The debate "Bombing a city to kill terriosts is not justified as there are citizens there also" was started by
May 9, 2015, 12:31 pm.
68 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 19 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
I_Voyager posted 7 arguments, soullesschicken posted 1 argument, tr posted 1 argument, evamara posted 4 arguments to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 8 arguments, jonatron5 posted 1 argument, toughgamerjerry posted 3 arguments to the disagreers part.
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PsychDave, Sosocratese, jonatron5, Benzdick, toughgamerjerry, Bodaciouslady16, icarus, rionagh99, tr, Robert16 and 9 visitors disagree.
And what happens if they come storming into our country with innocent civilians as shields? Let them kill every last one of us? They are taking advantage of those innocent civilians now by staying where they are, and they won't stop taking advantage of innocent civilians. I don't think we should always go around killing innocent civilians but when there is a threat as big as ISIS, I think it is necessary. Think of it as, the needs of the many out way the needs of the few. If we don't stop them soon, then a whole lot more than one city will be destroyed and everyone in it will either be killed, or captured and tortured, and then killed. Either way, innocent civilians will have their lives taken, but we decide how many.
Im not a peace and love follower, I just think, that killing innocent people is not the answer of this problem, I think that we have to let them see that we are moral, but also not idiot, that we will respect their thoughtnessy if they respect ours, that if they hurt anyone, we have to react, because its not fair. But it also wouldnt be fair if we protest, because they are killing innocent people (thats what we call terrorism) when we are killing innocent people too bombing a city for example.
Then how do you purpose that we get rid of those terrorist? Hugs and kisses?
killing is NEVER an option for me.
First, they never said you are in danger.
Second, terrorism, comes from TERROR if you bomb a whole city just because there are some terrorits there, you are killing, hurting, and scaring innocent people, and even if you are willing to kill another people because of your own security, you are coward, exactly that is what terrorist do.
How is killing to protect your own life making you a terrorist?
just do it, and you will inmediatly become terrorist.
That is a very simplistic view of the world. Is killing in self defense morally wrong? What about killing to defend another, say a child, from being killed? What about killing someone to stop them from setting off a car bomb killing 50 people?
Killing is never good, but there are times when it is the best of bad options.
killing in general Is wrong, no matter the circumstance
It makes you as bad as the terrorists if you do.
I could accept that in an ideal military where a nation is doing it's all to do the right thing and the good thing, maybe the surgical use of drones, artillery or airstrikes would be acceptable or necessary when facing a dirty, expedient enemy. But outside of the realm of debate and possibility, in reality, I think it's necessary to be restricted and respecting of human history. We tend to praise the lord and pass the ammunition. We allow inhuman organizations to make us think of other people as units in grander equations. I think half the time the opposition we face in the world comes out of the western hypocrisy of its self-image of being moral and centered about good human lives, and the fact of the rule of economists and lobbyists which is cold and expedient in its control or influence upon of everything.
I wholeheartedly agree that killing innocent people in defense of the state is not acceptable but it becomes, in the realm of this debate, a question of which civilians are at risk. If the military is too cautious, terrorists have free reign to plan and execute strikes on civilian targets, without exposing themselves by always having civilian cover. If the military is too aggressive, innocent people are hurt in the crossfire. Neither is acceptable, so those in command must find a balance of aggression and caution. I do agree that it is not well balances at present because there are commanders who are willing to risk civilians of other nations much more readily than they would be willing, or permitted, to risk civilian casualties at home.
That's what I tend to do too, but I try to be a lot more critical of any claim to the validation violence and death than anything else. I can see a foundational moral principle revolving around the continuation and propagation of individually free and knowledgeable people, but I cannot see a foundational moral principle revolving around protecting the state against terrorism at the expense of many more civilian lives. Which is the tendency. There are times when you have to kill a killer, but I do think one ought not take liberties with the space around you except as a last resort.
Strategy is interesting. It's far more interesting than tactics. Tactics are merely the motion of troops in a confined space to achieve victory over the opponent. Strategy is fluid and dynamic, involving the art of perception, of strategic retreat, et. al. In the situation you cited, I would have to be hard-pressed to advance past that one building in order to win the battle. Though the enemy might be holed up in the building and armed to the teeth, if the engagement is large enough it might be better to draw a no-advance line into that position and focus efforts on other more profitable places in the engagement. I would even consider withdrawing and letting the terrorists get away, while keeping eyes in the area to track and see if those terrorists leave. And then there's always a good old-fashion siege. Nobody in or out, repeatedly demanding a release of hostages and surrender. If after a week or two they're still holed up, they're going to be too weak to fire straight.
