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Anthony Goshaunee
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Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Ok, if one of the Sheriffs believes that this discussion is unapporpriate for this forum, and chooses to close the thread, then I will not keep posting such material. I just thought I'd try.
I was under the impression the last conversation was going fairly well for a while there, so hopefully I can start on that note and hopefully we can all continue on that note.
After reading Jason's reply when we were talking about the Group A and Group B situations, there was a point that I would really like to make, whether or not Jason wants to reply to it. For anyone who does not know what the discussion was perhaps you can get an idea from the "mousaoui" thread, though there were some posts that were deleted. Hopefully, you will be able to piece together what was being discussed if you are interested.
Jason, I BELIEVE, you were saying that hostiles from Group B were criminals and therefore if Group A killed civilians in an effort to kill hostiles from Group B, then the blame is on BOTH Group A and Group B. But you were unwilling to agree that if Group B killed civilians in an effort to kill hostiles (ie. soldiers from Group A- I will explain why I call them "hostiles"), that still both Group A and Group B are to blame. Feel free to correct me anywhere I may have misunderstood you, but I believe that is your view.
So allow me add another element to this situation and explain why I call the soldiers from Group A "hostiles" and even "criminals". Say these soldiers from Group A were given orders to take land that is INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED to be someon else's, Group B's. If Group A occupied land that does not belong to them, and then puts innocent civilians on that land, then I would argue that Group A is "hiding behind civilians", and if those civilians are killed, then Group A and Group B still share the blame.
To me, in this situation I have proposed, the soldiers from Group A are in fact criminals. Group A is hiding behind civilians, by occupying land that does not belong to them (as outlined by International law), and then putting civilians on that land. Now if this land belongs to Group B, then Group B has absolutely no way of defending their own rights, because Group A has deliberately put innocent civilians there.
Now of course there are all kinds of issues if we wanted to discuss a specific situation, and it is no secret that this resembles a specific situation, but I would just like to discuss it more on a hypothetical level. So with the hypothetical situation I have proposed, I would be interested to hear Jason's reply, if he isn't tired of this discussion.
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
You might try re-reading his post. You left a few key words out. But Jason can speak for himself.
Anthony Goshaunee
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Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
You might try re-reading his post. You left a few key words out. But Jason can speak for himself.

Please explain...
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Who did you used to be - To Tom, JustSomeGuy,
slacker, hacker or which combination of the above?
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
Who did you used to be - To Tom, JustSomeGuy,
slacker, hacker or which combination of the above?

I was never slacker or hacker. I posted as the other names you had plus Truth, but some of my names were hijacked by other users or members for whatever reason. To avoid confusion, I did not mention it, because it did not bother me.
Now I have a registered name and hope to put the "anonymous" days behind me. In fact, I look forward to developing a hatred for "anonymous posters" like many of the real members on this site.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Nice to meet you Anthony! .
If you don't mind - I think that I will stay out of this conversation :roll: .


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:

Jason, I BELIEVE, you were saying that hostiles from Group B were criminals and therefore if Group A killed civilians in an effort to kill hostiles from Group B, then the blame is on BOTH Group A and Group B.

This isn't quite what I said. Specifically I said:
Well, these leaders of group B we have been referring to are outlaws and criminals who know they are specifically marked for death.

So I am referring to a specific subset of B. As the conversation dealt with a member of this subset of B sleeping in an apartment with his family, that is who I am referring to, as opposed to all hostiles from B. Given this, I then made the following statement:
Given that, sleeping with his family in his apartment is knowingly placing them at risk. If it is his intention to surround himself with civilians in the hope that this lessens the risk to his person, and really even if it is not his intention since he knows his status as a hunted person, then the answer is "yes, he is hiding behind civilians". He is knowingly placing them at risk, and he is using their presence to reduce the risk to his person.

And from that you can gather that in such a situation as this, that if civilians are killed by A due to their proximity to this target from B, then the responsibility falls on the shoulders of both A and B.
But you were unwilling to agree that if Group B killed civilians in an effort to kill hostiles (ie. soldiers from Group A- I will explain why I call them "hostiles"), that still both Group A and Group B are to blame. Feel free to correct me anywhere I may have misunderstood you, but I believe that is your view.

While your scenario is "hypothetical", let me say typically B does not discriminate between military and civilian targets, so that kind of makes the point moot. However I would like to clarify your characterization of what I said.
Your original scenario was a lone soldier on a public bus that was full of civilians. You appeared to be trying to make the assertion that if B attacked this bus in an effort to kill the lone soldier from A and civilians were killed as a result, that this was equivalent to the aforementioned scenario regarding civilian collateral damage when A was going after a high-value target from B. I rejected this and plce the responsibility for the deaths of the civilians strictly with B.
Regarding this soldier on the bus, I stated:
The individual soldier on the other hand is not specifically targetted by anyone. He is in a public place, and has no reasonable expectation of attack. He is not hiding from anybody, he is not a criminal, nor is he on the run. Given this, he is not hiding behind civilians when he chooses to use public transportation.

