Home of the Muppet Imperial Moderator Corps

blowing up innocents. oops.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/15/world/main1209997.shtml

Im not sure I support killing innocent citizens of foreign nations while chasing american criminals.

perhaps there is an alternative approach we could take?

you know.....one guy with a snipers rifle?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Given that the quality of identification of the target goes something like, 'Man in white turban with long grey beard and probable spectacles' this could end up with a considerable number of dead old people.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 15th, 2006
I actually assume it was more complexd than that. the chap was invited to this meeting, and then the cia were notified that he was likely to be there.


So either it was a trap from the word go, or the cia had a traitor passing them information.

Either way I believe they *did* have reasonable grounds to think he might be there.

Im *still* not entirely happy with the 'lets kill 17 people to get him' though.
That *is* a sovereign nation whose people we are killing, and they are hardly going to be pleased.

or, to put it another way, if I ruled a country and some arrogant assholes killed 17 of my citizens whilst chasing one of their criminals I would be *severely* pissed off.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Hmmm... thinking.... What would we do if Pakistan bombed a suburban house in the US because some war criminal was supposed to be in a meeting there.... hmmm....

This is total BS. Are we gonna see an outcry in the US? Probably not. [sigh]

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
Well, I don't agree with killing innocent civilians either, but about a year or so before 9/11 the CIA had evidence that Osama Bin Laden was in a specific camp in Afghanistan (and he was). They were about to order the missle strike on the camp, when someone noticed a swing set in the satellite photos. Because of the fear of civilians being there, they called off the strike. I believe that since then, they have taken an attitude where the ends justifys the means. If they had killed those 10 or 20 civilians in the camp originally would that have saved 3,000 people in new york? I'm not saying I agree, but that is most likely the reasoning here.
Permalink Phil 
January 15th, 2006
The 9/11 attacks were set in motion years before. The attackers hardly needed any support once the plan was made.

Killing Osama one year before the attack would not have prevented it.

By the way, are you sure your information isn't just propaganda? Is the CIA just giving secret information away without a spin?
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
I'm just glad our OP now accepts that non-combatants can be innocent...bravo...you've come a long way in the last 6 months...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 15th, 2006
"our OP now accepts that non-combatants can be innocent"

huh? Ive always said that, haven't I?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
I don't think he means you.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
OP? original poster? ie, me.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Other Poster?
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
Yes, I fucking well do...

Specifically our discussions of the 8th July, where for some strange reason I got very very annoyed with JHC and muppet as he was then...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 15th, 2006
"The 9/11 attacks were set in motion years before. The attackers hardly needed any support once the plan was made."

The idea of a terror attack using jets, yes, the specifics no. It is impossible to say whether such a strike would have affected it or not.

"By the way, are you sure your information isn't just propaganda? Is the CIA just giving secret information away without a spin?"

I believe it came out of the 9/11 commission report.
Permalink Phil 
January 15th, 2006
> If they had killed those 10 or 20 civilians in the camp originally would that have saved 3,000 people in new york?

Maybe, maybe not, but right now there's a great big mob in Pakistan who're really not 100% behind the "keep America safe" campaign, and there's probably going to be a few in there willing to do something about it.

18 dead civilians, check.
0 dead terrorists, check.
More terrorist recruits, check.
More propoganda material for muslim fundmentalists in Pakistan who want to use nukes against the great satan, check.

Overall, I'ld call this a failure in the "keep America safe" campaign, no matter how much the "kill a few raghead civilians and keep our civilians safe" justification may appeal.

(Also, if Osama's 2nd in command is as dangerous as his publicity suggests, then you'ld have needed to do more than just kill a few top dogs in order to stop their followers from avenging their leaders by continuing on with the plan.)
Permalink  
January 15th, 2006
"Yes, I fucking well do... "

doesn't sound like me at all. could you provide me with a link?

"I got very very annoyed with JHC"

ok, *that* sounds like me...but I really cannot remember arguing that non-combatants cannot be innocent....Im really not so keen on killing non-combatants.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?off.9.157754.173

Wherein (amongst other things) muppet opinions that the victims could not claim to be innocent and you claim that in a warzone civilians had to expect to be killed. Since the previous morning I'd been 400 yards away from bits of people being scooped up I didn't take it too well.

The following week the stationary shop a few doors from my office put a picture of one of their staff on the window. He hadn't completed his bus journey to work one morning...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 15th, 2006
ah. wow, what a brilliant thread.


see, the difference here cynic (you underdeveloped british tosser) is that when the british were killed in the underground, they were killed as an act of war by an enemy against whom their prime minister had declared war.

OTOH, when these pakistan peasants were killed, they were killed as an act of terrorism by an enemy with whom their country has a friendship (of sorts).

see the difference?

so...I feel genuinely sorry for these 17 killed peasants, and not the slightest bit sad for the 40 british civilians killed in the underground.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Certainly. Your symphathy is political.

Thank you for clarifying that in public...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 15th, 2006
"Your symphathy is political. "


heh.
I just *know* youve made a telling point against me. Your quietly triumphant tone makes that entirely clear.

Im just entirely unsure what it is?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Good lord, JHC - looks like your loathing of civilians is totally politically driven.

The civilians on the bus in London were intentionally targeted in an attempt to affect the policy of the UK. On the other hand, the civilians in Pakistan were arguably collateral damage in an attack on the leadership of a declared enemy of the state. An analogy would be the tourists in the White House if North Korea or Iran bombed it.

Mind you - I do think the attack on Pakistan was completely misguided.

