Hume on war:
When our own nation is at war with any other, we detest them under the character of cruel, perfidious, unjust, and violent: But always esteem ourselves and allies equitable, moderate, and merciful.
If the general of our enemies be successful, ’tis with difficulty we allow him the figure and character of a man. He is a sorcerer: He has a communication with daemons; as is reported of Oliver Cromwell, and the Duke of Luxembourg: He is bloody-minded, and takes a pleasure in death and destruction.
But if the success be on our side, our commander has all the opposite good qualities, and is a pattern of virtue, as well as of courage and conduct. His treachery we call policy: His cruelty is an evil inseparable from war.
In short, every one of his faults we either endeavor to extenuate, or dignify it with the name of that virtue, which approaches it. ‘Tis evident the same method of thinking runs through common life.
The other side, of course, is prey to the same delusions.