Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Liutauras Vilda
Sheriffs:
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Henry Wong
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Jj Roberts
  • Tim Holloway
  • Piet Souris
Bartenders:
  • Himai Minh
  • Carey Brown
  • salvin francis

moussaoui attempts guilty plea

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
The UN does not give the mandate to kill civilians. Anyway in this case, shouldnt the pilot and his superiors be held responsible for murder,since the bomb was dropped with the intention to kill( civilians or otherwise).After all they didnt do their homework properly.
A bomb will definitely kill civilans if it is dropped in a civilian area.Shouldnt they have sent ground troops to flush out the enemy?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 183
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
Shouldnt they have sent ground troops to flush out the enemy?


Yes. They should have.
Are you speaking of a specific episode or in general?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 91
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
As long as we're biblical...
I would agree that the English translation should read "thou shalt not murder." There are several times when you're not only allowed to kill, but are required to kill. For example, if you kill someone who would otherwise kill you (this can sometimes be used as the justification for war). Or for doling out the death penalty in a court of law.
-Stu
 
Stu Glassman
Ranch Hand
Posts: 91
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
Shouldnt they have sent ground troops to flush out the enemy?


Reminds me of an editorial in todays paper regarding terrorism in everybody's favorite country, Israel. When the Israeli army tried to sweep the terrorists out of Jenin, the terrorists just hid behind civilians or fled in the resulting confusion. This time, however, Israel took a different course: they targeted a terrorist with a bomb.
In my opinion, the terrorists are going to hide behind civilians anyways. Why should Israel needlessly waste human life to flush out the terrorists? I'm not saying that they should raze cities to the ground, but both the USA and Israel should continue carefully targetted bombings. (Although, the US could use a bit more targetting practice...)
-Stu
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
Is the pilot a murderer?

As long as the pilot did not deliberately wish to kill the civilians or act with negligence then he is not guilty of murder.
Examples:
1) Pilot knows that there are civilians nearby, but the bad guys are nearby too. Not knowing which group is which, he bombs both. This would be immoral since a moral outcome (the killing of bad guys) can not come from an immoral act (deliberately bombing civilians).
2)Pilot has extra bombs left over and doesn't want to land with them. So he drops them without thinking about where he is or where the bombs will land. It kills civilians. Although he did not mean to kill civilians, he is guilty of murder because he acted with reckless disregard for the danger that he was creating.
Jim is correct when he says that the correct translation of the commandment is, "Thou shalt not murder." St. Agustine wrote on the "just war" theory to explain that killing can be moral at times. According to St. Augustine, in order for a war to be just it must meet these criteria:
1. The war must be waged by a lawful authority.
2. It must have a just cause.
3. War must be a last resort (all other options must be exhausted)
4. The war must have a reasonable chance of success. (it must not inflict pointless suffering)
5. The importance of the just cause must be proportionate to the losses expected in conflict.
6. The war must be discriminate, i.e. targeted at an identified enemy.
7. Innocent civilians must not be directly attacked.
A policeman also has a moral imperative to protect the people he serves. For a policeman, it would be immoral to allow a person to be killed that he was supposed to protect. If the only course of action to protect someone is to kill their attacker, then the policeman has a moral responsibility to kill.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
A bomb will definitely kill civilans if it is dropped in a civilian area.Shouldnt they have sent ground troops to flush out the enemy?

And attacking a city with troops will prevent civilian casualties how? In fact, civilian casualties would probably be much greater in a ground attack vs. the dropping of a single bomb.
 
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
The UN does not give the mandate to kill civilians. Anyway in this case, shouldnt the pilot and his superiors be held responsible for murder,since the bomb was dropped with the intention to kill( civilians or otherwise).After all they didnt do their homework properly.
A bomb will definitely kill civilans if it is dropped in a civilian area.Shouldnt they have sent ground troops to flush out the enemy?


No. Again, I would recommend you read up on the laws of armed conflict. One relevant document, related to US interpretation of international law, is titled The Law of Armed Conflict and Urban Air Operations.
In broad terms, there are three principles which govern military targeting: military necessity, humanity, and proportionality.
Military necessity - the principle which justifies measures of regulated
force not forbidden by international law which are indispensable for securing the prompt submission of the enemy, with the least
possible expenditures of economic and human resources.
Humanity - forbids the infliction of injury or destruction not necessary to the achievement of legitimate military purposes.
Proportionality - demands that parties
refrain from attacks, even against legitimate military targets, likely to cause civilian suffering and damage disproportionate to the expected military gain.
Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law�The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, instructs that, applying international legal limits to air attacks, planners must take the following precautions:
(a) Do everything feasible to verify that the objectives attacked are neither civilians nor civilian objects . . .
(b) Take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects; and
(c) Refrain from deciding to launch any attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which
would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
Now these are just some of the duties of the attacker. International law also places responsibilities on the defender, the chief of which is to segregate military objectives from the civillian population.
AFP 110-31, taking the reference from international law, also states:


The requirement to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and between military objectives and civilian objects, imposes obligations on all the parties to the conflict to establish and maintain the distinctions . . . . Inherent in the principle of protecting the civilian population, and required to make that protection fully effective, is a requirement that civilians not be used to render areas immune from military operations. Civilians may not be used to shield a defensive position, to hide military objectives, or to screen an attack. . . . A party to a conflict which chooses to use its civilian population for military purposes violates its obligations to protect its own civilian population. It cannot complain when inevitable, although regrettable, civilian casualties result.


The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that, �utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations�, is a war crime.
The Law of Armed Conflict and Urban Air operations makes the following statement:


Exploiting the discrimination requirement placed on attackers by deliberately commingling civilians with military targets violates the
basic principles of the law of armed conflict. Note, however, that a defender�s violation of these principles�for example, its deliberate
placement of civilians in the vicinity of military targets or its use of specially protected sites to house weapons�does not relieve the attacker of all legal obligations. Among other things, an attacker would generally still be obligated to comply with proportionality
principles and refrain from attacks likely to result in civilian damage excessive in relation to military gain. Nevertheless, the relative
protections normally granted those civilian persons and objects is weakened.


Another very relevant and important bit of information is that international law "recognizes the difficulty of military decisionmaking amid the fog of war, and thus obligates planners and commanders to base their decisions on the information reasonably available at the time."
So let's take a look at this fictional scenario. Aircraft on combat patrol receive what they believe is hostile fire from the ground, including anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) as well as small arms fire. Onboard sensor equipment helps pinpoint the source of the AAA and small arms fire to a structure located in a village. The area in question is well known to be sympathetic with the enemy.
Military necessity is that the AAA is a threat to friendly aircraft operating in the area. A force of enemy combatants is also a threat to friendlies operation in the area. Humanit is satisfied because AAA and enemy combatants are a legitimate military target. Proportionality is satisfied because the expected collateral damage to civillians is reasonably thought to be low in proportion to the military value of the target.
After action reports are that some claim the target attacked may have been a party and that it is possible that there were civillian casualties.
Your question was whether or not the pilots and their superiors should be held legaly accountable (actually you used the term murder but that's absurd if you have even the slightest understanding of the laws of armed conflict).
If there was fire from the site directed at friendly aircraft, then the fact that there were civillians at the site who were killed is a burden that falls squarely on the enemy, as I have shown above, so no legal action is taken against the attacker. If there was in actuality no fire from that site directed at friendly aircraft, and the decision to attack was made in good faith, international law recognizes that decisions were based on information reasonably available at the time, so no legal action would be taken.
As for having ground troops put "eyes on target", that is not always possible within a reasonable time frame, nor is it required. While you always want to have the best intel possible, there are often legitimate time constraints which become a factor regarding when a target can be struck, as well as resource constraints which dictate the granularity of intel possible.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
omar khan
Ranch Hand
Posts: 183
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Jim is correct when he says that the correct translation of the commandment is, "Thou shalt not murder."


On which basis do you state this?
I must say that not everybody agrees on this.
I am happy to often meet Methodists valuable friends who would find this translation very wrong.
For example what did Jesus Christ say about what one should do if he/she receives a slap?
One should offer the other cheek.
EvenHoly See
Gives the same translation/interpretation I gave earlier.
Do you remember the thread on translations?
This issue on the meaning of a commandment -the basis of Judaism, Christianity and Islam- is a proof that translation==interpretation.
This is why some religions refuse the concept of translations of Holy Books but prefer to stick to the concept of "interpretation".
 
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
The ten commanments.
Two out of 3 of the translations use the word "murder". Only the King James Translation uses the word "kill".
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Does God disobey His own commandments? God certainly does kill, and this has been shown in the Bible. So if the correct translation is "Thou shalt not kill", the God does not choose to follow His own commandmants. I would not say however that God murders, so if the correct translation is "Thou shalt not murder", then God does indeed follow his own commandmants. This is why I think it far more likely the correct translation is murder as opposed to kill.
 
omar khan
Ranch Hand
Posts: 183
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
... then God does indeed follow his own commandmants.


