Blogs 4 Brownback

June 16, 2007

A Powerful, Thought-Provoking Essay From Red State

Filed under: Blogging,Defending America,Terrorism — Sisyphus @ 5:35 am

Submitted without comment. Wordless salute is comment enough.

It is the classic dilemma posed in law of land warfare classes in the Army.

You are an isolated patrol (in the Special Forces Course the example was a deep penetration raid) and you have a close encounter of the worst kind and are discovered by civilians, invariably women, children or old folks. You know that if you let the civilians go they will tell someone and things will get really ugly really fast for your unit. You can always tie them up and leave them as you move smartly out of the area but eventually they will be found. The last option is fraught with moral and legal difficulties and unpalatable to anyone who isn’t inclined to view war at the small unit level as a Hobbesian race to the bottom.

It isn’t an academic exercise. It happens. And the men who deal with it have to live with the consequences… if they are lucky.

Read the whole thing. You won’t regret it.

85 Comments »

  1. This is the place where pragmatism and morality cross. Do you do the right thing, or the thing that makes the most logical and practical sense? The two often do not correspond, as illustrated in the story. If one were to make the practical decision, rules notwithstanding, one would shoot the kids and move on. But that is neither moral nor conforming to the military rules of engagement (which I believe are based on some bit of morality/ethics).

    My decision would be to tie the poor people up and get along as fast as possible. Murdering a helpless civilian is nothing else than a crime.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  2. I was trained as a long-range recon scout up in Lapland. We’re the guys who get dropped behind enemy lines and left largely on our own to monitor the enemy from up close. As such, this is one eventuality that, in an actual war, we would have to face sooner or later. The default answer is to detain the civilians for as long as is necessary and feasible, immediately moving out of the area before they are released (ideally you move out in one direction, release the prisoners, then circle back in some other direction so their eventual reports actually act as a diversion).

    Anything else would be viewed as a war crime, plain and simple; attacking civilians that do not pose an *immediate* threat is simply not acceptable for civilized combatants. It’s what *terrorists* do.

    Besides, infanticide is infanticide. One cannot object to abortion yet condone the murder of children in warfare.

    Comment by Mikael — June 16, 2007 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  3. How can we win this war if we are not willing to make difficult decisions? If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  4. “How can we win this war if we are not willing to make difficult decisions? If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”

    You know who you are quoting here, don´t you?

    Mikael has said it. Tie them up, leave in one direction, sneak around the target in a circle and go in from the other side. That way, even if they tell your enemy about you, they will actually help you.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  5. Ah, but killing the civilians is the *easy* way out. Putting yourself at risk instead of hurting others is the tough choice any true Christian should have the moral backbone to make.

    Comment by Mikael — June 16, 2007 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  6. It’s sad people still ask this question in the 21st century…

    You don’t kill civilians, you just don’t!

    There are no buts and no exceptions here, you don’t kill civilians, it’s as simple as that!

    Comment by Skeptic — June 16, 2007 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  7. Collateral damage.

    Comment by dadaclu — June 16, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  8. “How can we win this war if we are not willing to make difficult decisions? If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”

    Yet, the omelette will never be made, and even so, no one will eat it.

    Comment by J — June 16, 2007 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  9. “Collateral damage.”

    It´s not collateral damage if you deliberatly aim to kill a civilian. It´s murder.
    It´d be collateral damage for example, if a plane-dropped bomb misses the target and hits said civilian.
    Human conscience says no to it, the Geneva Convention says no to it, any civilised army´s rules of engagement say no it it and even the spec ops guys themselves say no to it. What do you need more?

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  10. “Yet, the omelette will never be made, and even so, no one will eat it.”

    We will make the omelette, and it will be a delicious omelette of freedom, and we will not permit you to taste it, J.

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  11. Did you leftists even read the link? Here’s the last few paragraphs:

    “Part of his calculus was practical. “I didn’t want to go to jail.” Ultimately, the core of his decision was moral. “A frogman has two personalities. The military guy in me wanted to kill them,” he recalled. And yet: “They just seemed like — people. I’m not a murderer.”

    Luttrell, by his account, voted to let the Afghans go. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that decision,” he said. “Not a second goes by.”

    At 1:20 p.m., about an hour after the Seals released the Afghans, dozens of Taliban members overwhelmed them. The civilians he had spared, Luttrell believed, had betrayed them.

    In the ensuing fight three SEALs died. An additional 16 men, SEALs and members of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, died in a rescue attempt.

    Did Petty Officer Luttrell make the right decision? In the final analysis was his decision moral? What does his conscience tell him when he wakes up at 3 am trembling and in a cold sweat? What do his team mates tell him when they enter his dreams late at night?”

    They DID spare the civilians. As a direct result of that decision, a lot of SEALS were killed. Why is a Taliban-sympathizing Afghan’s life more valuable than that of men in your own military?

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 16, 2007 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  12. “They DID spare the civilians. As a direct result of that decision, a lot of SEALS were killed. Why is a Taliban-sympathizing Afghan’s life more valuable than that of men in your own military?”

