View Full Version : New rules of war

04-06-2010, 01:52 AM
Latest from uncommon knowledge


I found it interesting, may make some of your heads explode, but still interesting.

04-06-2010, 04:47 AM
I subscribe and watched. Interesting stuff.

04-07-2010, 01:52 AM
Just a slightly different slant (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#36204378) on the phrase "new rules of war" (and far under 39 minutes long)

04-07-2010, 04:42 AM
Just a slightly different slant (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#36204378) on the phrase "new rules of war" (and far under 39 minutes long)

Yes, the point of showing such videos is to argue that the new rules ought to be that if civilians are in harms way, don't attack.

The tolerance for such things is certainly much less than it used to be, even the hawks in my link ceded that. And the more liberal you are, the higher the threshold of "enemy" to civilians target ratios is acceptable. Until you get to the most left/libertarian, deranged view of all, no civilians targets in harms way is acceptable, the pacifists. And if the lives spared by staying ones hand led to the enemy targets slaughtering 10 fold more civilians then would have been taken out in an attack on them?

So be it. But just so we are clear. The highest bar is not the preservation of human life, it is not the greater good. It is absolution, a clear conscience, the knowledge that civilian deaths are not directly attributable to US.

Better a hundred civilians die to our inaction on taking certain people out than 10 innocent civilians directly due to our aggression.

A variation on the trolley problem. The difference being that unlike Rachael, people in the military do not have the luxury of treating in pristine and perfect ethical worlds, their choices are not so binary, sometimes, they WILL push the man off to save 5 others.

If the highest goal was the preservation of human life, one would condone such action, and if the highest goal is the preservation of ethical purity, then better the 5 others die so that MY conscience remains intact and clean and pure.

I understand the latter sentiment, but I won't let people deceive themselves into thinking that abstaining from attacks always leads to more preservation of life, or that that is their highest goal. It is Not.

As to whether these incidence are counterproductive in the battle of hearts and minds, I have no doubt it does damage.

Question, can any war be waged where such incidence have no chance of occurring?

If they do, shall we shift the policy to such an extent that we avoid attacking at the slightest sign of civilians in harms way?

Shall we become German troops in Nato?

Or why even bother at all, the entire discussion is an uncomfortable one for many liberals, too dicey, better to not be involved at all than have to get dirtied by wars realities.

If it makes you feel any better, conflict is decreasing, and will continue to do so over time. I look forward to the day when no one has to get dirtied and sullied with the ethics and tradeoffs of warfare. But until we are there, I don't think we should absolve ourselves of the responsibility and duty of charting a path that leads to the greater good as opposed to what keeps our conscience cleanest.

But I guess that is where I am more "neocon" whatever that means.

04-07-2010, 12:21 PM
Thanks for your comments. I read them with interest. I assume you have seen (or will see) Henry Farrell and Brink Lindsey's discussion of the incident here. (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/27262) They speak to a number of the points you raised.