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Just start firing.  And there's no reason to actually tell your allies either.

Um, we've been doing that in the NFZ for the last dozen or so years now. I'm surprised there's much left to bomb. - MoonShadow
Nyess.. I guess since we have been at war for the last twelve years does somewhat mean that we don't have to declare it.

It did make me do a "youWHAT?" double-take when I read in the office's FT that in late February when the UN were meeting to discuss a potential diplomatic resolution t avoid use of force, US bombers attacked a few Iraqi long-range radar bases.  This apparently doesn't count as use of force...  --AlexChurchill
  My reaction to seeing that juxtaposition of headlines was more like laughter.

Under screwy US laws, can I sue Bush if I lose my job because I am going protesting instead of to work today?

The firing has started, anyway.  By British and US troops... and without UN backing.
Oh, and the US has withdrawn several billion dollars of aid from Turkey, because Turkey only agreed to let the US use its airspace, not its ground as well.  I wish this surprised me.  I really do. -- AlexChurchill
I guess the new US slogans really are "Might makes Right" and "Because we can".

More details (though I'm sure you've got them elsewhere by now) - cruise missiles and planes into downtown baghdad, acting on (doubtless unreliable) spy reports.
Attempted decapitation strike.  No word on how successful it was.

I'd predict several days wait now, partially to try and placate allies and allow public "oh well, can't stop it now" feeling to really set in - and partially to try and scare the opposing soliders.

I didn't go demonstrating today.  No one else I knew was, there seems to be nothing organised.  I am weak.

From what I have heard it sounds like they did exactly the right thing: they received intelligence that Saddam was in a particular place and attempted to kill him right at the start, in the hope that this will cause his regime to fall apart and end the war almost before it begins, with minimal loss of life. They appear to have failed, but (if my interpretation of events is correct) it was exactly right to make the attempt.


If it had worked, I'd agree.  If American intelligence services had ANY record of half-cluefulness I'd agree.  As it is, I'm not so sure i'm happy.  The same logic they are using applies to attempting to crash a plane into the pentagon, after all.

Except for the rather obvious and important difference of the civilians on the aeroplane, yes, it does (and no one disputed that the Pentagon was a military target). And I'm sure we'd all rather it had worked, but when deciding whether to do it or not you don't know whether it will work so it hardly seems fair to judge it on that basis. Presumably they thought that it had at least some chance of success or they wouldn't have done it.

Was just saying what my reaction was.  If they had reported "US preemptively attacked today, killed Saddam." I would have thought "justifiable crime"  As it is, I am thinking "crime".  Yes, you have to take that risk when deciding whether to do something or not.  They may have called it right and gotten unlucky.  They may yet have gotten lucky.  Or, they may have made the wrong call.  But they stil did the wrong thing, and got the wrong outcome.  One or the other I can forgive, both - no.

How bizarre. So luck factors into whether something is the right thing or the wrong thing to do? How can any of us ever then decide what is the right thing to do?

Civilians in plane are different from [civilians on the ground]? - MoonShadow

Using a missile with civilians on board who will certainly be killed in the impact is different from the inevitable accidental killing of civilians in any military operation, yes. Even if the information from the Iraqi government is accurate.

Um, civilians will inevitably collide with bits of missile either way; probably more of them in the second case than in the first, given the Americans fired at a population centre. Innocent people are gonna die. The rest is just bias, public relations and the tint on your glasses. shrug - MoonShadow

I think you'll find the difference is in intent.

I think you'll find that the original premise was the same intent could be used with the same logic to do either.

I think you'll find that original premise is flawed, as in the case of the aeroplane the intent was clearly to kill the civilians.

I think you'll find you're talking about a real-life event whereas Vitenka was postulating a "what-if" scenario. Oh, give in already! You're as bad as Blair ;)

I *meant* the plane at the same time as the ones that DID hit the world trade centre, that appeared to be trying to hit the pentagon.  And yes, I meant the same logic behind the attack was present (albeit with a somewhat closer view of 'these people will die' for the killers)

I think you'll find that he was clearly referring to a real-life event.

(Switching out of threaded mode)
Argument by proxy.  What fun.
First of all, I disagree with the statement "Using a missile with civilians on board who will certainly be killed in the impact is different from the inevitable accidental killing of civilians in any military operation, yes. Even if the information from the Iraqi government is accurate."  - No.  It is in no way different.  The only thing of import is the scale of the killing, I guess.  I suspect the Iraq casualties will be a lot higher.

Secondly, I guess it matters what is being aimed at. 

Third - yes, I meant the real event.  Not the two towers thing.

Fourth - right and wrong.  It is wrong to attempt to kill, no matter what.  But I'd judge it forgiveable if the attempt caused greater good later on down the line.  So yes, there is luck involved.  You have to weigh the decision.  I'm not saying my judgement system is good or fair or even self consistent - just that it IS the system I am using and by it, the attack was wrong AND unforgiven.  It came as a slight surprise that this was my reaction, to be honest.

I also found myself slightly admiring the American faction for using this sudden non-total acceleration and catching everyone off guard.  I'm not sure you could plan it this way, but the PR effect appears to be as positive as could be hoped for.

From above:
'' It's the kind of decision a machine could make "Kill forty, now, without warning, to avert the killing of four thousand" type of logic. But it's still cold and inhuman and - basically - wrong.

Why is it wrong?

"Kill forty" is wrong.  I'm takin that as an axiom.  If you wish to discuss this in a framework where killing is not wrong I'll be happy to do so for the rhetorical excercise - but it won't be an actual belief.

So, when deciding which of two evils would be the lesser, the answer is always the one that will happen anyway if you do nothing?
I refuse to subscribe to the 'lesser of two evils' belief.  Evil is evil.  Period.  Choosing to avert one by causing another may be needed - but it is still evil.
Who said the world was nice? - Edith
Good and Evil are strange things. I'm not really sure if killing people is fundamentally evil, since we kill other things without thinking anyway. My axiom is that I've been told that killing is wrong, people normally get upset and want to give me trouble if I kill someone, and I would be upset if someone I know or me gets killed. This doesn't really show that killing is wrong, though. If I'm a Buddist monk I'll refrain from eating meat for killing any living thing is evil. If I'm a fundamentalist on a suicide mission for my cause, then no matter whatever number I killed, to me I will be in the right and shall be rewarded in the afterlife for my selfless action. Afterall, even in the Christian faith there are many cases of God allowed killings. "Kill forty, now, without warning, to avert the killing of four thousand" type of logic does sound a bit cold, but wouldn't you feel guilty if you let down the four thousand? An even colder example would be "Kill forty now, to avert the killing of someone close to you."-ColinLeung

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