17
Sep
08

On air: Is it ever justified to kill civilians?

There has been a sharp increase in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan this year, according to new figures released by the United Nations. Last week Human Rights Watch said civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and Nato air strikes have nearly tripled over the past year, with the onslaught continuing in 2008 and fuelling a public backlash

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said today that the U.S. military needs to do more to prevent the killing of ordinary Afghans caught up in military operations.

Here are just a few controversial attacks:

* The US government is now re-examining how many civilians died in an attack on Azizabad in Afghanistan on August 22nd. Originally the US said only seven died, but the an Afghan government commission says 90 civilians, including 60 children and 15 women, died in the bombings.

* On Sept 3rd US forces crossed the border from Afghanistan in Pakistan and carried out attacks on insurgents without the permission of Pakistan. The US claimed it killed about 2 dozen. Pakistan says civilians were killed.

* In June 2006 the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a coalition air strike. Five others were killed in the strike, including three women. Jordanian officials claim Al-Zarqawi’s second wife Israa and his 18 month old baby were also killed

Thousands of civilians have died in attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not all at the hands of the coalition forces. Over half in Afghanistan are at the hands of the Taliban, according to the UN.

Few people would say that it’s right to kill civilians, but is it an inevitable consequence of war? Will mistakes always be made? Or if civilians could die, should bombing raids be halted?

What about if insurgents are using human shields? And do civilians place themselves in positions of danger when they know insurgents are sheltering in their village, but don’t turn them in? Is it their fault?


329 Responses to “On air: Is it ever justified to kill civilians?”


  1. 1 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:11

    No, it’s not justifiable. You can try to excuse it, of course. But what I find absolutely amazing is the outcry from one country, any country, when it’s citizens are killed, then that same countries apathetic response when it kills another countries citizens.
    *sigh*

  2. 2 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 14:15

    I wonder why people here just do not get it.
    The Islamists have made innocent civilians legitimate targets. Despite protests from some that profess Islam a religion of peace and the radicals are not part of the religion, the TRUTH is that rank and file Muslims pray for the radical’s success. If they don’t then the protests worldwide against the radicals would stop them but Muslims only protest cartoons worldwide.
    Today, innocents live in a war zone created by the Muslims who hide behind innocents and inside Mosques further denigrating their God.
    For innocents to stop dying it will take Muslims to start admitting the truth of their religion and for them to rise up against those that have placed innocent lives in jeopardy. Until then the truth that Muslims simply desire the destruction of all around them and ultimately their God is undeniable.

    • 3 MARK
      May 18, 2009 at 00:04

      U cannot blame Muslims as a whole!
      Who ever u r, u should hide ur face in disgrace!
      many Americans r being killed by their OWN people as well!
      I was taught as a CHILD that racism is never the answer, i think u should take that into consideration.
      Im am American and i blame Muslims for nothing *****

  3. 4 John
    September 17, 2008 at 14:18

    It is never justified to kill civilians during war. It’s horrible, it happens, but I believe governments and their military organizations are morally obligated to minimize civilian casualties and damage to property.

  4. 5 Bob in Queensland
    September 17, 2008 at 14:20

    Civilian casualties may be inevitable in any war but, if the USA wishes to win the “hearts and minds” of Afghans or Iraqis, it must redouble the care it takes to avoid such deaths. “But the terrorists hide there” is not an excuse that will mollify a mother who has lost her child.

    Alas, American troops have a very bad history for “shoot first, ask questions later. Their record, both in terms of civilian deaths and “friendly fire” incidents is substantially worse than other coalition members in the same conflicts.

  5. September 17, 2008 at 14:25

    “Is it ever justified to kill civilians?”
    C’mon Chloe, you are bored and winding us up!
    What a stupid question!

    Malc

    Berlin

  6. 7 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:25

    The Islamists have made innocent civilians legitimate targets

    Those battling Islamists have legitimized the innocent civilian targets as an acceptable or inevitable loss.
    Without engagement of unarmed civilians (for whatever lie or reason anyone is told), said civilian targets would not be legitimized.

  7. 8 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 14:26

    It is inevitable that lives will be lost during war! Especially in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where the spineless terrorists hide among innocent people. American troops have only a moment to decide if someone is safe or not or they risk their own life. That’s not the same as deliberately killing an innocent person.

  8. 9 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:32

    How come you don’t have listed as “controversial” attacks the almost daily suicide attacks on civilians? Weren’t 35 people blown up in iraq by a suicide bomber yesterday or the day before? Another attack in New Dehli over the weekend killed 18, I believe.

    What, we aren’t going to question the DELIBERATE attacks on civilians by terrorists?

    The difference between the west and the terrorists is that though the west does kill civilians, it doesn’t target them, and when civilians are killed, it’s because terrorists hide amongst civilians.

    If the peaceniks on here are going to say that you can then no longer attack areas where civilians are located where the terrorists choose to hide, then I know how to easily win a war. Attack countries by taking their cities, then attack military targets from the cities, then whine and cry to the international media if they try to retaliate becaues you are in a civilian area.

    Face it folks, there’s always going to be war. You should have a problem with the terrorist cowards choosing to be in civilian areas. Tell them to act like men, not hiding coward babies.

  9. 10 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:32

    9/11 – response:
    “OH MY GOD!!! THE US WAS ATTACKED, INNOCENT CIVILIANS DIED IN THE TWIN TOWERS!!!!”
    *whole country readies itself for war*

    Various Civilian bombing raids or deaths carried out by the US – response:
    “Whops, our bad”
    or “Well we thought they were insurgents”
    or, its all just ignored, chalked up as an acceptable loss (of course because it wasn’t US civilian loss, but another countries… And everyone knows an American life is worth more than any other [rolls eyes])
    And of course, we expect everyone else in the world to accept it and deal with it.

  10. 12 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:34

    @ Brett

    Maybe the brave jihadis shouldn’t hide in civilian areas? Maybe they should act like men and fight on a battlefield and not in civilian areas?

  11. 13 Katie Davidson
    September 17, 2008 at 14:36

    I think that every possible, exhaustive effort should be used to protect civilians. They are the people that we are supposed to be liberating, helping and protecting. I also think that if the U.S. military is going to conduct these kinds of attacks, they need to take responsibility for their actions. As a U.S. citizen, I am embarresed by the fact that the military is being less than forth coming with everyone. If you did it, you need to own up to it.

    Katie Davidson
    Nashville, TN USA

  12. 14 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:37

    @ Antiwar people

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1021795.html

    Howcome when you criticize civilian killings, you never criticize things like this? I realize it gets in the way of your agenda..

  13. 15 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:38

    @ Steve:
    Your right, they absolutely should act like men / women and not hide in civilian areas!
    But because they don’t follow general ‘rules of combat’ does not give us the right or justification to ignore civilian presence simply in the name of the War on Turrrrrrur.

  14. 16 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:40

    @ Brett

    I know you don’t want any war, which is good, I wish there were none, but there’s always going to be war. So if’ you’re saying we can no longer engage in combat because they attack from civilian areas, it will make us lose, and will make people want to attack us, because they know if we followed your rule, we wouldn’t ever be able to do anything. You’d just encourage more attacks from civilian areas.

    Given that there’s always going to be war, what is a realistic solution, because doing nothing isn’t going to be an option that governments will utilize.

  15. 17 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:45

    Heres the odd part… When ‘bad’ guys kill civilians for their agenda, they are terrorists, when ‘good’ guys kill civilians for their agenda freedom fighters…

    In both instances civilian death occurs… But as Steve argues its all about intent…. Ooops, sorry your dad, brother, mother, daughter, etc is dead…. Our bad… They got in the way of the turrrrist.

  16. 18 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:45

    Just so people can get a grasp of things, look at these states on civlian/military casualties during WW2.

    http://www.secondworldwar.co.uk/casualty.html

  17. 19 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 14:47

    @ Steve:

    So then civilian deaths are acceptable?

    So when the pentagon was attacked, those civilian deaths were acceptable? Well seeing as how ‘they’ are at war with us and all… And they were attacking a major government installation….. Civilians just happened to be in the way.

  18. 20 Meg in Canada
    September 17, 2008 at 14:48

    Justifiable? Certainly not. An unfortunate side-effect of military operations? Yes. Maybe a better question would be to ask how military operations could be re-worked to further minimize civilian death. Or to see what has changed to cause so many civilian deaths this past year.

  19. 21 Bob in Queensland
    September 17, 2008 at 14:54

    @ Steve

    The stated reasons for being in Afghanistan and Iraq is to install democratic secular governments in both countries.

    Yes, many civilian killings are caused by terrorists hiding among civilians (though many seem to be failings in intelligence) but does that justification really play with the people the USA is supposed to be winning over?

    Ignore public opinion at your peril. The end result could well be the Sharia government the US is trying to avoid.

  20. 22 Roy, Washington DC
    September 17, 2008 at 14:55

    Intentionally killing civilians is unjustifiable. Unintentionally killing them, provided that the war being fought is just, is an unfortunate side effect that most any war will have. This does not excuse it, though — reasonable precautions should always be taken to avoid the haphazard killing of civilians in time of war.

  21. 23 1430a
    September 17, 2008 at 14:58

    hello everyone,
    well a war is a war and no one can stop innocent civilians from dying in a war.How can the misilles and fighter planes detect who to kill and who not to?but yes if the number of attacks decrease then i suppose the number of deaths could come down.
    Thankyou
    Abhinav

  22. 24 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 14:59

    @ Brett

    Try to be more realistic and propose a solution rather than just say “don’t attack any area where there are civilians” because that will just create more attacks from civilian areas if they know there will be no retaliation. If I knew I could attack from a civilian area, and know you won’t retaliate from that, there’s no way I could ever possibly lose a war that I start. I could invade canada, by first attacking from Detroit. I would take Windsor, ON that way. And from Windsor, I would attack London, then take Toronto. Then take Ottawa from Toronto. Canada defeated without anyone even retaliating.

    Wishing something away is going to make it ago.

    We could have a show about wishing there were no disease, but that’s not going to come to reality either.

  23. September 17, 2008 at 15:00

    Historically, the civilians have been the victims of military raids. The First and the Second World Wars were events in which millions of civilians died due to indiscriminate raids on cities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

    Despite the international conventions to protect civilians, there are many military operations that can’t be halted because of the civilians in the conflict zones.

    But there is no justification to deliberately kill civilians as they shouldn’t in any way be the principal target of an armed operation. However there is no guarantee that in a massive operation they can all be protected, especially when it involves heavy weapons or air raids.

    The killing of civilians is another price for wars, whose aim is to hit the targets and to destroy the enemy. After the fact, there is regret and compensation of the relative of the victims. Which means that there is no justification to kill civilians whose lives are gratuitously lost due to errors or deliberate targeting.

  24. 26 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:01

    @ Roy

    I tried to explain the difference between intentional and unintentional, and people didn’t seem to care.

  25. 27 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:04

    World War II Fatalities

    Country Military Civilian Total
    Soviet Union* 8,668,000 16,900,000 25,568,000
    China 1,324,000 10,000,000 11,324,000
    Germany 3,250,000 3,810,000 7,060,000
    Poland 850,000 6,000,000 6,850,000
    Japan 1,506,000 300,000 1,806,000
    Yugoslavia 300,000 1,400,000 1,700,000
    Rumania* 520,000 465,000 985,000
    France* 340,000 470,000 810,000
    Hungary* 750,000
    Austria 380,000 145,000 525,000
    Greece* 520,000
    Italy 330,000 80,000 410,000
    Czechoslovakia 400,000
    Great Britain 326,000 62,000 388,000
    USA 295,000 295,000
    Holland 14,000 236,000 250,000
    Belgium 10,000 75,000 85,000
    Finland 79,000 79,000
    Canada 42,000 42,000
    India 36,000 *** 36,000
    Australia 39,000 39,000
    Spain** 12,000 10,000 22,000
    Bulgaria 19,000 2,000 21,000
    New Zealand 12,000 12,000
    South Africa 9,000 9,000
    Norway 5,000 5,000
    Denmark 4,000 4,000

    Total circa 61 Million

    I wonder if the far left of today existed during WW2, would their objections to war and any civilian deaths meant that we wouldn’t have been able to fight WW2 as it was fought, defeating Nazi Germany and Japan?

  26. 28 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:07

    I tried to explain the difference between intentional and unintentional, and people didn’t seem to care.

    Unintentional Killing = Dead person/s
    Intentional Killing = Dead person/s

    Maybe they are too dead to care about what the difference between the two is…. *shrugs*

  27. 29 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 15:08

    There is never a justifiable reason to kill civilians but it is often the by-product of war. I beleive mistakes will always be made but as the phrase goes, “the end justifies the means.”

  28. 30 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:11

    @ Brett

    Okay, like I said before, there’s always going to be war, so propose something realistic due to this fact.

    If the jihadis didn’t fight from civilian areas, civilians wouldn’t be getting killed. That’s what it falls down on, otherwise you are saying that you can no longer retliate and conduct military operations against an enemy that attacks from civilian areas. Prepare to encourage more of that, are you prepared for that? Otherwies propose a SOLUTION that is practical, such as telling Jihadis to stop doing that. Or do people on the far left just like to complain about things that are inevitable?

    There’s going to always be disease. If you cure one, another will come along. It’s just life. It’s what happens. There’s no point in complaining about something you want that is impossible.

  29. 31 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:12

    @ Brett

    Also, since you only seem to care that they are dead, every auto fatality must therefore be charges as a murder, given you don’t seem intent is relevant. If anyone has ever accidentally killed someone, they need to be charged with murder. You can’t have it both ways Brett.

  30. September 17, 2008 at 15:13

    In a perfect world we could stop that question at, “is it ever justified to kill.” But a perfect world it is not. There is a major lapse in understanding between western ideologies and that of Islam and extremist. As best as I understand it, there is no literal translation from Farsi into meaning “civilian”. As god’s children you are also his warriors. Anybody who is not following their strict interpretation of the Quran are considered a cancer on their sacred grounds.

    In the west we have declared, formed organizations, and posted laws saying that killing civilians is morally wrong. Yet we drop nuclear bombs, develop WMD, and routinly drop “conventional bombs on questionable targets. The extremist have never set such restraints in warfare. Each of us must decide the validity of war tactics. However, hypocrisy is the biggest danger of war. That is if one ever wants the war to end.

  31. 33 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 15:13

    There are situations when civilian deaths will occur. I think it is unfortunate. That is one reason civilians should try to work with authorities when there terrorist are present because if they don’t, they may die because people did not fully cooperate.

  32. 34 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 15:14

    @Steve

    I don’t agree with you often but I fully agree with you on this particular issue.

  33. 35 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 15:15

    The US embassy in Yemen was attacked earlier.

  34. 36 Bob in Queensland
    September 17, 2008 at 15:16

    @ Steve

    Those casualty figures in WWII came from a war where one side wanted to defeat the other, not “liberate” them.

    Ignore for a moment this debate on the morality of civilian deaths. What about the practicalities? How are the US and coalition forces going to garner support in Afghanistan and Iraq if the present level of civilian deaths is considered acceptable?

  35. 37 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:18

    @ Bob

    There civilian deaths today and .1% of those in WW2. If people think there are going to be no civilian deaths, while ignoring that there are daily terrorist attacks targetting civilians in those very same countries, then I think they’re probably looking for reasons to not support what the US is doing. If there were no civilian deaths, they would be complaining about non muslims being on their land. If US soldiers were muslim, they would complain about their uniforms or accents..

    Civilian deaths are regrettable but inevitable in war. I assure you, if the US left, there would be vastly more civilian deaths, but I guess that’s okay with the left, so long as Americans aren’t doing it, it can be ignored.

  36. September 17, 2008 at 15:18

    Not at all, it is never justified. This is no any other example of violations of human rights than it. The increasing phenomenon of civilians killing during war must be stopped. And it is very necessary of strong law and punishment to those entire criminals who are involved to kill civilians. Only after this civilians killing will be decreased.

  37. September 17, 2008 at 15:21

    Hi WHYSers!

    I find several of the enttries here a little distressing, in part. If for no other reason than that, the implicit acceptance of civilian deaths in war as a necessary effect of the ‘American War on Terror’. Beyond the obvious lack of value placed on the lives of ‘certain civilians’, I am curious to know to what extent the kinds of care and concerns have been taken in the execution of this war? How much of the intelligence that America prides itself on having has actually been expended in this war effort?

    If one accepts that there are always likely to be causualities in a war, can we also accept the glaring numbers of ‘innocent’ deaths, as reported by the US Government; that is, compared to say the United Nations Report, (last year was it?) that placed the number of civilian deaths in Iraq to alarmingly high levels? Or is it that the credibility of the UN precludes any acceptance that there is an uneasy similarity between the politics/ ideologies of those facing off with each other in Iraq, as we speak?

  38. 40 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:22

    @ Hansha

    Um, “increasing phenomenon of civilians” killed during war? It’s decreasing at exponential rates. About 40,000,000 civilians were killed during WW2.

  39. 41 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:25

    @ Steve:

    When you drop bombs your intent is to kill or destroy. When you shoot bullets, your intent is to kill. Bombs don’t differentiate friendly and enemy targets. Therefore if a bomb is dropped on an area where there are known civilians, it is the intent of the person dropping the bomb and calling the shots to kill both civilians and enemies. What happens with intent in this case?

  40. September 17, 2008 at 15:27

    Is it also sufficient to say that the terrorist are hiding amongst civilians or that suicide bombers are doing the same thing, therefore, I am (more) justified because I perceive my cause to be more morally correct? What hogwash! Is this not the same as killing people in the name of a God? After all, as a President ‘of faith’, prayers and an invocation of the Divine, from what we hear in the media, are common place in today’s White House. Where is the difference from those who kill in the name of ‘wiping out the infidels’? I would love to know!

