Honor And Chivalry In Walzer's The Rules Of War

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INTRO: In the opening chapter of The Rules of War, Walzer makes an important trace to the past: the lineage of military code and chivalry. During the middle ages, “the aristocratic warrior” benefited largely from this form of code, because it “marked of knights from mere ruffians and bandits…and was designed for their convenience.” Shortly after, Walzer examines to what extent notions of honor and chivalry are embodied in contemporary warfare. Near the end of his introduction, Walzer mentions a significant point that foreshadows the main focus of the book. Soldiers accept the discipline to fight belligerents based on reasons of the safety and prosperity of their country, family, and a sense of individual responsibility. This sense of honor …show more content…
Walzer asserts that soldiers will inevitably blame someone for all the pain and suffering. The soldier exploits his resentment on the enemy, but not the person who sent them to war. This is ironic because “we know that they are not responsible.”
3). It is practical for soldiers to try to kill each other, but “it is wrong to cut the throats of their wounded or shoot them down when they are trying to surrender.” This proves that war is a ruled-governed activity with morals but in the midst of hell.
4). The morality of war: when soldiers choose fight freely, choosing one another as enemies and designing their own battles, their war is not their crime; when they fight without their freedom, their war is not their crime. Of the two, which seems to be more problematic, and why?
The Case of Hitler’s Generals:
During World War II, the custom of a general officer—who was captured—meeting the commander of their enemy was quite common. However, in the case of General von Armin—a German officer, that recognition was not granted. Eisenhower supports his stance by stating, “World War II was far too personal…and the forces that stood for human goods and men’s rights… [Allowed for] no compromise [to] be tolerated. “Is he to be responsible for the war? Or is it his commander who is to be held
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It sets the terms of a moral condition when armies meet because they have to abide by that law, or at least the states who have signed it.
The Example of Surrender:
What does it mean to surrender? It means, a soldier will stop fighting if they will accord him what the legal handbook calls “benevolent quarantine” (they are no longer a legal threat, and acquire rights and obligations granted to them in the conventions).
A prisoner can attempt to escape but if one kills a guard it is an act of murder. This for the reason that they surrender and gave up their lethal right to kill. Walzer brings up a good point about POW camps. Why do we have them if our objective is “to win the war as soon as possible?”
Walzer states that “the rules of war, as alien as they often are to our sense of what is best, are made obligatory by the general consent of mankind. What does Walzer mean here?

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