Collateral Damage.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Coloradomtnman, May 6, 2009.

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Is Collateral Damage Acceptable?

Poll closed May 27, 2009.
  1. Yes, too bad rag-heads! Ha ha! Only Americans count.

    10.0%
  2. Yes, unfortunately.

    50.0%
  3. Sometimes...?

    10.0%
  4. No, but its an necessary evil to fight evil.

    20.0%
  5. NO! NEVER! You're all a bunch of blood-thirsty war mongers!

    10.0%
  1. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    Here are some articles and websites regarding the deaths of innocent people, including women and children, caused by US airstrikes and bombings:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/world/asia/07afghan.html?ref=asia

    Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan

    The Wedding Crashers: U.S. Jets Have Bombed Five Ceremonies in Afghanistan | War on Iraq | AlterNet

    These are just a few of these events. Not to mention innocent people shot like those at the massacre of al-Haditha.

    My opinion is that collateral damage is absolutely unacceptable. Those responsible for issuing the order or, as in the case of the Marines in al-Haditha, those directly responsible should be punished publicly. For two reasons:

    1. To attempt to prevent such wrongs from occurring again, and

    2. To demonstrate that the US doesn't tolerate the killings of innocent people. This saps the will to fight of the enemy is they see that their enemy (us) is not so bad after all, and it reduces the enemy's ability to recruit when people realize that the US is not so bad after all.

    The US government should also pay reparations to those affected by unwarranted or mistaken attacks. I know that its a lousy consolation, but what else can we do. I understand that these sort of things happen during war: its inevitable. Which is one reason why I think we should avoid war at almost any cost (except for wars like WWII). Just look at what this war on terror has cost the US, thousands of lives, billions of dollars, the good will of much of the developed world, and two quagmires: Afghanistan and the Taliban, and Iraq and the insurgents. And now this is spilling over into Pakistan and Iran. We seem to be creating more terrorists than killing.

    What is your opinion:
    Is collateral damage acceptable? Why?

    Is a war on terror which causes terror a moral and righteous war? If so, why?

    Should the US issue reparations to the families of the victims of such incidences? Why not?
     
  2. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    This is actually addressed in the new Counterinsurgency Field Manual published by the Marines and the Army:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.ca/Marine-Corps-Counterinsurgency-Field-Manual/dp/0226841510]The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual: John A. Nagl: Amazon.ca: James F. Amos, Sarah Sewall, David H. Petraeus: Books[/ame]

    I got to read some of it because a friend of mine was reading it, and it is actually really good. The focus is switched precisely to the defense and protection of civilians as the centerpoint of counterinsurgency operations for pretty much the reasons you listed: to choke the insurgency's recruitment potential. Civilians as "collateral damage" becomes unacceptable because it risks ruining the mission in various ways.

    "Surely a manual that's on the bedside table of the president, vice president, secretary of defense, 21 of 25 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and many others deserves a place at your bedside too." - Lt. General David H. Petraeus" Certainly recommendable, from what I read of it. If anyone here actually got to read the whole thing, maybe they can expand.
     
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  3. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    You will never have a perfect war... you will not be able to completely ensure the safety of innocent civilians

    Collateral damage is never something you want, but you cannot completely avoid it... You can only try to limit it without absolutely hindering the necessary military mission...

    And it is harder in many cases now, even with more 'smart' weapons.. the way the coward terrorists like to hide behind civilians

    So I think it is very unfair to have the choices you have... It's not yes, no, or sometimes... It is unfortunately a part of reality in warfare
     
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    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  4. Newby
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    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

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    What you are saying requires intellectual honesty and a modicum of common sense, neither of which is apparently not evident in the choices provided.
     
  5. Newby
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    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

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    Perhaps you should try your lecture on the terrorists?
     
  6. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    What about "Yes, unfortunately."?
     
  7. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    I think you just like to follow my posts around and criticize them, and if there isn't anything really there to criticize, you just make shit up. That or you didn't read what I wrote. What choices would you have come up with, Newby? Yes, no, sometimes, once in a while, only when the enemy hides behind innocent people?
     
  8. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    collateral damage is a part of war.....
     
  9. Newby
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    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I have a secret crush on you, and I just can't help myself. :eusa_shhh:
     
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  10. Coloradomtnman
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    First off, it wasn't a lecture so much as it was an expression of my opinion.

    And secondly, why, do you think it will work? If I tell the terrorists that the US shouldn't kill innocent people, you think it'd help? Maybe, but we'd actually have to stop killing innocent people.

    Luckily, the DoD thinks that collateral damage is also unacceptable and for at least one of the reasons I do. It is also my opinion that we should somehow give the victims' families something out of regret for killing, maiming, injuring, and/or traumatizing them.

    What do you think? "Oh well, too bad, you Muslims shouldn't live in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or where ever it is our bombs landed? I don't think that should be in the federal budget. I'm fiscally conservative, so I don't want a bunch of people to try to get bombed just so they can live off of the US nanny state."

    What if it were you or your family accidentally killed by a bomb because of faulty intelligence or a misguided smartbomb or missile? Just envision that for a moment before you answer. What kind of stupid tragedy would that be for you or your family?
     

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