More specifically the problem is one of targeting. The previously mentioned target from B is a high-value military target that can be likened to a Command-and-Control structure. One soldier, or even a small group of soldiers is nowhere close to being anywhere near an equivalent value of target.
When targeting, remember I earlier stated that the principles of military necessity, humanity, and proportionality must be taken into account. Looking at A's attack on B, a very good argument can be made that these conditions were satisfied (not that I necessarily agree with it, but I could argue the point successfully, but we can go into that later if you'd like). Given B's attack on A that you outlined, none of those conditions are satisfied.

So allow me add another element to this situation and explain why I call the soldiers from Group A "hostiles" and even "criminals". Say these soldiers from Group A were given orders to take land that is INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED to be someon else's, Group B's.

Actually this land once belonged to Country C and Country D (I think they returned some or all of Country E's land), not Group B. Countries C and D lost that land when they invaded A, who continues to occupy it. Ironically, neither C nor D particularly want B to have the land, but that is what will probably happen in time. When E made peace with A, A returned land to E, with A removing the settlements it had placed on this land.
If Group A occupied land that does not belong to them, and then puts innocent civilians on that land, then I would argue that Group A is "hiding behind civilians", and if those civilians are killed, then Group A and Group B still share the blame.

If B is purposefully targeting civilians, once again they are the only ones to blame.
To me, in this situation I have proposed, the soldiers from Group A are in fact criminals. Group A is hiding behind civilians, by occupying land that does not belong to them (as outlined by International law), and then putting civilians on that land.

You might see it that way, but just because you call someone a criminal doesn't make it a fact. They are settling occupied land from C and D. Would it be in everyone's best interest if they removed those settlments? I believe so. Does their presence justify elements of B walking into a settler's home and gunning down a mother and her five children? How about elements of B bashing in the skulls of two boys (12 and 13 I believe) from A with rocks and then writing graffiti on the walls of the cave where they were killed in the boys blood, for the crime of skipping school? Not through any sane logic. Was that mother and her five children, or the two boys, legitimate targets in any sense whatsoever? Again, not by any sane logic.
Now if this land belongs to Group B, then Group B has absolutely no way of defending their own rights, because Group A has deliberately put innocent civilians there.

This is far from true. There are many ways to fight a revolution. Many have done it successfully throughout the ages. It does not *ever* necessitate the deliberate targeting of civilians.
Now I would pose these questions to you:
Do you know what collateral damage is?
Do see a difference between one who deliberately targets civilians for death (making no distinctions between civilian and military targets), and one who causes the death of civilians incidentally in the course of legitmate combat operations with other combatants or military targets?
Can you see a moral difference between deliberately killing someone and accidentally killing them (be it through chance or negligence)?
Do you disagree with the conventions of war that state that civilians in the presence of high-value military targets does not render those targets immune from attack (although necessity, humanity, and proportionality must still be considered)?
Do you agree with international law that "utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations´┐Ż, is a war crime?
[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Anthony Goshaunee
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Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

This is far from true. There are many ways to fight a revolution. Many have done it successfully throughout the ages. It does not *ever* necessitate the deliberate targeting of civilians.
Now I would pose these questions to you:
Do you know what collateral damage is?
Do see a difference between one who deliberately targets civilians for death (making no distinctions between civilian and military targets), and one who causes the death of civilians incidentally in the course of legitmate combat operations with other combatants or military targets?
Can you see a moral difference between deliberately killing someone and accidentally killing them (be it through chance or negligence)?
Do you disagree with the conventions of war that state that civilians in the presence of high-value military targets does not render those targets immune from attack (although necessity, humanity, and proportionality must still be considered)?
Do you agree with international law that "utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations”, is a war crime?
[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


