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Is it acceptable to knowingly kill civilians to eliminate a key target in the war on terror?

  • Unfortunately acceptable.

    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.

  • We're not messing around.

    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.

  • Yes, because while killing in general is seen as immoral, it can be justified when it's for the greater good.

    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.

  • I do believe it is 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.

    Posted by: w00tboycomic
  • Yes, this is a war, not a police action.

    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.

  • It is acceptable to knowingly kill civilians if there is a sincere possibility of eliminating a key target in the war on terror because casualties of war are unavoidable.

    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.

    Posted by: PluckyRod66
  • I believe it is acceptable to kill civilians to eliminate a key target in the war on terror since, otherwise, the message you are sending terrorists is simply to always have civilians around you and you will be safe.

    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.

    Posted by: SquealingLeroy
  • Yes

    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.

  • Though distasteful, civilian deaths are an unavoidable aspect in war, and the killing of key targets may save more lives.

    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.

    Posted by: TheSans
  • Going after innocent civilians is a very difficult issue but often the civilians are giving comfort to the enemy and there are cases were we have to get the target.

    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.

    Posted by: TasticBran
  • It's a terrible strategy

    So, folks are saying here that drone strike allows military to target terrorists? Well maybe, but for each assassination conducted, around 10 new ennemies are being created (usually siblings of the victim) seaking for revanche. Correlation between drones attacks and casualities shows that strikes increases terrorist presence in targeted countries.

  • It conflicts the purpose.

    The main aim of eliminating terrorist is to maintain peace and security for the ciivilians and innocent civilians cannot belong to a particular creed, community, nationality etc. If even a single innocent civiliant would be killed it would be counter productive. It does not mean that all civilians cannot be targetted. A civilian who is an accomplice in terror activities is akin to a terrorist. Civilian and an innocent civilian should be distinguished.

  • It conflicts the purpose.

    The main aim of eliminating terrorist is to maintain peace and security for the ciivilians and innocent civilians cannot belong to a particular creed, community, nationality etc. If even a single innocent civiliant would be killed it would be counter productive. It does not mean that all civilians cannot be targetted. A civilian who is an accomplice in terror activities is akin to a terrorist. Civilian and an innocent civilian should be distinguished.

  • Are We Terrorists?

    If we, a country who is apparently committed to fighting terrorism and extremism in all its forms, and rightly condemning those who kill innocents to further their causes, how can we in good consience kill a single unarmed civilian to further ours? In killing innocents we forfeit the right to think of ourselves better than those terrorist we claim to oppose, we, ourselves become terrorists.

  • Are We Terrorists?

    If we, a country who is apparently committed to fighting terrorism and extremism in all its forms, and rightly condemning those who kill innocents to further their causes, how can we in good consience kill a single unarmed civilian to further ours? In killing innocents we forfeit the right to think of ourselves better than those terrorist we claim to oppose, we, ourselves become terrorists.

  • It is unfair

    These people are innocent they didn't do anything and they might not even support the enemy. Not everyone living in the country follows the same belief as the conflicting groups. It is unfair for the people that have done nothing it is different if they are part of the group that is a t war.

  • Allowing for the killing of civilians even for justified causes is to allow for unjust or gratuitous ones; a clear line to be made.

    Basically, whether you know the future outcome or not it is a tenuous moral argument to be made that justifies the killings of civilians; and there is no connection to be made between the realisation that with war you accept the risk of collateral damage and the moral argument to justify the killing of civilians to achieve a military objective.

    Even if there is a high enough plausibility that disposing of a certain military target will end a war or save many more lives that likely will be lost, it is still wrong. In such a case, it is better to let the target go than sacrificing lives needlessly as, in all likelihood, you'll or someone else will have to work with the civilian population and build a relationship. For the civilians it is easier to understand why a terrorist or other kind of military target was left to operation because of the dangers to civilian life than killing civilian life to vanquish/decommission the target.

    We value the civilians more because they don't cause destruction as fighting, armed forces do and that it is with them that any peacetime cooperation is undertaken. A short progression to peace can simply be done by having the fighting parties to put down their weapons and work at a solution; killing the unarmed party that most likely never pushed for or started the war is counter-productive and proof of departing from base morality: the unarmed is not to be harmed.

  • There is no need

    Civilians are innocent people and not in war so why are people like us dieing just because of what terroists plan out to do? What person even in their right mind kill an innocent person for any way? This isn't the way to stop terrorism at all! Terroists should be found and get the death penalty for what they've done and I don't care what they believe in... They should be killed for killing innocent people who just want to live a normal life.

  • We shan't stoop down to their level of conduct.

    How can we accuse terrorists of being criminals if we do the same thing to innocent people? We cannot kill hundreds of people to catch out two men who have been involved in a crime! It's not about eliminating the target but also thinking about the families of whom may have been killed because we instist on finding the terrorists. Not only this, but doing this damage knowingly and willingly is as immoral as terrorists killing innocent people.

  • While SOME civilian casualities can not be avoided--it is not acceptable to knowingly kill civilians unless the benefit outweighs the loss of innocent life.

    Let's look at it from a 9/11 point of view. Do we find it acceptable that terrorists killed 3000+ civilians with the ideology that it would force the US out of the middle east? No, we don't. So why would we think it is ok to kill hundreds (maybe thousands now) of civilians to kill one guy who might be part of a larger group that might attack the US again?
    Killing 5 civilians to stop a massacre of 3000 is ok. Killing hundreds to stop one guy who meets with 12 other guys to kill 25 people is not ok.


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