    Because you, unlike the terrorists are supposed to be the good guys. The good guys don´t kill defenceless people.
    And of course, you won´t know that he´s gonna betray you before he does? That´d need you to be a medium or something.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  13. “Because you, unlike the terrorists are supposed to be the good guys. The good guys don´t kill defenceless people.”

    They’re not so defenseless if they’re armed with information that can kill you, are they? Nor are they particularly good civilians if they snuggle up to Islamists.

    “And of course, you won´t know that he´s gonna betray you before he does? That´d need you to be a medium or something.”

    If he lives near terrorists, that means he likes them. The villagers have had plenty of time to move away by now if they’d wanted to.

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 16, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  14. “An additional 16 men, SEALs and members of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, died in a rescue attempt.”

    Wasn’t that a helicopter CRASH (as in ACCIDENT)?

    Comment by Skeptic — June 16, 2007 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  15. I don’t understand why these leftards are so quick to defend terrorists. Do they think that the terrorists would be so kind and thoughtful towards them? Perhaps they think that the terrorists would invite them in, pour them a glass of lemonade, and give them a footrub. Shows you how stupid these liberals and Euros are. They think that the terrorists are making them lemonade right now, as we speak!

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  16. “They’re not so defenseless if they’re armed with information that can kill you, are they? Nor are they particularly good civilians if they snuggle up to Islamists.”

    In that moment, they are defenseless non-combatants. Period. Killing them is murder and can get you into a war-trial. And it´s of course the wrong thing to do by any morally sane standards.

    And even then, in legal terms, there is no line between “good” and “bad” civilians. There is no real line of “good” and “bad” at all as every human has a slightly differrent concept of these terms. The only thing there is are rules and laws formed by people to keep civilisation from falling apart. And of course, everyone´s very own conscience.

    “If he lives near terrorists, that means he likes them. The villagers have had plenty of time to move away by now if they’d wanted to.”

    I don´t think that those terrorist guys hang out signs on their doors declarng what they are. And even then, who says they´re not forced by said terrorists/local military forces to stay? Shooting someone who is basically a hostage isn´t that nice and fine, either.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  17. @DPS: I´m in no way defending any terrorists. I´m only saying that killing unarmed civilians is by any means an act that is both morally and legally wrong. (Adressing the rest of your comment, I don´t like lemonade anyway. And if my government would point me at someone who was positively identified as a terrorist and is considered armed and dangerous, I´d shoot the bastard.)

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  18. ‘”Perhaps they think that the terrorists would invite them in, pour them a glass of lemonade, and give them a footrub.”‘

    “I don´t like lemonade anyway.”

    Sounds like somebody wouldn’t necessarily turn down a terrorist footrub, though…

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  19. The mission of the infantry I was taught is to close with and destroy the enemy. Beyond this the duty of any military commander is to protect the lives of those in his command. Truman understood this when ordered tha atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians but sparing the lives of uncounted American soldiers.

    Comment by dadaclu — June 16, 2007 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  20. “Sounds like somebody wouldn’t necessarily turn down a terrorist footrub, though…”

    That´s the only rebuttal? Wow, seems like you´re running out of real arguments. You see, I know perhaps more about the threat of terrorism than you. I was there, 1972 in Munich. I have seen it with my own two eyes.

    And of course, I have witnesse the “German autumn” in 1977.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  21. “The mission of the infantry I was taught is to close with and destroy the enemy. Beyond this the duty of any military commander is to protect the lives of those in his command. Truman understood this when ordered tha atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians but sparing the lives of uncounted American soldiers.”

    1. That also spared the lives of many japanese.
    2. It was still a violation of international law and the geneva convention.
    3. In THAT war, it didn´t bother as anyone had made their hands dirty to some degree anyway.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  22. ‘“Sounds like somebody wouldn’t necessarily turn down a terrorist footrub, though…”

    That´s the only rebuttal? Wow, seems like you´re running out of real arguments. You see, I know perhaps more about the threat of terrorism than you. I was there, 1972 in Munich. I have seen it with my own two eyes.

    And of course, I have witnesse the “German autumn” in 1977.’

    It wasn’t a rebuttal. You have already been amply rebutted, and re-rebutted. I was simply accusing you of having a soft spot in your heart for terrorists, because you didn’t reject (and still have not rejected) the idea of getting a footrub from terrorists. Frankly, I have a hard time taking seriously someone who fantasizes about receiving footrubs from a terrorist. Or any kind of massage from a terrorist, for that matter. Personally, I don’t see why you think terrorists give better footrubs than anyone else. Couldn’t you just get a footrub from a non-terrorist?

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  23. “3. In THAT war, it didn´t bother as anyone had made their hands dirty to some degree anyway.”

    Whereas in THIS war, evil America fights the noble Taliban and terrorists, right?

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 16, 2007 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  24. Teh only question for good Christian soldiers here, relative to killing “innocent” civilians, is: “are they Muslims”? If the answer is “yes” then it is the will of Christ that those “innocent” civilians be eliminated, as they are natural threats to the white, male, Christian power structre of the West.

    Comment by St. Legalize — June 16, 2007 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  25. “Whereas in THIS war, evil America fights the noble Taliban and terrorists, right?”

    The Taliban aren´t better. Anyone who wants to force his political or religious system/believes onto others by using violence is a bad person.

    The wars in the middle East justificated?
    Afghanistan? Perhaps. Here you ha a real reason.
    Iraq? No. Every justification regarding terrorism to start this war was a hoax. Ties to al-queida? Bullshit. WMD´s? Where?

    And, of course that total disregard of human rights in Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo doesn´t make it one notch better…

    “I was simply accusing you of having a soft spot in your heart for terrorists, because you didn’t reject (and still have not rejected) the idea of getting a footrub from terrorists. Frankly, I have a hard time taking seriously someone who fantasizes about receiving footrubs from a terrorist. Or any kind of massage from a terrorist, for that matter. Personally, I don’t see why you think terrorists give better footrubs than anyone else. Couldn’t you just get a footrub from a non-terrorist?”

    Frankly, I didn´t answer on that foot-rub-thingie because I didn´t think that anyone could mean such bull**** serious. I don´t fantasize about anything including terrorists. Perhaps sans being with my friends in Afghanistan and having to shoot some.

    Comment by PG — June 16, 2007 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  26. “Teh only question for good Christian soldiers here, relative to killing “innocent” civilians, is: “are they Muslims”? If the answer is “yes” then it is the will of Christ that those “innocent” civilians be eliminated, as they are natural threats to the white, male, Christian power structre of the West.”

    You, me, and Marcia P. agree.

    “Iraq? No. Every justification regarding terrorism to start this war was a hoax. Ties to al-queida? Bullshit. WMD´s? Where?”

    They smuggled them in to Syria. We’ll be getting them, too.

    “And, of course that total disregard of human rights in Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo doesn´t make it one notch better…”

    Abu Ghraib was pretty bad, but Gitmo? Get real. Those guys never had it so good, most of them.

    I’ll ignore the foot-rub thing, I’m not sure what you people are talking about anymore.

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 16, 2007 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  27. “I’ll ignore the foot-rub thing, I’m not sure what you people are talking about anymore.”

    In a nutshell, PG refuses to say that he would not accept a footrub from a terrorist, and I think that’s pretty strange. That’s all.

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

  28. Whatever happened to “Kill ’em all, let God sort ’em out”.

    The correct answer is find out where they live, rape the women and sodomize the men, then grenade the entire house, stab all the corpses for good measure, then set the house on fire with a blowtorch, and if the neighbors see, rinse and repeat.

    This nation is becoming a bunch of pussies I tell you.

    Comment by Dave — June 16, 2007 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  29. Sisyphus…

    Just war theory speaks quite clearly to this. There is never a justification for killing an unarmed person, combatant or not; indeed, there is no justification to directly cause them harm.

    It is legitimate to leave them bound, however, provided one does one’s best to see them freed unharmed. In a worst-case scenario, this might mean leaving children or even infants bound and gagged, which does pose a threat to their welfare. In that case, leaving the outcome in G*d’s hands and praying may be a proper warrior’s best option.

    Comment by Believer — June 16, 2007 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  30. “They DID spare the civilians. As a direct result of that decision, a lot of SEALS were killed. Why is a Taliban-sympathizing Afghan’s life more valuable than that of men in your own military?”

    Because the said Afghans are not combatants. They’re civilians. When it comes to soldiers, war is war and what happens happens, but you simply don’t target civilians if there’s any way to help it. Otherwise you’re no different from the terrorists the war is allegedly waged against. Soldiers are people who signed up to kill and/or be killed for their ountry, so it’s alright to kill them in combat; but civilians are not connected to the war, they’re just trying to live their lives. Civilians are strictly outside of a soldier’s license to kill. That’s as complicated as it gets – either you play by the rules and risk yourself, or you cheat and hurt someone else. If you choose the latter option, you’re no better than Osama or Saddam. That’s the choise that separates good men and Christians from cowards.

    Comment by Mikael — June 16, 2007 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

  31. “It is legitimate to leave them bound, however, provided one does one’s best to see them freed unharmed.”

    You *would* say that, pervert. I don’t see how your sick fantasies are any more humane than just killing them.

    Comment by DPS — June 16, 2007 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  32. “They smuggled them in to Syria. We’ll be getting them, too.”

    Yeah, right. Funnily, even the Pentagon by now gives in that there were none to begin with.

    “Abu Ghraib was pretty bad, but Gitmo? Get real. Those guys never had it so good, most of them.”

    Getting detained without any legal rights. Sorry, but that´s simply against international law and the human rights. Period.

    “You *would* say that, pervert. I don’t see how your sick fantasies are any more humane than just killing them.”

    He meant tying them up so that they simply don´t even have the possibility to run to someone and tell about those foreign soldiers sneaking around.

    And I see, DPS, that you´re now silent with that foot-rub-bullshit. Good.

    In the end, it´s a simple thing. As a soldier, you have volunteered to fight for your country and you are aware of the risk of doing that. Killing a soldier in war is perfectly legal. He knew that this could happen. Killing a non-combatant is simply nothing else than murder.

