Kilroy Was Here
December 23, 2003
A good quote
John Rawls, discussing, especially, the responsiblity of Japanese and German civilians and soldiers for the conduct of their governments:

In the conduct of war, well-ordered peoples must carefully distinguish three groups: the outlaw state’s leaders and officials, its soldiers, and its civilian population. The reason why a well-ordered people must distinguish between an outlaw state’s leaders and its civilan population is as follows: since the outlaw state is not well-ordered, the civilian members of the society cannot be those who organized and brought on the war. This was done by the leaders and officials, assisted by other elites who control and staff the state apparatus. They are responsible; they willed the war; and, for doing that, they are criminals. But the civilian population, often kept in ignorance and swayed by state propaganda, is not responsible. This is so even if some civilians knew better yet were enthusiastic for the war…..As for soldiers of the outlaw state, leaving aside the upper ranks of the officer class, they, like civilians, are not responsible for their state’s war. For soldiers are often conscripted and in other ways forced into war; they are coercively indoctrinated in martial virtues; and their patriotism is often cruelly exploited. ( The Law of Peoples , pp. 94—5)

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