    While, I am not comparing the American War on Terror to Holy War ‘against the infidels’ (from the West), I actually am suggesting that the principles utilised by the each sides, such as they are, seem awfully similar. The invocation of religion as a likely justification/ rationalisation (?) of the sheer destructiveness of this war is really, at core, the problem here. When is a life determined to be so unimportant as to be worthy of sacrifice, whether by the heads of Government or political organisations, with a deep investment in religious politics?

  41. 43 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:29

    @ Brett

    So you’re applying the doctrine of transferred intent to soldiers. If you do that, you might as well transfer it to police officers. Police shoot bullets to kill criminals, but sometimes they miss and kill civilians. Therefore, they must be charged with murder.

    You can’t have it both ways, Brett.

  42. September 17, 2008 at 15:32

    @Steve!
    You are right but remembering thing is that, it was than and it is now. Today we are in twenty first century and almost everything is changing. And you don’t think that such types of massive violations of human rights should be totally stopped? Is zero tolerance is not important at this time? So I think even a single death of civilian is very big crime in today’s world. If you see the example of civilians killing during Nepal’s decade long civil war it was very heart breaking!

  43. September 17, 2008 at 15:33

    @ Brett,

    Excellent question, which goes to the heart of the matter.

    Incidentally, this is not a foolish discussion, as said above by one of the bloggers. It is very important. How do we value human life is, effectively, what I hear the question to be asking. Are some lives more valuable than others? And, if this is so, is it that we are willing (?) to exlain away the destruction of some lives and not others, based on issues of geopolitics, religion, race, etc? After all, the war has been taken to the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, explictly. Regardless of reasons, it does not get any more obvious than that, does it?

  44. 46 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:34

    @ Hansha

    There will always be civilians deaths because there will always be war. Wishing it away is like wishing disease away. There will always be disease as well. What we can do is figure out ways to minimize civilian casualties, and there are far fewer civilian casualties today than there were in the past.

  45. 47 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 15:36

    Attacking targets knowing that it will kill civilians is justified only if this is a necessary measure to defend your country or, in an internal conflict, to defend your livelihood.

    This means that the huge numbers of civilian deaths in WWII caused by the allied forces were justified, because it was the only way to liberate the people from Nazi Germany.

    Civilian deaths in Iraq and Afganistan caused by the US and NATO cannot be justified at all. The reason is that this is an operation to bring security to Afghanistan. This is very indiretly related to the security of the West. Taking out an target in Afghanistan has no direct relevance to the State Security of the US at all.

    So, this has to be seen much more in the context of a local police operation. Insurgents in Afghanistan pose a threat to Afghanistan. It is up the Afghans to decide if too many civilians are killed relative to the benefits of the operation, and they are complaining about exessive number of civilian deaths.

  46. 48 Kelvin Kamayoyo - Local Economist from Lusaka, Zambia
    September 17, 2008 at 15:37

    Dear BBC,

    While it is morally wrong and biblical evil to kill innocent civilisations whether in a cross fire or in the absence of any type of war/ civil instability. I must hasten to mention that the bulky of the necessary effort to reverse this escalation of killing innocent souls lies in the hands of the entire society of Afghanistan and not entirely on the Americans as the picture and blame seems to be currently. I have a strong view that owners is on the people of the targeted and affected communities, to stop or desist from harbouring and feeding these terrorists who bring about the dividends of them being killed in the process of tracking these awful terrorists.

    The people of Afghanistan are partly to blame in my view because these killings can be stopped today or tomorrow if they did what is right for them to do now and not later. We must understand that peace can never be imported in any territory but it can be home grown with minimum effort but thought at times grown at great pains. Therefore, this pain must not be assumed that it can be absolved by the outsiders in this case the Americans but the Afghanistans themselves whether they like t or not. I appeal to the people of Afghanistan to raise above personal, religious and regionalism interests and re-examine what the real causes of these seemingly perpetual civilian killings predominately in their lovely country and overtly condemn it.

    Regards,

    Kelvin Kamayoyo
    Local Economist from Lusaka, Zambia

  47. 49 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:38

    Steve:

    It’s amusing to see your view on this, especially considering the fact that you seem to be a firm believer of accountability on nearly all other subjects and issues.

    Where is the accountability here? At what point is anyone held accountable for the innocent people they kill?

  48. 50 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:38

    @ Count Iblis

    The reason the US attacked Afghanistan was because the government (Taliban) gave support and based Al Quida, so it very much impacted the security of the US. Do you recall 9/11?

  49. 51 Christopher
    September 17, 2008 at 15:38

    Not that this helps fuel the debate, but an odd narly full-side single from The Steve Miller Band’s 1981 Circle of Love album is strangely applicable, not only to this topic, but to the state of the world and the “War on Terrorism”; just substitute a few words or phrases, and it fits like a glove:

    Macho city
    Macho city
    Macho city
    Macho city (macho city)

    Welcome to the entertainment
    Here now are the facts (macho city)
    Presented by reporters
    Wearing macho slacks (macho city)

    All around the world
    The message is hot and smoking (macho city)
    Would you like to see the future
    Nobody’s joking (macho city)

    Velcro people with
    X-ray sight (macho city)
    Will be making judgements
    About what’s wrong and what’s right (macho city)

    Politicians and lawyers
    All know what it means (macho city)
    They’ll be keeping it all legal
    With political visqueen

    Macho city
    Macho city

    As time marches
    Through the ages
    Macho men always
    Shooting up history’s pages

    Taking over this (ooh)
    Taking over that (ooh)
    Macho men always
    Where it’s at

    El salvador
    Afghanistan (macho city)
    Ask those people
    About the macho plan (macho city)

    Macho city

    Talking about
    Zombie servants
    Mystic mud
    Silver bullets
    Head three ton stud
    Black cat bone
    The heebee-jeebees
    Johnny Cockeroo’s personal voodoo keys

    Way over yonder
    Over on yonder’s wall
    Looks like macho man’s
    Headed for a big fall

    How can macho man
    Heal his soul
    Will powerful root man
    Let him go

  50. September 17, 2008 at 15:39

    And, what of the misreporting (?) of the numbers of civilian deaths on either sides of this divide? Clearly, there is politics being played with human lives in the name of ideology, here. Are we also going to talk about that?

  51. 53 Bob in Queensland
    September 17, 2008 at 15:39

    Anybody care to comment on the most recent and controversial killings in Afghanistan which now seem to be an intelligence failure (they trusted the wrong faction) rather than any fault of the Taliban?

  52. 54 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 15:39

    I love listening to people who have never experienced war or the Military who plead to stop civilian deaths. It is sad.
    In war civilians die. Get over it. That is why war is something to be avoided unless you have a diseased philosophy wherein you believe that God put us here to destroy civilization, murder indiscriminately and then attack God Himself.
    What high ideals do fighters espouse when they hide behind women and children and hide in Mosques?

  53. 55 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:40

    @ Brett

    So do we hold police officers accountable (ie for murder) when they miss and kill a civilian? If anything, we use the felony murder doctrine and charge the felon with murder.

    Again, Brett, you can’t have it both ways. Everything you’re saying about the military must then apply to police, and to doctors (when they kill a patient due to malpractice, they must be charged with murder according to your logic).

    Brett, it’s time to be realistic about this.

  54. 56 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:42

    God forbid this ever happen, but if any government facility, defense facility, or weapons storeage / manufacturing facility were ever attacked on US soil by a nation we were at war with, something is telling me there would be a complete and utter national outrage at any civilian deaths that occurred…

  55. 57 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:43

    Answer the question Steve:

    At what point is anyone held accountable for innocent civilian deaths?

  56. 58 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:44

    @ Brett

    I highly doubt weapons in the US are stored in civlian areas, and an attack on government facilitity would be an attack on civlians. a deliberate attack, which is different than retaliating against a terrorist in a civilian area. Again, Brett, it’s called INTENT.

    You don’t seem to understand the difference.

  57. 59 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:45

    @ Brett

    I don’t know. When are cops held accountable for innocent civilian deaths? All I know that their lack of intent to kill the civilian is taken into consideration, and hence why they don’t get charged with murder like someone who deliberately kills people. I hope you one day understand this concept.

  58. 60 Pangolin- California
    September 17, 2008 at 15:45

    “The US never kills civilians in the war on terror. If a person of any age is killed by US action that person is automatically defined as a “terrorist.” If those evil islamic terrorists happen to be two year old girls it’s because they are recruiting them before they are born.”

    I literally had a date where the sweet young lady across from me expressed a sentiment exactly in line with the above idiocy. She claimed to be a Christian but was all in favor of a mass genocide of Islamic people. When I pointed out that there were no Iraqis involved in the Sept. 11th attacks she said “Well, we have to start somewhere.” She thought we should simply kill them all.

  59. 61 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:46

    @ Dan

    “What high ideals do fighters espouse when they hide behind women and children and hide in Mosques?”

    I dunno, but you have liberals defending you by saying any such retaliation should be forbidden, thus encourage more hiding amongst civilians and more war.

  60. 62 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 15:46

    Was Pearl Harbor simply an unfortunate side effect of war? How about the Blitz?Concentration camps? Using nuclear bombs in Japan? To say that civilian causaltiies is unfortunate but necessary, that’s the same as the phrase a necessary evil which can be used to justify anything. Toture, violations of human rights, unlawful detentions, rendition all of those things can be considered necessary during wartime.

    If there were to be an attack on US soil today- the target being a military base, but one that had a civilan population on it (i.e. the families of soldiers) and a civilian population around it, under some of the arguements I’m seeing, that attack and lose of life would be acceptable. Unfortunate,but simply a part of war. Would any of you really feel like that? What does that say about the way we view human life- thatone life is worth more than another? That the dealth of a civilian in the Middle East is worth less than one in the US? Worth less outrage, less anger, less disgust then people in the US would feel if their “fellow Americans” were to die?

  61. 63 Roy, Washington DC
    September 17, 2008 at 15:47

    @ Brett

    When you drop bombs, your intent is to harm the enemy. Few would consider civilians to be among “the enemy”. If the bad guys are using civilians as human shields, that opens up a whole new set of ethical questions on whether or not they are justified in doing so, not to mention that it is a violation of the Geneva Convention. You don’t target civilians intentionally, but as others have pointed out, war casualties happen.

  62. 64 Bob in Queensland
    September 17, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Dan

    What you say may be true in a conventional war between armies. Unfortunately, that not the kind of conflict the USA is presently involved in. You are fighting a relatively small number of terrorists who don’t play by the rules.

    I come back to my previous point–you may have a moral justification that works for you but the practicalities are that you will not defeat terrorists by conventional means…and certainly not by killing civilians. You won’t get all the terrorists and you WILL increase their support base if you accept the killing of innocents.

    Yeah, it’s not fair. But it’s the truth.

  63. 65 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:50

    Again, Brett, it’s called INTENT.

    You don’t seem to understand the difference.

    “If a bomb is dropped on an area where there are known civilians, it is the intent of the person dropping the bomb and calling the shots to kill both civilians and enemies. ”

    Your right, I’m having a hard time with it, especially if intent is ignored in the above case…
    You can’t drop a bomb on known civilian areas with the intent to kill and claim you only intended to kill enemies….
    You can’t have it both ways either, Steve.

  64. 66 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:53

    It’s one thing if you mistake a civilian for an enemy due to poor intelligence or ignorance, its another if you knowingly indescriminantly engage a general civilian and enemy population.

  65. 67 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 15:55

    @Dan

    You make excellent points. It’s easy to sit in judgment of something when one has not been in a certain situation. I have multiple friends who has been over there as well as 2 family members. One of my friends has told me in detail about seeing his best friend being blown up. Another refuses to talk about his time over there completely.

    It is impossible to not kill civilians when the targets deliberately go into areas where they are. They do that because they want to play on feelings. If we were to not drop bombs in certain areas because there were civilians there it would only let them know that they can pull that stunt. It’s a power play on the part of terrorists.

    I think it all goes back to why we are there. Some people believe we are there for oil, some people for our security. I believe it’s to protect ourselves from further terrorist attacks and to help secure the area. No people should be bullied. However, I am also feeling that maybe it’d just be better to leave and let them deal with their own problems. We could always just take extra measures here to protect ourselves.

    Many people also like to play the “Christian” card when that’s not appropriate. We have not attacked Iraq or Afghanistan in the name of Christianity. On the contrary, the terrorists attacked because of their beliefs and their want for total world domination. I have no problems with other faiths, however, it is wrong to force one’s beliefs on to other people.

  66. 68 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:56

    If the bad guys are using civilians as human shields, that opens up a whole new set of ethical questions on whether or not they are justified in doing so, not to mention that it is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    I completely agree with what your saying. So do ‘two wrongs make a right’?

  67. 69 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 15:56

    Okay Brett, you win. We are no longer allowed to fight because the enemies choose to be in civilian areas. So let’s just surrender since we’re no longer allowed to engage them.

  68. 70 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 15:57

    It’s O.K. if the ones killing civilians are the U.S. If it’s anyone else it’s an murderous act of terror.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  69. 71 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 15:57

    @Lauren

    War is a necessary evil at times. I also believe torture shoudl be used but it should never be publicized. There are many atrocities that occur during war.

    There has never been a war where civilians did not die. It is unfortunate but I agree with Dan that we have to get over it. Precisely why it is called a war and not a training exercise.

  70. 72 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 15:57

    You don’t target civilians intentionally,

    So is indescriminantly targeting a known civilian population with embedded enemies via the use of bombs or missiles any better?

  71. September 17, 2008 at 15:59

    Hi…. My name is Lubna and I do live in Baghdad, Iraq… On the 17th of September 2007 seventeen innocent Iraqi civilians were murdered by the guards of ”Black Water”, the private American security firm in Al Nisoor square in Baghdad… Among those 17 martyrs are my beloved friend and colleague at Baghdad Medical School Ahmed Haithem and his mother Dr Mahasin or Mohassin (it depends on how you write the Arabic name in English)… Ahmed was one year younger than I am, his dad is a doctor, his mom Dr Mohassin was also a doctor, and he himself was a promising medical student… Both the US government and ”Black Water” had claimed that the guards had come under attack when they started to shoot randomly in all directions at innocent Baghdadi civilians… But the results of an investigation carried out by the Iraqi government and relied on the testimonies of Iraqi eye-witnesses who survived the attack, including an Iraqi traffic police-man who was there at the crime scene when the incident took place and saw everything, concluded that the guards were NEVER under attack when they started to shoot randomly in all directions at innocent Iraqi civilians… BTW, that traffic police-man had been interviewed by Andy North and Hugh Sikes from the BBC a short while after the incident took place, and the interview was actually broadcast on the BBC World Service programme Newshour… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  72. September 17, 2008 at 16:00

    A savage exist when criminal exploitations are justified. The primal needs exceeds the psyche’s ability to process information non-violently

    Any idiot can destroy but they can not build and create. When a civilization exist dominated by a military there will not be peace. Anything outside them are their enemy, even a civilian population. The civilian is to serve the military to secure even to the loss of their own freedom, to obtain the essentials of food, clothing, shelter and to pander to their military’s personal choices.

    Armies train their soldiers to do nothing but to kill, to dominate by any means. That is their prime purpose and foundation and that is the very creation of a military mind. Their occupation into any other employment, skill or trade, that destructive foundation follows them.

    It is a mental disease, to will to make a human being less than another. To pride ones self in their ability to manipulate a living entity to serve outside their self, the will of another, to terminate their mental ability to chose and to determine their use, is sadism and slavery.

    The military wills not to be removed and contained, the world’s military have determined to destroy the Earth if ever something or one ever tries.

  73. 75 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:00

    @ steve

    The lack of INTENT??? As I stated in a previous blog, when the military (any military) knowingly drops a bomb on a target, knowing that there are civilians in that area, how can you say they didn’t intend to kill?

    A bomb/missile is designed to destory an area- not a specific person. You may want to kill a certian person or group but your chosing to do it in a way that kills others as well. You can’t say that even though you authorized an attack on a civilian population, you had no intent to kill civilians and therefore shouldn’t be held accountable, is like saying that a gang banger who kills a child during a drive-by shooting shouldn’t be held accountable for her death because they were aiming for a rival gang membert and never intended to kill her. That’s absurd and wouldn’t hold up in court or with the people in the communtiy.

  74. 76 Chipie
    September 17, 2008 at 16:01

    its never justifiable when a civilian is killed, as much as it is difficult to have a clean operation i strongly feel choices are made before actually going ahead, if ever there is a danger that civilians may die in a bombing raid i suggest they be halted.
    it is indeed surprising that some countries feel their citizens ought not to be killed no matter what but they are the same people being inconsiderate when carrying out operations, they should treat other citizens as they would their own, trust me if a US citizen or tourist is killed anywhere in the world, no matter what the circumstances are, everybody knows about it but in Afganstan they are the same people hiding the actual numbers of civilian victims, shame on them!

  75. 77 Vijay
    September 17, 2008 at 16:01

    Is it ever justified to kill civilians?
    Yes,in a total war situation it is justified to kill civilians,such as WW I,WWII or the Cold War.
    The present scenario in Iraq,Afghanistan and Pakistan is different and requires greater care so that innocent by standers or friendly forces are not mistakenly targeted.

  76. September 17, 2008 at 16:02

    What a mess!
    Here we all are discussing the ethics of killing each other!
    We should be ashamed of ourselves.

    Everyone is someones baby, want to see it without a leg, arm, life?

    A sick planet inhabited by sick people and ‘governed’ by monsters.

    But I guess we must like it this way.

