PHILOSOPHY FOUNDATION. Dharma of War: An enquiry into the true nature and purpose of armed conflict. Dennis Blejer. Dharma of War. “The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” (Unrestricted Warfare, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, February 1999).
“The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.”
(Unrestricted Warfare, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, February 1999)
In the other three ages, by reason of unjust gains, Dharma is deprived successively of one foot, and through the prevalence of theft, falsehood, and fraud, the merit gained by men is diminished by one fourth in each.
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS
to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in thecommon interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.
PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
The victory, O Bharata, that one acquired by battle is very inferior. Victory in battle, it seems, dependent on caprice or destiny…
The collision of battle is not desirable as long as it can be avoided. The policy of conciliation, or producing disunion, and making gifts should first be tried, the battle it is said should come after these.”
(Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, Section CII).
Bhishma said, “A Kshatriya must not put on armour for fighting a Kshatriya unclad in mail. One should fight one, and abandon the opponent when the latter becomes disabled. If the enemy comes clad in mail, his opponent should put on mail. If the enemy advances backed by an army, on should, backed by an army, challenge him to battle. If the enemy fights aided by deceit, he should be met with the aid of deceit. If, on the other hand, he fights fairly, he should be resisted with fair means. One should not on horseback proceed against a car-warrior. A car-warrior should proceed against a car-warrior. When an antagonist has fallen into distress, he should not be struck; nor should one that has been frightened, nor one that has been vanquished. Neither poisoned nor barbed arrows should be used. These are the weapons of the wicked. One should fight righteously, without yielding to wrath or desiring to slay. A weak or wounded man man should not be slain, or one that is sonless; or one whose weapon has been broken; or one that has fallen into distress; or one whose bow-string has been cut; or one that has lost his vehicle. A wounded opponent should either be sent to his own home, or, if brought to the victor’s quarters, should have his wounds attended to by skillful surgeons… This is the eternal duty. Manu himself has said that battles should be fought fairly. The righteous should always act righteously towards those that are righteous. They should adhere to righteousness without destroying it. If a Kshatriya, whose duty it is to fight righteously, wins a victory by unrighteous means, he becomes sinful. Of deceitful conduct, such a person is said to slay his own self. Such is the practice of those that are wicked. Even he that is wicked should be subdued by fair means. It is better to lay down life itself in the observance of righteousness than to win victory by sinful means… The king should, therefore, seek both victory and the enhancement of his resources, by righteous means.” (Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, Section XCV).
Righteousness sets in the Krita age. Nothing of unrighteousness exists then. The hearts of men belonging to all the four orders do not take any pleasure in unrighteousness… All the Vedic rites become productive of merit. All the seasons become delightful and free from evil. The voice, pronunciation, and minds of all men become clear and cheerful. Diseases disappear and all men become long-lived… The earth yields crops without being tilled, and herbs and plants grow in luxuriance. Barks, leaves, fruits, and roots, become vigorous and abundant. No unrighteousness is seen. Nothing but righteousness exists. Know these to be the characteristics, O Yudhishthira, of the Krita age.
(Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, Section LXIX).
And Markandeya said,… “And when those terrible times will be over, the creation will begin anew, and men will again be created and distributed into the four orders beginning with Brahmanas… the Krita age will begin again… And all around, there will be prosperity and abundance and health and peace. And commissioned by Time, a Brahmana of the name of Kalki will take birth. And he will glorify Vishnu and possess great energy, great intelligence, and great prowess… And vehicles and weapons, and warriors and arms, and coats of mail will be at his disposal as soon as he will think of them. And he will be the king of kings, and ever victorious with the strength of virtue. And he will restore order and peace in this world crowded with creatures and contradictory in its course. And that blazing Brahmana of mighty intellect, having appeared, will destroy all things. And he will be the Destroyer of all, and will inaugurate a new Yuga. And surrounded by the Brahmanas, that Brahmana will exterminate all the mlecchas (barbarians) wherever those low and despicable persons may take refuge.’” “… and when the Brahmanas will have exterminated the thieves and robbers, there will be prosperity everywhere (on earth).”
(Mahabharata, Sections CLXXXIX – CLXL).
When the armies reach the suburbs, the commanders say to their troops, “Do not cut down trees, do not disturb graveyards, do not burn crops or destroy stores, do not take common people captive, and do not steal domestic animals.”
Then the announcement is made:“The ruler of such-and-such a country shows contempt for heaven and the spirits, imprisoning and executing the innocent. This is a criminal before heaven, and enemy to the people.”
The coming of armies is to oust the unjust and restore the virtuous. Those who lead plunderers of the people, in defiance of nature, die themselves, and their clans are extinguished. Those who get their families to listen to reason are enfranchised with their families; those who get their villages and towns to listen are rewarded with their villages and towns; those who get their countries to listen are ennobled with their countries; and those who get their states to listen are ennobled in their states. The conquering of the nation does not extend to its people; it removes the leadership and changes the government honoring excellent knights, exposing the wise and good, helping the orphaned and widowed, treating the poor and destitute mercifully, freeing prisoners, and rewarding the meritorious.
The peasants await such armies with open doors, preparing food to supply them, only worried that they won’t come.
So when the leadership is unguided, the people wish for military action as they wish for rain during a drought and seek to quench their thirst. Who will cross swords with a righteous army under these conditions? The supreme attainment of a just military action is to finish its mission without fighting.
(I Ching, The Army).