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[personal profile] bobquasit
This topic bothers me, but I have a hard time not replying to this sort of question.

"Do you approve of our government using predator aircraft to strike at terrorist targets?"

Oh hell, I assume that this is political.

I think that if it's wrong when some other country does it, it's wrong when we do it.

But I am, apparently, alone in that opinion.

[A few people spoke up to agree with me. But then the torture-supporters swarmed the board, and they sure do love torture and assassination. One idiot (Rock, inevitably) brought up the old "So we just sit back and let terrorists shelter themselves behind the innocent?"]

Advocates of torture and assassination love to set up extreme hypotheticals, and then use them as license to commit every imaginable atrocity.

"A terrorist might strap babies all over his body as living armor and go on a killing spree, so our people need the right to torture babies to death whenever they want!".

They present us with a false dichotomy: either we become as evil as everything we claim to oppose, or else we lie back helpless and wait for our enemies to kill us. Anyone with half a brain knows that there are other options, and that often those options are MORE effective than violating our basic moral codes.

Date: 2009-10-21 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Had a really long reply that got totally messed up.

Anyway, without the "details" bit the question makes no sense. But with that, "And if you do approve, how do you feel about innocent people being killed in the process? Aren't we in a sense doing the same thing that we accuse the terrorist of doing?" I see that the question should have been "Is it acceptable to strike at terrorist targets that are amongst civilians?" Okay, my version is poorly worded but the other is worse.

Should we strike at terrorists using non-combatants as cover? Well, no, both for moral reasons and because in modern war that ends up recruiting people for the enemy (well, except in cases where the civilians get ticked off and drive out the terrorists). But that does hamper our ability to deal with them, make no mistake about it.

I heard an example, sort of, of the problem in an interview on Greater Boston (PBS show). Some Navy Seals (special ops types) were in Afghanistan all covert-y when some goat herders stumbled onto them. The militarily logical thing to do was to kill the herders (apparently taking them prisoner or detaining them was not an option, although that wasn't gone into in the interview) because the Seals knew they would give away their existence to the Taliban. They wouldn't kill unarmed civilians, and let the herders go. And sure enough, the herders told the local Taliban fighters who vastly outnumbered the Seals. Only one of the Seals survived (note: this isn't a hypothetical, but a real incident).

And that is a problem. Being Moral can get you killed, and can get others killed. Granted that this isn't really like the whole "Let's shoot up a wedding party with a Preditor 'cause there might be terrorists there" thing.

Date: 2009-10-21 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, and it did look to me like most of the people in that thread were actually in agreement with you on this.

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