient one. Such operations defied the wisdom of experience but military commanders wasted lives with arrogance and incompetence. Because lives stolen have little value to the thieves.
The assumption that conscription is a defensive act and helps in time of war by bringing the ‘civil’ populace swiftly to arms to be incorporated into the military is based on naivety and a singular line of thinking. Individuals will defend their communities from threats, a pro-gun and volunteer culture strengthens community and skills relevant for defence, regardless of a central state. Certain national governments have deployed their conscripts abroad to satisfy imperial ambitions outside the needs for defence. Furthermore conscripts have been used against the home populace to ensure the security of the very government that exploits them. A double edged sword for the central government may also exist, as conscripts with military understanding can become a critical and motivated threat against the State, along with returned veterans in general.
It’s also expensive to maintain large modern armies and conscription adds to this cost. Salaries and compensation to businesses alone, not to mention the increased expense of logistics. The male population of a nation becomes an even more credible target in the minds of an enemy when conscription is in place because the government’s enforced ownership of these individuals then transfers them to the status of being a representative of the government and no longer an innocent civilian. These definitions in war are often arbitrary and allow distant killers to calculate just who they can murder with a legal conscience. For example the families of factory workers can be deemed targets based on contribution to a governments war effort when the mathematics of murder has been used in the past. Just as all fighting age males can be easily detained or executed from a distance purely because of their existence.
“…I was fifteen, they enlightened me, ‘Guess what, you will be for the draft.’ Well, I certainly proved them wrong. There is no way of me ever receiving a draft notice, as I will be part of an essential service occupation, the Army. Now that will show them.” – ‘Too Young to Vote but Old Enough to Kill’- DF Ryschka
Little drummer boys and Young Nelsons
The image of a pre-pubescent boy dressed in uniform tapping a drum at the front of an advancing army is often accepted as a relic of glorious history. Boys at the front of 19th century armies of conscripts and volunteers fighting with musket and bayonet many to be ripped to shreds by shot or to die days later from disease is all too often romanced. In 1861, boys from the age of seven to seventeen were permitted to enlist, hundreds of thousands of them fought for both sides of the American civil war. Dying and suffering the indignity of military service, alongside men of all walks of life, many press ganged to fight for a nation that they were relatively new to. The governments of the nation determined that they should fight, so fight they did. At least those who could not afford to pay to avoid conscription.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy enlisted boys known as ‘Young Nelsons’, some as young as eight years of age, to serve on warships. Treated not as children but as sailors the Young Nelsons often exhibited courage and valour alongside their older comrades. Lord Nelson himself had joined the navy at age twelve, sailing far and wide for the British Empire. It wasn’t uncommon for the ‘civilised’ nations to enlist children, even against their will, for warfare. Empire and national interest demanded it.
The Royal Navy’s kidnap of sailors in international waters was one of the claimed reasons for the ‘War of 1812’ against the United States. With desertion on a large scale due to poor conditions, the British government needed sailors to fight its war against France and to maintain empire. American sailors were appealing for the crown, they could speak English and had maritime experience. Even if these men were British subjects, it would still be immoral to abduct them to serve, though such is the mentality of government. It can be argued that it was a different time, it certainly was but the historical fondness of those who would enslave and then send others to kill and die for them have become enshrined as heroes in national religion. Such a shortage of ‘manpower is why the use of boys were important to some navies.
If young girls were enslaved, trained and then sent to be ravaged sexually against their will or even ‘willingly’ to satisfy the desires and interests of men, would history then judge the statesman so fondly? Why is the brutal torture and murder of warfare so sacred that it can be done to boys and men with reckless disregard of free will and individual sovereignty?. It would be pariah to snatch girls for service at sea, to suffer according to the needs of great men but when done to young boys it becomes a romanced memory of historical necessity. Perhaps it’s just another violent form of violent pederasty that is omitted from the records of history’s great men.
“Old enough to hold an AK-47…”
“What line separates the lawful wartime targeting of an enemy combatant from the extrajudicial murder of a man suspected, but not convicted, of wrongdoing?” Rosa Brooks, ‘How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything; Tales from the Pentagon’
The truth of the matter is that boys will fight to defend against an invader, just as they would in a home invasion during peacetime. They will work the land on a family farm and perform domestic chores, this doesn’t mean that they are being exploited by their family. Though if they willingly serve a warlord or fight in an insurgency, is this exploitation or the instinct to fight against invaders? Just because a child may willingly fight against aggressors, this does not validate the brutality of the invader. It’s often a reaction to the invader’s brutality that inspires a population to resist. Jewish children fighting against Nazi SS soldiers in the streets of Warsaw’s ghettos did what the children murdered in extermination camps were unable to do. Children fighting against extermination did not justify the German government’s policy of genocide.
Many have claimed that the local populace of the Philippines suffered more in that short time following the US invasion of 1899, a supposedly anti-colonial liberator, than they did in 300 years of Spanish imperialism. The exceptionalism and racist mindset that had ‘won the West’ was now in full effect against the people of the Philippines. Massacres and torture were frequent but in an attempt to legitimise the bloodshed the populace was considered a threat by the definition that they either resisted or existed and boys as young as ten were suspected belligerents and suffered accordingly. This imperial violence from a foreign invader against a native population was not unique, it was only exceptional because it was a new empire bloodying its swords in distant lands. The manifest destiny to rape, conquer and murder was already the right of another empire.
The mindset that a boy is a credible threat and target based solely on their potential to operate a weapon is a paranoid way to justify war crimes. Modern war-fighters have used in greater numbers remotely piloted drones to execute government policy in faraway lands. The documentary ‘National Bird’ unveils the nature of the assassin campaign conducted by the US in its war on terror. What is revealed is the imbalance between civilian deaths to those of insurgents. Though what makes one an insurgent? The assumption of guilt is often very ambiguous and as far as many observers go any male of a certain age in a given area, armed or not, is a credible target and thus can be considered an insurgent. The calculation to murder is instant and simple, “Are they old enough to hold an AK-47?” It’s the question that can be answered with either a stay of execution or instant death.
When government fiat allows war planners to describe entire regions as “free fire zones” or that suspicion can be based on Age, Sex and Location then atrocities will become common place. Kill counts like those celebrated in the US war on Vietnam can further feed the frenzy with any male fair game to satisfy the statistical need to kill ‘the enemy’ and in the case of an occupation, that often is the population itself. For the armchair reviewer spectating the misery of war it’s easy to relegate others to demographics and as strategic possessions of a nation state and it seems central planners do the same. It allows the innocent man to be murdered, his life is less valuable because he may look like the terrorist, guerilla or national army of a foe, his penis may as well be a WMD. Possession is itself an executioner’s writ.
During the 1960s the US government needed more men so that it could wage its war in South East Asia, the number of one hundred thousand was decided by the LBJ administration. Certain considerations were made to ensure that the president juggled the voting public’s affection while executing a war. At the time the National Guard couldn’t be sent abroad, many students were exempt, so those from families who were less likely to vote were selected. Fodder was needed, the military was invited to lower its standards and conscript ‘Low IQ’ men for war. It was known as Project 100,000 , ‘McNamara’s 100,000’ or ‘McNamara’s Morons’ named after then US Secretary of State, Robert McNamara. Essentially this is how a Forrest Gump could find himself in Vietnam.
The men who were once deemed “substandard” for reasons ranging from poor physical and mental health to those who were outright not suited to military life suddenly became eligible. At most levels of the military chain of command concerns had been raised that the ‘Morons’ were a risk to themselves and their fellow soldiers. The government however needed bodies in uniforms and boots on the ground to impose its foreign policy. Many of the men were unable to write and had no idea about the concepts of war or the military while some were unable to even sign their own names. Regardless they were owned by the US government and it was fighting a war under the guise of individual liberty in Asia. All up 354,000 men were incorporated into the military under this program, 5,478 of them were killed while in a country that most of them didn’t know existed.
In subsequent years’ academic masters of war have pointed to the use of conscripts and ‘low IQ’ men as being one of many reasons for the US governments failure in its war on South East Asia. Most of these experts being unlikely to ever volunteer themselves. The folly of central planning, the hubris of intelligent men who would assume to own others and use them with little regard is not unique or new to Robert McNamara and unfortunately it’s not a lesson that the US or other nations has since learned. Russia has dredged criminals and orphans to fight its wars abroad, child soldiers have been used all over the world in recent conflicts and in its moments of desperation a government will militarise everyone to preserve its rule. The image of Adolf Hitler in his last days pinning medals onto the chests of boy soldiers in Berlin, is not just an example of Nazi folly but one of how such men legally ascend above others and would push the young, old and incompetent alike between them and certain danger.
We Kill Because We Can
In her book, “We Kill Because We Can”, Laurie Calhoun discusses the philosophy of widespread acceptance that governments may assassinate men and boys with no due process, even if they are unarmed or have not committed any confirmed crimes. As she discusses, if the Mafia or even a private citizen was to kill an individual using the same reasoning, it would be understood as murder. The ‘Kill don’t Capture’ policy that has been present in the War on terror is also one that reveals an exceptionalism of murderous conduct that goes mostly unchallenged. Because terrorism is so pariah and considered to be a threat, any individual that has been labelled with the slur of “terrorist” suddenly have no rights and must be exterminated.
The philosophical and moral debate rarely exists in the modern conduct of government, expedience and contemporary self interest instead governs what is allowable. As Calhoun raises in her book, the ability to exterminate and kill a man without trial is often understood to be one of the horrible actions of a tyrant and yet it is now the policy of a liberal democracy that is infatuated with its own historical significance as a pillar for liberty. It is a dangerous precedent to begin, especially in the age of drones where the human operators are distant from any physical threat and with the potential for artificial intelligence government and terrorists alike in the future may use modern assassins to kill and maim with no regard. Without a human operator and acting on software mini killer drones may fly the skies and kill, with no hesitation and instant action operating with autonomy based on whatever they were programmed to do. Under current context that could simply mean any fighting age male in certain regions.
Those targeted are “christened as metaphysical terrorists” based solely on their sex and location. As Calhoun points out that, in civil society many who are accused and suspected of murder are often found innocent and even those who are executed in time with new evidence are posthumously exonerated. There is no due process in place for males who are executed under these programs, the very rules of law that justify government are brushed aside so that kills can be made, the killing itself is the proof of guilt. The belief that men and boys between a certain age range are guilty and can be killed simply based on this distinction is frightening and has been used as reason alone to exterminate. The killings are recorded and streamed to the decision makers as Calhoun puts it, reminiscent of a “Snuff film”, socially we have become so comfortable with the images of war death that it is assumed the executions must go on.
The assassination of the Iranian delegation at the Baghdad airport in January of 2020 was one in many actions that disregarded the very laws that ratify governments existence. The strike that killed the delegation was justified because Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was one of those killed, a man considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran. If a foreign government killed a US or ‘friendly’ delegation on a diplomatic mission in such cold blood it would be widely condemned and understood as a criminal act. Instead the US government leaned into its superpower status and its own self declared exceptionalism, simply put they killed because they could.
At the end of the second world war the allied powers handed over, against their will, more than two million mostly Soviet prisoners to the USSR. Some of the individuals were not even Soviet residents, coming from regions that had recently fallen under the control of the USSR. Others had been captured by the Axis powers, many going on to become labourers or soldiers for their new masters. The allied governments, well aware that it was a violation of treaties they had signed, forced these men into the hands of a Soviet government that was going to execute, torture and force the men into labour prisons. For the Soviet Union it was important to claim ownership, if so many men refused to return it could reveal flaws of the communist system. In finding a life in the West these men may have become dangerous anti-communist agents or fighters. They were a threat no matter where they ended up for the Soviet government.
The Allied military beat, drugged and tricked the prisoners into Soviet custody. Many prisoners committed suicide or were shot for either resisting or attempting to escape. The allied leaders and those implementing the policy were well aware of the fate that lay ahead and yet still agreed to force ‘repatriation’. The play between governments is one of arbitrary politics, where treaties that are used to validate great violence are also brushed aside when coercion is considered a necessity. The Geneva Convention or any pretences of human rights go out the window when it suits governments. The individual has no value and right. The majority of men forced to return to the Soviet Union were meat in a uniform when it suited the government that ruled them, punishing them for surviving as prisoners. Compassion and empathy were non-existent from the allied governments. Any consideration for a man’s desires and freedom were ideals that had no value even at the end of a war that was supposedly fought for such principles.