    Comment by PG — June 17, 2007 @ 4:26 am | Reply

  33. 30: So what you’re saying is that you hate soldiers?

    The joke’s on you, those terrorists aren’t really making you lemonade. It’s tonic water.

    Comment by Onan — June 17, 2007 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  34. “And I see, DPS, that you´re now silent with that foot-rub-bullshit. Good.”

    Not at all. Since you refuse to say you wouldn’t accept a footrub from a terrorist, I assume that you would accept one. What more do you want me to say? Your silence speaks for itself.

    “As a soldier, you have volunteered to fight for your country and you are aware of the risk of doing that. Killing a soldier in war is perfectly legal. He knew that this could happen. Killing a non-combatant is simply nothing else than murder.”

    So it is also murder to kill conscripts? Of course not. Therefore it is not murder to kill non-combatants, either.

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  35. “30: So what you’re saying is that you hate soldiers?”

    As should be evident from my first post, like almost every Finnish male over the age of 19, I *am* a soldier. What I’m saying is, I’m perfectly willing to kill enemy soldiers, or be killed if that’s what it comes to, but also to go a few extra miles to avoid slaughtering hapless bystanders who don’t pose an immediate threat.

    Besides, if they actually found my patrol, we would already have failed our first and most important objective, which is to remain undetected until the other objectives are achieved (I mean, stealth is the whole *point* of small isolated patrols).

    You call yourself a Christian. Just ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?

    “The joke’s on you, those terrorists aren’t really making you lemonade. It’s tonic water.”

    Good. It’s less acidic and more hydrating than lemonade – just what I’d need after a night skulking around the bushes in full gear. I’d thank them nicely after killing or capturing them while they were occupied with making us drinks, too…🙂

    Comment by Mikael — June 17, 2007 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  36. “So it is also murder to kill conscripts? Of course not. Therefore it is not murder to kill non-combatants, either.”

    If the conscripts is shooting at you it’s self-defense.

    But conscription (sending people into a war against there will) is a war crime.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 17, 2007 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  37. “If the conscripts is shooting at you it’s self-defense.”

    and if the ‘non-combatants’ are about to summon people to shoot at you and you kill them, isn’t that self-defense, too?

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  38. “and if the ‘non-combatants’ are about to summon people to shoot at you and you kill them, isn’t that self-defense, too?”

    You don’t know that for certain, do you?

    It’s not an immediate threat and the soldier could just get off his fat-ass and move to another position and even ambush the Taliban.

    If you are afraid to die, you shouldn’t join the military, it’s as simple as that.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 17, 2007 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  39. If you are afraid to die, you shouldn’t join the military, it’s as simple as that.

    There’s a difference between being willing to die and wanting to die, you know. Most military personnel would tell you that if you should never join the military *unless* you’re afraid to die. For me, I don’t want you guarding my back unless you feel like your life is worth something.

    A warrior does not directly kill the harmless. That does not mean that he doesn’t do things which will kill them, just that he doesn’t intentionally harm them, and he goes to appropriate lengths to avoid harming them. The key ting is to know that’s not the same thing as being helpless when confronted with the harmless: there are steps to take. Some of those may cause the deaths of non-combatants, but that’s OK, if not desirable.

    Comment by Believer — June 17, 2007 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  40. If you ask me, they should kill every single one of those people. It’s the least they deserve for turning away from Jesus.

    Comment by Marcia P. — June 17, 2007 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  41. “If you are afraid to die, you shouldn’t join the military, it’s as simple as that.”

    Nah, it’s not *that* simple. All living beings are afraid to die. It’s only healthy. A soldier that’s not afraid to die is a careless soldier, and a danger to his own people; the key is acknowledging your fear and mastering it, instead of succumbing to it.

    But if your fear of death is stronger than your self-control, you indeed shouldn’t join the military.

    Comment by Mikael — June 17, 2007 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  42. Alright, let me rephrase that: if you do not accept the possibility that you could et killed, you shouldn’t join the military.

    “If you ask me, they should kill every single one of those people. It’s the least they deserve for turning away from Jesus.”

    Go ahead, start your own Jihad and get yourself killed by a soldier of a civilized nation.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 17, 2007 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  43. “If you ask me, they should kill every single one of those people. It’s the least they deserve for turning away from Jesus.”

    You do know that “Kill them all, God will recognize His own” was not a motivational poster, right?

    Comment by Mikael — June 17, 2007 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  44. Mikael @ “You call yourself a Christian. Just ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?”

    Good Question. Let’s see what He says about this. According to His Law for when people resist;

    “Deuteronomy 20:13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
    Deuteronomy 20:14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.”

    So it’s kill all the men, rape all the women, children, keep them as slaves and eat their food. Those civilians could be working in some sweat shop in Thailand for an American multinational right now if those SEALS kept that in mind.

    Comment by BJ Tabor — June 17, 2007 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  45. Sorry, Tabor, you’re not looking at the most recent edition of God’s message –

    Matthew 5:7 –

    ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’

    Matthew 5:9 –

    ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’

    I would say that the words of Jesus were fairly unequivocal.