Then plz. explain how God can possibly comply to the following commandment.
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you."
Commandments are a message to mankind only.
The Almighty exists outside time and space.
The Almighty gives us life and decides when our earthly presence has to end.
But our soul is immortal.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
{
1) Pilot knows that there are civilians nearby, but the bad guys are nearby too. Not knowing which group is which, he bombs both. This would be immoral since a moral outcome (the killing of bad guys) can not come from an immoral act (deliberately bombing civilians).
}
What if it was found later on, that the people who got killed in the bombing were just children and harmless party goers. Not a single terrorist was killed in the attack.Dosent this mean that the pilot recklessly bombed the party. What if it was known in advance that the party down did not have the means to attack the plane.
Is the pilot guilty of negligence, murder or both?
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:

Then plz. explain how God can possibly comply to the following commandment.
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you."
Commandments are a message to mankind only.
The Almighty exists outside time and space.
The Almighty gives us life and decides when our earthly presence has to end.
But our soul is immortal.



As I had in the sentence previous to the one you had quoted, I should have added the word choose. Naturally he can't choose to follow that particular commandment. I am also well aware that the commandments were given to mankind, but that still doesn't mean that god does not choose to operate (where applicable) according to guidelines that he has handed down to man.
It's simple really. God is all good. Therefore His acts are seen as ultimately being good. Since God does kill, when he does so it must be to promote good. If the instruction to man were "thou shalt not kill", how could man obey this commandment when he has seen God commit this "good" act on many occassions? It's not like God would say "do as I say not as I do". Therefore there must be some distinction between killing that promotes good, such as when God kills, and killing which promotes evil, such as that which we call murder.
Since the commandments guide man towards good and away from evil, it stands that they recognize the difference in killing that promotes good and killing that promotes evil. It is therefore most likely that the correct translation is "thou shalt not murder", and not simply "thou shalt not kill".
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
{
1) Pilot knows that there are civilians nearby, but the bad guys are nearby too. Not knowing which group is which, he bombs both. This would be immoral since a moral outcome (the killing of bad guys) can not come from an immoral act (deliberately bombing civilians).
}
What if it was found later on, that the people who got killed in the bombing were just children and harmless party goers. Not a single terrorist was killed in the attack.Dosent this mean that the pilot recklessly bombed the party. What if it was known in advance that the party down did not have the means to attack the plane.
Is the pilot guilty of negligence, murder or both?


Re-read what Thomas is saying. He said that in the example he gave that given two targets where you can make no distinction between them, you bomb neither. The pilot who did this would most likely be found negligent. However this is not what happened in the event you are referring to.
I have given you multiple reasons based on international law why the term "murder" doesn't apply. I have tried to explain the laws as I understand them, including giving you ample references. You can pretend that these laws don't exist if you want, but it serves no purpose to attempt to make an argument when you refuse to examine the facts that are available to you and the laws as they apply. Ignoring these facts and laws will not make them go away.
Do you find some problem with the interpretation of the laws of armed conflict and how they apply to a given situation?
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
So as per your definition it is not murder when two groups go to war( as per international laws) and innocent civilians get caught inbetween.
Assuming Country A is at war against terrorist group B and vice versa.
If terrorist group B bombs a building and innocent people get killed, can they use the same logic and claim they are not guilty of murder.
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
So as per your definition it is not murder when two groups go to war( as per international laws) and innocent civilians get caught inbetween.


It's not my definition, it is defined by international law, but yes, it is not murder.

Assuming Country A is at war against terrorist group B and vice versa.


So it's no longer Country B, now it's Terrorist Group B?

If terrorist group B bombs a building and innocent people get killed, can they use the same logic and claim they are not guilty of murder.


