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Author Topic:   The US Gov't is Guilty of Murder
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 271 of 318 (673131)
09-14-2012 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 268 by Straggler
09-14-2012 8:20 AM


Re: What's Good For The Goose....
OK. Let's follow the logic of that. Let’s consider a mirror-image situation.

Your scenario is hardly a mirror-image.

The Iranian government decides to label a US citizen as a “terrorist”. The person in question has been responsible for a number of attacks in which Iranian civilians have been killed. Whether you agree that the label of “terrorist” is accurate or not there can be little doubt in the sincerity of the belief that if this person continues to exist further Iranian civilian casualties will occur as a result.

The label doesn't really matter that much.

So the Iranian government sends in a drone. The attack is on US soil and involves the apartment block in which the intended target lives.

Why don't they just have the US FBI go knock on his door and arrest him?

When asked about the attack the Iranian government says that whilst the civilian casualties are regrettable they are a price worth paying for ending the life of the intended target whose future actions would undoubtably have resulted in more Iranian deaths. they say the action was militarily justified.

Was the drone attack justified in your view?

It could be. Collateral damage can be justified regardless of who is being attacked.

Is it, in your view, morally different from the sort of attacks being advocated as justified and necessary here?

Just because its over here rather than over there doesn't change the morality. But its different because of all the specifics that you didn't mention. For example, was the US government complicit in the attacks like Pakistan is?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 8:20 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 11:04 AM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 295 by NoNukes, posted 09-14-2012 3:53 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 272 of 318 (673132)
09-14-2012 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 270 by jar
09-14-2012 9:05 AM


Re: right or wrong?
Exactly. Which is why we need to separate the legal question from the moral question here. Legally the attacks under discussion are not ‘murder’ because the law says they aren’t murder.

But the term ‘murder’ is also used in a less technical and very emotive sense to describe killings which are deemed to be morally unjustified and reprehensible. Some of the attacks under discussion may fit that description. Some may not. It will vary from specific case to specific case.

But one thing I am sure of – If Iran (or whoever) implemented a drone attack on US soil that killed a number of US civilians the Western media would have absolutely no qualms at all about applying the term “murder” and “murderers” to those deaths and the people that were responsible for them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by jar, posted 09-14-2012 9:05 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by jar, posted 09-14-2012 11:32 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 273 of 318 (673133)
09-14-2012 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 271 by New Cat's Eye
09-14-2012 10:25 AM


Re: What's Good For The Goose....
CS writes:

Your scenario is hardly a mirror-image.

Then change the details such that it is.

CS writes:

Why don't they just have the US FBI go knock on his door and arrest him?

Because they don't trust the US government not to be complicit in some way with his actions.

CS writes:

Just because its over here rather than over there doesn't change the morality.

A TV reporter getting people's reactions to the event stops you on the street and asks you what your reaction is to the murder of innocent US citizens.

Do you object to her use of the term "murder"....?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-14-2012 10:25 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-14-2012 11:22 AM Straggler has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 274 of 318 (673134)
09-14-2012 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by Straggler
09-14-2012 11:04 AM


Re: What's Good For The Goose....
Then change the details such that it is.

I'm not sure that's possible.

Because they don't trust the US government not to be complicit in some way with his actions.

So, have they declared war on us?

A TV reporter getting people's reactions to the event stops you on the street and asks you what your reaction is to the murder of innocent US citizens.

Do you object to her use of the term "murder"....?

On the street, no. But on an online discussion forum I might


This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 11:04 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:08 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33909
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 275 of 318 (673135)
09-14-2012 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 272 by Straggler
09-14-2012 10:57 AM


Re: right or wrong?
But the same answer applies to the question of morality; there is no single moral or immoral answer available except on an individual case by case basis.

But one thing I am sure of – If Iran (or whoever) implemented a drone attack on US soil that killed a number of US civilians the Western media would have absolutely no qualms at all about applying the term “murder” and “murderers” to those deaths and the people that were responsible for them.

The media often applies terms incorrectly and so that is totally irrelevant.

Your example is also totally irrelevant to the issue of US drone attacks. It might be relevant if the US were carrying out drone attacks in England or France or Italy or Germany or Canada or Japan or any other nation where there is a reasonable expectation of rule of law. That is not the case.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 272 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 10:57 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:01 PM jar has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009


Message 276 of 318 (673136)
09-14-2012 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Straggler
09-13-2012 2:45 PM


Re: Accidents
Look when attacks are made on civilian targets because terrorists are present the civilian casualties aren’t “accidents”. It isn’t “negligence”. It’s calculated in the sense that the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion and the civilian casualties are deemed acceptable.
Now you may think it morally justifiable. Or you may think it morally repugnant. Are the deaths and maimings of a school full of kids worth the killing of a terrorist who may or may not go on to kill many many others? It’s a difficult question with no easy answers. Personally I wouldn’t do it. But if the terrorist in question then went on to kill thousands I’d also have to live with that.

I agree with a lot of what you wrote. In the West we have grown up in a situation where we are able to police ourselves. If there is a bad man living next door then we can send in the police and get him.

If we had a home grown fundamentalist christian group that hijacked planes and ran them into mosques in Mecca what do you think would happen? I would think that our own law enforcement would work quickly and try to bring those terrorists to justice. We would probably even work with foreign law enforcement agents to ensure those arrests.

Did that happen with 9/11, or other terrorist attacks spawned by these terrorist groups? No. What we are dealing with is nation states who do not have our best interests at heart. We are dealing with nation states that either overtly or tacitly support terrorist attacks against the US. It is the sovereign states that support terrorism that have put their citizens in harms way by making those choices. It is definitely an unfortunate state of affairs, but in our current political structure of nation states this is how it works. The citizens share the fate of their government.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Straggler, posted 09-13-2012 2:45 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 1:48 PM Taq has taken no action

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19537
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 277 of 318 (673137)
09-14-2012 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by Dogmafood
09-13-2012 7:11 PM


Re: Accidents
Dogmafood writes:

For clarity then would you say that a battlefield requires no geographic boundaries?


Battlefields can have geographic boundaries, for military convenience. Armies used to fight on flat open spaces before aircraft and motor vehicles came along.

But battlefields are, by definition, where the battles are. You have to fight your enemies where they are not where you wish they were.

You've been advocating "artficial" boundaries and I've been trying to point out how silly that is. It's completely unworkable unless you have referees stationed all around the battlefield to fine any soldier who steps out of bounds.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by Dogmafood, posted 09-13-2012 7:11 PM Dogmafood has taken no action

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19537
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 278 of 318 (673138)
09-14-2012 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by Straggler
09-14-2012 8:25 AM


Re: Accidents
Straggler writes:

If you think the present situation is as high as the moral ground can pragmatically get I would suggest you have taken pragmatism to a level that is indistiguishable from defeatism....


I've always favoured attainable goals over pie-in-the-sky-goals. The current moral high ground is to advocate for drone attacks instead of more destructive options.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 8:25 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:09 PM ringo has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 279 of 318 (673140)
09-14-2012 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by Taq
09-14-2012 1:12 PM


Re: Accidents
Taq writes:

The citizens share the fate of their government.

Unfortunately those who support terrorist attacks (such as 9/11) say much the same thing....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by Taq, posted 09-14-2012 1:12 PM Taq has taken no action

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 280 of 318 (673141)
09-14-2012 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by jar
09-14-2012 11:32 AM


Re: right or wrong?
jar writes:

But the same answer applies to the question of morality; there is no single moral or immoral answer available except on an individual case by case basis.

Exactly. Again. So when we ask if the US government is guilty of murder, the legal answer is "No" and the moral answer is....... Far more ambiguous.

I have little doubt that the US military has undertaken activities that have resulted in deaths which would be very difficult to justify by any reasonable moral standard. Not every attack. But some could well qualify as "murder" in that sense.

jar writes:

The media often applies terms incorrectly and so that is totally irrelevant.

Well it is and it isn't. It shows that whether we choose to apply the term "murder" outside of a strictly legal context says as much about our own biases and allegiances as it does anything else.

jar writes:

Your example is also totally irrelevant to the issue of US drone attacks. It might be relevant if the US were carrying out drone attacks in England or France or Italy or Germany or Canada or Japan or any other nation where there is a reasonable expectation of rule of law. That is not the case.

My example applies wherever the affected nation doesn't feel that the nation in which the terrorist resides will take the necessary action to stop him terrorising their citizens. If in my example the US citizen in question was deemed by Irani intelligence to be covertly working with the CIA they are hardly likely to trust the US authorities to take the action they think necessary are they?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by jar, posted 09-14-2012 11:32 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 283 by jar, posted 09-14-2012 2:16 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 281 of 318 (673143)
09-14-2012 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by New Cat's Eye
09-14-2012 11:22 AM


Re: What's Good For The Goose....
Straggler writes:

Then change the details such that it is.

CS writes:

I'm not sure that's possible.

The US citizen being targeted is deemed by Irani intelligence to be working with the CIA. Hence they have no trust at all in the US authorities doing anything but they can't officially say that.

CS writes:

So, have they declared war on us?

No. They've simply taken out a "terrorist" on US soil.

Straggler writes:

A TV reporter getting people's reactions to the event stops you on the street and asks you what your reaction is to the murder of innocent US citizens. Do you object to her use of the term "murder"....?

CS writes:

On the street, no. But on an online discussion forum I might.

You might. But I expect you, along with the rest of us, would be far more concerned about the victims if they were US citizens than you would esoteric discussions about what does or doesn't strictly qualify as "murder".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-14-2012 11:22 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-14-2012 2:28 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 282 of 318 (673144)
09-14-2012 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 278 by ringo
09-14-2012 1:25 PM


Re: Accidents
Ringo writes:

The current moral high ground is to advocate for drone attacks instead of more destructive options.

That is practically tautological.

How about advocating less destructive options.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by ringo, posted 09-14-2012 1:25 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by ringo, posted 09-14-2012 2:18 PM Straggler has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33909
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 283 of 318 (673145)
09-14-2012 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by Straggler
09-14-2012 2:01 PM


Re: right or wrong?
straggler writes:

jar writes:

But the same answer applies to the question of morality; there is no single moral or immoral answer available except on an individual case by case basis.

Exactly. Again. So when we ask if the US government is guilty of murder, the legal answer is "No" and the moral answer is....... Far more ambiguous.

I have little doubt that the US military has undertaken activities that have resulted in deaths which would be very difficult to justify by any reasonable moral standard. Not every attack. But some could well qualify as "murder" in that sense.

That's a pretty vacuous assertion and so irrelevant.

Murder is not synonymous with morality. Murder is a purely legal term.

straggler writes:

jar writes:

The media often applies terms incorrectly and so that is totally irrelevant.

Well it is and it isn't. It shows that whether we choose to apply the term "murder" outside of a strictly legal context says as much about our own biases and allegiances as it does anything else.

No, it shows sloppy thinking and word usage.

straggler writes:

jar writes:

Your example is also totally irrelevant to the issue of US drone attacks. It might be relevant if the US were carrying out drone attacks in England or France or Italy or Germany or Canada or Japan or any other nation where there is a reasonable expectation of rule of law. That is not the case.

My example applies wherever the affected nation doesn't feel that the nation in which the terrorist resides will take the necessary action to stop him terrorising their citizens. If in my example the US citizen in question was deemed by Irani intelligence to be covertly working with the CIA they are hardly likely to trust the US authorities to take the action they think necessary are they?

The US and Iran are currently in a State of Belligerency and so that should be considered an Act of War by one Nation State against another Nation State.

The US and Pakistan are NOT in a State of Belligerency.

It is still irrelevant.

Edited by jar, : fix end quote


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:01 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:22 PM jar has seen this message

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19537
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 284 of 318 (673146)
09-14-2012 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 282 by Straggler
09-14-2012 2:09 PM


Re: Accidents
Straggler writes:

How about advocating less destructive options.....


On a multiple-choice exam, writing in "none of the above" isn't really an option. When you create the exam, you'll be able to decide what the options will be. Until then, we pick the best option out of the options available.

If the topic was, "What's the best way to prevent terrorism?" your other options might have some validity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:09 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by Straggler, posted 09-14-2012 2:28 PM ringo has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 208 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 285 of 318 (673147)
09-14-2012 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 283 by jar
09-14-2012 2:16 PM


Re: right or wrong?
jar writes:

Murder is a purely legal term.

No it's not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by jar, posted 09-14-2012 2:16 PM jar has seen this message

  
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