Brig SK Malik’s theory of war and terrorism

What Brig SK Malik says supports my thesis about terrorism, instead of making it redundant, as one suggests. Here is how.

In war, killing the enemy is considered a moral and justifiable act, even though ‘killing a fellow human being’ is considered immoral. (This includes many provisos, including that the war is justified.) That is to say, a theory of just war (and warfare) justifies what is actually an act of murder. This justification is moral in nature and occurs on the presupposition that ‘killing in a war is a good thing’. That is why we give medals to supererogatory acts in times of war, like ‘medals for bravery’ for instance. (There are many people who do not buy this; hence they are pacifists.) Brig SK Mailk’s theory of war and warfare justifies ‘terror’ (basically the domain of crime): it does so by (a) transforming an entire population (the Indians) into the ‘other’ (‘the enemy’); (b) justifying any and every action against everyone belonging to or supporting this (Indian) community into ‘the enemy’; (c) making no distinction between ‘the soldier’ and ‘the civilian’ (whereas every theory of warfare makes this distinction, without which the notion of ‘war’ threatens to become meaningless); and, above all, (d) by presenting it as a theory of ‘war’. That is to say, Brigadier SK Malik is justifying crime in the name of war.

If you accept his justification, namely, his theory of ‘war’, then, true, you do not need my hypothesis about ‘terrorism’. But, if you find that his ‘theory of war’ in unacceptable (all theories of war I know would reject SK Malik’s ideas) then you need my hypothesis: it tells you why terrorism is not parasitic upon religion, political theories, etc. One can justify terrorism by using theories of war and suitably broadening them.

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