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Thursday, 21 August 2014


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I notice that the Vox Pop blog is asking why Obama doesn't bomb London, given that a British passport holder has beheaded an American. Some of the commenters, who seem to be English, are saying go ahead. More chance of getting some Muslims!

Mr Foley seems to have been a sympathiser for the Islamic cause.

Alas, BOE, I haven't had time to read up on Mr. Foley but whatever his beliefs he showed considerable bravery.

S'getting all ridiculous over here David, over "there"?

Well. Noting BOE's comment I s'pose I have my answer.

This article-writer I note concludes;

Let us hope that the Obama administration breaks character in this situation and acts on its promise to hold this terrorist organization accountable for the barbaric beheading.

But I find myself asking myself, does she have even a clue as to what "holding accountable" implies?

JK, see the ADDITIONAL on the post above this - and thanks!

Good writing again, David.

Thanks, Andra.

The result of killing someone for gain and killing someone in self-defence also results in dead bodies in both cases: So in these cases would you say "there is no real moral difference between the two acts"?

The consequence of dead bodies says nothing about the morality of what got them dead.

If you're saying there's no moral difference between killing an enemy civilian and killing an enemy soldier because Clausewitz said so, I would venture to suggest that Clausewitz was wrong on that count.

Is a drone operator morally any different from a sniper picking off enemy soldiers at a distance, or an artilleryman, or a longbowman? If you've found a clever way of killing enemy soldiers does that make you less moral than someone doing it a dumb way?

My take is this: -

I agree with Clausewitz that terrorism is a tactic, like sniping, gunnery, archery, and joystick control of guided weapons. I agree with him also that it is identifiable from the other tactics, in fact more so than the other tactics are from each other; sniping, artillery bombardment, archery, and drone warfare, although different, are similar. I would define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of enemy civilians and non-combatants in order to cause terror in the civilian and non-combatant population. Quite different from the other tactics, not similar at all. And because it is distinct, definable, defined, and a cause of dead bodies, it is therefore capable of being judged morally. And I judge it immoral.

Therefore I disagree with those who think it is undefined or undefinable. I also disagree with those who say targeting civilians and non-combatants by the state in war is not terrorism because it is governed by some other internationally agreed rules of state war. Terrorism, as defined, is terrorism, whether you're a state at war, or a population resisting occupation.


No time this today to respond to that, SoD, but I will comeback to it later.

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