"We call it total war. For the defeated, it translates simply, brutally: doom. No one is spared or exempt, a once valid excusing cause is blasted to dust.

"The irony is appalling, and true. Rules governing a "just" war hold firm — in peacetime.

"The stipulations are taught in universities and seminaries. Infants are to be protected, and the aged, women, the ill, those ignorant or innocent of the issues at stake.

"Na├»ve, abstract, unverifiable, the rules ignore the heat and torment of the moment. The nation is at war; this is brute fact. Shall there be prattle of rules of civilized combat? . . .

"War turns all theories, even the most virtuous, to smoke. Neighborhoods are kindled, afire. People of any age or condition stagger about under the guns, the bombs.

"What is their offense, why are they disposed of? They get in the way of a clean outcome, that is the sum of it. Their offense is — existence.

"Kill them, civilians. In large numbers. Such things happen. They are not exceptional; they are the random rule of the kingdom of chaos. . . .

"War permits two categories of humans, two only: warrior and vanquished. Or another duet: survivors and the dead."

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