Cutting Through the Rhetoric About
When It's Supposedly Okay to Kill Civilians in a Military Attack
September 16, 2001
We can't claim it was wrong for
others to kill our innocent civilians, and then go ahead and kill another
country's innocent civilians.
Some pundits would have you
believe that as long as we don't "intend to" or
"deliberately" target civilians, we're okay. In other words,
if we attack military targets and civilians get killed in the process,
That's not so. If you
have a military target in your gun sights, and also in the field of fire are
civilians, if you fire your weapon, then you have "intended to"
and "deliberately" killed civilians.
Killing civilians may not
have been your desire nor your main intent, but if you can reasonably assume
that your actions will kill civilians, then you have deliberately, with
intent, killed them.
In other words, you
will have killed innocent civilians in pursuit of your larger goal --
exactly what the World Trade Center terrorists did.
And of course, the innocent
civilians are equally dead in both instances.
We should, therefore, attack
targets only when we can reasonably assume there are no innocent civilians
in the way.
That's the only way to avoid
a hypocrisy so severe as to literally undermine the very justification for
our military actions.