Feb. 10, 2016
War is — and always will be — hell. The Law of Armed Conflict is not meant to change that — only to make it a little less hellish. There are weapons you agree not to use. In exchange, your enemy doesn’t use those weapons against you. You treat captured combatants humanely. You expect the same when your soldiers are taken prisoner.
It’s a rational and enlightened concept and, in the global war of the 21st century, it has failed spectacularly. Those who call themselves jihadis feel bound only by their reading of Islamic law, not by the Geneva Conventions and other international obligations and restrictions.
Some people find this simple truth elusive.