The men who were returned to the Soviet Union experienced a brutality of ideological vileness. They were treated as diseased for having been in contact with a world outside of the political utopia of communism, they had been ignored by their own government and only when there was potential to make Moscow look bad were the men returned and destroyed as human beings. The fighting age males were an important utility to be uniformed and fed when it suited the need of government but once those needs had passed they were handed from one to the other with indifference of a magnitude that only central planners could achieve.
‘Land of Mine’
At the end of the Second World War the victors sought justice, it came in many forms. The use of German military personal to clean up the battlefields and restore the destruction left from the war was one of them. The 2015 Danish film ‘Land of Mine’ depicts real events at the war’s end, when around two thousand German soldiers, many teenagers, were used to clear mines and explosives along the Danish coastline. Nearly half of the German prisoners died or suffered severe injuries. The movie covers the tension and risk that the prisoners experienced, focusing on a Danish sergeant who held contempt for all Germans and his relationship with the young prisoners placed in his custody. An indifferent Danish army officer comments of the fate of the boys, “If you are old enough to go to war, you are old enough to clean up the mess.”
The call for vengeance is an understood instinct, to punish those who have done cruel things. In the conduct between governments, revenge is usually collective. It does not seek justice against individuals who have committed vile actions instead it assumes that any associate or agent of the nation, race or offending government is responsible and should be punished. Previously agreed upon rights and laws of war are at times ignored, they are used to differentiate between the wicked and righteous and yet with passion the lines become blurred by hatred. In the grand scheme of the war, the Danish government’s use of prisoner mine clearer’s is seen as slight as far as crimes go. To those who endured it, it was terrifying. The men and boys who were forced to defuse and detonate mines with their lives were treated as sacrificial property.
The use of boys to clear minefields is not exclusive to those considered prisoners of conflict but can be inflicted upon people by their own government. In the 1980s Iran and Iraq were locked in a bitter war that had battles reminiscent of World War One, lasting eight years where hundreds of thousands died. The use of chemical weapons were common place by the then ‘friendly’ Iraqi government, in order to compensate for their deficiencies the Iranian military deployed thousands of young men from ages twelve to seventeen. Wearing red headbands that in Farsi read “Warriors of God” the boys were promised a place in paradise, roped together at times and often unarmed they were sent to clear minefields.
Many of the young soldiers were eager participants, lying about their ages as many others had done in past conflicts, those who volunteered were patriotic and full of religious zeal. However, many were also reluctant, sent to die regardless. Iran regularly used human wave attacks against armour and artillery of the Iraqi military and the young ‘Warriors of God’ were sometimes sent as first waves to clear the mines and barbed wire while under enemy fire. The region in modern conflicts has seen many factions using young warriors to fight, anti-government forces inside Iran such as the MEK have used boy soldiers along with the various Kurdish factions in their wars for independence. The Iranian government still uses child soldiers as propaganda and symbols of jingoistic pride in parades and it’s very likely that they would be used again in the defence of the nation as they were in the war against Iraq.
The image of children throwing rocks at the Israeli military is an example of desperate protest by a population that is also very young in demographics. The Israeli Defence Force has for decades treated boys in the occupied zones as threats, imprisoning, torturing and even killing them with little regard for any legal distinctions of age or guilt. Many Palestinian children remain in prison and footage of IDF men beating and intentionally breaking the arms of young boys have often emerged. The defenders of the IDF’s conduct claim that thrown rocks are dangerous and a threat to tanks and platoons of infantry men.
Terrorists have targeted Israeli children in the past, this is widely understood to be an act of terror. A vile atrocity where the innocent are intentionally harmed and punished because of government policy. Only the deranged, biased or those on a painful side of a conflict could make a pragmatic defence of such murder of the innocent. When a government, especially a favoured one, harms and kills children the moral lines are always blurred in the eyes of outside critics and observers. Palestinian boys are not seen as innocent, at times it’s alleged that the circumstances of their birth and upbringing have raised them with martial instincts and defiance, therefore they are dangerous “snakes” as one IDF official labelled the children of Palestine.
Ironically it’s a government’s actions that has created the circumstances in which these children have been raised. The hatred and breakdown of relations between a young generation of Palestinian and Israel is due to an imbalance of power, one-sided justice and for the children all they may know is suffering, fear and hatred of the IDF and likely Israel. As with elsewhere children have been used as suicide bombers and recruited as soldiers by Palestinian liberation groups, this does not justify the IDF’s treatment of all children or other Palestinians. Just as the IDF’s actions do not justify terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.