  77. September 17, 2008 at 16:03

    A savage exist when criminal exploitations are justified. The primal needs exceeds the psyche’s ability to process information non-violently

    Any idiot can destroy but they can not build and create. When a civilization exist dominated by a military there will not be peace. Anything outside them are their enemy, even a civilian population. The civilian is to serve the military to secure even to the loss of their own freedom, to obtain the essentials of food, clothing, shelter and to pander to their military’s personal choices.

    Armies train their soldiers to do nothing but to kill, to dominate by any means. That is their prime purpose and foundation and that is the very creation of a military mind. Their occupation into any other employment, skill or trade, that destructive foundation follows them.

    It is a mental disease, to will to make a human being less than another. To pride ones self in their ability to manipulate a living entity to serve outside their self, the will of another, to terminate their mental ability to choose and to determine their use, is sadism and slavery.

    The military wills not to be removed and contained, the world’s military have determined to destroy the Earth if ever something or one ever tries.

  78. September 17, 2008 at 16:03

    @ Brett,

    Wonderful response (to Steve’s question above!). LOL!

    @ Dan,

    Let me pose my questions/ comments to you very directly so as to avoid innuendos and oblique references. My point has less to do with high ideals of any one group and more with the notion that by disavowing and undermining the politics of the terrorist, the American War on terror is somehow (more) morally justified. This type of ideological relativism does not suffiiciently interest me, if for any other reason that that it is a question of which side has the ‘better’ tactics, though the motives may, in reality, be the same.

    In the case of the War on Terror, it is my felt opinion that, there is not much in the way of a real difference between the motivations behind the action of the terrorists and the American Government, insofar as the use of religion as a convenient way of explaining who is wrong and who is not. Clearly, the matter cannot be so simple. And, it does not require my fighting in a war on a battlefield to know this! People fight because of deeply held feelings of suspicions, hurt, resentments and fear, among others.

    In this case, the fight for oil seems ready to rid the world of the brown men and women of the (Middle) East regardless of whether they are, themselve, terrorists. What a price to pay in the interests of ownership of energy and energy resources! This in the global age of enlightened minds and green issues where we know fossil fuels are seriously undermining our ability to live healthfully on this planet!

  79. 81 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:03

    Thank GOD liberals don’t get into positions of power and cannot make policy determinations like suggested like this, otherwise we might as well disband the military and surrender to whomever has a grievance with us. You basically will make warfare impossible to engage in, because the enemy can attack from civilian areas and liberals will not allow any sort of response tue to it being a civilian area. Great way to make it so you cannot defeat your enenemy if you aren’t allowed to engage them. Fortunatley liberals don’t have any say other than complaining.

  80. September 17, 2008 at 16:04

    A related questions should be, “Is it right to children as young as 6 the doctrines of a warrior?” “Should Public schools teach techniques and philosophies of suicide bombing?” “Should primary schools be allowed to teach that people who don’t follow a certain doctrine are not equal as humans?” “Should use of guns and hand to hand combat be taught to high school children?”

    The answer here on this western only, English speaking, technology based format I can assure you would be much different then other more middle Eastern favorable formats. Then US knew going in that these tactics would be applied. Then they try to hold them up as examples of their evilness. It looks childish. Like the kid who pinches his brother, then complains to his parents when his brother wallops him back.

    I don’t necessarily disagree that the extremist are inherently bad to the human collective and need to be deminshed. But separating them from people who are innocent of the extremist values is next to impossible. It is certainly a task that a strictly western lead aggressive force can not do.

  81. 83 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:06

    @ Lauren

    You’re applying transferred intent to the military, if you do that, you must do it with cops, so if a cop accidentally shoots a civilian, said cop must be charged with murder even though the shooting of the criminal was justified. If you’re going to argue you can’t do that because if the cop shooting a criminal is permissible, then transferred intent would mean that the accidental shooting cannot be murder because the cop didn’t have criminal intent. Same for war. Militaries are allowed to kill their enemies, if they accidentally kill civilians, they suddently can’t transfer criminal intent to themselves.

    Stop trying to have it both ways.

  82. 84 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 16:06

    @Lauren

    I understand your point but if the bomb does not kill the desired target. Those individuals may/ will continue to kill more civilians than the bomb would have been able to kill. You usually want to least amount of civilian causaulties but it happens in war. Gang violence is not war and does not compare by any means to this situation.

  83. 85 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:08

    @ steve

    I ask you again, as a US citizen, was Pearl Harbor justified/acceptable but unfortunate? It was durning wartime, it was an attack on a military base and civilans were killed, so that means there was nothing wrong about the action, it was just unfortunate, right?

  84. 86 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:08

    @ Steve,

    “I tried to explain the difference between intentional and unintentional, and people didn’t seem to care.”

    It’s the way you phrase things.

    @ Bret

    Your’s absolutely right!

  85. 87 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 16:08

    @Steve

    Liberals can make decisions like any other person. The fact is that war is fought through the military and the only people that should make decisions are military leaders, civilians can/ do not understand the dynamics of war, especially when they are thousands of miles away.

  86. 88 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:10

    @ Jessica

    Yes, accurately phrasing things make it difficult to understand. you simply don’t agree with me. But I am being realistic with this discussion, wishing war would go away is like wishing disease would go away. You don’t help anything by wishing for the impossible. If we could discuss some practical suggestions, lives might be saved. How do we get the Jihadis to fight like men and not like cowards?

  87. September 17, 2008 at 16:12

    I will agree with you, however, in saying that where the war can be avoided, then, by all means it should. But, as I recall there was ‘proof’ about WMDs and these did not appear! Plus, there was the deposition of a sovereign leader of another nation – howver, evil, that was undertaken by the ‘world police’, in its efforts to play ‘Big Brother’.

    While, those are certainly noble causes, for those thus inclined, there is no doubting the fact that the rush to war, contingent on all of the likely consequences inherrent in such an act, clearly underlines the value of my point above – some lives are (obviously!) more valued than others. In this case, those in Iraq and Afghanistan must bear the burdens – and a heavy one, no less, for the actions of the few who choose to hide among them.

    This is not a matter of Muslims and their, obviously, devalued religion seeking to unseat American superpower (alone!) ideology. No! There is more to it! This is also a question of human rights, morality and justice! Those trump, any day, questions of religious/ politics, in my view.

  88. 90 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:13

    @ Lauren

    I don’t understand the point of your question. Attacking Pearl Harbor was an act of war and we declared war on japan the next day.

  89. 91 Vijay
    September 17, 2008 at 16:16

    @ steve
    Where did you get your WWII casualty figures from?
    I have have heard an estimate of 106 million total casualities.

  90. 92 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:16

    The difference between a war and a gang war is termology. The are the same thing, violence againist an enemy with the intent to defeat them, but the Bloods haven’t declared war nor have they gotten the approval of the Senate- oh wait, neither did Bush.

    As for saying the target will continue to kill civilians isn’t always true. The US hasn’t limited their attacks to people who are killing their own countrymen, they’re attacking all our enemies. And if the bomb didn’t kill the target, that means that innocent people were killed, not the enemy.

  91. 93 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:16

    @ Steve

    “Thank GOD liberals don’t get into positions of power and cannot make policy determinations like suggested like this, otherwise we might as well disband the military and surrender to whomever has a grievance with us.”

    First, god has nothing. We’re in this mess, b/c a our dumb commander-in-chief took us to war on shady evidence into Iraq. it was clear what our original “mission” into Afghanistan was and why we needed to be there.

    Second, it’s ridiculous for you to say liberals would disband military and surrender. Believing in diplomacy and respecting human rights is more honorable than being a gun-happy-president who does not value the lives of his own soldiers–unless of course Bush needs them for a photo-op with a plane as the back drop.

  92. 94 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:19

    @ steve

    My question was whether or not you think it was ok.

  93. 95 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 16:19

    @ Lubna

    Damn, I hate Black Water!!! I hate them and their “free pass” to do whatever they want to do. Having them in Iraq is just wrong!!! Do you ever hate the U.S.??? Do you hate us civilians who pay taxes so that this horrible kind of stuff can go on??? I was just curious.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  94. 96 John in Salem
    September 17, 2008 at 16:21

    It was only the willingness of each side to kill civilians that kept the US and the Soviets from pushing the button for 40 years.
    War has nothing to do with civilized behavior, and any nation at war that is unwilling to do what is morally unacceptable under normal circumstances will lose every time.

  95. September 17, 2008 at 16:24

    @ Jennifer,

    Please note that, I am not making a case of Islam’s legitimacy or otherwise as either a peace loving religion or just a religion. What I am saying to Dan above, is that there is never any justification for killing civiialn/ ‘innocents’. However, all that went out the window when the war was transacted and all efforts were made to justify it using all kinds of ‘evidence’ that, to date, have not been able to prove themselves.

    Worst yet, there is the claim that the Muslim jihadists (?) are somehow more inhumane. Yet I find it curious that such a charge is made, generally or otherwise, in a context where the leadership of the ‘Free World’ champions religion and prayers so often as to make us wonder whether we are at a convention or Sunday School. Sure, there is a place for religion in politics, however, what is doubtful is the status of convenience that it seems to occupy in the current war in this regard. Note, I am Catholic. So, I embrace the value of Christianity. However, one has to also accept that people play politics, using religion as a cover. How is that different from those who claim to be riding the world of infidels? How much of what passes as ‘justification’ of the war effort is steeped in this kind of rhetoric?

    And, why is it that there seems such little patience with critiquing this position for what it is – an effort to try and explain away the horrors of this situation. Whether it is for global security, oil or whatever else, there is no doubt that the misreporting, deliberate that is, of the figures as well as labels like ‘insurgets, etc. are all part of the narrative of acceptance in this politics of the Orient and Occident.

  96. 98 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:29

    @ steve

    if a cop started shooting into a crowd trying to hit a criminal, that would not be excused. They would be held accountable because it was a reckless action. Bombing a city to get the terrorists is reckless and shouldn’t be dismissed. I’m not saying that the military should be charged with murder, but don’t dismiss their actions as acceptable.

  97. 99 Roy, Washington DC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:32

    @ Brett

    Indiscriminately targeting a civilian population is a horrific act, and no true military leader these days would stand for that. Yes, I know it has been done in the past in places like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the difference lies in intent; when a bomb is dropped, is the intent to deliver harm to the enemy (and are reasonable precautions taken to prevent the targeting of civilians), or is the intent to just hope the bomb hits something?

  98. 100 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:33

    @ Steve

    “accurately phrasing things make it difficult to understand…. You simply don’t agree with me.”

    I’m not sure if your search for vocabulary fails you today, but I understand perfectly well. You assume wrong, but are to busy standing on your mountain preaching to listen to what others are saying. You can clearly read everyone statements, but listening is the tricky part. Civilian casualties are inevitable in any war, this does not excuse our military’s “shoot first, ask questions later.” Cops are not allowed to shoot civilian on our street unless that person has a weapon and is a visible threat (as in pointing the gun at someone). I value all human life, not just selective ones as you.

  99. 101 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:35

    @ Steve

    “If we could discuss some practical suggestions, lives might be saved. How do we get the Jihadis to fight like men and not like cowards?”

    You do not get to hijack the discussion in the direction you want it to go. The question was: Is it ever justified to kill civilians? Since civilians lives are at stake we have a right to object to it. Soldiers know they duty they signed up for and that their life is at risk (God bless all military for serving their countries), but mass civilians deaths should not be an acceptable causality of death. It is politicians job to come up with solutions, if I had all the information and technology, I am certain alternatives could be found to avoid high civilian casualties.

    Yes, Jihads, are cowards for their inhuman fighting methods. However, for us to stoop to their level does not make us better and does not justify preventable civilian deaths.

  100. 102 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:39

    @ Jessica

    “Cops are not allowed to shoot civilian on our street unless that person has a weapon and is a visible threat (as in pointing the gun at someone). I value all human life, not just selective ones as you.”

    Not according to our abortion discussion yesterday.

    As for your baseless accusations about the US Military:

    The US constantly cancels attacks due to civilian risk

  101. 103 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:40

    @ Steve

    This “shoot first ask questions later” that appears to the US military tactics is also what puts them at greater risk for danger. I don’t blame them nor wish them harm, I blame the people in charge who operating under shady intelligence that is manipulated by partisan politics. Bush should place a higher value on our soldiers and not send them on a mission that cannot be won with the intelligence provided.

  102. September 17, 2008 at 16:40

    @ John in Salem,

    That point is so interesting and is perhaps at the heart of why we are talking about this issue today – the obvious contradictions between the ‘civilised’ postures of West societies and those of the uncivilised desert men in the East.

    Yet, ironically, the very justification of this war in particular is highly doubtful, which brings us back to the convenience of words like civility, progress, etc. Different sides of similar coins perhaps; that is, in terms of how the West stacks up (military might and all) against the obvious violence of the jihadists?

  103. 105 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:42

    @ Jessica

    Notice you switched from any civilian casualties to “mass” civilian casualties? It’s funny how only when I bring up another subject, t here is a problem with it. Interesting, might it have to do with you not agreeing with me?

  104. 106 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 16:43

    @ Jessica

    If the US military constantly cancels attacks/missions due to civilian risk, how is that “shoot first, ask questions later”?

  105. 107 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 16:46

    @ rawpoliticsjamaicastyle

    The U.S. did not “start” this war. We did not push in to Iraq and say we are taking over, you’ll do this and this and this because we say so. Our innocent people were killed first. That is not validation, but if we simply said well, look what they did but not take any action it would have put us at further risk. They don’t just have a religion, they have a religion that tells them it’s ok to force it on other people. In my opinion, the jihadists are more inhumane for that very reason. They are only concerned with their beliefs as evidenced by the fact that they hide behind their own innocent women and children. Obviously, they don’t value human life whether it’s their own or anyone else’s. That makes them very dangerous people.

  106. 108 steve/oregon
    September 17, 2008 at 16:50

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Civilian deaths are 100% acceptable. During a war with insurgents, the people that you call citizens half the time ARE insurgents. they just didn’t dig up there weapons they had buried in the backyard. If there is war there will always be civilian casualties. This is part of winning the hearts and minds. After World War 2 some Germans dropped there arms because they had been so demoralized after the steady attacks from the allies they knew they could not win. We are currently trying to persuade people to change there ways. During WW2 we broke there spirit to get them to accept defeat.

    Oh BTW if you don’t kill a insurgent for storming into your house making your house a target. That makes you a insurgent.
    Brett and half the people on this blog who have never fought in a war should stop crying about civilians, until they are mortared for weeks on end from a civilian populated area.

  107. 109 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Steve

    “Not according to our abortion discussion yesterday.”

    You pontificate about women and our choices, but the responsibilities of being mothers is only ours to bear. A FETUS is NOT a human life if it CANNOT live out the woman’s womb. Hijack another discussion, it does not help you prove your point it only shows you’re sacrilegious toward any human life unless it’s white-American or Jewish. It only shows your anti-egalitarian attitude to anything. I have lost respect for you.

  108. 110 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:56

    Civilian casualities and mass civilian casualties are the same thing- mass just means more. When someone drops a bomb on an area, there will be mass casualities. When someone sends troops into an area with a specfic target (person/location) there will be less casualities.

  109. 111 Vijay
    September 17, 2008 at 16:58

    @Lubna
    You have mentioned this incident before,how innocent were you friends really?The lady doctor and her son who was a medical student ,were they ever members of the Baath party.How and when did they get admission to medical college,in Saddam Husseins regime I bet they had to compromise their ethics or payback the party or government in someway.

  110. 112 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 16:59

    um Jessica?

    Does the phrase “pre-emptive strike” mean anything to you? 9/11 was a terrorist attack, not an official declaration of war. The pre-emptive strike that Bush authorized was the beginning of the official war on terror.

  111. September 17, 2008 at 17:03

    Jennifer,

    You are not one of the few remaining blissful that still believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Go to your favorite news source and find out the CIA, Pentagon, UN, and some guy named “Joe” with a PI badge from a crackerjack box have all discovered that there were no ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam. Hence no ties to 9/11. There were also no personal suitcase bombs.

    Here is a CNN reference. http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/13/alqaeda.saddam/

  112. 114 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:05

    @ Jessica

    You don’t think it’s a human life, so you are guilty of doing what you accused me of doing, picking and choosing what human life to hold sacred. Please stop making your allegations about me.

  113. 115 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 17:13

    Steve, the Taliban have been removed from power. I agree that in that initial phase of the war, civilian casualties may have been unavoidable. Karzai himself said that he visited family members of people who died in bombings by US forces and he said that they did understand that the war was necessary and that the US forces should not be blamed for that mistake.

    However, the current conflict is no longer about defending the US from an imminent threat at all. It is now much more about bringing security to Afghanistan itself. And then we should limit what type of risks we can take when bombing targets at precisely where the Afghans would like that limit to be. Because now it are the Afghans who feel the immediate consequences of both the Taliban insurgents and the civilian casualties.

  114. 116 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:15

    @ Count

    The Taliban is still a powerful player in Afghanistan and they are killing people there. They want to regain power, hence a threat to the stability of Afghanistan, especially by those the US sought to remove from power due to their complicity in 9/11, by providing a base for al quida.

    Who do you think killed more civilians, Americans in Afghanistan, or the Soviets in Afghanistan? I have a feeling if it were the Soviets today, the people complaining about civilian casualities would be oddly silent.

  115. 117 Shirley
    September 17, 2008 at 17:21

    Is it ever justified to kill civilians?

    No. The global community did not come together to formulate international law so that rogue world leaders and miscreant states could breach it and violate the rights of other nations and peoples on this earth as if the whole process were some sort of empty exercise. There are clauses sprinkled throughout the various texts of international law that specifically prohibit killing civilians. Those who turn a blind eye to the prohibition of killing civilians are just as criminal as a gangster who shoots rival gang members to death on the streets. Both acts are murder.

  116. 118 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 17:22

    steve/oregon ,

    Actually, in the war against insurgents, the insurgents are defending themselves against the West. As long as they attack soldiers using roadside bonbs, they are well within their right. The West has no right to call them terorists and attack houses belonging to insurgents, thereby killing civilians.

    Only if the insugents are involved in terrorism and you need to kill the insurgent to eliminate an imminent threat to a large number of civilians can such an action be justified.

    But if we illegally invade Iraq, cause a large fraction of the population to lose their jobs because they were indirectly affiliated with a person who was thumbing his nose at the US, then these people have all the right in the world to make roadside bombs and blow up US soldiers.

    If your livelihood is threatened you have the right to use force to defend yourself. That right is not an exclusive US right.

  117. 119 Michel Norman
    September 17, 2008 at 17:23

    Some of the PC comments here are laudable, in a theoretical sense, but sadly divorced from reality. Take the second Lebanon war and Hammas for example. Hammas and Hizbollah have made frequent use of red crescent ambulances to ferry weapons and suicide bombers. Is Israel beign criminal in checking amobualnces stringently because of the duty it and every country has to its own citizens to defend them?

    Hizbollah and Hammas hide behind civilians, fire rockets from schools, hospitals and from blocks of flats aiming at civilian populations – should we just let them get on with it out of fear of harming civilians. They fire highly mobile rockets which are almost possible to detect – the only effective weapon to use against them is cluster bombs – what moral decision can be made when an enemy is aiming at civilians and the only way to protect your own civilians is to unfortunately hurt theirs?

    The moral questions here run deep – how do you behaved fighting against people who worship death, want to die and hope that you will injure maim or kill as many of their own people as possible – It is a situation worse than the allies faced fighting Japan.

    Nobody has come up with an effective solution to deal with radical islam and its promise of 72 virgins for anyone willing to wrap themselves up in a mixture of nails explosives and rat poison and explode in a market or a bus, or fly a plane into a skyscraper – perhaps the PCs have a solution?

  118. 120 Benn
    September 17, 2008 at 17:23

    When does a civilian stop being a civilian?
    If a civility is up in arms are they civilians or rebels, and is it right to crush a rebellion even if it is made up of civilians?

    When you answer those questions you can answer yours.

  119. 121 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:24

    @ Shirley

    You cannot really compare military to street criminals. Soldiers are, for better or worse, allowed to kill people in general. A gangster isn’t allowed to kill anyone at all.

    There’ a huge difference between deliberately targetting civilians and accidentally killing. In WW2, the civilians were targets by both sides, and that was wrong, though some sides (ie the Germans) were far worse and sought to exterminate certain civilians.

  120. 122 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 17:29

    Steve, given that it are now mostly Afghan civilians who are being killed by the Taliban, the Afghans are in the best position to determine the acceptable risks when bombing targets. They are the ones who are saying that too many people are dying in NATO bombings.

    I think that we don’t have enough soldiers in Afghanistan. If we start fights with too few soldiers, we are forced to use air power much sooner and then accidents will happen much more frequently.

  121. 123 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:29

    @ Lauren

    “When someone drops a bomb on an area, there will be mass casualities. When someone sends troops into an area with a specfic target (person/location) there will be less casualities”

    Watch Blackhawk Down and you’ll see how wrong your view is. It’s a true story, don’t forget.

  122. 124 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 17:34

    @ Lauren

    Umm, “pre-emptive strike” has only one meaning in context of military use.

    “9/11 was a terrorist attack, not an official declaration of war.”
    Clearly, but thank you for pointing out the obvious.

    The question was: Is it ever justified to kill civilians?
    Civilian causalities–mass or small–should not be an the norm or an acceptable causality of war or pre-emptive strike. It seems like you are using this as a justification. If this were 2001/2 and we were in Afghanistan as a retaliation towards creditable intelligence on of Bin Laden, I might be more amenable towards this justification. It’s 2008 and we are fighting in another country, we should try to limit the unnecessary civilian causalities.

    If war was being waged on my county’s soil, I’d want the opposing government and it’s people to insist that civilian casualties be avoided at all cost.

  123. 125 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 17:38

    “When the fox kills the chicken, do you punish the pigs for just standing by and watching?” -Cuban General in the movie “Red Dawn”

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  124. September 17, 2008 at 17:41

    “steve September 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    @ Lauren

    “Attacking Pearl Harbor was an act of war and we declared war on japan the next day.”

    Attacking Pearl Harbor was a set up job, as any historian will tell you.

    ::-))

  125. 127 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 17:41

    we should be asking palin about this, since she is clearly a specilist on the bush doctrine…….

  126. 128 Maina Kimani
    September 17, 2008 at 17:41

    Hi.The hypocrisy with which the US and other western powers approach the issue of senseless civilian deaths in their military escapades is sadistic and dangerous.I believe they could avoid this butchering if they cared, but they dont. Third world civilian life isn’t as precious as western lives. Israel, the jewish nation, reacts with collective anger when an Israeli is killed by palestinians but they have no qualms killing hundreds of Arab civilans in response. Anyone wondering why radicalisation is ever on the rise should look no further. State terror only begets more terror.

  127. 129 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:43

    @ Malc Dow

    At risk of taking this off topic, i could use a laugh. Please let us know the conspiracy theory about Pearl Harbor. Did FDR know that Japan planned to attack US forces? He probably did, but he couldn’t possibly have known where and when. I look forward to your response.

  128. 130 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 17:45

    count iblis,

    so how would you suggest this insergence is fought. as far as i am aware war is a brutal and cruel business. our problem is that we try to santize it and make it as clean as possible. this equates to fighting with one hand behind the back. war will never be PC and should never be fought on that level. the only thing we do this way is setting us up for failiure.

  129. 131 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 17:46

    @Jens

    That was funny.

  130. 132 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 17:46

    @ malc dow,

    of course and pigs can fly, after they put their lipstick on….

    get a grip

  131. 133 Brett
    September 17, 2008 at 17:47

    @ Steve / Oregon
    Brett and half the people on this blog who have never fought in a war should stop crying about civilians, until they are mortared for weeks on end from a civilian populated area.

    Well then maybe we shouldn’t be having this discussion at all, seeing as how based on your qualifications for engagement in the discussion, nearly nobody on this blog will be qualified.
    I’m sorry that you feel the need to dismiss other peoples point of view because their background doesn’t meet your standards.

    • 134 MARK
      May 18, 2009 at 00:44

      U Da MAn
      u know i know your point of veiw and i agree with u 100%

      “I’m sorry that you feel the need to dismiss other peoples point of view because their background doesn’t meet your standards.”

      Steve…take this into consideration……

  132. 135 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 17:48

    @ Dwight From Cleveland

    LOL– thanks for the laugh. Tom Ford made a similar reference on another discussion, expect he was less PC and used the word naif.

    PS–Dwight, I now forgive OH for Bush… 100,000 people have been waiting for this, let ’em know that have you to thank. ;P (and the other blogger from OH from Columbus, I think, but has not been around lately)

    @ Bret

    Love the skits, keep ’em coming.

  133. 136 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Jen

    “we should be asking Palin about this, since she is clearly a specialist on the bush doctrine…….”

    Oh yes, let’s email email the media. Now, if you’d excuse me, I have a lunch date with friends. And I need to change into my Mets t-shirt, that I bought for the sole purpose of heckling them, since the Yankees didn’t make it to the play-offs and the Mets did.

    PS-re yesterday’s discussion, can you make sure NM swings Obama’s way? I’d owe you one.

  134. 137 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 17:59

    @ Brett

    I don’t think we should have this discussion, because it’s unrealistic. There are going to be wars. This topic is about as realistic as a WHYS tomorrow about “should there be disease?”

    or “What would you say to Harry Potter if you ever met him?”

    There’s going to be wars, there’s going to be civilian casualties. It’s as simple as that, case closed. That we make an effort to minimize civilian casualties, and terrorists target civilians does all the speaking about this topic.

  135. 138 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:00

    @Brett

    I do not think the comment was meant to dismiss other people’s views but to say that many people cannot understand when they are not the ones fighting. There are morals that people have in life but war is war. The very essence of war is that most of the morals one possess, no longer matters. People think about survival. Many positive things in this world have occured because someone else suffered. I don’t beleive in torture but I am not fighting a war and one must do unforgivable things in a war.

  136. 139 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 18:01

    Jens,

    Anbar province was secured by letting the Sunnis patrol their own neighborhoods. The insurgency evaporated when the US forces allowed them to do that. If the US had done that in May 2003, there wouldn’t have been much of an insurgency there and then Al Qa’ida in Iraq could never have florished there.

    Ironically, when Al Qa’da took over parts of Anbar, the Sunnis were repressed by them. The US saw Al Qa’ida as the bigger threat and decided to reverse course on their earlier policy of de-Ba’athification.

  137. 140 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 18:01

    A Blackwater worker in Iraq can kill them, and get paid 15,000 a month to do it, and get away with it!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  138. September 17, 2008 at 18:02

    All good warriors need to do everything possible to separate themselves from combatants so that the innocent are not killed and wounded.

    When cowardly warriors use innocents as shield, because they interpret the enemy to be good guys and will do everything possible to protect and ensure civilians are not harmed……..THAT IS WHERE THE CIVILIANS HAVE THE CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM COWARDLY SOLDIERS.

    Because, the first responsibility of a good commander is to covet and protect the sons and daughters who step forward to serve their nation. In the end you must kill the enemy or else you encourage them to continue to endanger both innocents and your own soldiers.

    troop

  139. 142 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:03

    @ Maina

    “Israel, the jewish nation, reacts with collective anger when an Israeli is killed by palestinians but they have no qualms killing hundreds of Arab civilans in response. Anyone wondering why radicalisation is ever on the rise should look no further. State terror only begets more terror.”

    Please provide a link of when Israel has killed hundreds of palestinians in a single raid.

    Also, please let’s not forget, dear israel bashers, that Arabs (Jordan) killed more Palestinians in a a couple weeks in 1970 than Israel has in 40 years, but again, to the left, they don’t really care about anything unless Israel or the US does it.

    YOu say radicalization is on the rise, due to Israel (and I presume the US)’s actions, so I’ll ask you this, WHY ARE THERE NO PALESTINIAN CHRISTIAN SUICIDE BOMBERS?

  140. 143 serina
    September 17, 2008 at 18:08

    Civillians will always be caught up and killed in armed conflicts. Armies will never have weapons accurate enough to avoid innocents, combatants will always hide or locate near civillian areas that draw fire and unless you have defined opration zones civillians will always be in warzones.

  141. 144 Paul Harbin - Waco, tx.
    September 17, 2008 at 18:08

    This question in general is far to open. Innocent? why yes … of course it is not justifiable … Do I think there is such a case as … “guilty/hostile” civilians yes.

    But in the general question of, should civilians … be killed, what kind of question is that really?

    Let us apply common sense. Should a doctor kill a bum on the street for his organs to save another man whom might contribute more to society, and even though KILLING the man would be wrong, it would somehow server the greater good? I find the topic question, absurd if you wish to inspire intelligent conversation but, right on the mark if your aim was to encourage wild talk.

    Civilians die in war, it is a cost of war. If the cause of either side be right or wrong, absolutely not acceptable as defined by this topic, common sense really.

  142. 145 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 18:09

    count iblis,

    we are paying off these guys…… what do you think will happen once we leave and they don’t get their paycheck anymor. in effect we are bribing them to do the dirty work. plus do the poeple they kill not count?

  143. 146 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:12

    I think the former soldier stated it well. It is either you or them. It is unfortunate but it is the truth.

  144. 147 Tucker
    September 17, 2008 at 18:13

    I was in the US army. Unfortunately, basic training practices emphasize a disregard for human life. This includes marching chants that make light of killing children, among others, and regulaar use of dehumanizing racist language by officers to refer to a perceived enemy group. This is why the ideology of “fighting them over there as opposed to over here” is so prevalent. Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani lives are seen as less valuable than American lives.

  145. 148 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 18:14

    When people are killing your people, and hiding in civilian areas, their are 3 options. Give up and let your foes win. Invade with an army and attempt to fight the enemy house to house, or strike from range and accept civilian casualties.

    America won’t retreat from these fights, so option 1 is out.

    Pakistan, other countries, are opposing the US usage of troops. So that option is often gone.

    That leaves airstrikes and civilian casualties. Civilians could give information on terrorists and guerillas so that imprecise airstrikes weren’t necesary. By letting them act unopposed and hide within their midst, they are supporting those terrorists and enemies, and expose themselves to danger. That’s simply how war works.

  146. 149 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:15

    Again people, druing WW2, 100,000 civilians would be killed in a single bombing raid in one night, and people today are acting like 15 civilian casualties is the end of the world. It’s regretable and sad, but you’re simply anti any war, and anti fighting, especially against terrorists. The civilian death rates are so much smaller today than in prior wars. You really need to look at past casualties and get a grip.

  147. 150 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Tucker

    Do you have proof of the marching chants re: killing children?

    It was basic training, not summer camps. Did you expect to do arts and crafts rather than learn how to be a killer? That’s what soldiers do.

  148. 151 Karen and Mitch Olineck
    September 17, 2008 at 18:18

    Hi,
    We all know it is inevitable to avoid civilian casualties in wars, however the over zealousness of the u.s and other NATO forces to find their target should be called into question. The U.S with its advance technologies should be able to mitigate the number of casualties. There cannot and should not ever be justification for civilian casualties.

  149. 152 Shirley
    September 17, 2008 at 18:18

    57 steve September 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm
    I highly doubt weapons in the US are stored in civlian areas.

    Nuclear plants are located near civilians. Nuclear plants have been threatened by terrorists. Security at nuclear plants is scary. See pro-resources.net

  150. 153 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 18:19

    Steve is not consistent here. Steve has to explain why he condemned the Russian military action in South-Ossetia to protect the South-Ossetians. Georgia tried to reassert control over South-Ossetia, killing many people as a result (exact number is disputed).

    Russia came to the aid of the South-Ossetians. If they have ended up killing some civilians in Georgia, then how can Steve say that’s unaceptable given the postion he has taken here?

  151. 154 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:19

    Tucker stated it well. Being an Army Brat, I was always under the impression that an American life is always more valuable than someone else’s life. This mentality is unfortunate but it is the way people in the military and some Americans think.

  152. 155 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:19

    Thanks for the post Justin, that’s the best post of this discussion. However, I think the far left is anti war period, but don’t accept that’s inevitable. Where there is man, there can be no peace.

    Funny how the left will ignore things, such as the soviet union, and how they fought in civilian areas ie: Stalingrad, which was all street to street combat. Also, the soviets took Berlin, in street to street combat, but since the left loves the USSR, they would never question that, despite tens of thousands of civilians being killed in those campaigns..

    However if the US or Israel does something that pales in comparison, it’s holy hell being raised.

  153. 156 roebert
    September 17, 2008 at 18:20

    When the question of ‘justification’ arises, it might be that some nations are more justified than others, depending on whether the war in question is a ‘just war.’ In a just war it is more acceptable if civilians are unintentionally killed, or intentionally killed for the achievement of a just victory.

    So the question that really needs to be examined is whether or not the party killing civilians is engaged in a just war. At that point the propaganda begins, and the whole thing becomes confused, because the aggressor will always claim to be fighting in a just cause, whereas the only party actually fighting in a just cause is the party under attack by the aggressor, unless the aggressor is fighting against some prior aggression by the party under attack, and unless the prior aggression was not due to an earlier aggression committed by the current aggressor etc etc.

    So, yes, eventually the killing of civilians can be justified…one way or another.

  154. 157 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:20

    The Marines are completely brainwashed. They are trained killing machines.

  155. 158 Vladi
    September 17, 2008 at 18:22

    Let’s not be naïve to think that the US military are not looking at
    civilian deaths in Afghanistan & and Iraq as justified collateral damage
    for 9/11. Look at the US’s track record. They did the same in with the
    firebombing of Tokyo, Japan as justified collateral damage
    for Japan’s attack of Peal Harbor.

  156. 159 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 18:22

    I don’t know about you guys, but if I knew some terrorists were disguised in my town as civilians, and knew that a huge army was coming, either I’m helping the terrorists, or I’m taking them out myself. If you let them sit there, you gotta assume you are gonna get caught up in the middle, and might die.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  157. 160 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:23

    @ Angela

    I know many marines, and you’re wrong. Also, all branches of the military are trained to be killing machines, even sailors. Their drill instructors are Marines. Your army parent was trained to be a killing machine as well.

  158. 161 Paul Harbin - Waco, tx.
    September 17, 2008 at 18:23

    Hitler — killed —- civilians. Patton caused the death of civilians.

  159. 162 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:24

    @ Count

    My objection to S Ossetia had nothing to do with civilians, it was that Russia invaded Georgia.

  160. 163 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 18:25

    Little old ladies and women kill american soldiers every day now, why are you so prejudiced to think they can’t defend themselves from terrorists and insurgents if they CHOSE too. They don’t choose too.

  161. 164 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:25

    @Steve

    I did not say that as an insult. I have been around a lot of military personnel. The marines are traineddifferently. I have dated several. They even admit it.

  162. 165 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 18:25

    All the politically correct comments aside the object of war is to kill the enemy, inflict suffering upon the civilian population, destroy infrastructure, encourage disease etc…etc…etc.
    That is why war is something to be avoided.
    Too many WHYS listeners want to sanitize war….WRONG!!!
    The messier war is the less wars we will have unless you have a maniac that espouses a perverted religious philosophy that the masses of sheep go along with.
    Bin-Laden in his high ideal of Islam murdered 3,000 innocents and brought war to the Islamic world. Bin-Laden must have another copy of the Koran wherein killing of innocents is no longer an abomination and the Muslims of the world must have the same copy or they’d rise up and retake their religion.
    The filth of war was brought to the pristine shores of America. Now that filth is being force fed back to the Arabs and they have the nerve to complain?
    The way out for the Arabs is to retake their so called religion before it is destroyed. Right now most people think Islam is illigitimate and it is a short step to destruction from there.

  163. 166 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 18:26

    Jens, that’s a potential problem, but I don’t think these people are “killers who are bent on killing”. I think that the US military understood that the Sunni insurgency had deep roots in the society, while Al Qa’ida had not.

    This was driven by popular resentment, so the best thing you can do is to take that resentment away. In this case this simply meant letting the Sunnis take charge of their own neighborhoods.

  164. 167 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 18:27

    To the representative : This is why in the US there is the right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. If you aren’t armed, GET armed.

  165. 168 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Marines and “brainwashing”

    They are brainwashed to be killing machines, but they are also trained to kill people right, with strict rules!!! The other brainwashing is that they think they are better than everyone else.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  166. 169 Glenn Barker
    September 17, 2008 at 18:27

    You can hardly complain about the Taleban hiding amongst civilians and villages. They have nowhere else to go and they would certainly be anhillitated if they tried to take on the US military in the open.
    Taleban tactics are in fact no different to those employed by General Washington against the British in 1776. That particular insurgency used the same kind of guerilla warfare in their struggle for independence precisely because they would never have been able to defeat the superior British forces in battle formation. As they say, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

  167. 170 andrew in Oakland, CA
    September 17, 2008 at 18:28

    Its absurd to suggest that regular people can kill the taliban. Kill 1–and your family will be killed, and other members fo your family will lose their jobs and be unable to find work. The taliban is like a mafia with control over neighborhoods and cities.
    Think this is unique to the so-called ‘terrorist’ nations? Go to poor neighborhoods in most cities in america–drug gangs have people in fear, and the people cant just go out and kill them. Its ike the old time Mob in the US. They ‘own’ the neighborhood and you dont cross them
    If a Taliban member wants into your home-youre gonna let them in or be killed yourself–along with your children. Not an easy choice.

  168. 171 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Dwight

    If there were no ties to 9/11 why are they blowing up innocent people in the name of their religion? Maybe there is no direct link that can be proven but some things are obvious.

    I know this is going to sound horrible but in the battle between my own freedom and that of my family’ I do value ours more. If terrorists where concerned about THEIR people, then they could simply take their fanatics elsewhere instead of into the middle of innocent women and children. It’s a power play and it’s shows how spineless they are.

    ——————-

  169. 172 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 18:29

    Do the taliban and others hesitate to kill civilians to bag a juicy american target? Not ONE second. Its all acceptable losses. Why should the US hold itself to a higher standard when the local population don’t seem to oppose these tactics?

  170. 173 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Glenn

    Thanks for the laugh! Guerrilla warfare is equivalent now to attacking your enemy from civilian areas?

    Guerilla warefare in the US revolution was hit and run tactics vs. the battle line formations.

    You cannot compare the revolutionary war to attacking from civilian areas and expect to be taken seriously.

    Again, this is why the terrorists do it. They want civilians to get killed so there will be international outcry, so they can win a PR victory.

  171. September 17, 2008 at 18:31

    is it ever justified???? Hmmmm…

    Well why don’t the civillians turn them in?

    Why aren’t the people calling and working with
    The government??

    The real abuse is the terrorist who use
    Women and children as bombs and armor.

    What everyone needs to understand is
    Quit begging for handouts from America, quit
    Using our technology. What countries are helping
    Us after a huricane?????
    We are just a country and people need to relate
    To us like any other. We should do no more TVA
    Any other country.

  172. 175 Dave
    September 17, 2008 at 18:32

    As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between the bombing of the World Trade Center in NYC and the bombing of Dresden in WWII.

    Anyone who imagines it’s OK to drop a bomb on a 15-month-old baby so that people somewhere else might hypothetically be saved at some future date is mentally deranged.

  173. 176 Bob in USA
    September 17, 2008 at 18:32

    “War is hell – and you cannot refine it.”

    – W. T. Sherman, U.S. General during the American Civil War.

  174. 177 RAL
    September 17, 2008 at 18:33

    What can the US do after 9/11?

    Invading Iraq was unjustified, but did the US have a legitimate right to invade afghanistan and take out Al Quaeda camps there?

    In the process of invading, is it possible to avoid civilian deaths completely?

  175. 178 Paul Harbin - Waco, tx.
    September 17, 2008 at 18:33

    Justin,

    Only the just cuase will ever hold a higher standard. Are civilians deaths going to happen, yes. Are they acceptable, no.

  176. 179 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:34

    Why don’t we have a show about terrorists using women and children as suicide bombers, or do we have to focus constantly on how terrible we westerners are?

  177. 180 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:35

    @Anthony

    Yes, they definitely think they are better than others but they are the people I would want fighting.

  178. September 17, 2008 at 18:35

    The one soldier sounds a bit disconnected from reality. Much like people in the hood don’t want to witness to the crime they saw because they fear that the other gang members will come kill their family; so it is that citizens of Afghanistan who afraid of the Taliban finding out who reported them. If they can’t figure it out, they might just scorch the whole village. At this point most of them are not sure which side to support.

    It seems that an insurgent doesn’t even have to kill the villagers himself. He just needs to get the ear of a US commander, give them bad information, and the US will bomb the civilians for them.

  179. 182 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 18:36

    The US adapts its military response to the situation it finds itself in. If your foe fights you straight up and doesn’t hide in civilian areas, there will be NO civilian deaths. Civilian deaths in afghanistan and other countries are the CHOICE of those guerrillas and enemy forces. They chose the field of battle to be in the cities of that region. Now the local population is reaping the rewards of allowing them that choice.

  180. 183 Maccus Germanis
    September 17, 2008 at 18:36

    I wouldn’t want to try to justify civillian deaths, but rather suggest some practical truths that may improve civillian survival. Civillians would best understand that force protection is paramount to any army. Bullets shall follow combatants, and while civillains can not be expected to fight said combatants, they are advised to make their pacific intentions clear and make every attempt to separate themselves from, what should be known by all to be, targets.

  181. 184 Nathan
    September 17, 2008 at 18:38

    It is never justified to target and kill non-combatants. This is different from civilians, if civilians choose to be combatants then they are in the fight. It is very hard to tell a combatant civilian from a non-combatant. However, when fired upon you return fire and defend yourself, you may or may not know if they are soldiers.

    Soldiers depend on the Rules of Engagement that are set down by commanders and intelligence officers depending on the situation that the soldiers are going into. The soldiers try very hard to meets the ROE because they understand the ramifications if they do not.

    You need to get a commander on the ground to talk with your audience to really get the feel of what is going on.d

    NRK, Lieutenant Colonel USA (Retired)

    For every one hundred men you send us,
    Ten should not even be here.
    Eighty are nothing but targets.
    Nine of them are real fighters;
    We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
    Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
    And he will bring the others back.
    – Heraclitus

  182. 185 Diana
    September 17, 2008 at 18:38

    It is very hard to answer and I think the conclusion is that those who are not palestinians or from there should keep their noses out of there. The soldiers are killers, trained, but as bad as any terrorist murder, but worse because they are more powerfull with their special clothes and powerfull guns. Just don’t be killing people in a land that is not your. Go back to your countries. if they can’t fix their own problem let it be. I am sure they don’t need some foreigners who don’t understand anything of their culture killing them also!!!! I am not from the east I am from latin america, but it is very unjust that the north american and europeans go to solve problems that are not theirs, and what they are really after is for oil.

  183. 186 Diana
    September 17, 2008 at 18:40

    You shouldn’t be discussing if it is justifiable, you should be discussing if soldiers should be there. Men just love to fight.

  184. 187 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Lubna

    There are suicide bombing attacks almost on a daily basis in Iraq, will there be anniversary markers for these attacks? 23 people were killed in a bombing by a woman in iraq yesterday. I realize the Blackwater personally affected you and someone you knew, but that was one event, and many, many more people and much more often, are killed by suicide bombers, yet those are ignored.

  185. September 17, 2008 at 18:41

    Taliban hiding amongst civilians? Iraqi insurgents hiding amongst civilians? This is nothing new. They are fighting a guerilla war.

    The problem here is the soldiers values soldiers’ lifes more than those of civilians. How could you expect support from the civilians when you’re telling them that their lives are not as important as your own?

  186. 189 Daniel in Stillwater,OK
    September 17, 2008 at 18:41

    Thank you Richard. You are a brave and honest man. It’s nice to know that there are still people like that out there.

  187. 190 Paul Harbin - Waco, tx.
    September 17, 2008 at 18:41

    You know, saying killed instead of death is really getting under my skin. I’m going to have to change the channel.

    Again, Hitler and the SS — KILLED — civilians. The Allies caused the death of civilians. We are not intentionally killing anyone but the enemy…civilians are not being targeted intentionally, there is a difference.

    When we start lining people up at train stations, take them to camps, and kill them.

    Kill makes me think of murder.

    Why don’t you say, is it acceptable to murder civilians?

  188. 191 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 18:43

    Civilians aren’t to blames for military operations; to get civilians involved in political issues is not acceptable. The preach peace, freedom of speech & democracy and yet impose their wars on civilians a bomb drop on civilians is the same as a freedom fighter (terrorist according to the so call freedom societies) detonating bombs in a crowded market. As an ex-military it is why I will not serve , I am willing to save Osama Bin Ladin’s sons & give my life for them however I do not trust this New World Order.

  189. 192 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Chloe

    Yes, the BBC may report a terrorist attack, but you don’t do a WHYS show on them, like you do if the US makes a mistake. There have been multiple terrorist attacks in Iraq, afghanistan, and India in the past couple days, yet you are doing a show on US unintentially killing civlians and not doing a show on deliberate attacks on civilians.

  190. 193 Naveen Kudupudi
    September 17, 2008 at 18:44

    Civilian death is totally unjustified, under all circumstances. Even US has a special SWAT units to handle bad guys in civilian areas or to be clear (places with out frontline).

    Army is like a broadsword, used in traditional wars where there is a frontline and a clear enemy. A combact unit like SWAT is a scalpel which operates with more precision.

    So US forces should operate on lines of their own SWAT units to minimise the civilian casualities.

  191. 194 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:45

    @Steve

    You would probably do the same thing if someone you were close to was killed like that.

    @Lubna

    I think it is horrible that it occured and I would not want to ever be in your situation. I know this must be hard for you, especially during the anniversity. I understand that it is unfair to civilians. Our mentality is harsh here in the states but the main goal is to kill the insurgents to decrease the total number of deaths, of civilians and soldiers.

  192. 195 Frank in Italy
    September 17, 2008 at 18:45

    Whether civilian casualties are always justified ? The first victim of war is justice !!

  193. 196 Essexgirl
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    On a purely practical level, every civilian we kill turns people against us. Hearts and Minds etc. It’s like torture – if we do it to them it justifies (in their minds) them doing it to us.

    We are supposed to be fighting this war on the grounds of our moral superiority to the enemy. If we lose the moral high ground we really have no justification to be there beyond self interest. If we all justify killing civilians, in what way are we superior?

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that in an unequal paternalistic society like Afghanistan, the women and children almost certainly didn’t have a choice as to whether or not to be there in the target zone. These are NOT politicised female suicide bombers, these are just villagers. They are sitting ducks and we obligingly kill them, giving the Taliban more good publicity.(Look at the barbarous West, killing our little children……) Yes, they are acting cynically, but do we have to play into their hands quite so obligingly?

  194. 197 John in Salem
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    I have to say I’m disappointed in the way this topic was presented. WHYS has managed to mash at least 5 separate issues into one question that requires 10 answers.

    The nature and ethics of war in general.
    The aims and legitimacy of the current conflict in Afganistan.
    The legitimacy of the invasion and current occupation of Iraq.
    The morality of using a Bronze Age tradition in the 21st century.
    Is it realistic to try to legislate conduct in a lethal combat setting?

    Give it a little more thought next time before throwing it out to us, okay?

  195. 198 steve/oregon
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    I am not dismissing there opinions, i am dismissing there qualifications becuase they have not been in the actual situation. It just seems to me that people that cry for civilians are civilians. Soldiers though some not as accepting of civilians causalities as I am still say they are justified if they allow themselves to be placed in the situation.

  196. September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    ooopss … Seee….

    Much of the casualties are caused by the taliban and al qeda.
    The terrorist use womenand children and handicapped people
    To kill all people.
    Terrorist spread fear and want people to
    Disregard morals. And ethics…

    Zarcowie Wowwieeeeee. Hehe hehe

  197. 200 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    I dear any western military soldiers of today to give their life for a child regarless of the origine , colors & believe systems.

    May God bless this New World Order,

    Most soldiers who own shares are dividends lovers & profit from this New World they are bios not neutral…

  198. September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    The war on Afghanistan was initiated because of US support for Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians.. Meaning that the US was tragically attacked at the World Trade Center in 1993 and on 9/11 because of US support for Israel as conveyed by James Bamford in his ‘A Pretext for War’ book (look up ‘Israel as a terrorist’s motivation’ in the index) as James Bamford is considered to be the most respected intelligence author/writer in America. Then the US retaliated against Afghanistan as a result of such and attacked Iraq in accordance with the ‘A Clean Break’/war for Israel agenda that Bamford discussed on pages 261-269/321 of ‘A Pretext for War’ (the paperback version of ‘A Pretext for War’ includes an additional section on the ongoing AIPAC espionage case which the pro-Israel biased media is not covering either for the most part). See the latest youtubes (linked via clicking on the pics) added to the following URL which convey that 9/11 took place tragically because of US support for Israel:

    http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM

    http://NOMOREWARFORISRAEL.BLOGSPOT.COM

  199. 202 Justin from Oregon
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    While execution style killing should never be used when we have the ability to arrest/detain suspects. Please remember that 911 was directly targeted at civilians instead of US military targets. War uses civilians to force military and political aims

  200. 203 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:46

    @ Angela

    I had three cousins blown up in a restaurant in Haifa because some nutjob thought he was going to get 72 virgins by murdering arabs and jews in a restaurant.

  201. 204 Naveen Kudupudi
    September 17, 2008 at 18:47

    Well the army of US or western forces cannot be blamed, but the people who authorize the operations should also consider the point that the operations are to be conducted in civilian areas and mode of combact should be decided.

  202. September 17, 2008 at 18:47

    Jennifer,

    Because the US invaded Iraq, al-qaeda was able to enter and recruit in a region that had previously denied them. The CIA called Iraq the “new breeding ground for terrorism.” See here.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7460-2005Jan13.html

    Pre US invasion, the chances that an Iraqi citizen would end up committing a terrorist attack on the US was less then the chances of an American citizen doing it. You will also find that the suicide attacks in Iraq are actually mostly carried out by foreign fighters and most notably the Saudis (who we just gave a $20 billion weapons deal to.)

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-07-01-attacks-blame_x.htm

    As far as your “Freedom” goes, we have seen a reduction in those guaranteed freedoms as a result of our current administration. Most notably is that freedom in the US comes trough economic stability. Today we see that many US citizens are captive to the chains of poverty. Your family is quite safe I assure you that the biggest threat to their lives is the cheeseburger they can’t seem to stop eating. The bigger threat to their freedom is the high mortgage, car, and credit card payments that will force them to beg for work in the highest unemployment levels in 25 years.

  203. 206 Anon
    September 17, 2008 at 18:47

    well done for bringing that G.I muppet on your show. I’d say take his gun away make him a civilian and put him and his wife and kid’s in a war zone. Would he feel happy having him coming through his village?

  204. 207 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Jessica
    Re: your post Sept 17 @ 5:34 pm

    My comment on 9/11 and the pre-emptive strike should have been addressed to Jennifer regarding her comment about the US not starting the war, so I’m sorry for addressing it to you.

    I am against justifying civilian causalities- I’m one of the people stating that in war when you bomb a city, you can’t say that the civilian casualties were unintentional and somehow justifiable.

  205. 208 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Dave
    I cannot imagine what college you went to that equated Dresden and the WTC.
    The fact that you cannot discern the difference between WWII and what happened 9/11 calls into question your morl compass.
    How can you hate the country that has done so much for you and the world is inconceivable.
    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  206. 209 Eisa in Kabul
    September 17, 2008 at 18:48

    I can’t blaim American soliders since the enemies hide themselves inside the houses in the villeges. Americans need to show defence in return. It’s the people who should not let the enemies to use their houses as their hideouts, of course with the help of Afghan army and coilliation forces.

  207. 210 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 18:50

    two wrong does not make it right, today’s modern military soldiers served for the risk pay & bonus & they can not cash those bonus if they are dead therefore to survive at all cost regardless of the consequences. Simply put modern militray soliers joint for all the wrong reasons…

    May god bless this New World Order

  208. 211 Count Iblis
    September 17, 2008 at 18:51

    I think there are far more “bad people” in the US who pose a theat to US civilians than in Afghanistan. So, why not declare a “war on crime” and start shooting criminals who hide in buildings in New York?

  209. 212 Kandasamy in UK
    September 17, 2008 at 18:52

    I would like the soldiers to think about civilians amongst terrorists as their own rather than people who help insurgents. The civilians are in a no-win situation,will be killed either by insurgents or army. Some governments never say that there has been a mistake but just include civilians as terrorists.

  210. 213 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:53

    @Steve

    You are a strong supporter of Isreal and some of their policies that are unfair to the Palestinians because of your ties. Just like someone else with ties to the Palestinians see the Isrealis, as the problem. My apologies goes out to both you and Lubna. I have not went through anything close to that but if I did I would want the people responsible dead. You two are a lot more understanding than I would ever be.

  211. 214 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 18:54

    Your Latest guest, who said the Taleban was “small” was quite clueless. The Taleban was the government of Afghanistan. They allowed 9/11.

    The Taleban CONTROLLED Afghanistan!

  212. 215 Dave
    September 17, 2008 at 18:54

    Look at it this way. Think of your neighborhood. Think of the elementary school down the street, the cleaners on the corner, the many houses of your neighbors. Now, imagine a member of Al Quaeda was hiding out in one of those houses nearby, and the cops lost their marbles and decided they were going to fly over your neighborhood and drop scads of 400-pound incendiary bombs from thousands of feet up to rain down on your neighborhood, just to try and get the one guy.

    Now, he’s a bad guy, but that’s crazy, right? How many kids would be at risk? How many regular people just going about their daily lives – working, making lunch, playing basketball, studying for an exam, pasting photos into scrapbooks, mowing the lawn, whatever? You don’t put civilians at risk, *period*.

    Think of all the trouble the cops usually go to to get just three civilians out of the way when they’re going to go in and nab some guy who committed a crime. Now, why is it all of a sudden OK to blow a city block’s-worth of those civilians to kingdom come because we want a terrorist?

  213. 216 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 18:55

    Instead of using violence to draw out insurgents hiding in civilian populations, shouldn’t we be doing more to convince (without threats or violence) the civilians to do everything in their power to weed out the insurgents? If we want to help establish stability in the Middle East, shouldn’t we be supporting the locals by means other than violence?

  214. 217 Dinka Alpayo, Kampala
    September 17, 2008 at 18:55

    I think the very big problems for they civilians death worldwide now is that rebels,militians, Alqeada doesnot have a proper uniforms for them to be recognises too yet they care guns, so the dress traditionally/religiously with civilians as well. And at these moments it is made complicated for the armies to identify who is terrorists and who is not hence the rises of civilians death.

  215. September 17, 2008 at 18:56

    I have full sympathy for all Americans and
    Wish the US the best.

    The world loves America and all the people
    And all the products.

    Taliban used the country of Afgahnistan and
    Permitted terrorist training….

    The us population is so happy to have the full
    Support of the civilized world….

    Thank you…..

  216. 219 Zunorain dodhy
    September 17, 2008 at 18:56

    hi, it is very regrettable what the american soldiers are doing. I am sure the american people would never support this. the american forces have simply no respect for other nations. It is evident. P.S I do not support how the taleban behave

  217. 220 I M Salim in India
    September 17, 2008 at 18:57

    Civilian deaths cannot be justified.

  218. September 17, 2008 at 18:57

    Despite overwhelming firepower, hardly any army have won a war fought against guerillas. The guerillas rarely win any battle, but they either out last their opponents or fight them to decades long draws. If Iraq and Afghanistan wish to win in the long term, they should try to learn what was done in the few successful ones. I urge them to study my own country Malaysia.

    The Americans are trying to win in Iraq and Afghanistan the same way the won the Indian wars over a century ago. That is the wrong example because they won by nearly exterminating the Indian nations. Today, they would have to kill most of the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not practical to do that today.

  219. 222 Zunorain dodhy
    September 17, 2008 at 18:59

    the worst thing is that they are denying this

  220. 223 jonny paris
    September 17, 2008 at 18:59

    Fat BBC reporters go in wearing burkas. If he got killed what then? Friendly fire. war is absurd. of course civilians will die. it is a strategy, on both sides.

  221. 224 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 18:59

    People are criticizing the G.I. but that is the way soldiers think. Many have compassion but between a colleague and a civilian, one would always choose their colleague. War is horrible, people see and do things that will haunt them for life. My uncle is still haunted by Vietnam, but it is war. I don’t understand how someone would think about their morals when they are basically looking death in the face. That is one reason many people leave areas when fighting starts.

    If I lived in an area that was prone to gang violence, I would move as soon as possible because I would be in danger of being a causaulty of some stupid dispute.

  222. 225 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 19:00

    @ Angela

    Yeah, that’s true. I think those Marines are like the terrorists in a way, because they are brainwashed into thinking they are right and just no matter what, which makes them able to do what they do. I’m not saying this in a bad way either; I’m just stating how I feel.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    p.s. Side Story. I was at a New Years party back in 98, and some Marines showed up while we were playing paintball in the forest. I geared up, and was the first to go up against a “jar-head”. I game him a mask and he was like “Bro, I’m a Marine, I do this professionally!”. After about 5 minutes of trying to get him to gear up we went out there. I out flanked him in like 2 minutes, shot him, and ended up getting paint in his eye. He left and was pissed and tried to say I was cheating of something.

  223. 226 Norman in Monterey
    September 17, 2008 at 19:00

    Isn’t NATO falling into the same trasp the French fell into in Algeria, depicted in the BAttle Of Algiers? Eventually, the population shifted support because of all of the civilian casualties .

  224. September 17, 2008 at 19:02

    Collateral damage they call it, when a terrorist is successfully eliminated while residing in the midst of terrorists. It seems fair according to the war on terror…

  225. 228 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 19:03

    @Dave

    The difference is that people would be supporting the police to find the person here in the US. Plus you would not need to use bombs here to get someone, the dynamics are completely different.

  226. 229 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 19:04

    My country after the fall of the USSR have cut the military from 50,000 to 25,000 and in the process dismental commando units because bombs are cheaper..

    Their is a rule in combat a ratio of at least 10/1 is needed , one militants for any 10 soldiers furthermore don’t forget as soldiers killed innocents civiliances militants are able to recruits increasing their rank.

    Imagine a dog chasing its tail that is what an over commited army , underfounded / demoralised / over tax military looks like…freedum

    Go & spend your dividend lovers money while we will rage war in the name of peace –CHAOS is money for Capitalist as long as their way of life aren’t compromised….

    May God Bless this New World Order….

  227. 230 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:05

    @ anthony,

    looks like you missed your calling………….

    i guess paintballing is just a wee bit different than full metal jackets…..

  228. 231 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 19:06

    @Anthony

    I know plenty of guys that would do the same thing.

  229. 232 Monas
    September 17, 2008 at 19:08

    Well Being a Muslim I highly appreciate killing of muslims by foreign forces. I don’t blame Americans or british for this. They are just doing their job. and they are doing well, and yet need improvement. Killing of civilians need to increase dramatically.

    You would like to know why…. Right?

    I know it is very hard to wakeup muslims. You are doing this job for muslims. you need perfection to wake them up.

    Believe me once Muslims are wake up, Imagin what ?

    You will not find place to hide .

    I thank you alot for doing this job.

    Regards

    Monas

  230. 233 haider meghjee
    September 17, 2008 at 19:08

    a question for all the supporters of indiscriminate use of lethal force by the american soldiers in afganistan and iraq.
    would the american soldiers use the same lethal force if the terrorists were hiding amongst white american civilians??? in american cities???
    haider

  231. 234 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 19:10

    @ Dave: What if you knew that killing that terrorist leader would save the lives of 1,00,000 people, because that terrorist was in the planning stage of taking over and detonating a nuclear reactor in the west?

    Those are the sorts of questions our government and military are faced with. I’m not happy with the situation and how the US has gone about these wars, but you have to face the facts. NOTHING is black and white, that’s the point to take from today’s discussion.

  232. 235 Justin from Iowa
    September 17, 2008 at 19:13

    Haider, 2 points: Americans are not using indiscriminate lethal force, get your stuff right before tossing around accusations.

    Second, if the risk of leaving those terrorists alive outweight the risk of not attacking them, I hope our government would be cold-blooded enough to send in the troops.

  233. 236 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 19:13

    @ Jens

    Lol. I almost went there (into the Marines). Right before I was gonna actually sign the stuff, I found out I was gonna be a father, so I was like forget that!!! The recruiter called me for 2 weeks cussing and calling me names that would get bleeped out on T.V., saying I had a responsablity. He was like “I BOUGHT YOU DINNER AND PIZZA AND SODA!!!”. I was like, “So?”.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  234. 237 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 19:14

    @ Haider

    American forces don’t use indiscriminate use of force, the terrorists do. American military raids are CONSTANTLY called off due to risks posed to non combatants.

  235. 238 Killer Bush
    September 17, 2008 at 19:18

    I say its all a political game. Bully other countries and make others see that you are the strongest, the heros of the world.

    All thease recent killing cannot be justified, but still US justifies it.

    In fact with such ruthless killings by Us Army in different countries, the world has come to know that the US Army backed by some American politicians is the Greatest Terrorist.

    Isn’t killing innocent people in Pakistan, without the permission of Pakistan an act of terrorism.

  236. 239 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:19

    @ Monas,

    you are declearing war on me??????

    that’s a bit of strong fighting talk here, don’t you think, considering it was THE MUSLIMS who declared war on us……..i for one do not fear you people because 90% of what you spout is just talk. unlike you i have the bollix to stand up and fight for the freedom to say what one wants, and that includes trash talk like you just produced.

  237. 240 Mathew
    September 17, 2008 at 19:20

    People have to come out and tell the terrorists to get out of their provinces. As long as the people are willing to be human shields, there are going to be casualties.

  238. 241 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 19:20

    Dividend Lovers are the true Tyrants of this New World Order ?

  239. 242 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 19:23

    @ Killer Bush
    There can be no response to the nonsense you proffer as your name says it all.
    “Killer Bush” and you want us to think you do not have an irrational liberal agenda?
    There are no rational, logical arguments and factual evidence that you will ever accept. You have ruined your own argument.

  240. 243 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 19:26

    @ Dwight,

    I respect your views however I will ALWAYS disagree with you. It’s easy to find ANY material to support anything you choose if you look hard enough.

    If you had a family member or loved one who was fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan would you expect them to put their life in jeopardy just do they did not harm a civilian? You do realize that you would be placing them between a rock and a hard place, right? My friend watched his best friend be blown up because he hesitated to shoot. As a result, he and the woman who was at fault, and many children where killed. If you don’t want your innocent people killed DON’T KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE YOURSELF in the name of a stupid religion!

    Regarding threats, I urge you to check out exactly the people whom you want to defend as “innocent”. As for our economy, yes, it’s bad right now. Other countries have been feeling the effects too. We see poverty everywhere not just in the U.S. I assure you that while I don’t live high on the hog by any means, I make enough to meet my needs as does my family. I have only one credit card and I am doing just fine as is my family.

    Maybe I should have said security instead of freedom earlier. If our security is threatened, things could be far worse. Think of the way that women are regarded in the Muslim faith…..it’s ok to beat your wife as long as you don’t hit her face or any sensitive area! Excuse me, all of my body is sensitive! I don’t want to live in a world where women are treated as second class citizens and children are brainwashed with religious beliefs that validate hatred of other people because of their differences. I have NO problem with people who have different beliefs than I do. I have a SERIOUS problem with people forcing their religious beliefs on other people. It is WRONG!

  241. 244 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Killer Bush,

    so with the sanction of pakistan it’s ok to kill their civilians then? i think you need to learn how to formulate your argument before you just waffle and sound like a fool.

  242. 245 Angela in Washington
    September 17, 2008 at 19:28

    I think we need to say that it was not muslims but extremists.

  243. 246 James Goodridge
    September 17, 2008 at 19:28

    It’s a shame that the Gung-ho American seemed ignorant of the fact that America
    trained the Taleban fighters when the US policy was to arm anyone who was anti-soviet (I think it still has the same policy!). He failed to note that another place Al Quaeda found refuge and was trained was Florida! Any plans to bomb indiscriminately?

    thirdly, despite all of it’s human rights violations the Taleban was represented in the US by lobbyist Leila Helms, daughter of former CIA director. She defended them in the halls of power of Washington but I guess no one wants to talk about that now…

  244. 247 Monas
    September 17, 2008 at 19:29

    @ Jens

    Thanks for waking me up, and you are correct that most muslim talk only and do nothing.

    Again imagin what, if all muslims start doing what they talk then ……………….

    Regards
    Monas

  245. 248 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 19:34

    @ Lauren

    That makes complete sense. I was confused and no worries.

  246. 249 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:34

    Monas,

    imagine what would happen if all other religions stand-up and hunt down the muslims…..think before you just barbble like an idiot

  247. 250 haider meghjee
    September 17, 2008 at 19:40

    justin and steve
    shock and awe was very discriminating
    steve check this web site http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il
    haider

  248. 251 Steave Wa
    September 17, 2008 at 19:43

    @ Killer bush

    Well it seems to be true in same way. But whats the point on taking others name for yourself.

    Have the guts to use your own.

    Anyway civilian killing cannot be justified. These are people desperate for food and proper life . The can’t stay inside their home all day so that the troops can get their hands on Taliban.

    When spy plane drop bombs like in X box video games without any warning its not justified.

  249. 252 Tucker
    September 17, 2008 at 19:50

    steve,
    my proof is personal experience. not only are these cadences routine, but if a recruit makes an objection, he is punished.

    my recruiter told me that the US military’s goal is primarily humanitarian. all recent justifications for war in the middle east are humanitarian in nature. we are supposed to be “liberating the people” in these countries. if our mission is primarily humanitarian, then there needs to be some acknowledgement of that to the soldiers on the ground. if our goal isn’t to kill every living thing in the area, then we need to stop training our soldiers to kill every living thing in the area. that is the training technique currently being used.

  250. 253 blacklion
    September 17, 2008 at 20:03

    @ Michel Norman

    How about Israel implementing UN Security Council 242 – a real Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital – rather than the hodge-podge of Bantustans currently on offer?

    That should do the trick.

  251. 254 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 20:06

    @ Blacklion

    israel did. Israel returned Sinai to Egypt. UN 242 doesn’t call for what you think it calls for. try reading it

    http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/240/94/IMG/NR024094.pdf?OpenElement

  252. September 17, 2008 at 20:09

    When the IRA fought the British 20 years ago, the RAF did not bomb Belfast. The IRA was exploding bombs in the middle of London, but we did not see harrier jets bombing towns in Northern Ireland. When you find yourself dropping bombs from planes onto little towns, and trying to excuse the civilian casualties, you know you’re losing.

    How often do we hear that soldiers are risking their lives for us? They are heroes. Well, ask any foreign soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan if they are willing to risk their lives for an Iraqi or Afghan civilian. Most would think you are joking or you are mad to even ask the question. If you’re not willing to take the casualties, perhaps you shouldn’t be there.

    With the nearly limitless resources available from the Americans, in the form of training, equipment, technology, and money; why are the national armies of Iraq and Afghanistan still unable to take on the governments’ opponents? How many years do soldiers normally serve in the army? How many years have past? How many generations of soldiers could have been trained in this time?

  253. 256 Shirley
    September 17, 2008 at 20:13

    96 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle.wordpress.com September 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm
    the Muslim jihadists (?)

    RPJS, I like your phrase better than mine. To me, "Islamic jihadists" signifies that what thy do is validated by Islam. Since it is not, they are simply Muslims who have adopted a jihadist worldview: "Muslim jihadists" in your words. Thank you.

    142 Paul Harbin – Waco, tx. September 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm
    This question in general is far to open. Innocent? why yes … of course it is not justifiable … Do I think there is such a case as … “guilty/hostile” civilians yes.

    With what technology fo the thought police determine who are hostile?

  254. 257 Tucker
    September 17, 2008 at 20:15

    Every commentator says something to the effect of: “look, we do everything we CAN do to prevent civilian casualties, but …”

    this is simply not true. we are not doing the easiest and most important thing — training our soldiers to view people from other cultures as human beings and not animals.

  255. 258 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 20:24

    @ Tucker

    As the first guest said, it’s “us or them”. When your life is on the line, you’re going to put yourself first, every time. I suggest that our soldiers consider civilians to be 100x more human than the terrorists think of civilians when they deliberately go out to kill them.

  256. 259 selena in Canada
    September 17, 2008 at 20:39

    @Steve

    Have you read Lubna’s posts about the loss of her relatives? You would do well to havea conversation with her.

    And for the love of the Great Spaghetti Monster stop talking about 72 virgins. It does not belong on a list where people are trying to have a civil discussion.

  257. 260 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 20:41

    @ Selena

    This is what the suicide bombers actually think. There have been nasty comments made in this HYS, various accusations, I’m only stating a factual statement about what they believe. They believe that by killing people, they become martyrs and get 72 virgins in paradise. I don’t see how that’s not conducive to a “civil discussion” where somehow comments saying the USA deliberately kills civilians is?

  258. 261 CJ McAuley
    September 17, 2008 at 20:46

    I happen to agree with Chayim’s comment about the IRA and the Brits. We, collectively, are in a very different place than the one that existed in WWII or even Korea. In effect, it was the very success of the Allies in WWII as well as the predominance of USA power that has lead to where we now find ourselves. Anyone who does not appreciate the “West’s” hegemony is left with little other than some kind of guerrilla war. It seems to me that it is up to the powers that be to use all their creative might to come up with a new paradigm for prosecuting warfare in the 21st century. Because despite all assurances from “us in the West” that we do all we can to avoid “collateral damage”(the very term is insulting); every innocent person or child killed in any war gives rise to multiples of people(not folks) who are now an enemy of the “West”.

  259. 262 Tucker
    September 17, 2008 at 20:47

    steve: 100 times zero is still zero. i make no excuses for those who think that killing is a justified way to enact change, so please don;t imply that i am.

    of course it would be poor form for the bbc to have on a blatantly racist guest who won;t think twice about killing a person simply because they don;t speak english. i can tell you from personal experience — which in my view trumps what assurances i get from “official” sources — that a majority of the poor joes on the ground are taught from their first day of basic that this is an acceptable ideology in the army. these are the people doing the actual killing. these are the people who need to be targeted.

