The Morality of Killing or Harming Civilians in War

About: Rabbis: Israel Too Worried Over Civilian Deaths


I think this needs to be examined on a case by case basis.   Let's look at two examples:
  1. A Hezbollah rocket launcher pulls into a building where civilians live who have permitted the Hezbollah to be based in that building.  This would be a case where i would agree with the Rabbis.
  2. A Israeli targets a power plant which supplies power to thousands of civilians and their hospitals.  This would be a case where the targeting shows reckless disregard for the life and property of a civilian population.

Tags

  1. morality
  2. civilians
  3. war crimes
  4. israel
  5. my comments

Comments


Mark de LA says
I know this is probably not PC to mention, but the terrorists have no such concern for innocents. THat's why it's hard to get rid of them.

Mark de LA says
M 2006-08-25 09:20:02 4251
Oh for the good old days when you could bomb a whole city like Dresden & Hiroshima!  Some say that pretending there are innocent civilians only prolongs a conflict. That the presumed non-combatants would otherwise exert pressure on their governments to prevent the conflicts if they knew they were not immune. Holding an entire population responsible for it's government is not a bad idea !



Mark de LA says
Power plants & roads & airports are strategic targets. Depriving the enemy of their use gives the enemy a disadvantage.


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-25 09:28:00 4251
M 2006-08-25 09:23:11 4251
Holding an entire population responsible for it's government is not a bad idea !
Perhaps you can cite historical examples where killing innocent civilians has changed the hearts and minds of a population such that they have evicted their government.  Sans those examples this is a bad idea.

Already mentioned it! Both Hiroshima & Nagasaki convinced the population that their emperor was not as much of a god as they thought & ended the war in the Pacific.

Seth says
M 2006-08-25 09:23:11 4251
Holding an entire population responsible for it's government is not a bad idea !
Perhaps you can cite historical examples where killing innocent civilians has changed the hearts and minds of a population such that they have evicted their government.  Sans those examples this is a bad idea.


Seth says
M 2006-08-25 09:25:36 4251
I know this is probably not PC to mention, but the terrorists have no such concern for innocents. THat's why it's hard to get rid of them.
I don't care whether it is PC, but it is certainly irrelivant.  Is it not a reaction of the sort: "so's your mother"?  And, btw, if we are to adopt the morality of our enemy, why not just become them ... lot simplier, would you not agree?

Seth says
M 2006-08-25 09:30:17 4251
Already mentioned it! Both Hiroshima & Nagasaki convinced the population that their emperor was not as much of a god as they thought & ended the war in the Pacific.
Not true. What it did was convince the Japanese military that their fight was futile.  There was no element of the population evicting their government.  If you think there was, then cite documentation specifically of that. 

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-25 09:31:03 4251
M 2006-08-25 09:25:36 4251
I know this is probably not PC to mention, but the terrorists have no such concern for innocents. THat's why it's hard to get rid of them.
I don't care whether it is PC, but it is certainly irrelivant.  Is it not a reaction of the sort: "so's your mother"?  And, btw, if we are to adopt the morality of our enemy, why not just become them ... lot simplier, would you not agree?
Sounds like pure horse shit to me. It certainly is relevant. If someone attacks you & you get hung up in artificial rules of engagement just to please a PC crowd you are sacrificing your own soldiers to appease idiots.  That this has been done for such a long time instead of becoming like the enemy is why the current wars in the Middle East & on our own shores has lasted so long. (PS my piece of this comment spell checks )

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-25 09:35:21 4251
M 2006-08-25 09:30:17 4251
Already mentioned it! Both Hiroshima & Nagasaki convinced the population that their emperor was not as much of a god as they thought & ended the war in the Pacific.
Not true. What it did was convince the Japanese military that their fight was futile.  There was no element of the population evicting their government.  If you think there was, then cite documentation specifically of that. 
Defeating your enemy works every time it's tried! They did not return to the infallable emperor (although he was allowed to remain). Japan became a democracy. Germany did not return to the Nazi form of government.

Seth says
M 2006-08-25 09:36:44 4251
seth 2006-08-25 09:31:03 4251
M 2006-08-25 09:25:36 4251
I know this is probably not PC to mention, but the terrorists have no such concern for innocents. THat's why it's hard to get rid of them.
I don't care whether it is PC, but it is certainly irrelivant.  Is it not a reaction of the sort: "so's your mother"?  And, btw, if we are to adopt the morality of our enemy, why not just become them ... lot simplier, would you not agree?
Sounds like pure horse shit to me. It certainly is relevant. If someone attacks you & you get hung up in artificial rules of engagement just to please a PC crowd you are sacrificing your own soldiers to appease idiots.  That this has been done for such a long time instead of becoming like the enemy is why the current wars in the Middle East & on our own shores has lasted so long. (PS my piece of this comment spell checks )
Well part of being civilized is the behavioral pattern of following rules.  You word "PC" is just thrown in there to confuse the issue.  And what is so funny about this is that the very instances where Israel violated its own morality were the very instances which contributed to their political losses.  If all of those instances had been eliminated, then they would have not only defeated Hezbollah, but they would have politically won the hearts and minds of the Lebanese population. 

Seth says
M 2006-08-25 09:41:43 4251
Defeating your enemy works every time it's tried!
This is true, but irrelevant.  The question is whether there is any causitive connection between killing civilians and defeating an enemy.  You have not established that causitive connection.

Mark de LA says
source: ... the very instances where Israel violated its own morality were the very instances which contributed to their political losses.
...
Actually it was by NOT going in with full force & decimating the enemy that lead to loss of confidence in the Israeli government.

Art of War - Sun Tzu - II,2
source: II,2

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

... there are many other sections that apply equally



Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-25 09:56:05 4251
M 2006-08-25 09:41:43 4251
Defeating your enemy works every time it's tried!
This is true, but irrelevant.  The question is whether there is any causitive connection between killing civilians and defeating an enemy.  You have not established that causitive connection.
Governments were changed when the enemy was defeated.  How far up is your head that you can't see the result. The purpose of war is to kill people and break things as an instrument of persuasion. Doesn't matter whether it is civilian or military.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-25 10:15:56 4251
M 2006-08-25 10:06:50 4251
The purpose of war is to kill people and break things as an instrument of persuasion. Doesn't matter whether it is civilian or military.
I think you are confusing conventional war with terrorism.  In conventional war you force your enemy to follow your agenda by dint of military might.  In terrorism the objective is to persuade by dint of killing people.
Actually there may not be much of a difference.
source: ... I,3 Art of war
The MORAL LAW causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
...but also:
source: I,11 Art of War

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

It is just harder to kill people (for a military with a conscience) who have no weapons & are mixed together with people who have them. Israel dropped leaflets in Lebanon warning the people to get out before they bombed. They have been doing this in Gaza as well. Terrorists on the other hand try to keep people from leaving so that the body count is higher & thus show more "victims".

Seth says
M 2006-08-25 10:06:50 4251
The purpose of war is to kill people and break things as an instrument of persuasion. Doesn't matter whether it is civilian or military.
I think you are confusing conventional war with terrorism.  In conventional war you force your enemy to follow your agenda by dint of military might.  In terrorism you try to persuade by dint of killing people. The latter strategy is very inefficient, and is employed when the former strategy is not available.

Seth says
source: jlichty

See Also

  1. Thought about: oreilly.com -- Online Catalog: What Are Syndication Feeds, First Edition with 9 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  2. Thought I Demand An Apology with 9 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  3. Thought Calling for an end to all of this negativity ... with 7 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  4. Thought about: How to Talk to a Sceptic about Global Warming with 6 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  5. Thought life is gangly ... it hairs away from you with 5 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  6. Thought Privacy is antithetical to the semantic web with 5 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  7. Thought Imposing consequences on others with 3 viewings related by tag "morality".
  8. Thought about: why wont adsense remove these click fraud sites | Threadwatch.org with 3 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  9. Thought Quads with 3 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  10. Thought Can We Actually Invent Our Own Morality? with 3 viewings related by tag "morality".
  11. Thought The Big Stories and views that don't make major network news ... with 3 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  12. Thought automatic bookmarks and intentional bookmarks with 3 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  13. Thought about: ALLIED by Jeneane Sessum: Dysfunction Junction: BigPR, BigMediaList Keepers, and the Solo Practitioner -- An Eye on Bacon's and Vocus with 2 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  14. Thought Coulter vs Evolution with 2 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  15. Thought about: Top 10 Sources with 2 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  16. Thought Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy with 2 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  17. Thought about: You can't end a war, you can only win it or lose it. with 2 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  18. Thought The Middle East & Obama Talk with 2 viewings related by tag "israel".
  19. Thought The Dogs Of War with 2 viewings related by tag "israel".
  20. Thought Here is an idea ... with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  21. Thought about: Hello World: Tag-cloud my OPML with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  22. Thought about: weaverluke: Logical identities and re-contextualisation with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  23. Thought War On Christmas with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  24. Thought Point of Information. with 1 viewings related by tag "israel".
  25. Thought CD batering a la net flicks with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  26. Thought about: Re: How will the semantic web emerge from Seth Russell on 2005-12-13 (semantic-web@w3.org from December 2005) with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  27. Thought Hezbollah's Propoganda is Distorting Media Coverage with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  28. Thought about: Microsoft Team RSS Blog : Icons: still orange with 1 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  29. Thought about: U.S., France OK U.N. Mideast truce pact with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".
  30. Thought Denise and i went to the movies ... with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  31. Thought about: Burningbird with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  32. Thought A terrible question ... with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".
  33. Thought What is fastblogit ? with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  34. Thought automatically update all taggings at del.icio.us with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  35. Thought The Road Map with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".
  36. Thought about: Aljazeera Cartoons with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".
  37. Thought Why I Believe In Networks with 0 viewings related by tag "morality".
  38. Thought Will Obama be successful in stopping the growth of Jewish settlements? with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".
  39. Thought stream of consciousness May 22, 2006 with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  40. Thought Privacy with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  41. Thought Why do we tag? with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  42. Thought Silent Thought with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  43. Thought Logic is great, Survival is better! with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  44. Thought about: Niall Kennedy's Weblog: Microsoft Technology Preview with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  45. Thought DHTML is a marketing term with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  46. Thought What we do to each other matters, for that is the very being of our humanity. with 0 viewings related by tag "morality".
  47. Thought about: Google Help : Add to Google button with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  48. Thought the Identity Web vs mutually resonant entities with 0 viewings related by tag "my comments".
  49. Thought Tweeting & Blogging on a lower plane with 0 viewings related by tag "morality".
  50. Thought about: Hamas to allow peace talks as its militants kill Israeli soldier with 0 viewings related by tag "israel".