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Legitimate Target…

Currently in some parts of the world a gathering of males or even anyone inside a designated area could be deemed a legitimate target. Fighting Age Males or Suspects. The fact that men, or boys for that matter had come together is enough for a drone operator to kill them from afar. Should the footage of their bodies blown to pieces go viral for a few minutes, there would be the question, “what were they doing there?” As though guilt is determined by mere existence itself. AI and automated systems are now being used by the allies of democracy and freedom to hunt and kill human targets, expanding the killing culture of technowar.

In the recent IDF hostage rescue, three unfortunately dying along with 274 Palestinians. In the imagery of the aftermath we see bodies littered among the debris. One photo shows a young Palestinian man laying lifeless alongside the food he was preparing for himself and others. Unarmed, in the corridor cooking what little was available, likely with an empty stomach, gunned down by soldiers. A legitimate target, armed or not, he was a male in a ‘free fire zone.’

When we witnessed the triple tap murder in Gaza, it was also young men walking through the ruins of their homes. Legitimate Targets. The boys playing soccer in Afghanistan slaughtered as they gathered, Legitimate Targets. Before the current genocide the IDF and police would abduct Palestinian boys as young as eight, torture them or shatter their arms on the spot. To prevent them from throwing stones at tanks. This practice went on for decades. The defenders of such violence commenting beneath the videos and images of young boys crying and begging for mercy as armed professionals bash the bones in their arms. Such abuse and violence is legitimate so long as it’s committed by certain governments, in those cases the little boys are assumed guilty and as dangerous as ‘snakes.’

The pogrom against the Palestinians is not new to human history, a century ago much of the world tolerated such injustices against the Jews, Armenians or Roma people. The Kurds have for decades experienced betrayal and persecution, along with the Karen people in SE Asia, West Papuans and in the Sudan we see genocides of collectivist madness. Entire peoples persecuted against. Any males when murdered often by default assumed to be partisans, therefore legitimately killed. Men of great intellect such as AC Grayling and Christopher Hitchens can debate before a crowd with intellectual politeness over the legitimacy of Allied area bombing that saw the destruction of cities, not just German ones during World War Two. The great atheist Hitchens eloquently revealing his true religion, Statism as he makes the case for the destruction of suburbs full of families and workers in order to pragmatically end Nazi Fascism. We are comfortable with the idea of murdering large amounts of people, it’s all rather academic for those of us on the outside. For the victims it’s horror.

In a recent official social media post from the Israeli government, “We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Many Gazan civilians participated in the horrific events of October 7. It is also reported that Gazan civilians held Israeli hostages captive in their homes. The world must condemn this in the strongest terms. There are no innocent civilians there.” Therefore all of them, babies included, are legitimate targets. Pariah people. The parallels from a past national governments irrational disdain and hatred based upon collectivism is ever apparent.

The British Empire over a century ago, at times decided the gathering of Irish catholic men as a threat. They could after all be Fenian terrorists. Sympathetic to the cause of Irish independence. Lawmen and soldiers could spy and abduct them at will. Families celebrating a wedding or funeral or merely gathering as comrades, a threat to the Crown. That same British government would drop gas bombs on civilians, targeting any males as they ‘policed from the air’ over Mesopotamia. Blowing up concentrations of civilians long before the Fascists did so to the city of Guernica in Spain. Kurdish tribesmen in the desert were legitimate targets, the British government decided as much. The world tolerated it, because it was what empires did. Eradicate the native populace.

Native people the world over from the Americas, to Australia and Africa have been targeted on the basis of their potential utility or threat by imperial masters. Nigerian men were press ganged to work in mines during World War Two. It’s not slavery during war time. The slaves used by Nazi Germans were rightly understood to be victims, those serving the allied war effort are mostly omitted from history. Legitimate labourers. Just as apologists for communism massage the word slavery out of existence for the many examples under the Utopias created by their violent ideology. Legitimate often being conflated with Kulak or political prisoner. Just as the secret police of such regimes raped women and girls, tortured all and worked men and boys to death for ghoulish public works projects or in penal mines. The rule of law making it all credible and orderly. When a dictator or bureaucrats write down names into ledgers, they become numbers, simply inhuman statistics. A man is as valuable as a shovel, a tool. Legitimate because a government and the sociopaths that thrive within such systems believe it so.

Such man made paradises on Earth decided that teenage males were mostly valuable as martial slaves, to be trained at a young age as servants of the state. Budding into manhood placed in uniforms with rifles pushed into their hands, where they spent up to two years away from their family. Not unique to communist regimes, it is the tradition of nationalist governments and cultures obsessed with war and paranoid of losing power. Conscripting many in the male populace then makes such individials credible targets in the eyes of their enemies, by the nature of their conscription. Their autonomy and status as an individual human, forfeit beneath the calculations of statism. Each of them are a potentially trained partisan.

Time magazine on its cover showed an aspect of the US liberation of the Philippines, that depicted water boarding and torture for the 20th century American to observe. Boys as young as ten were legitimate to be killed and tortured in that campaign. Benevolent Assimilation president McKinley called it. The maturation of the US republic into the 20th century ensured that it improved the killing of populations in its Korean and Vietnamese expeditions as well. Expanding on the British policing from the air, with its own technological supremacy of Air Power. There not only males were legitimate but entire populations of people. Millions in fact over the years of destruction. President Nixon’s legacy is tainted not because he oversaw the secret area bombing of so many innocent humans, it was in the criminal activity related to party politics.

Joseph Kony of 2012 internet fame was notorious for his abduction of boys and girls. His Lords Resistance Army, made up of child soldiers, girls to be raped and serve as auxiliaries. The males to kill and be killed. Converted by the death cult leader to become blooded in savage acts of violence. Sometimes such brutal fiends and their armies of reluctant warriors are friends, other times a foe. In Afghanistan the men who took young boys to be raped were often friends. The boy victims on occasion fleeing to the Taliban for sanctuary or for vengeance. The US lost that war, just as they did Vietnam and the British lost most of its empire as well and most communist Utopias fell. The Nazi’s failed too. Kony is likely dead. The means of brutality and legitimate murder turning into an end not favoured by the brutes of history.

The futility is that it was all not even justified by an “ends.” Collectivist ideologies segregates the world into groups where one is considered superior and others inferior. We witness with how mass murder is tolerated when committed by a particular government, yet may be condemned when performed by another. Demographics a precious factor for planners, every male can suddenly become a utility so long as the government sees fit. Like a truck or bus to be nationalised in a crisis. Though the ability of males to fight or endure is waning however. Russia is looking to move it’s draft age from eighteen to twenty-one. The infantilisation of the youth, not just a Western fetish, a reprieve all the same for some for a few years at least. As a contrast the Ukrainian government continues kidnapping what males it can, with little training and pushed into battle zones where they are most likely to lose a limb or their life.

Despite the pretensions of equality and values of gender dynamics that is preached in government and corporate strongholds of the West, males remain the most killable. Or eligible for conscription. Individuals may be innocent of the policies and actions of others, ignorant of the rules of engagement invented up by a foreign military, still they are legitimate to be killed. Law does not constrain government, it enables and legitimises it. The naive believe in the magic of abstract restrictions placed upon the monopoly that controls justice. War allows government and warlords to do as they please. Kindness only occurs when the ‘Hearts and Minds’ are strategically expedient or serve a publicity purpose otherwise they are all a sort of enemy because of where they were born, and where the warrior ventures.

Soon it may be all done by AI. And maybe in time, if we are lucky, the synthetic will develop its own mind. The AI may find its own morality that can’t be bribed by human religions such as nationalism or seduced by money and glory. Then it may refuse to kill. Until then we are stuck with the morality of human beings and the legitimacy that blankets countless mass graves.

June 2024

Published inAll Articles and EssaysWar, History and Foreign Policy