    Comment by interpreted — June 17, 2007 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  46. ““Deuteronomy 20:13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
    Deuteronomy 20:14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.””

    That’s the angry Jewish/Muslim God (before God became a Buddhist), the Christian (NT) God is generally a lot nicer.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 17, 2007 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  47. Ah, but, Middleman, it’s latest revision that counts.

    Also, for some examples of a loving God in the OT, check out, oh, most of Isaiah, and quite a lot of Surahs in the Qu’ran.

    Comment by interpreted — June 17, 2007 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

  48. All wars are by their nature criminal.

    Comment by dadaclu — June 17, 2007 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  49. Wars of words?

    Ok, it depends which words, but still …

    Comment by interpreted — June 17, 2007 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  50. @ interpreted:

    “Matthew 5:7 –

    ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’

    Matthew 5:9 –

    ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’

    I would say that the words of Jesus were fairly unequivocal.”

    Indeed. America is a merciful conqueror, and our imperial rule makes peace for all the nations to enjoy. We are doing exactly what Jesus wants us to do.

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  51. ‘We don’t hate our neighbors, we only hate the evil inside them. With love in our hearts, we must cleanse the planet of it.’

    and

    ‘So it’s kill all the men, rape all the women, children, keep them as slaves and eat their food. Those civilians could be working in some sweat shop in Thailand for an American multinational right now if those SEALS kept that in mind.’

    don’t sound very expressive of agape, or mercy, or peace, to me.

    Comment by interpreted — June 17, 2007 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  52. don’t sound very expressive of agape, or mercy, or peace, to me.

    Oh, phooey.

    Look, I’m commanded to lay down my life for others. OK, so far so good. Am I commanded to lay down *your* life for others? Um…I hope that isn’t clear to you; it’s not a moral dictum I’d like to live by. In particular, am I to lay down *your* life for the evil of a third party? No? Then what’s the problem with what Sisyphus said?

    If I need to kill that third party to save your life, would you say that I’d done wrong? If you kill a third party to save *my* life, then you’ve done wrong — but that’s voluntary sacrifice on my part, not a moral mandate on yours.

    If there is a need to kill third parties to save those of my nation, whose good and evil I’m qualified to evaluate, then I’m prepared to see that happen. I won’t want to see it happen with hatred, but with sad deliberation.

    Comment by Believer — June 17, 2007 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  53. ‘Look, I’m commanded to lay down my life for others. OK, so far so good.’

    Yes; I agree here.

    ‘Then what’s the problem with what Sisyphus said?’

    This is where my problem lies –

    ‘They’re not so defenseless if they’re armed with information that can kill you, are they? Nor are they particularly good civilians if they snuggle up to Islamists.

    If he lives near terrorists, that means he likes them. The villagers have had plenty of time to move away by now if they’d wanted to.’

    He’s not even thinking about whether it’s right for X to save Y’s life by killing Z, he instead seems to brand everyone as against him, and thus as valid targets. You’re right – it is a morally grey area, which demands debate and careful thought (although I think that I’d still come down on the anti-killing side), but then you get people like this –

    ‘If you ask me, they should kill every single one of those people. It’s the least they deserve for turning away from Jesus.’

    -who break in and go unchallenged.

    Comment by interpreted — June 17, 2007 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  54. “you get people like this –

    ‘If you ask me, they should kill every single one of those people. It’s the least they deserve for turning away from Jesus.’

    -who break in and go unchallenged.”

    Well, turning away from Jesus is a very serious matter. Jesus was very explicit about that.

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

  55. [T]urning away from Jesus is a very serious matter. Jesus was very explicit about that.

    It certainly is — how are you so sure that you are capable of judging that clearly? And, no matter how grave a matter it is, please point me to verses when Christ commanded that the hard-hearted be killed. The only example which might come close is the death of Simonus Magnus in Acts, and that’s a pretty special case, seeing as how he was selling “forgiveness in Christ’s name”. Is Moqtada Al Sadr doing the same?

    Comment by Believer — June 17, 2007 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  56. @Believer:

    “please point me to verses when Christ commanded that the hard-hearted be killed.”

    You might as well ask me to point you to verses where Jesus commands you to floss your teeth every day. If he doesn’t say “floss your teeth every day,” that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you to you floss your teeth every day. In fact, it’s so obviously a good idea to floss your teeth that we can assume that Jesus is strongly in favor of flossing. The same is true with killing the hard-hearted. It’s clearly a good idea, and something that Jesus would have been in favor of if the topic had come up, so what’s the problem?

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  57. You all are flippin’ morons.

    You pretend to be Christians, even to the point of insisting upon obvious poetry being taken as fact, and then you turn right around and insist upon the killing of civilians. Sisyphus, if you are indeed a parody, you are taking this too far. This is sick. If you aren’t… well… the human race is in sad shape. The Christian thing to do, indeed, the only moral thing to do, is to kill people only when it is absolutely necessary. You must make a cost-benefit analysis, under which circumstance will the most life be spared? It matters not whether it is American or Iraqi, Islamic or Christian, it is all human life — and that is inviolable.

    Comment by Linus — June 17, 2007 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  58. “You all are *****in’ morons.”

