Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

By Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Publicada en 1916, en pleno horror de los angeles «Gran Guerra», Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867-1928) representó con singular acierto en Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis las distintas fuerzas, intereses y mentalidades cuyo enfrentamiento llevó a los angeles primera conflagración mundial. Estructurada en torno a los angeles historia de dos familias -los Desnoyers y los Hartrott- que, aunque provenientes parcialmente de un tronco común, pertenecen cada una a uno de los bandos en conflicto, l. a. novela discurre ágilmente por los escenarios dantescos de una Europa rota, sobre cuyos desolados campos de batalla el gran vitalista que fue Blasco hace latir finalmente, salvaje e invencible, el deseo de vivir.

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Some are conventional (missiles and artillery) but many other means are unconventional and include torture, assassination, blackmail, terror, and nonlethal weapons. Combining these characteristics with the material, legal, and moral dimensions of asymmetry suggests four kinds of asymmetric Torture, Assassination, and Blackmail in Asymmetric Conflict 15 conflict: guerrilla wars and insurgencies, wars of intervention, the war on international terror, and proxy guerrilla wars. Guerrilla Wars and Insurgencies These are the classic asymmetric wars that Merom and ArreguinToft describe and include nationalist insurgencies by a nonstate group fighting against its own government and wars of national liberation fought by small guerrilla armies against a large, well-armed, and technologically superior occupying force.

Nevertheless, hard questions about criminality arise when guerrillas condone terrorism (Chapter 7). Do they, too, deserve a fighting chance? Some do because not all nonstate combatants are terrorists. Proxy guerrilla organizations using sophisticated weapons against military targets may harm civilians but cause damage that is only “collateral” and indirect. Many, but not all, Hezbollah attacks on Israeli civilians in 2006, for example, were proximate to military targets. 21 Even CAR guerrilla organizations that accept terrorism, the Palestinian Fatah, for example, garner firm respect for their right to a fighting chance.

There, the distinction between combatants and noncombatants turns on the simple notion of bearing arms, wearing uniforms, belonging to a military organization, and abiding by the rules of war. These conditions, spelled out clearly in Article 4 of the 3rd 1949 Geneva Convention, define combatant status. While Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (1977) kept this framework, it made room for a significant exception that allows guerrillas to shed their uniforms when they fight an army of occupation.

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