But we live in an economic land of short time-frames. We don't give ourselves the time to do things right. It's silly.
But strategy is also about perception. The more we kill them, the more they resent us. The harder it is to fight the war in their territory. We lose the war if we lose the heart of the people we fight for. That's what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Few of the world's citizenry trust the governments or the militaries of the west because they don't take the time to win by heroism and sacrifice. We sacrifice them, to keep our interests in play. And we are judged for it rightly.
I tend to side against absolutes if there is a situation where they are incorrect. If the topic was airstrikes should be a last resort I'm cities, I would agree. Whenever someone says something is not justified, or can not be justified, if I feel they are overlooking situations where they would be, I will side against them.
I would be happy to debate tactics with you. I find it interesting as well. I think it is because we can use logic to see how things could have been done better, or how goals could be achieved with as little loss as possible.
There are some things for which it is appropriate to say "I agree/disagree with the motion because sometimes it is true/false" and in doing so be justly impartial. And there are some things for which it is appropriate to say "This thing can be wrong so often that, when it is right to do so, it should only be seen as so against the generalization that it is wrong." I think in the latter situation it is more appropriate to condemn the thing as wrong, or generally wrong, even if it must be admitted that sometimes it is needed. To vote "no" is to be too impartial (in my opinion) towards something which is too important to be anything besides generally wrong.
I'd like a crack at your problem of strategy, though at a later point, because I enjoy discussing tactics and strategy. Even though I find war generally wrong, the practice of it in theory seems noble. I wonder why that is?
I agree that bombing should not be used to replace troops, but neither do I feel it is out of the question. I believe that there are times when airstrikes are necessary. As I am not in the military, I am using theoretical scenarios rather than actual operations, so if I have a faulty understanding, please help clear it up for me.
If there is a building with terrorists in it, and the terrorists have heavy machine guns and RPGs, ordering troops to assault that heavily fortified position is asking them to commit suicide. Calling for an air strike on the building risks civilians in surrounding buildings, as well as any in the building (whether they are there by choice or hostages). In this scenario, if you were in a position of authority, what would you order?
I am in no way justifying acts like the firebombing of Dresden, nor do I agree with how quickly strikes are used by the US military when other options are available, but I don't see the issue as black and white. I don't see this as an all or nothing issue, which is how I interpret the topic. Bombing a city us definitely not always justified, but there are some situations where I feel it is the best of bad options. As there are theoretical situations when I feel it would be justified, I voted against the topic.
Just to contrast the American and Canadian morality of war, as I understand it... And I may not understand it entirely, but I think I do... An armed individual in a combat zone is an enemy once they've fired at you. That's the Canadian standard. An enemy combatant is someone with a weapon. That's the American standard. We are willing to risk our lives for peace. They are willing to risk others' lives for victory, and they seldom achieve it.
I notice you want to distance surgical bombings from wasting vast spaces with bombs, when there is a great and persistant military tradition in those countries favoring such approaches to doing just that. From the firebombing of Dresden and the nukes in Japan to modern day Iraq where the majority casualties WERE citizens. A hundred thousand citizens died. Far fewer enemy troopers died, and far fewer Americans died. Had instead of 6000, 20'000 soldiers had perish, but far fewer citizens died, that would have been morally just. At the end of the day those soldiers, those armies, those nations are choosing to be there. Those citizens are not. Warriors fight wars. Warriors die. If I choose to go to war, I will be choosing to chance death to fight. If I then make a cowardly decision, I can be faulted for it. None of what you have brought up yet justifies the history of slaughter in the name of... Resources? Political ideology? For those five thousand merchants in New York who died in a burning building due to suicidal militants? It's the same all over the place.
You mustn't think we're merely talking about drone strikes gone awry, nor fall back on that as being the gold standard for bombs killing civilians. Nor can you really believe these are merely 'calculated risks'. If you put troops in a city to fight an enemy while there are still citizens there you can account for the statistical odds of civilian casualties, because you cannot control where the bullets always fly and who is running where. But when you drop bombs on a city you are knowingly choosing to murder non-militants to achieve the stated aim. Miraculously, in situation A every citizen might have a chance to make a correct or poor decision and in doing so at least survive by their merit. But in situation B those people sacrificed by you, to achieve the stated goal. The death of fewer enemies.
You have to defend a tradition of putting tens or hundreds of citizens beneath the value of a single soldier in wars for resources or ideas.