No, because the terrorist organization was not acting within the constraints of international law. For one thing, terrorist group B are not lawful combatants (as defined in various international laws, conventions, etc...). For another, their intention was to deliberately kill civillians. In addition, they did not follow the principles of military necessity, humanity, and proportionality which govern military targetting. Their actions could have reasonably been expected to cause mass civillian casualties (of course they knew that and hence the reason for the attack to begin with).
To apply the principles as describen in AFP 110-31 (derived from international law):
(a) B did not do everything feasible to verify that the objectives attacked were neither civilians or civilian objects. Quite the contrary they were aware the target was civilian.
(b) B did not take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects. To the contrary, they chose a means and method designed to maximize loss of civilian life and damage to civilian objects.
(c) B chose not to refrain from deciding to launch an attack which was expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Again, B chose quite the opposite.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
{
No, because the terrorist organization was not acting within the constraints of international law. For one thing, terrorist group B are not lawful combatants (as defined in various international laws, conventions, etc...). For another, their intention was to deliberately kill civillians. In addition, they did not follow the principles of military necessity, humanity, and proportionality which govern military targetting. Their actions could have reasonably been expected to cause mass civillian casualties (of course they knew that and hence the reason for the attack to begin with).
}
If groupB( country B if that pleases you)is not a lawful combatant , can A declare war on them?If the answer is no then the rules of war, cannot be applied to A abd B.
{
To apply the principles as describen in AFP 110-31 (derived from international law):
(a) B did not do everything feasible to verify that the objectives attacked were neither civilians or civilian objects. Quite the contrary they were aware the target was civilian.
(b) B did not take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects. To the contrary, they chose a means and method designed to maximize loss of civilian life and damage to civilian objects.
(c) B chose not to refrain from deciding to launch an attack which was expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Again, B chose quite the opposite.
}
Cant the same charges be stuck on A.Afterall A bombed a party in which there were only civilian casualities.A did not do everything feasible to verify that the people whom they bombed were civilians.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I have an idea. Let's call this A group.. umm... maybe... Israel, yeah that sounds good. And B, I'm thinking Palestine. Yeah!
What Jason is saying is that it is perfectly ok (not a war crime) for Israel to bomb a residential neighborhood knowing it will kill mostly innocent people, but it is not ok for a suicide bomber to blow himself up in a bus that has soldiers knowing that it will kill mostly innocent people.
Jason, did you ever think that the Palestinians have no other means to fight Israel. They would never be able to have a conventional war against a power as great as Israel. So you are saying, since they are weaker they should just deal with being humilated and discriminated against.
I equate the terrorist actions of the Hamas with the terrorist actions of the Israeli Military. Israel has more resources to kill innocent people in a more "pretty way" if there is a such thing (and obviously for Jason there is). But innocent people are innocent people. The leader of the Hamas that was killed was as much a terrorist as the Israeli who ordered that bombing to go ahead. They are no different. Both kill innocent people.
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
If groupB( country B if that pleases you)is not a lawful combatant , can A declare war on them? If the answer is no then the rules of war, cannot be applied to A abd B.


You seem confused about what is and isn't a lawful combatant. It is defined in numerous places, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, and the Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land.
Lawful combatants are:


Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.


Therefore, if B was a country and if they were using their military in a lawful manner, they would be lawful combatants. It should be equally clear why a terrorist organization is not a lawful combatant because no portions of the definition apply to them, particularly (d), but including (a), (b), and (c) as well.
I could be wrong, but I don't believe there has been any written declaration of law signed by the Legislature of Country A against B. This does not prevent A from carrying out combat operations against B. International law is pervasive and there are not exemptions from it. All parties to a conflict are bound by it. Therefore A is bound by international law when carrying out combat operations versus B, regardless of B's status. SImilarly B is bound by international law when carrying out it's unlawful actions versus A. So your characterization that because B is not a lawful combatant that international law does not apply to them is mistaken.

Cant the same charges be stuck on A.Afterall A bombed a party in which there were only civilian casualities.A did not do everything feasible to verify that the people whom they bombed were civilians.


No, as I demonstrated in a previous post everything feasible was done in accordance with international law. Despite this, civilian casualties occured. While it is certainly regrettable and tragic, it is not illegal given the situation.
Another thing to keep in mind, but not of any overriding importance in this case, is that just because B claims all casualties were civilian and that the site served no military function, does not necessarily make it so. I am more than happy to operate under the assumption that B is telling the truth for the sake of argument though.
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
I have an idea. Let's call this A group.. umm... maybe... Israel, yeah that sounds good. And B, I'm thinking Palestine. Yeah!
What Jason is saying is that it is perfectly ok (not a war crime) for Israel to bomb a residential neighborhood knowing it will kill mostly innocent people, but it is not ok for a suicide bomber to blow himself up in a bus that has soldiers knowing that it will kill mostly innocent people.
Jason, did you ever think that the Palestinians have no other means to fight Israel. They would never be able to have a conventional war against a power as great as Israel. So you are saying, since they are weaker they should just deal with being humilated and discriminated against.
I equate the terrorist actions of the Hamas with the terrorist actions of the Israeli Military. Israel has more resources to kill innocent people in a more "pretty way" if there is a such thing (and obviously for Jason there is). But innocent people are innocent people. The leader of the Hamas that was killed was as much a terrorist as the Israeli who ordered that bombing to go ahead. They are no different. Both kill innocent people.


Actually I believe <slacker> and I are referring to an action where US air power may have bombed an Afghani wedding party. While neither of us came out and said as much, I guess we both thought the reference was rather obvious.
I will not go into the Israeli & Palestinian issue in a concrete manner because it is too inflammatory for some here to deal with in a rational manner. While I am currently studying the conflict academically (I have recently had the pleasure to speak to some Palestinian academics as well as a former Lt Col in the IDF who was former govenor of some of the disputed territories), and do have some definite opinions on the issues you raise, I will refrain as I don't want to piss Jim off.
Btw <Truth>, I could swear you were recently involved in this thread under a couple of other anonymous names.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Btw <Truth>, I could swear you were recently involved in this thread under a couple of other anonymous names.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


Btw, I swear I was too
I guess the only thing I can agree with you on is that discussing this topic is pointless, but I'm interested in why you may piss of Jim. What are his ideas.
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
What are his ideas.


