A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Innocent until proven guilty (or blown up by a hellfire missile)

Links first:



I have a few thoughts to share. But bear with me as I properly organize them here.

We are involved in a "Global war on terror", which I think is some retarded bullshit.

During a war, "ideally" (-1 points to me for using War and Ideally in the same sentence) we will be killing enemy combatants. Thanks to Bush, let me clarify: we'll be killing people who have guns or bombs or other direct war-making materials and who are actively involved in using them against us.

Now, I'm not really out for defending any terrible people who are in fact responsible for the deaths of innocent victims.. but at the same time, I'm not interested in giving a blank check to anyone to "kill people who are bad". Two extremes. It always concerns me though when I see the words "killed" and "suspected" in the same sentence.

And this is where it gets a little gray to me. Here in America, the police generally don't kill suspects. That's what courts and states with the death penalty are for. In a time (and place) of war, the same rules do not apply. Dropping bombs on massed Nazi tanks? Good stuff. Blowing up a LandRover with a "suspected terrorist" and um, his family? Um.. Are we still the good guys? What does suspected mean? And how many innocent men, women and children is it okay to kill, if we get to take out one of these "suspects"? Seriously? 1? 2? 10? 100? How many is okay? Is there a formula here? If bad guy A killed 100 people, can we kill 99 to get this guy? What if he has the potential to kill another 1,000? How do we decide that? And is it then okay to kill more people to stop him before he kills those 1,000?

While wondering about this, a friend pointed out that we don't want confirmation in the form of a mushroom cloud.

So.. Anyway, I'm just wondering 'out-loud' here. We're not in a perfect world, but nor are we really delivering good solutions to our not-so-perfect situation.

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