US & assassination policy

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  • #31
Njorl
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Originally posted by Bystander
You indicted Nixon for the Xmas bombing in one post, and in the following cite Geneva regarding the location of military targets in civilian areas; the assignation of risk to civilians in Hanoi was an act of the NV govt. --- end of U.S. culpability for collateral damage. Need I directly call you hypocritical in your application of Geneva conventions? Which I am not, I am asking you to re-examine the information you have presented, and to acknowledge that you have opined re. Nixon without a full application of the information you had available.

Quartering troops within a city, or having factories that produce military materiel within a city is not considered an attempt to make them invulnerable to attack. That would require somethink like barracksing troops in residential homes, or building munitions factories contiguous to hospitals.

The bombing of Hanoi was not directed at specific targets. It was directed at the city as a whole. This is specifically banned by the Geneva convention. You may target factories or barracks, and many of your bombs may miss and kill civilians. That is not a violation. But bombing a city in general, in the hopes of destroying factories or randomly killing soldiers has been a warcrime since 1947. Hanoi was perpetually fogged in at that time of the year. There were no GPS guided bombs.


I had stated, "It is considered a violation to...Target a civilian area for indiscriminate attack because it has legal targets within it."

Njorl
 
  • #32
drag
Science Advisor
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Greetings !

Back to the subject of this thread...
Originally posted by Monique
I just wonder, isn't there an international law against performing an assassination on political figures? I thought that the US felt strongly against assassinations because of the incidents Marther Luther King, Kennedy, and others?

Then why is the US military trying so desperately to bomb buildings of which they have intelligence that Saddam & regime is staying there? The window of opportunity as it was called of the first bombing of Bagdad was solely intended to kill Saddam and his sons right? I would think that this falls under the chapter of war-crimes, does it not..
I see nothing wrong with the "assassination policy"
AGAINST war criminals and potential murdereres.
I'm not sure about international law about this
sort of stuff. However, is seems very foolish not
to do this if such an action has the potential
to prevent a much wider military action which has
the potential to get civilians and military
personel killed or the lack of such an action which
will allow that person to continue killing, it will
also allow to avert causing a lot of material damage
and wasting lots of resources.

Laws are general directives that are "good" for
most cases but they are not perfect - there are
always exceptions. That's why Kirk would violate
the Prime Directive so many times when it seemed
that not doing so will abviously lead to disaster.
And back to to more "real" examples - had there been
a possibility of capturing one of the terrorists
or one of their connection people before 9/11 - would
it be wrong to torture the man to make him talk ?
Had it been known that the planes were already
captured and were heading for Manhatan, would it
be wrong to shoot them down ?

The "idea" of laws is to protect certain ideas
or ideals if you like. Since there can always be
exceptions, is seems more reasonable to follow
the ideas that the majority of people accepts
rather than the laws. This may not work on a
"private" level because it creates a dangerous
"openning" for crime and because private citizens
have a larger authority "above" them that is there
to take care of such problems, but it is a different
matter when it comes to democratic goverments.

In conclusion, my answer is simply - why not ?

Live long and prosper.
 
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