It truly boggles my mind you'd call the UK civilians acceptable military targets but not the civilians in Pakistan.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
"Good lord, JHC - looks like your loathing of civilians is totally politically driven. "

?? Im *really* missing the implications of that statement?

oh, and I dont, of course, loathe anyone.


"The civilians on the bus in London were intentionally targeted in an attempt to affect the policy of the UK. "

interesting. I would just call them a military strike against the transportation infrastructure of a declared enemy.
..and the dead civilians merely collateral damage. regretable, but necessary.

"the civilians in Pakistan were arguably collateral damage in an attack on the leadership of a declared enemy of the state."

The civilians were *clearly* victims of an unprovoked attack by a friendly nation on an innocent village in an attempt to kill a criminal.


An analogy would be sweden setting off a car bomb in new zealand in an attempt to kill someone who planned a bank robbery.



"It truly boggles my mind you'd call the UK civilians acceptable military targets but not the civilians in Pakistan."

why? pakistan has not declared war against america, nor has america declared agaisnt pakistan, and therefore is not an acceptable military target under any circumstances.
The UK has declared war against terrorism, and Al Queda (a terrorist organization) against the UK. So therefore the transportation infrastructure *is* an acceptable military target and the civilians unfortunate collaterol damage.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
<sigh> Because flagging up your ethical relativism allows everyone to form an opinion of your character aside from any entertainment value you may possess. I think in most cases that will be negative...

"Don't you think he looks tired?"
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 15th, 2006
"I would just call them a military strike against the transportation infrastructure of a declared enemy.
..and the dead civilians merely collateral damage. regretable, but necessary."

I suspect it would be easier to fire an RPG into a bus yard, and you'd destroy far more buses. No, the civilians were the target; the *bus* was collateral damage.

And my point is that it appears to me (I could be wrong) that you are leaning on a predisposition to decide the role of the civilians - civilians in an attack against the US/UK = must be targets. Civilians in an attack *by* the US = must be innocents.

Put another way, your opinion is the complete reverse of traditional military and political thought. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion. It's just not generally shared by those who study these things.

Incidentally, the logic in the Pakistan attack is why I think it was criminal for Bush to sit in that school on 9/11 - as soon as it became a possibility that the US was under attack, he was a legitimate target. Staying in a school was foolishly exposing those kids to legitimate military danger.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
"Because flagging up your ethical relativism allows everyone to form an opinion of your character aside from any entertainment value you may possess. I think in most cases that will be negative..."

whats the definition of ethical relativism again?

I would be *really* interested in whether you can come up with a definition that doesn't include yourself?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
"I suspect it would be easier to fire an RPG into a bus yard, and you'd destroy far more buses. No, the civilians were the target; the *bus* was collateral damage. "

interesting. actually i think you are missing the point of the terrorist attacks entirely.

Terrorism is about making the point that no one is safe. both 9/11 and the subway attack were *not* about killing the civilians, they were about making a symbolic gesture.

Viewed in that light the civilans and the buses were both collateral damage.


"civilians in an attack against the US/UK = must be targets. Civilians in an attack *by* the US = must be innocents. "

odd thing to say.
THe UK is at war.
Pakistan is not.

what makes you think that civilians of a country that is at war are less likely to be targets than civilians of a country that is not at war?

If the Iraqi Saddam had bombed your american house in an attempt to kill his enemy, the prime minister of australia...would you still agree that you were a legitimate target?

"Put another way, your opinion is the complete reverse of traditional military and political thought. "

really? Im interested in whether you can find an example of traditional military or political thought that states it is acceptable to drop bombs on the citizens of a friendly nation (one who has specifically refused permission to enter in 'hot pursuit') in an attempt to kill someone from an entirely different country who has committed murder.

"Of course, you're entitled to your opinion. It's just not generally shared by those who study these things."

so, find me a link? where does it say that actions such as those just commmited by the us are politically acceptable.?


"as soon as it became a possibility that the US was under attack, he was a legitimate target."

the difference being that america was at war with the people who would have attacked him of course.

who was pakistan at war with?


seriously, find me some mainstream thinking that states that the bombing of citizens of a friendly nation is acceptable in certain circumstances.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Dammit, are you people stupid?

Civilians near where I live: innocent victims of brutal terrorism
Civilians far away: at best, tragic collateral damage but not really worth caring about

It's got nothing to do with rules of war or who qualifies as a legitimate target: all that matters is whether or not they're close by.

On one hand we've got people going about their business suddenly finding their limbs several meters away from their body, and on the other hand we've got the obviously different case where civilians *who lived far away* were going about their business before suddenly finding their limbs several meters away from their body. How can anyone not realise that one of these cases is clearly more tragic and upsetting than the other?


Curiously, there's people just like "a cynic writes" over in Pakistan right now ranting about the foreigners killing innocent civilians and screaming about how the foreigners don't even understand why they're upset just because their friends family and neighbours were blown up, and based on the logic here the most sensible thing would be for them to plan to kill a few more people on this side. They don't care who's at war with whom - all they know is that a whole lot of their friends won't be taking the bus anywhere ever again.

Apparantly there's half a dozen people on the entire planet who think that that's a bad thing.
Permalink  
January 15th, 2006
> I believe that since then, they have taken an
> attitude where the ends justifys the means.

And amazingly people can always seem to justify their end justify the means. I am shocked.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 15th, 2006
Hey man, like they say, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And shit happens. And that's the way the cookies crumble. Know what I mean?
Permalink Bubba 
January 15th, 2006
civilians kiled where I live - bad
civilians killed somwhere I don't - still bad
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 16th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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