Is it acceptable to knowingly kill civilians to eliminate a key target in the war on terror?
At most times war is supposed to save people not kill people! However, when you are dealing with terrorist you can be sure that more death will come. After all the definition of terrorism is: "the calculated use of violence against civilians...". If the terrorist are left to do there biding there will be many more civilian lives lost. I would have to agree, with the idea in mind, that the death of one may save many. Although a difficult decision for most, if your life has been affected by terrorism in any way, I am sure you would agree.
I am a civilian, I have never been to war, nor can I phantom the what it would be like to watch my comrade be blown up by an IED. Nor grasp the emotional strength it would take to watch my best friend be shot and witness him taking his last breath. Thus who judge what our soldiers are doing simply have never been soldiers themselves. Those who don't recognize what casualties of war mean, have forgotten how the impact of the Atom bomb ended world war 2. Those who think that soldiers following their commanders orders are terrorist need to live in a war zone for a couple days - that precious commodity of life belongs to the men and woman who are brave enough to but their lives on the line in order to build a humane place for those civilians that are not cooperating with the terrorist. Those civilians who left the war zone, waiting for a time that the insurgents are eliminated, waiting to come back home and resume there lives. Civilians who stayed behind did so for a purpose. That purpose puts US soldiers at risk. Those who said NO, do not have a husband, a brother, a sister, a father whom they love unconditionally and pray daily for their save return.
When a small group of people are killed in an attempt to save thousands of other lives, killing of civilians in war can clearly be justified. Logically, if we had a choice between saving 10 or 10,000 lives, we would definitely choose the latter. While it might be sad to make this sacrifice, it is realistically the only option.
It is my belief that there is always some "collateral damage" in war. Not because it is my desire or preference that innocents be harmed, but rather due to the inherent risks that are involved in war. Terrorists will embed themselves among innocents to attempt to preserve their lives and thus their mission of terror. Many times it becomes necessary to have minimal civilian loss in order to maintain the progress of the war and terror and eliminate key targets. While tragic, this is no reason to sacrifice the lives of many now and in the future for a few.
While I abhor the thought of anyone knowingly killing an innocent civilian, the fact of the matter is that terrorists feel no compunction about doing the same. Terrorists already hide among innocents, thinking they are safe, because the USA and its allies will go to any lengths possible to avoid civilian casualties. It is the same mindset that we have seen for hundreds of years, where the bank robber or bad guy grabs some innocent female passer-by and dares law enforcement to shoot while he makes his escape. It has been the same in every conflict our country has been in. You try to minimize the risk to innocent civilians but, in the end, you can only do so much. The terrorist hiding in a house with a family of five will kill 10,000 times more people if he is not stopped.
Unfortunately in war civilians have to be sacrificed in order to reach objectives that are in the best interest of the larger community. Many times the civilians are involved with the enemy combatants offering them help to achieve their missions and to hide them from us. I think that we should do everything we can to keep civilians safe but sometimes it's impossible.
There are times when civilian lives may need to be sacrificed in order to eliminate a key target that has the potential of killing an even greater number of innocent lives. Killing ten civilians in the process of eliminating the key target when the key target has the potential to kill thousands of civilians justifies the action. However, care should be taken to sacrifice the least number of civilians possible when trying to eliminate a key target.
By killing the innocent civilians then we are showing that country that we are serious. The opposing country will then know that we are powerful and not afraid to kill as many innocent people as needed to end the war with a victory. The opposing country will hopefully learn not to mess with Americans.
In addition to the above arguments which recognize collateral damage as an unavoidable circumstance of war/terror, when one refrains from killing a terrorist, he is essentially killing people himself. This terrorist is a killing machine. He will kill many innocent people - without any doubt.
Think of it this way. Let's imagine there is an atom bomb in a building, as well as an innocent person. Terrorists will use the bomb to kill hundreds of thousands of people if they are not stopped. The only way to neutralize the threat is to kill this individual in the process. Is it morally correct to go ahead?
I think the answer is obvious.
As a side point, every individual has the resposibility to try to remove himself/herself from an area of danger. Whoever insists on remaining where they are, or trusting in their army/terrorists to protect them, is gambling with their own lives. Those who are threatened by the aggressors cannot be held responsible for the careless decisions of the friends and families of the terrorists.
The very nature of war demands that there be difficult casualties. It is impossible to involve oneself in a matter such as a war on terror and expect not to kill innocent bystanders. Unfortunately, that is what war is. If anyone has an opposition to the death of civilians they should target the very existence of war itself, not the fact that civilians will be killed.
The drone attacks in Pakistan have been very successful in killing key members of the al-Qaeda organization, which undoubtedly has crippled its ability to engage in acts of terrorism. These attacks even have the support of the Pakistani government, which is the country in which the bombings are held, and outrage mainly results when these key members knowingly attempt to shield themselves behind innocent civilians - they are at fault.
This is a war, and one in which the terrorists have explicitly and openly targeted civilians as such (not just as collateral damage.) The enemy are AQD and associated terrorist groups. Most of the 'civilians' killed in proximity to the terrorists know them for what they are. USM and his 4 wives chose to live together and the wives threw themselves in front of him as good soldiers. If you believe this is war, then civilian casualties are an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence. If you believe this is NOT war but some kind of police action aimed at the interdiction of criminals or bandits, then civilian casualties of course are not acceptable. I believe this conflict stopped being a police action and became a war long ago. Sad but true.
I do understand that in war there are causalities which is understandable. Knowing going into an area and killing innocent civilians in pursuit of an enemy is wrong. There are ways to smoke an enemy out and capture or kill them with out doing intentional harm. Unless a enemy is putting civilians at immediate risk I don't see why it would be necessary to kill innocent people.
People shouldn't have to think about being killed and they should not be killed because they live near terrorists. Not everyone is a bad person and terrorists can be tricky to spot out of a million people, but to accessibly kill everyone just to catch those bad people isn't right at all.
Civilians should not be considered expendable in order to take down any target of any magnitude. It promotes a careless mentality of shooting first and asking questions later.
It is not right what have they ever done to any of our civilians its not fair and an invasion of there human rights. It may be different if they were killing our civilians but they are not so it should not be done.
While eliminating key targets is an important step in the war on terror, if civilians are known to be present, then no, they should not be killed just to get at this one target. Life is a precious commodity that should not be ended needlessly. If civilians are killed, then that can also be a public relations nightmare for whoever ordered the attack. It can turn the people of that country against the attacking one, as well as make it more difficult to reach the next target.
Deliberate civilian casualties in a war that is not unanimously supported as a morally justifiable fight for freedom or right to life is not justifiable. In a slightly different example, such as allowing a group of infected quarantined civilians to die in order to prevent a deadly world-wide pandemic may be justifiable.
It is just not moral to knowingly kill civilians when combating terrorism. The key term here is "knowingly". If there's a realistic presumption that a target being neutralized would not threaten civilians, then I am in favor of that action. But wantonly killing civilians while fighting the enemy is terror in its own right.
It is unacceptable to knowingly kill civilians in time of war for any reasoning, as they are not enemy combatants and pose no threat to the successful completion of a given military mission. Although in many circles civilians that are killed are considered to be collateral damage, it is a morally reprehensible practice to kill the innocent in a war.
While it may not be possible to avoid unknowing killing of civilians, it is not justified or acceptable that civilians be killed to eliminate a key target in the war on terror. The government must try and find every other way of capturing or gunning down terrorist through the FBI or other secret agencies or find important clues or information from possible sources. The civilians have every right to freedom of movement and must be well protected at all times and should not become the unknowing target.
When we go around killing civilians to eliminate a key target in the war on terror, we are as bad as the terrorists themselves. Killing innocent civilians, including, but not limited to, spouses or children who may have no choice about their involvement in a terrorist activity is brutal and horrible. Killing civilians knowingly is just wrong, no matter what.
To knowingly take the life of an innocent is good as calling it murder. The war on terror has come to the point where civilians along with key targets are facing the same death despite whether or not they have a connection to being terrorists or not. Where is the justice in that? Those who realize this are forced to act in ways where they have to teach their enemies a lesson further feeding the fire. Those who do not realize this have no idea how much hatred they are creating amongst those they think are their enemies but really may not be. All of this is leading to a growing snowball where each side thinks that the actions they are taking are for the right purposes. Kill an innocent from one party, they will react in defense in attacking the other party and yet the opposite party will act in their own defense thinking they have killed off yet another enemy. The bottom line is that those who have done wrong should be punished. Those who have nothing to do with anything shouldn't have to even bear a scratch.
This isn't like WW2 where civilians supported their government and deliberately targeted in order to demoralize and weaken the war industry. It was very acceptable to the point.
In a modern warfare, this is the war on terror, the idea in Afghanistan is to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. You had to remember, they sided with NATO troops because they hated the Taliban as much as them. When NATO and US troops accidentally kills them, they turn against you and sided with the enemy instead. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, you can't tell who's the enemy or not. They are soldiers wearing civilian clothing waiting to shake hands then blows them up and civilians who dressed as soldiers who were trying to save themselves from being killed by the Taliban and can be mistook as the enemy.
Killing innocent people is no way to win a war. To say that any life is expendable because of war is just unacceptable. There are other ways to fight terrorism. Other places and situations that are segregated from civilians can be used for attacks. Terrorism is wrong, but murder, any murder, is wrong too, and to murder the innocent just to make other people safe is not morally acceptable.
Killing of civilians is detestable. The loss of human life, often regarded as collateral damage, is unacceptable. The kill/capture method employed by the Department of Defense is not dissimilar to the outlook of terrorists. Both operate under the premise of taking out a high value target, be it a person or infrastructure, and having no regard for bystanders.
Knowingly taking a human life is synonymous with terrorism.
One argument I've seen that I have a problem with, is that by not killing a terrorist we are killing innocent civilians through the continuation of destruction by said individual. This theory is operating under the assumption that 1 US or western civilian life is greater than a middle easterner's life. All human life is of equal value.
There is no reason to ever be accidentally bombing a wedding. Violence is never the answer. We already Decimated a large portion of the middle east yet we keep going. It Literally makes no sense to me. "Terrorists" are the new "communists" these days to brainwash people to think its OKAY that we kill them. Propaganda at its finest.
In today's war on terror--and decades before, in the Vietnam War--our country has been involved in the death of innocent civilians in pursuit of as-yet-unachieved goals. This cuts against us in at least two ways--the United States is being held up in the public light as murderers and we are becoming recruiters for terrorist factions because WE are being seen as the enemy, not the terrorists.
It is never justifiable to kill civilians in order to eliminate a key target in the war on terror. Killing innocent people is the most morally wrong act that a man can ever even be guilty of. There are many civilians who have absolutely nothing to do with terrorist activities and these people should not be killed.
I believe there are means to accomplish the major tasks of war without harming innocent civilians. These are people who have not done anything, so why should their lives hold so little value to us?
I believe that killing innocent civilians is an encroachment on their basic human rights and is essentially, murder. The government should find ways to eliminate this 'effect' of war that is so common.
If you think it's acceptable you are basically saying it's OK to nuke Washington DC because the key targets there are conducting an illegal war. They are the real terrorists. But if you successfully eliminated Obama with nuke then you have to nuke Delaware that's where the next person in charge is, the VP. Then you have to nuke San Francisco where the head of the congress is. Then you just keep on killing US civilians because your twisted logic can't seem to see the situation from the both sides of the oppressor and the aggressor.
It is wrong because no one has the right to kill anyone in the name of war. Civilians become victims of poor and ineffective strategies of the government against the war on terror. Civilians are the ones who pay the price for a war. They become homeless or orphaned. They sometimes lose their entire family. These people lose almost lose everything they have. There is no one to help them, or even support them. I think it is very wrong to kill innocent people. What is sad is that the world has not learnt from its past mistakes. Wars are not the solution to peace. It creates a temporary peace like situation, which ultimately create terrorists in many years to come.
Makes terrorists of us all if innocents are killed in the name war. Keep in mind collateral damage victims are american and
canadian soldiers some times. Their weight of importance is only slightly higher than civilians. Also I believe the average person in a country invaded by another is simply
caught in the middle. No allegiance to the local government or the so called "liberators". How can any millitary action in their country cause anything but hate and resentment towards they invaders. This hate breeds sympathy for home grown terror. Imagine the same proposed question if the western world was the invaded and the civilians were your friends, family, ect.
There is no way that one person should have the power or the choice to choose who should die. innocent people were killed in every war, and we should try our utmost to keep that number to a minimum. I personally think that killing in general is wrong, but i do believe in euthanasia.