The Romans also knowingly let their citizenry eat off of lead dishes. They knew the toxicity of lead, the mental degradation. But didn't care, because the Romans didn't know how to run a moral civilization.
I disagree with that strategy. The most likely end scenario is having to wipe everyone out since every time you kill 3 of theirs you make new enemies who may have supported you otherwise. Minimizing collateral damage also minimizes support for your enemies. There is also the humanitarian aspects of that plan. The Romans didn't care how many orphans they left, how many widows they made, or how many innocent people they killed. Killing was fat more acceptable at that point in history, and the lack of photography and videography meant that most of the population could pretend it didn't happen if they so chose. We can not do that, and even if we could, we should not. Society has come a long way since gladiatorial death matches and capital punishment for amusement were acceptable, and we should not slide back into such barbarism.
I say do like the Romans did. forevery one of ours you kill we kill 3 of yours at random. since we have a force they can't hope to match ever then there people will turn against them and turn them in. or we'll eradicate them. either way problem solved
Finally, I do not mean to lessen the tragedy of innocent people being killed or diminish it because they are not my family or friends. Everyone is a father or mother, son or daughter, aunt or uncle. Everyone has hopes and dreams and deserves to live their lives to try to achieve them. But there are always decisions that need to be made to justify putting troops at risk. It is easy to say we should suffer the slings and arrows, especially when you are not the one doing the suffering. Do the soldiers fighting matter less than the civilians?
I am in no way advocating carpet bombing a city block because you think k there might be a terrorist in it. Collateral damage must be prevented as much as humanly possible, both to people as well as their property. Drone strikes allow targeted attacks with minimal risk of killing innocent people but, as with all forms of combat, there is always a risk that an innocent bystander will be killed. Even in hostage situations, where police have immensely more control than combating terrorists, there is a point at which storming the building becomes the only option. This puts the hostages at risk, but sometimes, when you have exhausted all other options, that is the only option remaining.
Lastly, and I apologize for how long this has been, in some cases bombing terrorists in a city is to support group troops. When the ISIS (or IS or whatever acronym they are called at present) invaded towns and cities, air strikes were used to try to support the ground troops defending the towns. Should the air force have abandoned the cause one the ISIS troops reached the city?
It is not a casual acceptance, but a realization that there are times when it is unavoidable.
If terrorists were like hostage situations, boots on the ground and policing would be an effective way to combat them and avoid harming innocents. Unfortunately, they are not. Part of the problem is that in a hostage situation, the victims are visibly different from the hostage takers. When police confront them, they can tell whether they are confronting a victim. With terrorists, until they shoot at you, it is sometimes impossible to tell. Men, women and children can be terrorists, and can set off bombs and grenades as well as shooting, meaning by the time you confirm whether the person is armed and hostile, you are in range of being killed. Furthermore, in many areas known for terrorism, it is not unusual for people to be armed with rifles, even if they are not terrorists. Until they aim at you, how do you tell if they are a hostile terrorist or a civilian, armed to protect themselves. This means that sending in troops is a good way to get them killed, as well as to shoot innocent people when those troops panic because they can't tell friend from foe and fire on innocents (which has happened). There has to be a balance between how much risk you are putting the troops through with the benefit of saving innocent lives. If you are losing 10 soldiers for every innocent protected, pretty soon you will have no troops. It is cold-hearted, but it is a risk-reward calculation that has to be done.
Furthermore, in some areas, the terrorists either have popular support, or have the ability to retreat and melt into the population if there is an attack. If you cannot pin them down, you cannot fight them. Troops roll into the area, and the terrorists hide their weapons and blend in until the troops leave. Drone strikes and bombs give you the opportunity to strike before they know what is happening, preventing them from hiding.
I strongly disagree with your casual acceptance of the use of expedient military methods to attack an enemy. You might feel differently if the city was the one you lived in. The casualty your wife or child.
I think we should do the hard thing and use policing and infantry based methods to uproot terrorists. If that means we have to suffer the slings and arrows then fine. It's better that we die trying then take liberties with the lives of citizens who don't get a say in the affairs around us.
Terrorists are a kind of criminal. We don't say "There is crime, and since it isn't a perfect world we have to use any methods necessary to root crime out." Instead we burden ourselves to root crime out rightly. We suffer crime for the nobler sake of trying not to put innocents in jail. Why do we have a double standard when it's another people's citizenry? Are they less important?
The problem is that terrorists often hide behind civilians. It is a common strategy to prevent retaliation for attacks. The ideal is to attack the terrorists precisely enough to avoid any collateral damage. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world, and sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire.