We meet a Huge Snarling Dog I have not met before. As I approach to say a quiet hello it flies at me through the air, Snarling Terrifyingly. Whilst the Owners commence a Mind-Numbing discussion of the Failings of the Health Secretary which I assume will Last Some Time, I Defend Myself, as one must in the face of Superior Forces. Arghhhhhhh, I say loudly.
That is when the Other Dog makes the Elementary Mistake. Ouch ouch ouch help help help it says.
It seems we have a Stalemate, albeit one in which my various parts are Temporarily Safe.
Please retrieve Ophelia from your Dog, says the Other Owner.
Do not fear, says the Owner, my Dog responds well to Philosophical Reasoning. I am sure we can sort this out.
Ouch ouch ouch, says the Other Dog. Oppression oppression.
Hergest, says the Owner, stop Oppressing Ophelia. Brute Force is never Justified. Just War theory or jus in bello requires that partipicants respect the limits of necessity and proportionality.
Stop Oppressing Me you Bellicose Pugilist, says the Other Dog, ouch ouch ouch help help help!
I am not Oppressing This Dog, I say, This Dog is Oppressing Me, I say. The principles of the justice of war, or jus ad bellum, are just cause, which was defending Various Parts, being a last resort, which was that I was Under Attack, being declared by a proper authority, which was This Other Dog, possessing right intention, which goes back to Point Two, having a reasonable chance of success, and I agree I was the Underdog, and the end being proportional to the means used, which it clearly is, since all I did was Open my Mouth and Close it Again. This Other Dog did the rest.
I cannot understand you, says the Owner, because you have Ophelia’s Head in your Mouth.
I have never seen so much Slobber, says the Other Dog. The Geneva Conventions must say something about this.
This Dog put its Head in my Mouth in the Process of Attack, I say. I am entirely justified in Retaining it, I say. The Slobber is therefore unavoidable, I say. The rules of just conduct within war, or jus in bello, fall under the principles of discrimination and proportionality, I say. The principle of discrimination concerns who are legitimate targets in war, and it seems to me that this Large Aggressive Dog is most definitely a target, whilst the principle of proportionality concerns how much force is morally appropriate. I merely Opened my Mouth.
I was Only Saying Hello, says the Other Dog. I am calling Dogline.
Not if I call it First, I say. We will see who is Oppressing Who then, won’t we? We will see who is a Big Snarly Growly Bully then, won’t we?
Hahahahaha says the Other Dog, that must be a Joke.
Hergest, says the Owner, take Ophelia’s head out of your Mouth and Speak Properly.
If I take this Dog’s Head out of my Mouth, I say, I do not know what it will Attempt to Chew Next.
It would be amazing if I could reach any of it, says the Other Dog, you are Three Times my Size.
That is ridiculous, I say. I am a Puppy I say. It is my Birthday next week, I say. I am having Balloons, I say.
I still cannot understand you, says the Owner.
You Dog is taking no notice of you, says the Other Owner.
This Slobber is like Ectoplasm, says the Other Dog, let me go before I am Completely Digested.
It is a Miracle that I got its head Into my Mouth at all, I say, given its Enormous Size and Bellicose Affect.
And then, unbelievably, I am Hauled off the Other Dog as if I am a Sack of Potatoes and Put on the Lead.
Hahahahaha says the Other Dog. It appears to have Shrunk Dramatically, which is interesting when I had no idea my Slobber could be So Effective.
I apologise for my Dog, says the Owner to the Other Owner, he is Rather Difficult to Defeat in Philosophical Argument. Sometimes only Brute Force Works.
That is the Pot Calling the Kettle Black, I say, as we Head Home.
No Dog should Bully a Dog which is Smaller, says the Owner.
I entirely agree, I say. Although the principles of Justice After War, or jus post bellum, I say, suggest that the defeated deserve respect.
They also suggest, says the Owner, that the need to rehabilitate or re-educate an aggressor should also be considered.
I trust the Other Owner will not be Too Hard on Ophelia, I say, given that I have shrunk her, I say. She does not know her Own Strength.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.