  260. 263 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 20:52

    @ Steve
    Can you see how polluted the “religion” is wherein an insane Muslim terrorist who murders innocent women and children destroying all around him gets rewarded with 72 black eyed women who were beaten into living pious and humble lives only to be raped in Paradise.
    For me I can find nothing redeeming about this brand of religion and I believe God cannot either.

  261. 264 Marco Lavoie
    September 17, 2008 at 20:55

    Capitalist utopians war monger only believe in one form of happiness and that is in a box …happiness can only be achieve by purchasing it…don’t event question the concept of the bourgeois otherwise they will arrange for their once mighty forces to annihilate you starting by your children, sisters , brothers follow by your immediates relatives first they will starve you & push you arround until you become weak only then they will annihilate you…

    May God Bless this New World Order

  262. 265 blacklion
    September 17, 2008 at 20:58

    @ steve,

    how about these lines –

    “(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

    (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;”

    That does not cover the West Bank and Gaza which were Jordanian territory in 1967?

  263. 266 monas
    September 17, 2008 at 21:02

    @Jen

    your threat is not new. Our prophet told this 1400 years ago. that all other religions will stand up together to wipe out Islam. When Muslims were dominating the world no body could think of this prophesy. But see here we are now. (there is another prophecy that at one time Islam will rule the whole world)wait for that)

    In reality all other religions are already stood up against Islam. There shouldn’t be any illusion.

    We just have to wait and see. you do your job we do ours.

    Let me make a point and let me be clear that I hate Alqaeda. The way the work is simply not justified at all by any one, but gues what they are successful, in the sence engaging americans in all muslim world. trapping them. Time is the only thing keeps changing.

    Regards
    Monas

  264. 267 selena in Canada
    September 17, 2008 at 21:08

    Sigh! You just don’t get it, do you Steve?

  265. 268 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 21:15

    @ Tucker

    Every commentator says something to the effect of: “look, we do everything we CAN do to prevent civilian casualties, but …”

    “this is simply not true. we are not doing the easiest and most important thing — training our soldiers to view people from other cultures as human beings and not animals.”
    __________________________

    I am curious to know how they treated you. Would an insurgent think twice about pulling the trigger and taking your life?

  266. 269 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 21:41

    monas,

    a) my name is Jens, so stop calling me jen.

    b) i am an atheist and i will stand up against islam because it is a totalitarien religion, in fact all religions are, but the evil intolerant face of islam has been tolerated for to long.

    c) the muslims ruled the world? i am falling over from laughing. right you must be kindding. you ruled a small part of the world, as far as i am aware the world is a little bigger than a patch of sand, even 1400 years ago…..like any other religion it has spread with the ability to travel and subject others to the cruelty of believe in a deity.

    d)numppties like you are the reason why the rest of the world is getting more and more skeptical about the true motives of islam. while you hate al-quada, you still condone their actions. this makes you as guilty as they are…..

    e) ever thought that the actions of fundamental islam is actually damaging your religion beyond belief. anyone who does not speak up against this violence is guilty by association. i used to be a live and let live person. this has change in light of the fact that i have tolerated the intolerable for way too long. i will fight islam, as well as i can. you expect me to be tolerant of your views, but you do not respect my views. go figure, how i can respect you then? not anymore. burnning flags, killing people, the entire mob mentality, because of a couple of cartoons shows me where islam stands. in the darkest of dark ages…. i would laugh if it would not be ever so deadly seriouse.

  267. 270 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 21:48

    @ Monas
    Islam will never rule the world. get used to that. God created evil for us to fight and defeat each day.
    As we are seeing Islam is incapable of reforming itself thus it will be done from outside.
    The world now sees Islam as a pestilence with Arab practitioners not ghaving a firm grip on reality.

  268. 271 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 22:25

    monas,

    plus where is the threat? (see below) i asked a hypothetical question. learn to read and understand.

    “imagine what would happen if all other religions stand-up and hunt down the muslims”

  269. September 17, 2008 at 22:40

    Jens~

    I sure do agree with you about how many Muslim nations expect respect, but wont give any. I don’t understand why this war isn’t explained as war to free women.

    When the coalition toppled Saddam, it was surprising for me to see crowds of men and boys, but I didn’t see one woman. And Saudi Arabia… give me a break! Yemen!

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0822/p07s03-wome.html

  270. 273 Dennis@OCC
    September 17, 2008 at 22:44

    NO, It is not acceptable behaviour. It is immoral…people make excuses for why they they do it…

    Dennis

  271. 274 viola
    September 17, 2008 at 22:53

    What gripes me is when I read where some Islamic person or government gets all upset because the suicide bombers and Islamic extremists are killing people of THE faith, Islam. But there’s a glaring silence about people of other faiths being targeted by those same killers. Come, you Islamic people of peace, and extend your compassion to all.

    You’d have a hard time catching a person of true faith glorying in the “other’s” death while wailing about deaths among their own.

    I can assure you that the people on this side of the fence are not glorying in the deaths of innocents, no matter what faith they are. An example: When I see pictures of babies or children maimed or killed in war, what do you suppose I see? I see my grandchild. I see my children. I see my neighbor’s children.

  272. 275 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 22:54

    portlandmike,

    i know i am probably coming accross way too strong, but this is an issue that is very important.

    in my eyes the muslim community is simply not doing enough to elevate themselves above the thugs and criminals who perpetrate these crimes. all you hear are some weak and feable attempts to condem the actions, but mainly the come accross as trying to excuse the violence as a minor transgression. i am sick an tired of having been a liberal minded person in these topic and all i got in return is that “we want more, we want it all”. for crying out loud if you do not like the western world pee off and go back to where the hell you came from. just do not ever expect me to adapt to your religion or even give you an inch on this.

    all this talk of respect is just BS, because it is not reciprocal. plus the threats of we will take over the world are a joke as well, considering how often they have lost wars. mouth and more mouth, they do not even have the bollix to have a fair straight forward fight. how much of a coward do you have to be to use your own women and children as human shields…….where is there the honor.

    there are not many topics that get me that animated and wound up. i huess i need to go home soon and roast me a pig and have some beers….

  273. 276 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 23:04

    @ Monas
    It always causes me some concern why an educated woman would choose Islam and stand up and staunchly defend it against criticism.
    Absent criticism you get a perverted cult which is what Islam has been turned into and with its devotees frightened to death of cartoons.
    Do I really care what a 7th Century idol maker who worshiped the water God had to say about a religion he created or do I care about what God teaches?
    How religious would you be if you were one of the girls being beaten back into a burning building to meet certain death because you lacked the proper headscarf?
    Perhaps after death you revel in being raped by a homicidal maniac in Paradise?
    The Jews gave us God’s law. Christians gave us God’s love and compassion which together with the law give us Justice.
    What has Islam given us other than death and destruction and its daily idiotic proclamations to destroy Judaism and Christianity.
    Frankly I don’t care if you believe that a bottle of Coca Cola is your God but when your perversions impinge upon my life, when you kill my family, my friends my fellow citizens I am forced to fight and will destroy you.
    When you come to my country and want Sharia law I fight to have you deported to the enlightened Islamic country where you may practice Sharia law until your eyes bleed or you are beheaded because you had the temerity to fly a kite.
    I am not an Atheist but I have more respect for Jens than I do for any devout Muslim that will not stand up against the pestilence that is now Islam.
    Believe what you want but do not for a moment think that when your beliefs attack mine that you will not feel the bite of the millions of people that have been murdered in the name of 7th Century cult incapable of being relevant in modern civilization.

  274. 277 jamily5
    September 17, 2008 at 23:05

    e

    Raw, agree with your post96 at 4:24.

    @Michelle:
    Worship death???
    @Paul in TX, the analogies don’t mesh:
    you are equating doctors with soldiers and bums with savilians.

    Raw, agree with your post96 at 4:24.

    @Michelle:
    Worship death???
    @Paul in TX, the analogies don’t mesh:
    you are equating doctors with soldiers and bums with savilians.

    Raw, agree with your post96 at 4:24.

    @Michelle:
    Worship death???
    @Paul in TX, the analogies don’t mesh:
    you are equating doctors with soldiers and bums with savilians.

    Dev,

  275. 278 jamily5
    September 17, 2008 at 23:06

    @Justin,
    Civilians could give information on terrorists and guerillas so that imprecise airstrikes weren’t necesary.
    By letting them act unopposed and hide within their midst, they are supporting those terrorists and enemies, and expose themselves to danger.

    You are assuming that the savilian population is on some friendly, or at least cordial terms with the terrorists. Many savilians are not aware of the terrorist in their midst and they certainly do not know their operations.
    Exactly, Anthony, in your post157 at 6:22.
    @Justin, come on, as Steve as so passionately pointed out, terrorists are killing savilians. And, they are. That does not nigate the US role, but terrorists are threats to their own country’s savilians. Are you saying that these savilians don’t object to being killed, as long as it is by people from their own country???
    Yes, Andrew post168; 6:28.

    @Dan,
    the object of war is to kill the enemy, inflict suffering upon the civilian population,
    (I had to stop you there) That is not the objective of war.

    Well said, Dwight post203 6:47p.

  276. September 17, 2008 at 23:27

    Jens~

    You wont find many more liberal minded folks on this blog than me… but that said, it is my take that had the coalition forces kept their eye on the prize… Osama, then we would have been able to really expose the goals, aims, and life styles, of the Islamist fundamentalist cultures. But, because we changed course, and charged into Iraq with a shield of lies, most Americans have no idea how people really live in many of these theocracies in the Middle East. “The War on Terror” ought to have been “The War on Terrorists.”

    Because we changed course and went after WMD’s, the true aims and goals of The Terrorists have never been exposed.

    Did you ever wonder how many patents have come from those theocratic societies? http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/cst_utl.htm

  277. 280 Jennifer
    September 17, 2008 at 23:29

    @ Viola

    I think you made some very good points especially this:

    “You’d have a hard time catching a person of true faith glorying in the “other’s” death while wailing about deaths among their own.”

  278. 281 Dan
    September 17, 2008 at 23:44

    @Jamily5
    I hate to disappoint you but the more pain you inflict upon an enemy the faster the war is won.
    The more civilians that suffer the more resources that are diverted from fighting a war.
    As you divert resources the less that is available to fight your own people and that is a good thing.

  279. 282 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 00:50

    169 Jennifer September 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm
    If there were no ties to 9/11 why are they blowing up innocent people in the name of their religion? Maybe there is no direct link that can be proven but some things are obvious.

    For years, Mommy did not buy cookies. There were no cookies in the cookie jar. Therefore, it never made any sense that Auntie Jane accused the kids of raiding the cookie jar. Then, one day, Mommie bought cookies, put them in the cookie jar, and what do you know but that the kids raided the cookie jar?

    There were no al Qaeda in Iraq before the US invaded, occupied, and opened the door wide open for them. Several reports from several sources verify this. I know of some die-hard holdouts, though, of course, who think that GW is God’s chosen representative on this earth (or the American patch of it) and have not heard NPR in a decade who truly think that Iraq had people on those planes, WMD in thei backyards, and al Qaeda on their streets prior to our massive breech of their sovereinty and territorial integrity. Perhaps I could introduce you so that the group of your might have some moral support in the sea of evidence proving that there were no WMD, al Qaeda, or 9-11 attackers in Iraq.

  280. September 18, 2008 at 01:04

    Shirley~

    I would simplify the question to “…why are they blowing up innocent people in the name of their religion?”

    Why would anyone in the name of their god walk into a humble crowd, and you the bomber looking no different than everyone else, and your mind is swimming with prayers, and blow yourself up and all of the people around you? It is an enigma to many of us.

    Also, some of us don’t understand why the people in those crowds allow those fanatics to live within a car ride from them?

  281. 284 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 01:05

    201 steve September 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm
    I had three cousins blown up in a restaurant in Haifa because some nutjob thought he was going to get 72 virgins by murdering arabs and jews in a restaurant.

    I suppose that you would not like it very much, then, if I tried to claim that since the restaurant was a known hangout for military personnel that the attack was aimed at a legitimate military target and that the civilians were unfortunate – but not intended – targets and “oh well” with a shrug, would you?

    If all of that sounds brutal to your ears, then you might want to consider how it sounds to the rest of us when you turn a blind eye to civilian casualties or otherwise find ways of legitemising civilian deaths on other fronts.

    By the way, Selena was right. Your constant reference to the 72 virgins myth is about as mature as some sex-crazed teenager. Even if you truly feel in your heart of hearts that this is why Palestinians go nuts with guns and suicide belts throughout Israel and at illegal military installations in Palestine, your constant harping on the point really is sounding very juvenile and certainly loses you even more sympathy that might otherwise have been afforded you.

  282. 285 Tucker
    September 18, 2008 at 01:17

    Jennifer,

    i thought we were talking about non-insurgents in combat zones.

    my sole point is that the us army via its training practices minimizes the importance of human life — especially the lives of Arabs and Muslims. i know this because i was in the us army and have personal experience with it. therefore, to say that we are doing everything we can to reduce the number of civilian casualties in afghanistan is a lie.

    whether an “insurgent” would hesitate to kill me is an unrelated matter that i would frankly prefer to never find out.

  283. 286 viola
    September 18, 2008 at 01:37

    @Shirley

    The United States did not invade Iraq to get al queda. If people have followed the news, (and who didn’t?) they know that. And the reasons for that invasion have been thoroughly discussed right here on BBC, for instance. However, what are the reasons al queda invaded Iraq after the American invasion?

  284. 287 Jennifer
    September 18, 2008 at 01:44

    @ Shirley

    I will never be able to excuse the fact that these people are hiding behind women and children. I believe you were the person who I have seen in the past make many comments about how horrible Christianity is. I am a Christian and I don’t go around using my religion to validate killing other people! Even if I were promised 72 virgins, 50 vw beetles, 200 mansions, or a hunky boyfriend, I would never kill an innocent person! I am one of the kindest people you would probably ever meet. However, I am not stupid and I don’t think other people are either. It is sad to see and know that innocent people die because of fanatical beliefs, but it can not be helped. Slice it any way you like, it’s wrong to kill innocent people in the name of a religion. Mine, yours, or anyone else’s!

    If these people were really concerned about the loss of innocent life; why do they go right in the middle of crowds? Because it’s an emotional power play. They KNOW that it will create bad press because oooooh, the American’s shot innocent people! Well, it shouldn’t be forgotten who put the innocent people in the position to be hurt in the first place.

    I fail to see how your scenario is relevant. How would that work exactly, 1 cookie would equal one human life?

  285. 288 Dan
    September 18, 2008 at 01:50

    @Portlandmike
    Do not worry. They can never answer a direct question. It is always someone elses fault. My suggestion is that they are infants treat them as such. They must be taught to never give any type of straight answer as it will reveal the vacancy of the cult. They make Hare Krishna’s look good.

  286. 289 Jennifer
    September 18, 2008 at 02:02

    @ Shirley

    Why is there any problem discussing the fact that some believe they can gain entrance to paradise and acquire 72 virgins by blowing themselves to bits along with innocent people?

    What’s juvenile is making an issue out of the fact that someone points it out.

  287. 290 Jennifer
    September 18, 2008 at 02:11

    @ Tucker

    Aren’t non-insurgents often forced to be human shields? My good friend told me they are.

    It is an unrelated matter whether or not an insurgent would hesitate to kill you if given the opportunity. I hope you never have to find that out either.

  288. 291 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:35

    272 viola September 17, 2008 at 10:53 pm
    What gripes me is when I read where some Islamic person or government gets all upset because the suicide bombers and Islamic extremists are killing people of THE faith, Islam. But there’s a glaring silence about people of other faiths being targeted by those same killers.

    If a tree falls in a forest, but no reporter covers it, did it make a sound?
    Muhajabah’s website
    The Amman Message

    I stopped counting when I reached a number in the hundreds, figuring that the memberships of the groups listed to that point probably upped the number to the thousands. I could be wrong, though.

  289. 292 Jennifer
    September 18, 2008 at 02:43

    Hi 🙂 Just checking on my last comment to Tucker. I hope it went through! Thank you! 😀

  290. 293 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:44

    Religious Extremism
    281 portlandmike September 18, 2008 at 1:04 am
    I would simplify the question to “…why are they blowing up innocent people in the name of their religion?”

    Some studies that I read pointed to political grievances. I myself know that Islamic shari`ah considers terrorism to be haram. However, the number of pamphlets and videos promoting it far outnumber the books and pamphlets explaining that it is prohibited in Islamic law. I see it as a matter of funding. The presses behind the pro-jihadist media are funded much better than are traditional presses such as Ansariyan publishers in Iran or Hizmet Books or wherever Al Balagh gets their books from. I don’t know the URLs to the sites for these; I woudl have to google them.

    Also, some of us don’t understand why the people in those crowds allow those fanatics to live within a car ride from them?

    I can only stand with you and wonder. My own culture is that of tattletaling and narcking. In honesty, my own culture is at variance with that of my own grandparents and great-grandparents, all of whom grew up in the same region as did I (Midwest). To this day, my family does not understand why I jump on the phone to call the local PD when the neighbours start screaming at each other. I have heard reports indicating that in places like Afghanistan, the culture of hospitality place certain strictures on people who are hosting anyone at all. I have also heard people describe the retaliation that faces people who out the terrorists in their region as being similar to the culture of forced silence that pervades gang or mob territory. Not having experienced such a culture myself, it is definitely foeign to me to remain silent when I see a crime taking place in front of my eyes. So, like you, I do not understand why a local population remains silent when they know where the terrorists in their community live. I am sorry that I could not offer further insight.