The innocence of a child should be sacred though for some reason under the prism of nationalism and government bias certain actions are allowed by those who consider themselves moral champions. If an adult in uniform were to sexually molest a boy at random it’s understood to be perverse and putrid, yet to intentionally beat and painfully shatter that boys arm doesn’t come close to invoking the same level of revulsion and criticism. The definitions of innocence seems to be intangible in accordance to bias and preferences and what is inflicted upon an unwilling child.
“They were beating us with every ounce of their energy. They not only wanted to break our bones and to inflict physical pain on us, they also wanted to humiliate us and shatter our spirit,” Wael Joudeh, 17 years of age when Israeli soldiers assaulted him and his cousin in 1988.
The Sins of a Pope
Pope Benedict XVI as a boy was a member of the German Hitler Youth, like millions of children he was conscripted by the state. Obligated to learn what suited the central planners to become a citizen of its ideological ambitions, to perform public works and inevitably for most to serve in the military or government apparatus during war. In 1943, he was conscripted at the age of 16 to be a Flakhelper, anti-aircraft personnel for German air defence. He was then recruited into the regular army, in 1945 as a young private he deserted and became a prisoner under the Americans. After the war his dream of becoming a priest was realised. Critics of the papacy point to these Nazi origins of the pope, and yet many critics never seem to challenge the idea that governments appear to have the right to steal a human being and force them against their will as a piece of property.
Military enslavement at any age is a perverse entitlement of the planning classes, to believe that they can nationalise and force millions of human beings to achieve a goal. To force them to fight a war of aggression or one of defence while the commanders and political leaders, often distant from the death and destruction, make decisions that are flawed and based on arrogance or self-interest that lead to death and pain for others. Good and skilled commanders are rare in history, it’s why we know their names. And even then they conducted themselves with an inhuman regard for human life because they have to. They are after all known as Gods of the battlefield, which is devastating enough when grown men volunteer to fight but when individuals are enslaved by the state, many of them considered boys in peace but fighting age in war, it is a terrible injustice.
Military enslavement is an ancient act that has continued on to this day because it satisfies not only rulers but the mob of most societies from civilised to tribal. The collective good that transcends the rights of an individual will always triumph so long as pride and fear are invoked, let alone other forms of religion and ideology. War is glorious, to not fight is cowardice. One can be feathered and tarred, handed a flower of shame or jailed if they don’t wish to fight in war. In the past the courage to refuse the mobs desire for death is socially despised, a male needs a reason not to die and kill for nation. The irony being that most wars are the cause of either government failure or ambition that doesn’t benefit most of those it rules over, yet the eagerness for war is often great, until it’s too late.
Age has become a line in the sand for many people, should a teenage boy have consensual sex with an adult woman the woman is condemned as a predator and many would seek to punish her, especially if she was a teacher. If an adult in the military was to kill a teenage boy, it can be considered legitimate, the passions of war understood while those of lust are condemned as degenerate. The teenage boy is apparently too young to understand his attraction and sexual desires, if he is to act on them he is the victim, the one taken advantage of. That same boy can be treated as a weapon of war or even as a civilian is deemed to be of fighting age simply based upon his potential to fight and resist. If he’s fighting against armed professional men, the boy is assumed to understand what he is doing. He is a threat, a threat to those who have at times ventured into his familiar lands and waged war on him. Age it seems is a moralist’s intangible that suits their own deviancy. Sexual intimacy in this scenario is pariah but murder and enslavement is a widespread fetish that is allowable because the outcome is not pleasure but relates to pain and death.
In the coming years the definitions of gender along with technology will become an inclusive nightmare, not just males but nearly all of society will come under the definition of fighting age gender. Total war theory has already allowed for this line of thinking for the central planners. Regardless the nature of masculinity will continue to ensure that a fighting age male is still crucial for defence and offence in war time. What constitutes a boy and man or innocent and guilty seems to be whatever suits those who make the laws and imposes them. It’s a mute debate to attempt any discourse on such matters because passions become heated due to moral and ideological bias, all of which can be shifted whenever it suits. History has shown that government will enslave with legal powers and will execute without any legality even according to its own laws and will do so time and time again. So long as the powerful continue to view us all as property, we will all be treated like one of histories fighting age males.