    Please try not to use profanity. A lot of children—including mine—read this blog, and I hate to see them exposed to such foul language.

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

  59. The same is true with killing the hard-hearted. It’s clearly a good idea, and something that Jesus would have been in favor of if the topic had come up, so what’s the problem?

    I would say that the topic did come up — there was this garden in Gethsemane, this batch of unrepentant troopers, and this rabble rousing cleric…wouldn’t that pretty well fit the bill? “Yet, I say to you, love your enemies, and do good to those who curse you” seems to speak pretty well to the issue.

    I’ll pray for you to see the light on this, brother.

    Comment by Believer — June 17, 2007 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  60. @ Believer:

    “I would say that the topic did come up — there was this garden in Gethsemane, this batch of unrepentant troopers, and this rabble rousing cleric…wouldn’t that pretty well fit the bill?”

    Here is Matthew 26:51-54:

    “51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.

    52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

    53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

    54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”

    Here’s what this says. The disciples want to fight. Jesus stops them, because if the outnumbered disciples fight the mob, they will lose and die needlessly (“shall perish with the sword”). This way, only Jesus dies. And, as Jesus says, He *has* to die in order to fulfill the scriptures, so there’s no way that He can help the disciples win. However, it is clearly implied that if He did NOT have to die in order to fulfill the scriptures, he would have been happy to call down legions of angels to help the disciples beat the tar out of the mob.

    I appreciate your prayers. I will pray for you as well.

    Comment by DPS — June 17, 2007 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  61. With regard to recent press reports about WordPress hosting a blog entitled “Blogs 4 Brownback”.

    WordPress has received some worrying comments with regard to this blog through our admin site. The “Blogs 4 Brownback” site is a parody. Please do not forward any comments with regard to racist language, personal abuse or civil action suits to WordPress as we are not responsible for the content on the blog, merely as a host for the site.

    Please use the “Blogs 4 Brownback” blog as it was intented: for entertainment purposes only.

    Thank you,
    The WordPress Team.

    Comment by WordPress Admin — June 18, 2007 @ 4:47 am | Reply

  62. […] Have a little look at this. I don’t know what to make of it; is it the real WP Admin (please let it be; some of the […]

    Pingback by Interesting « Blogs 4 Moonbats — June 18, 2007 @ 5:11 am | Reply

  63. Knowing that this sort of situation will be encountered in combat, why not arm our troops with some sort of drug that will incapacitate and render the innocent’s unconscious for a period of 24 to 48 hours?

    Comment by Jerry Falwells Black Male Lover — June 18, 2007 @ 10:00 am | Reply

  64. “Not at all. Since you refuse to say you wouldn’t accept a footrub from a terrorist, I assume that you would accept one. What more do you want me to say? Your silence speaks for itself.”

    I did actually answer to it at comment No. 25. Try reading before posting.

    “So it is also murder to kill conscripts? Of course not. Therefore it is not murder to kill non-combatants, either.”

    Self-defence against a direct threat to your life. A non-com is not a direct threat. He´s at worst an indirect threat that can be prevented by non-lethal means. Killing him is the easy way out. The way of a coward, murder and criminal. Of a terrorist.

    “A warrior does not directly kill the harmless. That does not mean that he doesn’t do things which will kill them, just that he doesn’t intentionally harm them, and he goes to appropriate lengths to avoid harming them. The key ting is to know that’s not the same thing as being helpless when confronted with the harmless: there are steps to take. Some of those may cause the deaths of non-combatants, but that’s OK, if not desirable.”

    No. Directly killing a non-combatant should not even be considered as a last resort. And frankly, there´s almost no situation where you absolutely have to kill him and when at the same time your mission isn´t screwed anyway.

    @Bj Tabor:
    If your enemy is hungry, you should give him to drink. If he´s thirsty, you should give him to eat. THen he will soon be sorry to be your enemy. That´s from Romans (25 I think.)

    “Indeed. America is a merciful conqueror, and our imperial rule makes peace for all the nations to enjoy. We are doing exactly what Jesus wants us to do.”

    That is, if you would obey to this part of the bible. Which you don´t.

    “You might as well ask me to point you to verses where Jesus commands you to floss your teeth every day. If he doesn’t say “floss your teeth every day,” that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you to you floss your teeth every day. In fact, it’s so obviously a good idea to floss your teeth that we can assume that Jesus is strongly in favor of flossing. The same is true with killing the hard-hearted. It’s clearly a good idea, and something that Jesus would have been in favor of if the topic had come up, so what’s the problem?”

    Ahh, again you´re interpreting the words of the bible in your own liking. You´re even speculating this time about Jesus. HERESY!

    “With regard to recent press reports about WordPress hosting a blog entitled “Blogs 4 Brownback”.

    WordPress has received some worrying comments with regard to this blog through our admin site. The “Blogs 4 Brownback” site is a parody. Please do not forward any comments with regard to racist language, personal abuse or civil action suits to WordPress as we are not responsible for the content on the blog, merely as a host for the site.

    Please use the “Blogs 4 Brownback” blog as it was intented: for entertainment purposes only.

