What is War?
War is violence and murder carried out by a state against any other entity, often – but not always – because of a perceived injustice. Sometimes it’s because of a perceived slight, sometimes because the opportunity exists. Sometimes, a fancy new weapon needs to be trialled.
Actions carried out during the prosecution of war are protected by international agreement (between states, obviously).
So states are simply carrying out the will of the people, then?
Au contraire. If ordinary people were given a vote, they would most likely outlaw war without exception, as war generally involves the loss of their property, safety and livelihoods – and even life itself. Lamentably, war only ever seems to adversely affect ordinary people, never those foaming-mouthed neocons who urge prosecution of war at any opportunity.
Other Forms of Widescale Violence
If states don’t agree to the violence and – heavens to Betsy! – it is carried out by ordinary people untrained in the doling out of violence, it is called nasty names like violent protest, anarchy, uprising, revolution, or even terrorism (the worst thing you can call anything at the time of writing). Sage commentators appear on important television programmes, tut-tutting, lamenting the decline in the modern world, and urging more killing in the name of everlasting peace, Amen.
So, even though ordinary people tend to be wholeheartedly against war, those they elect (freely and democratically, in most places) tend to be very much for it, but only when carried out by the grown-ups, and only using officially-sanctioned weaponry that can be bought and upgraded.
…because dying slowly from wounds caused by approved explosives from approved weapons manufacturers is more humane than dying slowly from wounds caused by chemical or nuclear means made by cackling evil Nazis or evil (likely bearded) scientists.
No, no. Believe it. Really.