    Thank you for your thought-provoking questions and for the respect with which you ask them.

  291. 294 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 03:39

    Jennifer,
    If I have said offensive things about Christianity, then I did not mean to. I think that you are confusing me with someone else. Let me know if you find the statement to which you referred.

    There is a difference, by the way, in discussing an issue and repeating a slogan over and over and over and over again. It gets old, tiresome, and annoying. And yes, I do think that it is juvenile.

    284 viola September 18, 2008 at 1:37 am
    The United States did not invade Iraq to get al queda. … And the reasons for that invasion have been thoroughly discussed right here on BBC, for instance.

    Viola, see the following stats, quotations, and reports. Al Qaeda was repeatedly mentioned as a reason for invading Iraq. The rest of the reasons famously listed by the Bush administration have also been debunked.

    False Pretenses (by Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, January 23, 2008)
    President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials…made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001… On at least 532 separate occasions, Bush and…key officials…stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, links to Al Qaeda, or both. President Bush made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell… [made] 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. See also Study: Bush led U.S. to war on ‘false pretenses’ (MSN, Jan. 23, 2008)

    Quote: A Chart of Bush Lies about Iraq (July 22, 2003) “Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida.” State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003

    Yes, Bush lied (by Paul Sperry, October 06, 2003) Quote: “We have removed an ally of al-Qaida,” he said May 1 [“Mission Accomplished”] from the deck of the USS Lincoln.

    See also Bush administration on Iraq 9/11 link (BBC Thursday, 18 September, 2003).: It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose “Duelfer Report” established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

  292. 295 Monas
    September 18, 2008 at 07:10

    @ Jens/Dan

    1. Be very cool and read what I will explain.
    the point I raised that you are waking up muslims, is in the benefit of both(muslim/nonmuslim). No one has given this statment before. with little deep research you will realize that I am not wrong.
    2. Any religion stands on its fundamental rules, Islam Too. what are they? 1.Peace2. helping each other. Our prophet said they best amongst you is the one who doesn’t harm others with his tongue or hand. Any one so called muslim if deviates then he is just muslim by name only. this is ofcourse in the times of peace. but when there is war, if one party will not kill, it will be killed.

    Now here do you know the instructions for muslim when in War? Do not harm the kids and women. Do not even burn the green trees when in war with non muslim.
    I wonder when you guys keep saying that Islam is being forced. Quran it self says that Islamic preaching should not in forced neither within muslim society nor to non muslims. com mon it’s all about your souls connections with God.

    You will find these rules in Quran and top Islamic books.
    I have no doubt that Islam has given the equal rights to muslims women. women just have to be aware of that. before you give me example of today’s muslims behavior with their wives, I wish one day you study the Prophet’s behavior with his wives and then tell the muslims,
    O stupid muslims , look are you the followers of Mohammad? Your Mohammad had been very kind to his wives? are you Too. Mohammad declared the Mary (mother of Jesus) the top lady in the history. do you have the even 1% of that respect for muslims or non muslim ladies?
    Fundamentals of Islam are given in Quran and books about Prophet actions called Ahadees. Any body doing different from the fundamentals of Islam is simply not helping Islam, rather damaging.

    I don’t know but may be we need lot more time to understand each other.
    If know the truth you too deserves to know the truth.
    if you know the truth, it is your responsibility to pass it on to me.

    Regards
    Mona

  293. 296 parth guragain,nepal
    September 18, 2008 at 07:54

    when any struggle begins country see it as a terrorism and when it becomes successful it is glorified.so public generally doesn’t know who is right and who is wrong in a conflicts.with the advent of media our perseption of any thing is dependent what media says is right and what is wrong.there have been killing of innocent civilants by both insurgents and occuping forces.we can atleast find some kind of justification of killing by occuping forces but there is no justification of killing by insurgents.they have behaded 12 nepalis in iraq.they were just innocent people who have gone to iraq to help iraquis and earn some money.but killing of any cilvilian can’t be justified.

  294. 297 Marge
    September 18, 2008 at 08:01

    Here in Australia five Muslims have just been found guilty of of a terror plot. to wage violent Jhad on Australian soil. This country has been kind and generous to these Islamist, and this is how they would repay us.
    If they had succeeded in their monstrous plan many innocent people would have been killed and maimed. We certainly would then have been justified in killing them.
    As it is I hope they spend their rotten lives behind bars, and never see the blue sky or hear the birds sing or enjoy a moment of their miserable existance.

  295. 298 Bryan
    September 18, 2008 at 08:01

    serina September 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    …combatants will always hide or locate near civillian areas …

    You mean cowardly terrorists do that. Please don’t insult combatants in general.

  296. 299 Bryan
    September 18, 2008 at 08:19

    I believe it was General Patton who addressed his soldiers with these words:

    Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to make the enemy die for his.

  297. 300 Dan
    September 18, 2008 at 11:28

    @ Monas / Shirley
    Interesting that not one of you answered the question why an educated woman would become a Muslim, live a humble and pious life to accept being raped in Paradise by a homicidal maniac.
    I read fine words but I see no action. You celebrate the death and destruction that Muslims cause and then change the subject because like little children “its not my fault” but it is your fault.
    Shirley hates the United States and that is clear. She ascribes no moral imperative to what we have done but loves that Muslims kill other Muslims and Saddam Hussein was a saint.
    Monas spews the same garbage that Black eyed Mullah’s vomit from their Mosques each Friday during prayers trying to use the guilt laden liberal West to excuse Muslim murdering sprees. Must I add that after Friday prayers Muslims are infinitly more liable to go on a spree of wanton murder and destruction than Jews, Christians, Hindu’s, Buddhists, Bahai’s.or even Pagans.
    You both have much to answer for and until you do Islam will continue to fall further into the hell it created for itself until it disappears. How ironic that during the Hajj like children you throw stones at a monolith thinking it is the Devil when there should be a mirror there.

  298. 301 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 11:57

    @Bryan

    I believe it was General Patton who addressed his soldiers with these words:

    Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to make the enemy die for his.

    And, in your view, is that supposed to be good or bad?

  299. 302 smithcopper
    September 18, 2008 at 12:58

    Are the civilians innocent?

    “All is fair in love and war”

  300. 303 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 12:59

    @Shirley~

    Viola said the US did not invade Iraq to get rid of Al Qaeda. You’ve produced a long and elaborate argument that makes the same point, in the apparent belief that you’re in dispute with her, but it seems to me that you guys are saying the same thing!

  301. 304 Dan
    September 18, 2008 at 13:41

    @ Jonathan
    The problem as you see is that they quote parts of the Koran that are convenient. They never quote the parts that say it is OK to have sex with a 9 yr old girl or that Muslims are commanded to lie cheat & steal to achieve their aims.
    They still live in the 7th Century unmindful that there is instant worldwide communications.
    How bizarre that after 14 Century’s of railing against Infidels that it should turn out that Muslims have become the Infidels.

  302. 305 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:50

    @Dan

    Um, I never said anything about anyone quoting any parts of the Koran, or seeing that as a problem. Are you sure you meant me?

    All I said about Islam was that I want my 72 virgins one or two at a time, at my convenience, rather than all at one shot, and I think I said that on another page altogether. 🙂

  303. 306 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 16:34

    I interpreted Viola’s comment as saying that the Bush adminstration did not list al Qaeda as one of the reasons for invading Iraq, and so I posted that listing of links to show that the Bush admnistration did include an alleged al Qaeda presence in Iraq as a reason for invading Iraq. I hope that I didn’t misunderstand you, Viola.

  304. 307 Jens
    September 18, 2008 at 22:54

    Monas

    “Do not harm the kids and women. Do not even burn the green trees when in war with non muslim.”

    apparently this message falls on death ears, since i am certain that i read every day that women and children are killed by suicide bombers.

    “O stupid muslims , look are you the followers of Mohammad? Your Mohammad had been very kind to his wives? are you Too. Mohammad declared the Mary (mother of Jesus) the top lady in the history. do you have the even 1% of that respect for muslims or non muslim ladies?”

    well i do respect my wife that is why we are still married…..

    anyway, the tell me why women, who were raped get stoned under the sharia law. that sounds not very respect full.

    as an atheist i am fighting not for the providence or whatever of a deity i am following. as an atheist i fight form mine and my fellows man freedom of tyranny, freedom of fear and freedome to belive what ever one wants to believe. this is however in stark contrast of reliouse people who fight to have their god impossed upon everybody. no tell me who is more honest?

  305. 308 Jens
    September 18, 2008 at 23:14

    this is the reality of war, but there are some people who still try to sanitize it. germany gave up and was rebuild because it was destroyed on the floor and the will of the people was broken. their only chance was to take the help given and rebuild, bearing in mind that the unforgivable can only be forgiven if they become part of the bigger picture. the same was obviously the case in japan. it may sound heartless and brutal, but unless you defeat a contry completly and comprehensivly there is no chance of rebuilding a stable and save society.

  306. 309 Bryan
    September 18, 2008 at 23:28

    Shirley September 18, 2008 at 3:39 am

    There is a difference, by the way, in discussing an issue and repeating a slogan over and over and over and over again.

    I noticed both you and Selena objected to Steve’s mention of the 72 virgins. I see no evidence that he is using it as a slogan. And I can’t recall anyone discussing the issue at all. But it is a serious point for discussion, though it is an unpleasant subject. The brainwashed youths who become suicide bombers actually believe that they are going to their ‘reward’ of virgins in heaven if they murder infidel civilians. This is pure evil on the part of their indoctrinators. It is a sin to kill yourself. Religions generally recognise this. And here we have Muslims instructing their youth that it is imperative to murder innocents while killing themselves, all in the name of ‘God’, and rewarded with carnal pleasure.

    Yes, it is worthy of debate. How can this evil be defeated? And why do the bleeding heart ‘liberals’ of the ‘enlightened West remain silent in the face of it? Why is so much venom spewed at America and Israel but little or none at Muslims who are committing crimes that rival those of Hitler, in degree if not in scope?

  307. 310 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 23:30

    A slogan would be “change” or “no more of the same”. Things you hear other people saying, then you repeat it.

  308. 311 Bryan
    September 18, 2008 at 23:46

    selena in Canada September 18, 2008 at 11:57 am,

    “Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to make the enemy die for his.”

    And, in your view, is that supposed to be good or bad?

    Good, of course. Unless you believe wars should be fought to be lost.

  309. 312 Tucker
    September 19, 2008 at 01:48

    jennifer,

    again, as i said, my only point is that it is a LIE to say that the US army does everything it can do to prevent civilian casualties. it DOES NOT. army training practices minimize the importance of civilian life.

  310. 313 Jennifer
    September 19, 2008 at 02:23

    @ Tucker

    My friend told me they learned to “compartmentalize feelings”.

    I am sure there are instances where innocent lives are lost. I think that is very sad but I wouldn’t want someone to second guess and end up loosing their life either. One man said it right on the show last night-if the people there don’t stand up to the fanatics they will take back over.

    Thanks for answering my questions! 🙂

  311. 314 viola
    September 19, 2008 at 02:29

    I’m still interested in why al queda invaded Iraq after the American invasion and have fought tooth and nail to prevent Iraq’s recovery.

  312. September 19, 2008 at 03:30

    There is no justification to kill civillians,
    in peace and during the war,

    all the religions,including islam grante no permission
    to kill any civillians or other innocent people.

    As for as ,Alqaeda and other religous orgnisations are
    concerned,they are committing dirty crimes to kill innocent people,
    women childern and other innocents.

    United States invaded iraq,
    and bombared inch after inch ,
    no doubt, he committed also a crime,
    against humanity,

  313. 316 Marge
    September 19, 2008 at 06:28

    Is Saddam Hussein’s well-documented execution of 8,000 members of te Barzani Tribe Genocide? Or was it merely a crime against Humanity?

    Does the use of chemical weapons (used on a number of occasioons) by Saddam’s regime constitute a crime against humanity?

    How many mass graves make a Genocide? 200,000, or more?

    Australia (my counrty) is a signatury to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

    ‘Artiicle 1: THE CONTRACTING PARTIES CONFIRM THAT GENOCIDE, WHETHER COMMITTED IN TIME OF PEACE OF IN TIME OF WAR, IS A CRIME UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW WHICH THEY UNDERTAKE TO PREVENT AND TO PUNISH’

    Australia went into Iraq for the above reasons and to help to stabilize the country.

    Saddam was hung – thank god for that. Now if only they could stop murdering each other we could get out of the place.

  314. 317 Mervyn Carter
    September 19, 2008 at 08:23

    How can the western armed forces claim that they take reasonable steps to avoid civilian casualties when they have used depleted uranium munitions in both Iraq and Afghanistan ?

    Depleted Uranium is nuclear waste made into armour piercing bullets. It is highly toxic and radioactive, with a half-life of four and a half BILLION years. An estimated 3000 tonnes has been fired in Iraq, much of it into civilian areas. Fine particles get into people’s lungs and circulate in the blood stream, causing cancer and birth defects. The effects are terrible

    They claim to take care to avoid civilian casualties, yet the use of depleted uranium fails completely to discriminate between combatants and civilians, damning future generations to death and misery. It also affects coalition soldiers. I feel that it should be condemned as a war crime

    Further details on depleted uranium can be found at:-

    http://www.cadu.org.uk/

  315. 318 Simpleton
    September 19, 2008 at 16:27

    “Maybe they should act like men and fight on a battlefield and not in civilian areas?”

    Well that’s wonderful. Open battlefields and such like. Only don’t forget about equal weapons.

    why don’t kill civilians, anyway? what the wars are begun for?

  316. 319 viola
    September 19, 2008 at 17:34

    @Mervyn Carter

    Depleted uranium is also used in defensive armour plating. However, contamination by depleted uranium is extremely low. See http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs257/en/

  317. 320 Victor
    September 19, 2008 at 17:42

    You cannot justify killing innocent civillians ! No way !!

  318. 321 John LaGrua/New York
    September 19, 2008 at 19:37

    It is always amazing how blood thirsty the acolytes of the neo-con crowd are ,safe on their computers or Richard Perle making millions out of the blood and misery of 4100 US soldiers dead , 30000 wounded and the death of an estimated 1 million innocent Iraq’s Perhaps a tour of combat in Iraq or Afganistan would change their their attitude ,if they survived ! Jusifying the death of innocents is morally corrupt and weighs heavily on the conscience of honest decent people long after deed.

  319. September 20, 2008 at 10:03

    Yes it is acceptable,
    civilanare part in the war,
    it is second defence line for their forces,
    may be called enemy,
    but can not be target to kill,
    because there are women, and childern,
    who know nothing about the war and peace.

    As a true muslim,
    we can bot support insurgency,or terrorism
    because the act in which innocent people have killed can not be called right action,
    war has some principles,
    they target one person but take live of other innocents.

    Now we will have to covered some distances in the past,
    iraq was invaded with full forces,
    with full aire forces,highly carelessly,
    civilian population were bombared,
    carpet bombrment were made,
    delibrately civilan population was target ,sophisticated weapons were droped,
    Iraqi land tolrated inch after bomb blast.

    It was also against the fundamental war principle,
    the is main reason of insurgence,
    that is now uncontrlable by the supper powers.

  320. 323 Shakhoor Rehman
    September 20, 2008 at 12:14

    War has never been about power but about truth. That is why truth is always the first casualty who never recovers until it is over.

  321. 324 viola
    September 20, 2008 at 15:42

    Shakhoor Rehman

    That’s an amazing statement, when you say war is never about power. Human relations are about power. Certainly tribes, clans, and nations are about power. But it’s very interesting that you think that war is about truth.

    Is peace about truth?

  322. 325 Simpleton
    September 20, 2008 at 16:11

    Only that war is justifiable which wages by the people. Then – no questions.

  323. 326 viola
    September 21, 2008 at 22:24

    So “the people” always know when to wage war? Come, come. Surely you jest. Vigilantes always seem to know when to hang people, too. Justice is not always served by the people.

  324. 327 Peter
    September 25, 2008 at 23:01

    Guys, please dont make things any more difficult for your military than it already is.No one wants civies getting caught up in the fighting or dying from misdirected fire,but it is bound to happen.Indeed it is the US military alone that devotes so much dollars inventing smart bombs just so they hit what they aim at.The rest carpet-bomb and damn the consequences.

    Getting so skittish about civie casualties only gives a heavy hint to your enemies to slink behind non-combatants.I remember reading stories of American GIs handing out sweets to Vietnam kids only to have one among them lob a grenade into their midst.

    Well,dang it fellers,much as I love kids and all,by God, I’d turn my MG on them all for all Im worth!

  325. 328 resmunga
    January 8, 2009 at 16:35

    Oh, this discussion could go on forever…

    I have no idea how to stop it from happening. And sometimes there IS criminal intent and criminal neglect from the most “civilized” and technologically advanced armies.

    You know what, everybody? Civilians should be prevented from dying. But furthermore, I dare say even the military who must follow some shameless politician’s orders should not have to die. There should be no more wars.

    How to get there?

  326. 329 J.T.
    April 20, 2009 at 16:54

    There was no military in the World Trade Center. The fact is the Islamist terrorists, if given a choice between killing civilians and killing no one would choose killing civilians. that said, Americans must do absolutely everything in our power to prevent the death of innocent civilians. It is more difficult in Afghanistan than Iraq ( which I do not fully support) because the people there are not as, (I hate to use this word but…) civilized as they are in Iraq. There is much more wandering around in Afghanistan and it is harder to tell who is a terrorist. The targeting of civilians is never, ever justified. The killing of civilians is not really justified, but inevitable.


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