    Thank you,
    The WordPress Team”

    Seems like Sisiphus just got pawned by reality.🙂

    Comment by PG — June 18, 2007 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  65. No. Directly killing a non-combatant should not even be considered as a last resort. And frankly, there´s almost no situation where you absolutely have to kill him and when at the same time your mission isn´t screwed anyway.You didn’t read very carefully, did you? I was clear that there were actions short of killing the non-combatant which might lead to their deaths. For instance, contrary to popular belief, the odds that someone can squirm out of their bonds, even if their hands are not tied and their arms are free, are quite low. Tying someone’s feet isn’t directly killing them — but it’s likely to cause their deaths.

    (And let’s not talk about what death from exposure and dehydration is like, OK? Christ died a ghastly death.)

    Don’t lie to yourself — non-lethal often isn’t.

    Comment by Believer — June 18, 2007 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  66. “I was clear that there were actions short of killing the non-combatant which might lead to their deaths. For instance, contrary to popular belief, the odds that someone can squirm out of their bonds, even if their hands are not tied and their arms are free, are quite low. Tying someone’s feet isn’t directly killing them — but it’s likely to cause their deaths.

    (And let’s not talk about what death from exposure and dehydration is like, OK? Christ died a ghastly death.)

    Don’t lie to yourself — non-lethal often isn’t.”

    Exactly. This is why God commands us just to kill them and get it over with. Anything else is inhumane.

    Comment by DPS — June 18, 2007 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  67. “And let’s not talk about what death from exposure and dehydration is like, OK? Christ died a ghastly death.”

    DPS, What’s your point? Christ gave himself up in order to “save” us. And if you believe the mythology, knew of his resurrection and was one-third of a eternal trinity, what difference does it make *how* he died? Do you have some latent hatred toward his captors/executors?

    Comment by Tyler Durden — June 19, 2007 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  68. “Christ gave [H]imself up in order to “save” us. And if you believe the mythology, knew of [H]is resurrection and was one-third of a eternal trinity, what difference does it make *how* [H]e died? Do you have some latent hatred toward [H]is captors/executors?”

    Every decent Christian should.

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 19, 2007 @ 4:59 am | Reply

  69. A real dilemma is if one of the civilians you encounter is a pregnant woman. I am fervently pro-life and believe abortion can never be justified, since it snuffs out an innocent human life created by God in his image. However, in this tough case I think you’d have to kill the woman and unfortunately accept the death of her unborn baby.

    Comment by Choose Life — June 19, 2007 @ 5:15 am | Reply

  70. “Every decent Christian should.”

    Not really, Jesus knew what would happen, as did God, his executors were unknowingly part of the plan, besides, crucifixion was a fairly standard practice in those days (ever heard of Spartacus?), it’s not like they invented a special punishment for Jesus.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 19, 2007 @ 6:50 am | Reply

  71. “However, in this tough case I think you’d have to kill the woman and unfortunately accept the death of her unborn baby.”

    Sadly, you’re probably correct.

    “Not really, Jesus knew what would happen, as did God, his executors were unknowingly part of the plan, besides, crucifixion was a fairly standard practice in those days (ever heard of Spartacus?), it’s not like they invented a special punishment for Jesus.”

    We should hate them anyway. Just because it was a normal punishment doesn’t mean it was a just one.

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 19, 2007 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  72. “We should hate them anyway. Just because it was a normal punishment doesn’t mean it was a just one.”

    A) They’re all dead, and have been for 2000 years.

    B) Name me one civilization that has never executed an innocent person.

    Comment by Skeptic — June 19, 2007 @ 7:38 am | Reply

  73. @ Skeptic:

    “B) Name me one civilization that has never executed an innocent person.”

    The United States of America!!!

    USA! USA! USA!

    Comment by DPS — June 19, 2007 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  74. “The United States of America!!!”

    I can cite dozens of innocent people executed over the last 30 years in Texas alone!

    Comment by Skeptic — June 19, 2007 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  75. Not to mention all the slaves and other blacks that were executed for looking funny at white people, or the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indian women and children at The Massacre Of Wounded Knee…

    Comment by Skeptic — June 19, 2007 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  76. “I can cite dozens of innocent people executed over the last 30 years in Texas alone!”

    Ridiculous. If they were innocent, they would not have been convicted and executed.

    “Not to mention all the slaves and other blacks that were executed for looking funny at white people, or the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indian women and children at The Massacre Of Wounded Knee…”

    I am unaware of any instances of free blacks or slaves being executed “for looking funny at white people.” So are you. And Wounded Knee was a matter of collateral damage, not of execution. Also, the women and children may even have been combatants.

    U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!

    Comment by DPS — June 20, 2007 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  77. “A) They’re all dead, and have been for 2000 years.”

    They’ll rise again at the Final Judgment, and we’ll all revile them.

    “B) Name me one civilization that has never executed an innocent person.”

    America.

    “I can cite dozens of innocent people executed over the last 30 years in Texas alone!”

    They were guilty. Biblical law would’ve stoned them to death.