Again, I feel that you are too tied up with a particular situation that you have already in your mind decided what is wrong and what is right. Now, all I have tried to do is try to say, "Well, what if this was the case?".
Even if the land belonged to Counry C and D, if it is internationally accepted to not belong to A and if Group A has occupied that land, that is a criminal action. Those who participate in that are criminals. This is not something that I believe, it seems pretty clear to me that if Group A is occupying land that does not belong to them, and whoever it belongs to does not want them there, then Group A is criminal.
"They are settling occupied land from C and D. Would it be in everyone's best interest if they removed those settlments? I believe so. Does their presence justify elements of B walking into a settler's home and gunning down a mother and her five children? How about elements of B bashing in the skulls of two boys (12 and 13 I believe) from A with rocks and then writing graffiti on the walls of the cave where they were killed in the boys blood, for the crime of skipping school? Not through any sane logic. Was that mother and her five children, or the two boys, legitimate targets in any sense whatsoever? Again, not by any sane logic."
Again, please try to avoid raising emotions. Here you are trying to make Group B seem like the aggressors and Group A seem like the victims. Both groups have done terrible things to each other. If you want to get specific, then perhaps you can supply me with your email, and I will email you horrifying pictures of those who have suffered on Group B. Pictures of children without legs, half burned, no arms, etc... Trying to raise emotions is not beneficial to such a discussion. It will end up, "Well they did this" forever.
I would say, it does not justify Group B attacking innocent civilians, but when Group B does attack innocent civilians, Group A shares teh blame for putting civilians in harms way, in an effort to hide behind innocent civilians.
You seem to have decided that Group A is the victim and Group B is the aggressor. To me that attitude is what keeps the cycle of violence going. Many see Group B as the victim and Group A as the aggressor. I try to stay away from both of these groups, because it seems to me, this sort of bias thinking only continues such violence. So I have tried to provide a hypothetical situation so that we can move away from the details (whose land is who, specific brutal crimes that both sides are responsible for, etc)
I think there is a fundamental principles that once agreed upon, the details can be worked out. The fundamental point I am trying to make is that it is criminal to occupy land that does not belong to someone. This seems fairly simple. And of course, it is criminal to target civilians, whether you admit you are targetting civilians or claim you are targetting criminals.
Now I will answer you questions:
Do you know what collateral damage is?
Yes, isn't that what Timothy McVeigh was talking about after the Oklahoma City bombing?
Do see a difference between one who deliberately targets civilians for death (making no distinctions between civilian and military targets), and one who causes the death of civilians incidentally in the course of legitmate combat operations with other combatants or military targets?
Yes, but I also see NO difference between one who deliberately targets civilians for death and one who claims that civilian deaths are accidental, but whose actions seem to suggest otherwise.
Can you see a moral difference between deliberately killing someone and accidentally killing them (be it through chance or negligence)?
Yes, of course. But if a civilian residential area is deliberately bombed, and it is known that there are civilians in that building, I do not see that as an "accidental" killing.
Do you disagree with the conventions of war that state that civilians in the presence of high-value military targets does not render those targets immune from attack (although necessity, humanity, and proportionality must still be considered)?
No I do not disagree, but I think we need to be very careful with what is a high-value military target. For example, I do not think that a residential area or school CAN EVER be considered a high-value military target.
Do you agree with international law that "utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations”, is a war crime?
Again, I agree with that, but I do not think anyone is "utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” when we are talking about a school or residential area. Again, such areas should never be targets, whether it is Group A or Group B that is doing the targetting.
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
"This isn't quite what I said. Specifically I said:"
I was not trying to intentionally make it sound like you said something you didn't. I just felt that no one else would be interested in this discussion, and therefore, I knew that me and you both know what you said, so in an effort to keep it brief, I summarized.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

AG:

Do you know what collateral damage is?
Yes, isn't that what Timothy McVeigh was talking about after the Oklahoma City bombing?
...
I do not think that a residential area or school CAN EVER be considered a high-value military target.

The inconsistency of approach in these two statements is what interests me.
In the first, if taken seriously, you allow that 'collateral damage' is a relative term. As such, it is always used 'fairly' because it only conveys the perspective of the user.
In the second statement, you can allow no perspective that justifies bombing a residential area or school.
This seems odd to me, the idea of maintaining absolutes in the quagmire of situational ethics. In situational ethics there are no real rules, only cases. How we deal with those cases is a matter of agreemeents and conventions.
Elsewhere Jason (I think correctly) cited such a convention for military air operations. I don't think he was citing them for their "rightness" but because they were written down and anyone could read them to determine if a military power acted in accordance with them.
Announcing military intentions in this way doesn't automatically excuse them, it just makes them clear. If someone plants a radar detection station on top of a school's radio tower, and that station proves harmful to someone else's military operation, guess what? Down it comes, regardless of where it is. Would the U.S. go so far in such a case as to let people know they're about to have their living rooms shelled? Read the manual; it's not a secret.
It is in writing the conditions of armed conflict that others can assess the risks of their actions against others. But when a someone like McVeigh comes from nowhere to bomb a government building, killing people with no apparent connection to forces that threaten or damage his real interests (not his political agenda) any reasonable person not outraged by his use of 'collateral damage' will certainly dismiss it as spurious.
Assuming your 'McVeigh answer' was intended as a joke, I think it's offered in poor taste and shows childish judgment.
[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
AG:
[qb]
Do you know what collateral damage is?
Assuming your 'McVeigh answer' was intended as a joke, I think it's offered in poor taste and shows childish judgment.
[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

