Killing Civilians – Chapter 7

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In this final chapter of Killing Civilians, Slim discuses the psychology of  soldiers that commit genocide. As soon as I began to read the chapter I was excited to discover this topic more, it interests me and may become my project topic.

The chapter begins with discussing an author; Gardner. Gardner explores the ideas of mind changing which can influence people to believe, or even participate in, situations such as genocide. A quote that stood out to me was “the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina means that millions of people… have begun to find real resonance in the scientific reports on climate change. The substance of the reports has not changed. Instead, real life events have changed their readers.” This quote resonated with me and I believed it reflected a quantity of events that have occurred, it also reflects something to consider while watching news and made me consider the effects of the Holocaust on the issue of genocides.

Throughout the rest of this chapter many aspects were considered in reasons for, or somewhat against, protecting civilians. After reading this chapter, for the first time did I consider the possibility of a civilian not being innocent. Throughout media civilian deaths are always viewed as negatively and as completely unacceptable, but looking at these deaths in a different perspective in Killing Civilians made me somewhat understand the military tactics of genocides. I still do not consider mass killings acceptable but it was entertaining to consider the aspect of civilians helping the enemy side.

Lastly, I believed the idea of causing soldiers to commit genocides by mind changing was understandable if this mind changing is viewed as manipulating. I found this book very informative when going into detail about the situations regarding genocide, and it put genocide in a different viewpoint for me that will help me understand these situations better as we continue to explore genocides.


Questions :

According to Gardner’s book, what out of 7 ways to change someone’s mind is the most productive?

Is it a civilian’s obligation to always support their country in war, despite the war crimes or violence that country is committing?

Which group is most marginalized for getting killed in war regarding civilian situations of war?

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