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The Rules/"Ethics" of War(11 posts)

The Rules/"Ethics" of WarJon Billheimer
Mar 27, 2003 9:43 AM
There was a truly interesting and informative 1 hr. backgrounder on Iraq last night on the CBC's Fifth Estate. The first half hour dealt with the policy background leading up to the war, going back to the Wolfowitz/Pearle/Cheney/Rumsfeld group unsuccessfully trying to persuade Bush's dad on the benefits of unilateralism. The second half gave the history of the Kurdish experience including betrayal by both the Reagan and Sr. Bush admin.

But one of the interesting sub-segments dealt with the legal constraints the coalition faces when selecting targets and generally prosecuting the war effort. One comment was that about 50% of the American targets have been rejected by the military's legal advisors because of the potential for collateral damage and civilian deaths. Contrast this with the Iraqi's well-documented use of civilians as human shields, Iraqi forces firing on their own civilians, hiding armaments in hospitals and mosques, and the rumoured Iraqi execution of American POWs.

Such behaviour will, of course, solidify pro-war opinion in the West, primarily North America and Great Britain. However, it seems that nothing will alter opinion in the Arab street.
devil (U.S.) made me do itDougSloan
Mar 27, 2003 9:54 AM
I'd bet the Arab (and probably others) mindset will largely be that the RG may have done horrible things (even assuming they believe it), but they were forced to by the infidel war mongering Americans. Hate clouds judgment, and I doubt the SH sympathizers will ever accept that American/coalition forces are being ethical and the RG is not. We made them do it, right?

Even if we don't find WMDMcAndrus
Mar 27, 2003 9:56 AM
Even if we don't find WMD, SH's tactics will have persuaded a lot of fence-sitting Americans that this is the right thing to do.

There were moments last week when I thought these stories of atrocity were akin to English propaganda about German baby killers in WWI. Now I think I've underestimated the absolutely brutal nature of the Baathists. The Fedayeen seem to be every bit as evil as Hitler's SS.
re: The Rules/"Ethics" of WarNo_sprint
Mar 27, 2003 10:28 AM
Indeed. The game is played by two sets of rules. By playing the set the coalition is, the situation in my opinion, will be lengthened. If the coalition had decided to play by no rules and gone in with devastating extreme prejudice, this thing could have been over by now. Evidently 50% of possible bomb targets have been rejected due to the extent of possible collateral damage.

Yes, pro-war opinion will solidify and grow. The country count today is up from 45 two days ago to 49 countries now contributing in this effort.
Idiotic opinions like yours helped get us in this warStarliner
Mar 27, 2003 2:58 PM
i If the coalition had decided to play by no rules and gone in with devastating extreme prejudice, this thing could have been over by now.

Sounds familiar, kind of like "it's going to be a cakewalk", "they'll just roll over and crumple up like a coke can in a hurricane", "Shock and Awe", and other ignorant and stupid comments and opinions which have little connection with reality.

Of course you're wrong on several levels, not the least one being the negative diplomatic fallout we'd enjoy from having stooped to such barbaric levels. Fast-food junkies like yourself who crave fast fixes always pay a price in the end for their haste. Now that we're there, we ought to take the time to do the job as cleanly and intelligently as we are capable of doing, and ignore the drooling idiots who would have us burn the house down in order to keep ourselves from freezing in the cold night.
You're wrong and ignorant and a namecalling baby.No_sprint
Mar 27, 2003 3:16 PM
There were only two statements of opinion in my post. One that due to there being two sets of rules being played, the situation would be longer and one that had the coalition played by Saddam's rules, this thing could quite possibly be over.

Should you not agree, that's your right, and should you assume that I support anything I don't explicity mention, you're not very intelligent and can't read and make stupid assumptions. Should you decide to resort to namecalling over something like this, you're one ignorant moron.

I never suggested we do anything different nor discuss the effects doing anything differently would have made.

Other statements in the posting are fact.

You're the f#$king idiot. :)
Boo hooo waaaahhhhhhhStarliner
Mar 27, 2003 4:04 PM
Ok your addition of the words "quite possibly" turns your original statement "This thing could be over" into something that sounds a bit more carefully thought out, and leaves a respectful opening for an opposing view to be considered. Therefore FWIW I retract my hair-trigger and rude labelling of you as a fast-food junkie. Even if you were to be one anyway, I wouldn't mean to slight you.
49? Most 'in-kind', very few with collateral support. nmSpunout
Mar 28, 2003 5:53 AM
Fact. Contributing. I don't know each and everyNo_sprint
Mar 28, 2003 8:32 AM
particular nations contributions, never claimed to.
Maybe the "rules" will be updated after this warStarliner
Mar 27, 2003 5:17 PM
I've heard several discussions about the Geneva Convention rules and how they relate to this war. One interesting discussion put forth the notion that some of the rules are in a sense obsolete, due to unforeseen technological advances that have occured between the time the rules were created and now.

Taking this thought further, one could surmise that with this war we are indeed entering a new era where the old rules of combat will need to be replaced with new ones.

This war has shown how possible it is to execute combat operations with pinpoint targeting accuracy of buildings, materiel and victims. That we can wage and win wars through the destruction of the enemy's capabilities, rather than the enemy itself, is an interesting thought to ponder.

I can imagine future generations of peace activists becoming more mainstream, replacing old methods of protest that were relevant in the 1960's but seem to be ineffective in today's complicated world with less romantic but more realistic approaches that will appeal to a greater number of people and therefore have a greater chance of being considered.

The notion that peace can be achieved through war is not new.

In one of the great sci-fi classic movies, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," a man arrived in his flying saucer on earth in 1951, coming to warn us that with our recent ability to create atomic bombs and shoot missles into the sky, we were on the verge of taking our conflicts into space, which the spaceman's planet found to be a menacing prospect. On his planet, they had reached a point with their technology where they could create robots that were programmed to use destructive energy to squelch any conflict. The people on the planet were therefore forced to work out their differences peacefully amongst themselves or otherwise be vaporized.

I know I'm rambling so I'll just end it with this final thought - with this new technological way of waging war, could a window of opportunity be opening that, if we choose to pass through, might lead to a more peaceful world?
Well said!Live Steam
Mar 27, 2003 6:05 PM
I am constantly amazed at how aggressive the "peaceful minded" are. They believe that those who feel that this conflict may be necessary in order to prevent further destruction and death of civilians and civilized society, are war mongers bent on killing. They falsely accuse without hesitation. They are as blind to the facts as they so declare we are. In their pursuit of peace, many even resort to violence and or terror, which is the ultimate disgrace of it all.