The stated position of the Ranch (and therefore Jim) has been to avoid certain topics which are viwed as inflammatory.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:

1) What if it was found later on, that the people who got killed in the bombing were just children and harmless party goers. Not a single terrorist was killed in the attack.Dosent this mean that the pilot recklessly bombed the party. 2) What if it was known in advance that the party down did not have the means to attack the plane.
Is the pilot guilty of negligence, murder or both?

1) As long as the pilot had a reasonable assumption that the people he were attacking were terrorists then he his not guilty of anything. How could his actions be reckless if he was told that the party was made up of terrorists unless he had some reason to doubt the intelligence?
2)The question of whether the party could attack the plane or not is irrelevant. The question is, does the party pose a threat to others. Terrorists by definition pose a threat to the innocent and therefore whether they threaten the plane is not worth worrying about.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
I must say that not everybody agrees on this.
I am happy to often meet Methodists valuable friends who would find this translation very wrong.
For example what did Jesus Christ say about what one should do if he/she receives a slap?
One should offer the other cheek.


As has been pointed out, the correct translation is "murder" and is the translation most often found in Bibles.
Christianity is not a suicide pact. Christians have the right to defend themselves. Do you believe that murdering someone and slapping them in the face are the moral equivalent?

Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:

EvenHoly See
Gives the same translation/interpretation I gave earlier.

I am very familiar with Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life). Is there a particular part that concerns you? Perhaps this:
In the first place that commandment prohibits murder: "You shall not kill" (Ex 20:13); "do not slay the innocent and righteous" (Ex 23:7). "
As it says, the commandment prohibits murder. You may also wish to know that EV is translated from Latin.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
If terrorist group B bombs a building and innocent people get killed, can they use the same logic and claim they are not guilty of murder.


No, because they do not meet the criteria for fighting a just war. Re-read Augustine's list.
1. The war must be waged by a lawful authority.
A Terrorist group is not a lawful authority.
2. It must have a just cause.
Terrorist groups usually simply want to rule. Wanting power is not a just reason to kill.
3. War must be a last resort (all other options must be exhausted)
Terrorist groups do not attempt to negotiate or discuss their positions prior to attacking.
4. The war must have a reasonable chance of success. (it must not inflict pointless suffering)
The only goal of the terrorist is to inflict harm and injury. They know they can not win so they attempt to get the other side to give in by injuring civilains.
5. The importance of the just cause must be proportionate to the losses expected in conflict.
Disproportionality is a key goal for terrorists
6. The war must be discriminate, i.e. targeted at an identified enemy.
The enemy can't be "everyone who won't obey me".
7. Innocent civilians must not be directly attacked.
Terrorists attack civilians almost exclusively. Inflicting suffering on the innocent is the weapon they use against their enemies.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <slacker>:
If groupB( country B if that pleases you)is not a lawful combatant , can A declare war on them?If the answer is no then the rules of war, cannot be applied to A abd B.
Cant the same charges be stuck on A.Afterall A bombed a party in which there were only civilian casualities.A did not do everything feasible to verify that the people whom they bombed were civilians.


Can A declare war on B? If B attacked them then B has already declared war on A! A has the right to defend themselves.
In the second case, the question is, did A have a reasonable belief that the party they were attacking was made up of terrorists. If the answer is yes then A did nothing wrong. Did A do everything feasible given the constrainsts of war and the limits on intelligence? If the answer is "No" then A may be guilty of negligence. If A did do everything feasible then A is not guilty of anything.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
The stated position of the Ranch (and therefore Jim) has been to avoid certain topics which are viwed as inflammatory.


I have no problem with discussing the issues in terms of morality as long as we don't start arguing over specific incidents.
As far as the question of whether a terrorist group can attack someone because that is their only option, the answer is no. Terrorist groups are illegal so they have no standing. Only individuals do. So the question becomes, does an individual have the right to kill civilians to "protect" themselves from the military. The answer is clearly no because there is no direct link between the "killing of civilians" and "protecting themselves".
So how can individuals fight against oppressive governments? 1) attempt to negotiate 2) appeal to world organizations like the UN 3) gather moral support by proving the nobility of their cause
Can individuals attack legally formed governments if they believe they are oppresive? NO! Otherwise we end up with people in the woods holding off FBI agents with rifles.
When you respond, please don't try to be narrowly focused on one part of the world. Think about these issues on a grander scale. Answer this: does the IRA have the right to kill civilians in London if they believe that their country is being occupied by an oppressive government?
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
What Jason is saying is that it is perfectly ok (not a war crime) for A to bomb a residential neighborhood knowing it will kill mostly innocent people, but it is not ok for a suicide bomber to blow himself up in a bus that has soldiers knowing that it will kill mostly innocent people.