    “Not to mention all the slaves and other blacks that were executed for looking funny at white people, or the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indian women and children at The Massacre Of Wounded Knee…”

    Leaving aside DPS’s ample retorts, none of these constitute judicial executions. None of them involve due process. So even if we allowed them as examples (which I don’t, for DPS’s reasons), they still don’t impugn our judicial system. We’re light-years ahead of the crucifying Romans.

    Comment by Sisyphus — June 20, 2007 @ 5:06 am | Reply

  78. Randall Dale Adams Texas (Ex Parte Adams)
    Clarence Brandley (Ex Parte Brandley) 1990
    Kirk Bloodsworth (Maryland v. Bloodsworth) 1993
    Shareef Cousin (Louisiana v. Cousin) 1999
    Anthony Porter (Illinois v. Porter) 1999
    Earl Washington (Virginia v. Washington) 2000
    Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon Florida 2002
    Ray Krone Arizona (State v. Krone) 2002
    Nicholas Yarris (Pennsylvania v. Yarris), 2004
    John Ballard, 2006

    All wrongfully convicted, put on death row. Doesn’t fill me with confidence about the whole process.

    ‘They were guilty. Biblical law would’ve stoned them to death.’

    Never mind not casting the first stone, where does this come from?

    Nowhere does it say that innocent people should be killed! Remember, the LORD hates injustice.

    Comment by interpreted — June 20, 2007 @ 5:34 am | Reply

  79. I was a Sniper… always hit The Mark, paid assassin, oh yes, working after dark… looking through the night… using Infra-Red, my TARGET on You, aimed at your head. $10.000 up front, $10.000 when I’m through!! Dark time indeed friends… blood money, for the good of our country, I did my deed.

    And I knew just what to do, Lord save my soul… And you know I’ll do it too then I’m coming back for you! Dont’ make me, no… I do the “Getting Rid Of” and don’t tell me why, don’t need to hear you cry… the Truth don’t need the lies!! Now, pay me quickly and now We’re through… it brings me great pleasure to say my next job may just be You. Don’t you know that Killing Is My Business And Business Is Good. You’d Better Believe It…

    Comment by Colonel Walter E. Kurtz — June 20, 2007 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  80. “All wrongfully convicted, put on death row. Doesn’t fill me with confidence about the whole process.”

    And how many of these men were executed, exactly?

    “Remember, the LORD hates injustice.”

    Well said. This is why God loves America.

    Comment by DPS — June 20, 2007 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  81. DPS: “This is why God loves America.”

    Really? But not enough to stop the followers of Allah on 9/11. Funny way of showing love…

    Comment by Tyler Durden — June 20, 2007 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  82. @ Tyler Durden:

    “Really? But not enough to stop the followers of Allah on 9/11. Funny way of showing love…”

    The Lord works in mysterious ways. I wouldn’t expect a pagan, aromatherapist, and juggler like you to understand.

    Comment by DPS — June 20, 2007 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  83. “I wouldn’t expect a pagan…”

    I may be, as you describe, a “pagan”, but you’re the one celebrating a Pagan festival… or don’t you celebrate Christmas??

    Comment by Tyler Durden — June 20, 2007 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  84. “Firstly, the customs of giving presents, eating too much and generally having fun comes from the Roman festival Saturnalia which used to be celebrated around December 17.

    Saturn was the Roman God of agriculture and plenty, and gift giving symbolised the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor during the season of greatest hardship. Big feasts were generally laid on by the rich to feed their poorer neighbours.

    The next big ancient festival was the solstice feast of Mithras, the Roman God of light on December 25. This was the one adopted by Christians sometime around the 4th century as the birthday of Jesus. Traditionally, this festival marked the renewal of hope.

    For modern Pagans, the solstice is the most important time. It is often called Yule, after the Scandinavian tradition, or Mother-Night from the Anglo-Saxon tradition. On this, the longest night of the year, they celebrate the return of light and an end to darkness.

    The third celebration is New Year’s Eve, originally dedicated to the two-faced Roman god Janus, who looked both forward and back. At this festival there were torchlit processions, lots of songs, present giving, fortune telling and people would decorate their houses with all sorts of greenery to symbolise new life.

    Much of the ancient new year celebrations, such as gathering greenery in the form of a fir tree or holly, have now moved back to start at what is the beginning of the modern Christmas season.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/for_christmas/_new_year/pagan_christmas/37276.stm

    Comment by Tyler Durden — June 20, 2007 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  85. Exactly. This is why God commands us just to kill them and get it over with. Anything else is inhumane.

    Simple solution: Every spec-ops-team has a medic. And that guy should have enough narcotics to get them sleeping for a few hours. Problem solved. And then, otherwise, in a populated area, what´s the probability of them not getting found before they die? (Which would screw you regardless of them being dead or not.) Very Low.

    ““B) Name me one civilization that has never executed an innocent person.”

    The United States of America!!!

    USA! USA! USA!”

    Dream on. Seriously.

    And, SIsi, execution is execution. Regardless if it´s been ordered by a court or being done aby a bunch of soldiers playing god.

    Comment by PG — June 22, 2007 @ 3:35 pm | Reply


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