Michael, please take a second before you jump to conclusions. My "McVeigh answer" was not a joke. It was meant to show how the term "collateral damage" can be abused, and how it has been abused in the passed by Timothy McVeigh, someone we can all agree is a terrorist. Therefore the point I am making is that we need to be careful how we use such a term.
Please be more careful with jumping to conclusions and reading what you would like to read into my posts. Perhaps next time you can ask me exactly what I meant by my post.
If you are constantly looking in all of my posts for one line that you can take out of context, you will find such a line no matter how careful I am. I would appreciate if instead of, "You are either supporting McVeigh or you are tasteless and childish" you would say, "Exactly what did you mean by that answer"
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Anthony, group B is a criminal group under international law. They do not have the right to attack any people, military or civilain, of country A. To say that group B can justify killing a solfier on a bus full of civilians is absurd because group B can't justify killing a soldier alone on a road.
Now, lets' talk about collateral damage. Collateral damge means damage incidental to the main target of an attack. Collateral damage is only validated when it is proportional to the military value of the attack. So if I drop a nuclear bomb on a city because an agent of Group B is in that city, then I have failed to maintain a proportional attack. If, however, I kill several civilians in attempting to destroy a command center of my enemy then that is incidental as long as I tried to avoid civilain casualties.
Now imagine this situation. An agent of country B arranges the murder of the citizens of your country. He sends out his agents to kill children and women non-combatants. To avoid attack by you he always stays in areas where there are large numbers of civilians. Would you allow him to continue to kill your citizens or would you attempt to stop him in a way that would cause the least collateral loss of life?


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:
Michael, please take a second before you jump to conclusions. My "McVeigh answer" was not a joke. It was meant to show how the term "collateral damage" can be abused,
The word "is" can be abused. Words either mean something or they don't. Do you intend on using the word "collateral" as universally accepted in international law or do you intend on using it however you like?
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Anthony, group B is a criminal group under international law. They do not have the right to attack any people, military or civilain, of country A. To say that group B can justify killing a solfier on a bus full of civilians is absurd because group B can't justify killing a soldier alone on a road.
Now, lets' talk about collateral damage. Collateral damge means damage incidental to the main target of an attack. Collateral damage is only validated when it is proportional to the military value of the attack. So if I drop a nuclear bomb on a city because an agent of Group B is in that city, then I have failed to maintain a proportional attack. If, however, I kill several civilians in attempting to destroy a command center of my enemy then that is incidental as long as I tried to avoid civilain casualties.
Now imagine this situation. An agent of country B arranges the murder of the citizens of your country. He sends out his agents to kill children and women non-combatants. To avoid attack by you he always stays in areas where there are large numbers of civilians. Would you allow him to continue to kill your citizens or would you attempt to stop him in a way that would cause the least collateral loss of life?

I can see this argument, Thomas, BUT there is a very important point that I believe you are missing. If Group B has no ways of fighting Group A, it may have to resort to actions that could be called "criminal". But when you decide that Group A is right and Group B is wrong, then you have a problem. Then you start saying things like, "Well Group B is criminal, and therefore has no rights." You DID NOT say exactly that, but you did said, "group B is a criminal group under international law. They do not have the right to attack any people, military or civilain, of country A" which sounds very similar.
I take it you mean agents in Group B are criminal. Your statement seemed to imply that Group B as a whole is a criminal group and if we are talking about an entire people such a statment seems to be labeling an entire people as criminals. But the way I understand it is that when you say Group B you are talking about a subset in a larger group, we can call Group P. I will take that you do not think Group P is criminal (at least I really hope so), correct me if I am wrong.
Now an important distinction must be made between what is a criminal organization and what is a legitimate milita. I would say that if a majority of Group P feels that they are victims of Group A, and find that the actions of the subset, Group B, are their only source of defense, then it is not a criminal organization. Allow me to explain with a couple examples that I see differently. Taliban and Hamas. The Taliban had the people of Afghanistan hostage. A majority of Afghans did not support the Taliban, rather they were the first victims. Taliban therefore is a criminal organization. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, feel that they are victims of Israel (now perhaps you will take issue with this and this is one of those details that I would rather not argue, I will explain this further below). Many of these people feel that Hamas is their only way to defend themselves. Perhaps they are wrong and the Hamas is not the best way to defend themselves, but the Palestinian people are victims because they have no rightful way of defense.
Ok, so I've probably brushed over some details that you may disagree with, but let's step back and get hypothetical again.
Say Group P feels they have no defense against Group A, which they feel is hostile and unfair to them. For the sake of this hypothetical situation, allow us to assume that Group P truely and honestly supports Group B because they see it as their only line of defense against what they see as a group that cares nothing for their rights (let us say an international force was set up to monitor elections and Group P has elected many of Group B into their democratic system). I no longer believe this Group B is equivalent to the Taliban. The actions of Group B are equivalent to the actions of Group A. Unless now you want to argue that Group P as a whole is criminal.
I realize until Group P has such an election Group B remains vulnerable to claims that it is no different than the Taliban, but when an entire people feel so oppressed and victimized by a certain group, one must step back and listen instead of continue to justify the actions Group A. People seem to forget we are talking about a conflict.
Both Group A and Group P have justified and unjustified claims. Both are right and wrong, and both are responsible for the conflict. It is not "right vs wrong" and it is not "black and white". I am afraid many are viewing this as good vs bad rather than what it is, a conflict between two groups. Until each group is required to accept some responsibilty for the conflict, then the conflict will continue.
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The word "is" can be abused. Words either mean something or they don't. Do you intend on using the word "collateral" as universally accepted in international law or do you intend on using it however you like?