I don't believe Jason said that at all. The issue of proportionality rears its head. Is the goal of the attack sufficient to warrant the expected civilian casualties. In a case where a single terrorist is targeted with a large bomb when he is in a group of civilians including children, then in my opinion the attack is not proportional and should be condemned.
But I might also remind you that suicide bombers do not look around to make sure that soldiers are nearby when they blow themselves up. There is no goal ("this attack is to kill enemy soldiers") other than the goal of inflicting terror and fear upon the enemy.
Neither attack is proportional and neither can be used to justify the other.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
I guess the only thing I can agree with you on is that discussing this topic is pointless.


Why do you believe that discussion is pointless? Discussion is what keeps us from killing each other.
 
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
What are his ideas.
Here's something I wrote once in the past when asked why some topics get edited, closed, or deleted by our moderators. I've modified it a bit for the present context:


We don't really have exact policies; they change somewhat over time, and depend on who is doing the moderating at a given moment, and how bad the situation gets (or has gotten in the recent past). Certain topics have a sensitive history here in MD (and elsewhere of course). The 9/11 attacks are such a topic, along with Israel vs. its neighbors, and India vs. Pakistan. It seems that any conversation here about these topics eventually degenerates into vicious name-calling, unless we step in to stop it. We used to be a lot more permissive of ongoing conversations, and gradually grew fed up with trying to referee them. For a while the de facto rule became "no politics or religion in MD, period", but some of us thought that was going too far. I'd like people to be able to conduct calm, civilized discussions here, but it requires extra policing on our part. Eventually some threads get cut off when they cross a line. Unfortunately even reasonable people can disagree about exactly where the line was, or should have been. And let me assure you MD discussions are not limited to reasonable people.
In general, I'd say that discussions of politics or religion in MD are probationary at best. You can try to have them, and if most of the participants are calm and careful about what they say, they might conceivably go on for some time. But the unfortunate truth is that no matter how reasonable most of the participants might be, there will probably come a point in most of these conversations where we decide to close it down. The more reasonable and calm people can be in general, the more willing we moderators will be to let these conversations go on, rather than closing them at the first sign of trouble.


For the present case, I've gotten pretty close to closing this thread as it looks on the verge of erupting into ugliness. But I'm also partly interested in using it as a barometer to see how well people can remain civil here. Considering the subject matter, this thread has gone far better than I would have guessed, and many interesting points have been raised.
I would still urge everyone to be very careful about expanding the scope of this discussion. Topic drift is a natural thing in MD, but in discussions like this one it's particularly risky, as each new topic increases the risk of a meltdown. I'd suggest that you try to keep looking at how does your post relate to the original topic of the thread. If you find you want to discuss sensitive topics that are only loosely related to the original topic, starting a new thread might be a good idea - IF you really think it will be possible for us to have a civil discussion about it. This way we can see how the new topic goes - if people remain civil, great. If the topic proves too sensitive for MD, we can close the new topic without interfering with the original one. That's the theory, anyway. :roll: We'll see how well it works.
Please do not take this as license to start any incendiary topic you want in a new thread. The overriding goal here is to provide a friendly place for discussions. If we need to edit, close, or delete threads to maintain that, we'll certainly still do that. I'm just suggesting that if you really want to discuss a new sensitive topic, and you think it can be handled in a civil fashion, your post will have a better chance of survival as a separate topic rather than an add-on to another already sensitive thread.
Also, in case it comes up - if you want to discuss the merits of JavaRanch policies (such as this post) I'd suggest that that discussion should also take place in another thread, preferably in the JavaRanch forum. We've got enough contentious issues going on here already.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I have no problem with discussing the issues in terms of morality as long as we don't start arguing over specific incidents.
As far as the question of whether a terrorist group can attack someone because that is their only option, the answer is no. Terrorist groups are illegal so they have no standing. Only individuals do. So the question becomes, does an individual have the right to kill civilians to "protect" themselves from the military. The answer is clearly no because there is no direct link between the "killing of civilians" and "protecting themselves".
So how can individuals fight against oppressive governments? 1) attempt to negotiate 2) appeal to world organizations like the UN 3) gather moral support by proving the nobility of their cause
Can individuals attack legally formed governments if they believe they are oppresive? NO! Otherwise we end up with people in the woods holding off FBI agents with rifles.
When you respond, please don't try to be narrowly focused on one part of the world. Think about these issues on a grander scale. Answer this: does the IRA have the right to kill civilians in London if they believe that their country is being occupied by an oppressive government?


