chapter 7

The chapter 7 of Killing Civilians was about the protection of civilians and how people can counter the anti – civilian forces in a war. One of the discussion points in the chapter was the book Changing Minds where the book was about how to help a pro-civilian movement try to change their movement design to make their work more effective. The six main arenas to changing people’s minds are a diverse population, a large but distinct, uniform and homogenous organization like an army, a political party or an armed group, the influential currents of artistic, scientific, religious or political thinking in a society at war, formal educational settings which form and shape individuals like schools, colleges and military training centres, an intimate family settings in war where ideas about others are created, imbibed, cherished and passed on, and the last but not the least is the people’s own individual minds. My question is how can there only be 6 methods of changing people’s minds, is there 6 main ones or numerous smaller ways to change them? The book also discusses how the civilian ethic is built on a respect for all human life and the most archaic of moral injunctions as portrayed in the quote “Thou shalt not kill”. It also states how there are positive personal rewards practicing the idea of mercy and compassion. The ideas are good for the boys fighting as it gives them a reason to keep fighting as war is quite a dehumanizing effect on people. Also discussed is being merciful as it makes the soldiers feel human again.

  1. What is the most effective way to help civilians overcome the anti civilian forces or are all of the ideas equal?
  2. Is there a limit to the restraint used in war?
  3. Are there any places that cannot be humanized?