RARA-AVIS: Re: The moral implication of killing

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 25 Oct 2007


Re your comment below:

"Terrorists don't see them as innocent. Guilt by association. No innocents, other than the terrorists themselves, die in terrorist attacks."

I said this was an existential bone I didn't really want to pick, but, since YOU insist:

I don't claim to be able to see into the mind of terrorists, but, from a strictly tactical point of view, the whole point of a genuine act of terrorism seems obviously to be predicated on the premise that the victims are innocents who have nothing really to do with the issue at hand.

Hence, the strategy is to move a government or an institution to make concessions based, not on whether or not they're actually taking any hits themselves, but on their concern for the lives of the innocents.

Hence, if war is armed robbery writ large, than terrorism is extortion writ large.

To put it another way, there's a fundamental difference, and I'm sure terrorists, at least in a strategic sense if not a moral sense, see this too, between attacking a soldier, a cop, or even an elected official, and attacking, say, a shopping mall at Christmastime and deliberately taking out a bunch of non-combatant women and children.

One strikes directly at the enemy, the other strikes at the enemy's concern for innocent victims.

The strategy speaks for itself.


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