Perhaps you are just being sarcastic, but I will answer your post anyway.
My understanding was that Jason's point was that "collateral damage" is an unfortunant reality of conflict and war. I would agree with that, but my point was that we should be very careful to not abuse the term.
Answer to your question: as it is accepted in international law.
In particular situations we as humans have to decide how the law applies to that particular situation. My point is we have to be very careful in doing so.
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
"Now an important distinction must be made between what is a criminal organization and what is a legitimate milita. I would say that if a majority of Group P feels that they are victims of Group A, and find that the actions of the subset, Group B, are their only source of defense, then it is not a criminal organization. Allow me to explain with a couple examples that I see differently. Taliban and Hamas. The Taliban had the people of Afghanistan hostage. A majority of Afghans did not support the Taliban, rather they were the first victims. Taliban therefore is a criminal organization. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, feel that they are victims of Israel (now perhaps you will take issue with this and this is one of those details that I would rather not argue, I will explain this further below). Many of these people feel that Hamas is their only way to defend themselves. Perhaps they are wrong and the Hamas is not the best way to defend themselves, but the Palestinian people are victims because they have no rightful way of defense."
The Hamas is still a criminal organization, but not in the same sense. It is a criminal organization that exists only because of the unfair situation that the Palestinians are in. It can not be completely wiped out without addressing the source of the problem. If the source of the problem is eliminated (ie. International forces are put in place to make sure the Palestinain people are given their basic human rights), I am sure support for the Hamas will slowly disappear and become nothing more than a group like the Taliban.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I had assumed Gorup B was the group that was fighting against Country A.
I think you have things a bit mixed up. Hamas is a criminal orginazation no matter how much the people of Palestine may or may not support them.
Group P can't say, we aren't at war with Country A but we are going to support Group B in their attacks on Country A. Group P can't have it both ways. Either they are at war or they aren't. They can't support a clandestine war against Country A and expect to have any moral authority. If they do, then group B has stepped over the line into criminality. You can't justify murder because "it is the only way we have". Murder is always wrong.
So what is the answer? Group P must renounce all violence. They must demand protection from international organizations. Group P must arrest and prosecute all members of Group B. They must peacefully negotiate with Country A.
I would give as an example of this, Northern Ireland. Through years of fighting no progress was made. But since the IRA has renounced violence (even though certain members of the other side haven't) there has been progress and a future of peace is almost assured.
The question becomes, can Country A and Group P ever live in peace. If not, then violence and death will reign on both their houses for seventy times seven generations.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
The cruxt of the problem is that the ends do not justify the means. Being downtrodden and oppressed does not give license for wanton murder. In fact, these tactics tend to invalidate the cause they are supposed to be fighting for.
To say that there are no other means, aside from not being true, only serves to justify wanton murder. To try to excuse these acts by saying that the perpetrators were pushed to it, is a cop-out, and only serves to justify murder.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Anthony you really need to quit pretending that you are impartial and Jason and Thomas have their minds made up. Your posts state otherwise. Saying they have no other way of fighting is absurd. That is saying that the deliberate killing of civilians is ok. So using your logic Group A needs to plant bombs in Group B areas to just kill civilians. After all they have no other way to stop Group B from doing the same.
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Anthony you really need to quit pretending that you are impartial and Jason and Thomas have their minds made up. Your posts state otherwise. Saying they have no other way of fighting is absurd. That is saying that the deliberate killing of civilians is ok. So using your logic Group A needs to plant bombs in Group B areas to just kill civilians. After all they have no other way to stop Group B from doing the same.

Paul, perhaps what you meant to say is, "Despite believing you are impartial, I believe that you are not" instead of "Stop pretending you are impartial".
I really think the situation is terrible. I am afraid that despite believing that they are impartial, Jason and Thomas feel that Group P, the people, are the criminals and Group A is impartial and the "good guys".
They do not agree that this is their position, I am sure, and I will listen to them. Perhaps in the past I have made comments like yours, but since I have registered a name, I have tried to avoid saying things like, "Admit you hate Group P and stop pretending to be unbias" You should do the same.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:
I really think the situation is terrible. I am afraid that despite believing that they are impartial

I have never stated I am impartial. How can anyone be impartial? I do however possess the ability to look at things fairly objectively. As such I have backed up my perspective primarily using international conventions which are in and of themselves objective and widely accepted.
Jason and Thomas feel that Group P, the people, are the criminals and Group A is impartial and the "good guys".

I do not believe anyone is "the good guys", other than the innocent people trying to go about their daily lives without getting blown up. I also do not believe group A is impartial. Again, how could they be? I do have problems with many of the tactics chosen by group A, however I also recognize that much of what they do actually is militarily legitimate when viewed from a LOAC perspective, and I have tried my best to show this to you. That does not make them "right", btw.
I have great sympathy for innocents on both sides of the conflict. The tactics of murder directed at children is something I absolutely refuse to justify under any circumstances. That one side has chosen these tactics as its major weapon to achieve its goals makes it very difficult for me to sympathize with them.
Anthony Goshaunee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I do not believe anyone is "the good guys", other than the innocent people trying to go about their daily lives without getting blown up. I also do not believe group A is impartial. Again, how could they be? I do have problems with many of the tactics chosen by group A, however I also recognize that much of what they do actually is militarily legitimate when viewed from a LOAC perspective, and I have tried my best to show this to you. That does not make them "right", btw.
I have great sympathy for innocents on both sides of the conflict. The tactics of murder directed at children is something I absolutely refuse to justify under any circumstances. That one side has chosen these tactics as its major weapon to achieve its goals makes it very difficult for me to sympathize with them.

Based on the actions of both sides, it seems both sides have chosen these tactics as its major weapon. Just as you find it hard to sympathize with one side, I find it hard to sympathize with the other.
One thing must be noted. If this discussion were to go on in Saudi Arabia, the "average poster" views would be very different than the average viewer here. I think the "average Sauid Arabian" would be just as bias as the "average American" except in the totally opposite way. I think an "average European" would be more impartial than the "average American" or "average Saudi Arabian". I think this is very important in noting, because it seems to me that the "average American" and "average Saudi Arabian" are equally bias. This is not to say anything bad about Americans, but it is quite obvious to the rest of the world that America is "on Israel's side"- at least as much as "Saudi Arabia" is "on the Palestinian's side."
I think the "average American" and the "average Saudia Arabian" can see why and how the other one is bias, but can not see how they themselves are bias. Again, people from different cultures are very much alike.
Paul Stevens
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Let's see, we have an area of the world whose whole goal is the total destruction of the other. An area of the world who feels that targeting civilians can be justified. An area of the world that celebrates the taking of innocent lives. Yeah, I think I may be partial to one side.
You could take the same scenario and move it somewhere else and guess what, I would still have the same partiality.
omar khan
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Joined: Feb 01, 2001
Posts: 183
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Let's see, we have an area of the world whose whole goal is the total destruction of the other. An area of the world who feels that targeting civilians can be justified. An area of the world that celebrates the taking of innocent lives. Yeah, I think I may be partial to one side.

Paul I agree 100% with you, but also Israelis has some rights!
It is true that Israel army target civilians, that the Israeli government want to eject Arabs from the area, that they are happy to destroy Arab homes and want to keep Arabs in poverty but not every Israeli agrees on the issue.
There are also some moderates that want to live in peace. The problem is that peaceful Israeli are a minority.
Try and do not support only Palestinians but keep a impartial position.
All in all it is just a regional territorial dispute, isn't it?
Dave Vick
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
< completely off topic >
Anthony, it is very hard to follow everything and takes a lot more bandwidth, server space and time to read posts that consistently repeat a large portion of what the post they are replying to. If there is a specific sentence then just quote that sentence and answer it then go on the next. Otherwise, you can just answer the posts, I'm sure most people here are intelligent enough to follow the conversation without having it all restated for them. some people have dialup connection if there are a lot of repeated postes in a thread it can take a lot longr to download all of the thread.
Just my little pet peeve (along with people who constantly over abbreviate),
Thanks
< /completely off topic >


Dave
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Poor Omar... Israel does not target civilians. Israel targets military leaders. The question is do they do enough to avoid civilian casualties? How does proportionality fit in? If you can kill the leader of your enemy does it justify 10 civilian casualties? 20? 50? 200? What is the limit? If you say zero, then you are paralyzing yourself since no leader would ever be stupid enough not to surround themselves with civilians 24 hours a day.
The terrorists do target civilians. That is their only target. They don't go after Israeli military or government leaders. They go after college kids sitting in their cafeteria having lunch. That is murder and can not ever be justified. Anyone who supports these murderers, anyone who gives money to the family of these murderers is promoting murder and is as guilty as the murderer.
Again, I notice that you all ignore the situation in Northern Ireland. You justify murder by saying they have no choice and ignore the lessons learned throughout the world. So answer this, when has terror tactics ever suceeded in doing anything except killing innocent people? Where are the successful terrorists?
omar khan
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Posts: 183
Terrorism is always wrong: either state terrorism or ethnic/religious terrorism.
Corey McGlone
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Posts: 3271
Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:

...If Group B has no ways of fighting Group A, it may have to resort to actions that could be called "criminal"...

The problem, as I see it, is that group B sees only one way of fighting back against what they see as an injustice to themselves - violence. Although there have been all sorts of violent encounters in the past, this isn't the only way to fight back. In fact, I think Jason pointed out a key fact when he said:
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

The cruxt of the problem is that the ends do not justify the means. Being downtrodden and oppressed does not give license for wanton murder. In fact, these tactics tend to invalidate the cause they are supposed to be fighting for.

Of course, I'm not trying to say that the outrage felt by one group is unjustified or that the group that they attack has never dealt them any wrongs - quite the opposite. However, when all anyone sees is one group killing civilians, that group will get no support and the victims of these attacks (the group's enemies) will look more justified in fighting back, which is exactly the opposite effect as what had been intended. Rather than weakening their enemy, they have only empowered them.
I leave you with an example, if you're familar with it - the struggle for equality of African Americans in the US in the early 1900's. You can read all about the technique (and success) of passive resistance here. Awful things had been done to African Americans - men hanged, crosses burned in front yards, etc. The list goes on and on. However, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. found a way to fight back without killing members of the opposition. In fact, if he had, I'm sure the situtation would have gotten even worse for the African Americans. It was the fact that they had taken the "moral highground" that eventually won them support and helped them achieve their goals.
In short, I'm just pointing out that I disagree with your point that the only means left to "fight back" is to kill anyone (including civilians) from the other side. It is not the only solution, it is just the only solution that each side currently sees.
[ August 02, 2002: Message edited by: Corey McGlone ]

SCJP Tipline, etc.
Anonymous
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I think it was Gandhi who first used non-violence as an effective strategy against the British.
But now,in India his views are considered outdated and irrelevant.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
Terrorism is always wrong: either state terrorism or ethnic/religious terrorism.

I am curious how you define terrorism. After 9/11 and Bush's stated policy on international terrorism, everybody has been coming up with their own definition that fits their own particular agenda.
In another thread I presented two definitions for terrorism that are widely accepted. Those definitions would not seem to fit yours because they do not label Israeli actions as terrorist.
The definition used by the US, and also widely adopted across the world, is contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d). The US has used this definition for statistical purposes since 1983. This is a definition frequently used by government bodies (US and otherwise)

The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
The term "international terrorism" means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country.
The term "terrorist group" means any group practicing, or that has significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.

Another definintion is sometimes referred to as the Academic Concensus Definition of terrorism. It was put forth by international terrorist expert Alex P. Schmid in 1988 after consultation with various academic experts in terrorism. This definition is more likely to be used in academic circles.

Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought.

In my own opinion, it is silly to try to apply the terrorist label to situations where it does not apply simply to try to draw some kind of parallel between the actions of the two parties, or to provide justification for the actual terrorist tactics chosen by one party of a conflict. Call the tactics of the other party, immoral, war crimes, sadistic, or any other label that you can come up with, but not terrorist, because it simply does not fit the accepted definitions.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:

My "McVeigh answer" was not a joke. It was meant to show how the term "collateral damage" can be abused, and how it has been abused in the passed by Timothy McVeigh, someone we can all agree is a terrorist.
Perhaps next time you can ask me exactly what I meant by my post.

Why would I do that? Is it unsafe to assume you've said what you mean the first time around?
I am not persuaded in your original post of the intent you state above. By using sarcasm you've left it open-ended to be interpreted either way.
When someone asks if you understand a certain term, the clearest approach is to answer the question directly.
There's something in all this about never getting a second chance to make a first impression.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by <slacker>:
I think it was Gandhi who first used non-violence as an effective strategy against the British.
But now,in India his views are considered outdated and irrelevant.

Yes, we are all so much more modern now. Not use violence to achieve my ends? What an absurd thought!
Corey McGlone
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Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Originally posted by <slacker>:
I think it was Gandhi who first used non-violence as an effective strategy against the British.
But now,in India his views are considered outdated and irrelevant.

Indeed, I agree with Thomas. Who has become more outdated and irrelevant? Ghandi? Or the people that ignore what he, and others like him, had accomplished and resort to violence?
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
{
But now,in India his views are considered outdated and irrelevant.
}
I meant that in a sarcastic way.
I think if the Palestinians had adopted non-violence, more people would be supporting them. But then again they might have their reasons for turning to violence.
When Gandhi was asked whether he would adopt non-violence against the Nazis , he is said to have replied " You can shame the British into doing the right thing ..May not have worked agaisnst the Nazis"
Corey McGlone
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Posts: 3271
Originally posted by <slacker>:
I meant that in a sarcastic way.

You know, certain smilies can go a long way to help people understand what you're trying to say. :roll: (Case in point.)
Stu Glassman
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Joined: Jul 01, 2002
Posts: 91
Also of note: group A decided not to kill the terrorist leader several times before in order to avoid unnecessary loss of civilian life. Group B intentionally targets civilians. When was the last time they attacked a military target?
Anthony. Could you approach the parents of one of the boys killed at Hebrew University and explain the reason for their deaths? "I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. ________, but your son was a threat to my security. All his studying and praying scared us half to death, so we blew him to smithereens. I feel much safer now that he's no longer alive."
It wouldn't bother my conscious to speak to a relative of the terrorist and his family. I would prefer that no civilians were killed, but that's a choice that he made when he surrounded himself with civilians. Group A did not have a choice. You can't kill a man without destroying his sheild.
-Stu
P.S. Today, the UN cleared Israel of all charges regarding the so called massacre at Jenin.
[ August 02, 2002: Message edited by: Stu Glassman ]
Corey McGlone
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Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Originally posted by Stu Glassman:
...but your son was a threat to my security...

I don't think that's the point behind the killings at all. If the people were being killed because they were a threat to security, they could be considered military targets - someone wishing to do them harm (or we could at least call it self defense). Obviously, that's not the case here. That's why we call this terrorism.
The idea is to kill someone in order to send a "message" to someone else - the real targets. The people that are killed aren't really the people that the terrorists are after, at all.
Of course, it's been quite a while since I've heard about attacks on Israeli military targets - perhaps it's safer to be in the Israeli military than to be an Israeli citizen. :roll: (See - sarcasm - everybody get that? )
In many cases, I think the terrorists (here I go - trying to think like a terrorist) are trying to "open the eyes" of their "oppressors" or the rest of the world by doing something so dramatic that everyone must take notice. They figure that killing someone (or a handful of people - or, in one recent case, a few thousand) will do just that. In many cases, they're right. It does draw a lot of attention. On the other hand, I don't think it has the effect that they desire. Instead of opening the eyes to what they see as a grave injustice, the world condemns them and the cause they're fighting for. As far as I can tell, they're just shooting themselves in the foot. Of course, I don't really understand what terrorists are thinking, so they might just like the sight of people dying, for all I know.
[ August 02, 2002: Message edited by: Corey McGlone ]
Stu Glassman
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Joined: Jul 01, 2002
Posts: 91
"Instead of opening the eyes to what they see as a grave injustice, the world condemns them and the cause they're fighting for." - Corey
I couldn't agree more. In fact, that's not the only way that they're shooting themselves in the foot. Group B is blowing up innocents in order to gain more freedoms for themselves. Group A responds logically by limiting the freedoms of group B. Group C sits on the sidelines and shakes their collective head.
If group B had used Java instead of C++, it would have been harder to shoot themselves in the foot. (that smiley denotes humor, but not necessarily sarcasm)
-Stu
[edited - I made the smiley incorrectly, go figure]
[ August 02, 2002: Message edited by: Stu Glassman ]
Corey McGlone
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Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Originally posted by Stu Glassman:
If group B had used Java instead of C++, it would have been harder to shoot themselves in the foot...

But it would have taken more effort to generate any output... :roll:
But, seriously...
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Just a heads-up to everyone - I've getting tired of trying to weed out the unfriendly posts from the "good" ones in these threads. The more I do it on a case-by-case basis, the more people expect it, and get upset if things aren't handled the way they want. Some of this you've seen publicly; other stuff has been quickly deleted or handled in e-mail. Anyway, sorry to those who think that they or others have been treated unfairly. Some I actually agree with; others not - but either way, it's becoming counterproductive to try to address this on a case-by-case basis, and the forum is feeling less and less friendly.
So - I'm going to be moving away from the policy of editing or deleting individual posts which "cross the line". I'll now be much more likely to just close or delete a thread entirely when it starts to go bad. This isn't an absolute rule; I'm sure there will be exceptions. But it will be true in general at least. This particular thread seems OK right now, if we conveniently ignore the recent past. :roll: But don't be surprised if it gets shut down in the near future if that changes.
Thanks to the many of you who have been trying hard to keep things civil, and who have been providing a number of interesting things to think about. Good luck...


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