Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The moral implication of killing

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 25 Oct 2007

At 11:54 AM 25/10/2007, Jim wrote:

>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.

Innocence is a subjective valuation that plays a marginal role in subsequent actions. Whether the terrorists consider their victims innocent or guilty they are motivated to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in their targets that, if successful would build instability among their enemies. Guilty or innocent, I might be expected to be fearful of being blown up. Some governments are sworn to protect the safety of their citizens. Even the extradition process is more about the need to provide internal security and stability for citizens, I think.

I think Leonard explores a lot of this in a number of books. That Mr. Majestik comes to mind, but there are others where average middle-class types are shown to bring unexpected resources to defending themselves against predators. The innocence of respondents motivates interest among readers, I think, but they don't much affect the response. That Mel Gibson flick, Payback puts the character's innocence more into question, but the action is still there.

Best, Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ The evil men do lives after them

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