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October 17, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 160
Dr. Petar Kostic, Army psychologist

Warriors And Fools

``... If we begin with a definition of struggle or war, we inevitably come across a paradox: humanity in war, especially for the side waging a defensive war, is contrary to logic. Namely, inhumanity in war is not a goal unto itself, but an instrument with which to break the morale of the human factor of the widest layers of the population, from which its armed forces draw the strength to fight. In other words, reprisals against the population and inhuman behavior against soldiers---when they become victims of war (wounded, captured...)---have always been a means of inflicting heavy losses on the enemy: the drop in morale (determination and resolve to fight) of the human factor in war.

Lately there have been attempts at covering up (concealing) this with euphemisms about human rights and ``innocent civilians,'' forgetting the fact that unarmed civilians are part of the enemy's war machine. They are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and children of the fighters in the units.

(...) What preceded the military collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia? (the bombing of cities, even those which had been proclaimed open cities). What preceded the breakdown of Fascist Germany? (the ``carpet bombing'' of German cities). What preceded the collapse of Japan's military machine (the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Is there a single profitable military goal in the mass destruction of even the smallest (tactical) force? Only an intellectual fool, a military bureaucrat and a political dolt cannot see why cities are suitable targets?...

... In short, to demand of soldiers that they wage ``clean,'' ``humane'' wars, is to ask of them to behave like fools...

... It is quite clear that warriors do not have much room for being humane in war. But this is not all. There are a number of specific reasons and circumstances why fighting as a human activity is a brutal and inhuman employment.''

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