Ok Thomas. I did not say that a terrorist group has the RIGHT TO. I am just offering why such groups exist. It is easy for you, Thomas, to sit back and say what you said. And I think that you are right. You have a clear head and you can think straight right now. Would you be thinking straight if your son was killed by Group A? Would you be thinking straight if it was your brother? Would it make you feel any better if they told you, "Well we made a mistake." I do not think you would and if that were to happen to you, I would not blame you, I would blame the people who were responsible for your loved one's death.
Furthermore, I want to point out a very important point that you yourself made:
"So the question becomes, does an individual have the right to kill civilians to 'protect' themselves from the military. The answer is clearly no because there is no direct link between the 'killing of civilians' and 'protecting themselves'."
You are absolutely right. I could not have put it better myself. Killing, opressing, or humilating innocent civilians to 'protect' oneself from the military, or a militant group, has no moral or legal basis. But why is your question only about individuals? Let me reprhase your question and tell me if you agree that the answer is still no.
Does the military of any country have the right to kill civilians or to take away the basic human rights of innocent civilians to 'protect' themselves from militants?
To me the the answer is still clearly no because as you put it, there is no direct link between the 'killing or oppressing of civilians' and 'protecting themselves'. Would you agree?
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Jim's long quoted post removed



Ok Jim. If that's the policy, then that's the policy. But I think this thread is cooling down.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
"I would not blame you, I would blame the people who were responsible for your loved one's death."
Allow me to take that comment back. I would rather say, "I would not blame you, I would blame the situation that you unfortunantly find yourself part of."
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
In a case where a single terrorist is targeted with a large bomb when he is in a group of civilians including children, then in my opinion the attack is not proportional and should be condemned.


As I have previously mentioned, I recently had the opportunity to speak with a former Lt Colonel in the IDF who also happened to serve as military govenor of various territories in Israel during his fifteen year career (Jenin was one). I think many would actually be surprised by his politics and balanced views, and was far from what many anti-Israelis might picture when they think of an IDF commander.
Anyway, he did address a recent incident that invovled a top Hamas leader who was targeted by an Israeli airstrike that also had many civilian casualties. What he stated about this particular individual was that he had been targetted on at least eight previous occasions. Each time the missions had been scrubbed because of fear of civilian casualties. Numerous Israeli civilians had been killed due to terrorist operations planned by this individual following the aborted operations to take him out.
Because of Israel's effective policy of assassination of these people, they never slept in the same place for more than a couple of days. They remained very elusive and were tough to pin down. The idea behind this policy being that it is more difficult to plan terrorist operations if you are busy running for your life. This particular time, when they had him, their view was that taking him out was prudent this time despite the risk to civilian casualties. The Lt Col said that most likely the Israelis were worried about finding him again, and knew he was planning additional terrorist operations. He also stated that the IDF practice in general was to minimize civilian casualties as they felt that these greatly worked against their objectives. Despite that, they felt that the positives may outweigh the negatives in taking this person out, despite the fact that he continued to hide amongst civilians.
He stated that it was the practice of these people to surround themselves with civilians at all times. They would work, eat, and sleep only in areas with large amounts of civilians believing that it would make the IDF less likely to target them. In addition, they got into the habit of holding their meetings on rooftops of civilian structures, while surrounded by their family and other civilians. He speculated that the IDF was trying to send these people a message that surrounding themselves with civilians would no longer necessarily keep them safe.
[edited by Tom Paul to fix my quoted material.]
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Why do you believe that discussion is pointless? Discussion is what keeps us from killing each other.


You know, Thomas, that sounds great and I wish for it to be true, but I really don't think it keeps anyone from killing anyone.
I do not want to get into the Palestinian-Israeli discussion, because I think as many others have stated, it is far more productive to think of it on broader terms, but I just to explain to you why I think such discussions are pointless I will tell you this. I feel very much for the Palestinian and Israeli people. Honestly, I can not understand how President Bush could call Sharon "a man of peace". It would be like me saying that the Hamas is an "organization of peace". It's ridiculous. When the divisions are this great, unfortunantly there is no solution. That is why I think such arguments are pointless. As Jim said, all they end up as are name-calling. This is because I think side 1 will never understand side 2 and vice versa. It is sad but true.
Perhaps the best thing, or the only thing, that we can do is stay away from the specific situations and talk on a more global scale.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
You have a clear head and you can think straight right now. Would you be thinking straight if your son was killed by Group A? Would you be thinking straight if it was your brother?
Does the military of any country have the right to kill civilians or to take away the basic human rights of innocent civilians to 'protect' themselves from militants?
To me the the answer is still clearly no because as you put it, there is no direct link between the 'killing or oppressing of civilians' and 'protecting themselves'. Would you agree?


To your first point... I would hope that I would never be bloodthirsty in my seeking of revenge. I would want justice but I would not kill persons a,b,c,and d because x killed my child.
As to your second point... governments and individuals are different things. For example, you do not have the right to kill me unless I am a direct and immediate threat to you (for example, I am pointing a gun at you). A government does not require that level of threat. A government for example could morally kill me as punishment for a crime I commit. Another example... if you punched me, I couldn't lock you in my basement for 3 to 5 years with parole for good behavior.
Is it moral to drop a bomb on an enemy ammunition factory when you know civilians work there? Would it be moral to arrest enemy aliens and deprive them of their freedom during a war? These are actions that would be moral for a government but immoral for an individual.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
As I have previously mentioned, I recently had the opportunity to speak with a former Lt Colonel in the IDF who also happened to serve as military govenor of various territories in Israel during his fifteen year career (Jenin was one). I think many would actually be surprised by his politics and balanced views, and was far from what many anti-Israelis might picture when they think of an IDF commander.
The rest of Jason's long quoted post was removed



Jason, you can not blame the Palestinians for not believing that the Israelis actually care about civilians. What the Lt Colonel might have sounded great, and I do not doubt that his ideas may be more balanced than one may think, but the mere numbers of Palestinian civilians killed speaks for itself.
Would it make sense to you if the Hamas said, "Well soldiers should travel in seperate busses so we can blow them up and no civilians." Of course not.
I will admit the Israelis play the media game much better. They are pros. Some how they have managed to convince America (which is all you really need to convince) that when Israel uses an F-16 to drop a bomb on a civilian residential area killing 9 children, that it is somehow the fault of the Hamas leader who was sleeping in that apartment with his wife and children.
The Hamas on the Palestinian side is the equivalent to the Likud party on the Israeli side. The Hamas is a little more honest and a lot less smart. It admits it is going after civilians. But forget the words. Forget the words and the Islamic image that may scare you after 9/11. Look at the actions. They are the same. Count the dead.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
The Hamas on the Palestinian side is the equivalent to the Likud party on the Israeli side.

I think if we continue in this vein, then this discussion will come to a grinding halt. The next post that mentions Israel or Palestine gets deleted. No matter what it says about them.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
A few thoughts:
Is there a moral difference between a country that targets enemy leaders and a country that targets anyone in general?
If a suicide terrorist was given the opportunity to blow up one of two targets which would they choose? a) a soldier alone on a road b) a busload of civilians.
As a civilian, would you feel better knowing you could be attacked at any time for any reason or knowing that if you avoid certain places or people that you would not be attacked?
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Truth>:
Jason, you can not blame the Palestinians for not believing that the Israelis actually care about civilians. What the Lt Colonel might have sounded great, and I do not doubt that his ideas may be more balanced than one may think, but the mere numbers of Palestinian civilians killed speaks for itself.
Would it make sense to you if the Hamas said, "Well soldiers should travel in seperate busses so we can blow them up and no civilians." Of course not.
I will admit the Israelis play the media game much better. They are pros. Some how they have managed to convince America (which is all you really need to convince) that when Israel uses an F-16 to drop a bomb on a civilian residential area killing 9 children, that it is somehow the fault of the Hamas leader who was sleeping in that apartment with his wife and children.
The Hamas on the Palestinian side is the equivalent to the Likud party on the Israeli side. The Hamas is a little more honest and a lot less smart. It admits it is going after civilians. But forget the words. Forget the words and the Islamic image that may scare you after 9/11. Look at the actions. They are the same. Count the dead.
[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]


I believe this post is a good example of why we stay away from such issues.
I am merely relaying a conversation I was part of. I am passing no judgement one way or the other nor am I making any claims as to the validity of any statements made to me. I have had equally enlightening conversations with representatives of the other side. They both have their points of view, but you could get a sense that they did have some common ground despite the seemingly wide chasm between them. Some people believe that in order to get to the root of a conflict it is necessary to understand both sides. Ill-informed partisan statements made emotionally with little basis in fact and no understanding of the conflict as a whole (historically, politically, etc...) don't really serve any purpose other than to enflame.
 
What's wrong? Where are you going? Stop! Read this tiny ad:
Thread Boost feature
https://coderanch.com/t/674455/Thread-Boost-feature
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic