The whole drone attack business has always bothered me, as frankly has the whole use of high technology against primitive foes.
There is something immoral about smiting an enemy who can’t hit back. I am bothered by, not opposed to, it because I recognize that some enemies are so evil that such methods are justified.
But I AM bothered by it because it violates the notion of a “fair fight,” which is one element of a just war.
It also provides some element, though not much, of moral justification to those who respond by “hitting back the only way they can” against soft civilian targets. IOW, to terrorists.
I’m sorry if this screed is more than a little incoherent. I’m quite sure this tactic does bother me, but I’m still trying to work out in my own mind just why that is.
If anybody understands what I’m getting at here, I’d appreciate assistance in clarifying my thoughts.
“But I AM bothered by it because it violates the notion of a fair fight, which is one element of a just war.”
That is not part of Just War. There is no requirement for a fair fight. Just War requires it be fought by a legitimate authority, mitigates the suffering of innocents and is fought for a just cause.
Throwing rocks to avoid physically closing with the enemy, using rifles to shoot those that throw rocks, using jets to bomb the enemy when he has no AAA or SAMs, it is all about a longer reach. A longer reach increases your safety and survival and the use of UAVs provide that.
“The whole drone attack business has always bothered me, as frankly has the whole use of high technology against primitive foes.”
Question: So, are you saying we must only fight using the same weapons or our enemy?
“There is something immoral about smiting an enemy who cant hit back. “
So, our warriors are immoral because they use the weapons we give them, weapons that allow them to strike the enemy and remain relatively safe while doing so? That is immoral?
“It also provides some element, though not much, of moral justification to those who respond by hitting back the only way they can against soft civilian targets. IOW, to terrorists.”
Not really. Attacking the innocent as the aim of your attack is a violation of Just War. Remember, one of the principle aims of Just War it to mitigate the suffering of the innocent.
Will innocents suffer in war? Yes, but they should NOT be the target of the war.
Proportionality is necessary: is the military gain worth the cost to the innocent. Bombing a powerplant that powers a key military base also powers a hospital. . .what is the proportional military gain when compared to the civilian cost. See double-effect.
Double-effect is also considered: Is the target serving a dual use purpose, and if so, will attacking the target be necessary and be proportional to the military gain?
Strategic Effect: Attacking the munitions (IED) factory may cause “civilians” working there to be killed/injured. That is acceptable as they are contributing directly to the war effort. Attacking the farmer in the field because he grows food that the enemy will eat is not—no immediate impact on the war effort.
Just War is on our side, whereas it is not on the side of the terrorists or insurgents.
By the way, Just War theory is a Western concept and is not even close to the middle-east “thoughts” on war. They are truly the evil ones and the ones that fight “unfairly.”
Let me clarify for you.
KILL THEM ALL BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE.
I hope that helps.
After 21 years in the infantry, rather than respond - I have a request. Let me borrow your 18 year old son, I’ll train him up, protect him with everything within my means, and when the mission is accomplished, he can answer your questions
What about the 3000 Americans that died on a sunny Teusday September morning back in 2001? Where was their ability to hit back?
What about the 6 people killed and 1042 injured in the 93 WTC bombing? Where was their ability to hit back?
Where was the ability to hit back of the people killed at Lockerbie?
"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
Im quite sure this tactic does bother me, but Im still trying to work out in my own mind just why that is. If anybody understands what Im getting at here, Id appreciate assistance in clarifying my thoughts.
You are bothered by it because the "don't fight back" crowd ie leftists/communists has been pushing this mantra for years.
In public school 'if someone hits you, tell the teacher.' No mention of hitting back or fighting for yourself.
WWII era - appeasement of Hitler
In PSAs - Bullies can be brought down be being friendly to them and friends standing together; that of course won't fight, they'll just get beat up until the bully is tired
Rosenbergs and supporters - It isn't fair only one country should have this advantage....even idiots like Ron Paul think it isn't fair for us to have nukes and then not allow Iran to have them.
In short, you are having these thoughts because of subversion. The left demands COMPLIANCE. The right wants you to question authority and to gain the advantage.
COMPLIANCE - it's what mandates US soldiers are unarmed on military bases and allows them to get shot by jihadists. It's what lead Jews to the concentration camps and ultimately their deaths.
The left can't win with their ideas once they're looked at with common sense. They can't conquer your liberty unless THEY have the advantage........so they hamstring yours through COMPLIANCE. They'll just declare it "unfair," "immoral," "aggressive,".....unless their guy is doing it. Then it is just and necessary, and needed; down right compassionate even. Why 0 won't bomb a terrorist if his terrorist wives and babies might be present; but that evil George Booosh would have.
That is why you can't own a machinegun without jumping through hoops and foregoing your liberty. That is why you can't have mortars or grenades. Many of the Patriots in the 1770s certainly got their hands on more than a few cannons. Certainly the people are considered the militia and their right to bear the arms of a militia shall not be infringed......but they are, because through FEAR tactics, FAIRNESS, and COMPLIANCE much of the populace's advantage has been removed and given to the state. Here's a prime example --
The only fight that isn't fair, is the one you lose. We fought the enemey toe to toe in Fallujah, we killed an estimated 1-3k terrorists. Certainly with all of our tanks, jets, artillery, night vision etc, we had the advantage. Drones are the same advantage....it just gives the enemy less chance to kill our guys.
I'll put it to you this way. Say perhaps you are walking at night with your wife and small children. A thug with a knife threatens your lives; threatens to take away all that is near and dear to you. Does this mean you can't use your concealed handgun with laser sights because it wouldn't be fair? In effect you are using further advanced technology against a foe more primative than yourself..........
You're not wrong. Let me explain why.
Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting for in person.
Treating your enemies as vermin to be exterminated at the push of a button, even if objectively correct, is morally corrupting. True, we pushed a button and dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese, but not to slaughter them. Just to break them, so we could force our correct worldview on them and take from them their desire to fight. Because in our hearts we knew we were right, they were wrong, and that the pain inflicted was for a purpose.
Dropping missiles on remote farmhouses ten years after being attacked isn't war. It's barely even revenge at this point. It's the actions of people without the moral courage to bring the fire to their enemies and bend their knee in person. Yes, I realize that most people reading this will say, 'That's not true!!" For you folks, maybe that is true. You may understand that the logic Sherman employed at Atlanta to break the enemy and shorten the war. Most Americans don't. That's why we use clean, antiseptic tactics like drones. Most Americans don't have the stomach to fight the way fighting has to be done, so we compromise, and turn into mouse-clicking assassins.
It's precisely the willingness to go all the way that broke the mighty Axis powers. Not just militarily but culturally. It's precisely the lack of will that lets shepherds and illiterates fight the greatest military on earth for a decade and remain the same people they were 10 years ago. The drones are just a symptom of our lack of will, a cheap cop-out for a nation that wants blood so long as its risk-free.
It's very easy to say, 'screw it, they're savages, push the button and don't worry about it'. But it's wrong. We should be willing to look them in the eye and say, 'Submit to our will or die." But we're not. We fight legalistically, from spreadsheet kill lists and cold databases, off the advice of legal counsel and sheltered analysts, and wonder where our feeling of moral righteousness has gone.
No one understands this lack of will more than our enemies, which is why they multiply each year, and spread from nation to nation. They buckle under our drone strikes then rise again in local government. And why? It's because militant Islam knows it has nothing to fear from a foe that won't look it in the eye.
1. They're an enemy BECAUSE they can hit and have every intention of doing so.
2. "Fair fight" only matters to those for whom survival is not paramount. Those for whom survival is not paramount won't survive.
3. You miss the point of "asymmetric warfare": no matter how technologically advanced you are vs. how primitive your enemy is, he CAN hit you (or someone you value with your life). Even if it means a plane ticket and a rock.