‘You can’t arrest the commander of an army!’

‘Actually, Mr. Vimes, I think we could,’ said Carrot.  ‘And the army, too.  I mean, I don’t see why we can’t.  We could charge them with behavior likely to cause a breach of the peace, sir.  I mean, that’s what warfare IS.’

Vimes’s face split in a manic grin.  ‘I LIKE it.’

‘But in fairness our–that is, the Ankh-Morpork army–are also–’

‘Then you’d better arrest them, too,’ said Vimes.  ‘Arrest the lot of ’em.  Conspiracy to cause an affray,’ he started to count on his fingers, ‘going equipped to commit a crime, obstruction, threatening behavior, loitering with intent, loitering WITHIN tent, hah, traveling for the purposes of committing a crime, malicious lingering and carrying concealed weapons.’

Terry Pratchett, “Jingo”
(And the thing is, we laugh at this because the idea of Sam Vimes arresting two armies IS funny.  But on top of being funny–and on top of Vimes trying to pile on the charges here with this list–Pratchett intended with this book above all else to characterize war as, in itself, a crime.  In this case, a war started because of a lie and because of racial/ethnic/national prejudice.  But we’re meant to be thinking about this.  When is war NOT a crime, when you get down to what most people think crimes are?  Why is killing people okay and legal when it’s war, for one thing?  Why is it legal to loot places when you conquer them?  Why isn’t it murder and theft?  Well?)
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