Potential 2016 presidential candidate, Ben Carson, would like to throw out the rule-book during war time. Holding our troops accountable to international law, in his opinion, only serves to limit and weaken our military.
In a recent interview on FOX News he said:
Our military needs to know that they’re not going be prosecuted when they come back, because somebody has said, ‘You did something that was politically incorrect’ …There is no such thing as a politically correct war. We need to grow up, we need to mature. If you’re gonna’ have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.
Rules for war – like the Geneva Convention which establish international standards for humanitarian treatment during warfare – are a tacit acknowledgement that war is cruel and nasty and evil, and needs to be limited, constrained. Once the dogs of war are let slip from their leashes, havoc and depravity are inevitable. I would prefer Carson’s one rule for war (“no war”) but if our leaders insist upon having war after war (after war after war…), we need to insist that our military is held accountable to these standards. We should insist that our troops are prosecuted for war crimes. We should demand that our leaders are prosecuted for violations of human rights.
Doing whatever it takes to win is not the mark of a civilized society, and certainly not a Christian society. That would be a return to the same sort of barbarism for which we condemn ISIS/ISIL.