I am not quite making myself clear on this, I guess. I agree that the leaders are guilty but I disagree on whether or not they are targets if they stay far away. This is not because of the current and recent states of illegal war we find ourselves involved in. It is because I have a, for lack of better wording, finely developed sense of fairness about how things should be done. I have studied, at least a surface look, some of the philosophies of war as well as having studied morality and ethics. I once had an interesting conversation with a psychologist after testing for a police job. He noted that I seemed to have a very black and white view of how things should be done. Right was right and wrong was wrong with very few shades of gray in-between. While we were discussing this, he did mention that this seems to be common with experienced police officers. This is relevant because I admit that I have a set of opinions on how a war should be fought. I know what I think is right and what isn't.PriestTheRunner wrote: ↑Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:59 amSo as long as the politicians keep their hands clean by simply not being near enough to action, they can't be a target?... That doesn't seem to make any sense. If North Korea invaded Seoul, Kim Jong-un isn't in 'the war zone', he would be in Pyongyang (most likely) or one of the hidden military installations. How, exactly, would it be unethical for us to send a decapitation team to attempt to eliminate him (which has long since been the stated plan, among others) in an effort to shorten the war.
Examples of this include what I think are valid military targets. In war, military bases are obvious targets. I think any elected politician is also a valid target, from dog catcher up to president. Actually, any government employee is a target, as is any government building other than schools and hospitals. Then we get into all of the civilian structures that are valid targets, like railroad yards, manufacturing plants, financial centers, etc. And with all of this as valid targets, I find booby traps, assassination teams, and snipers to be immoral. They just don't seem fair to me.
All of this is also complicated by a very strong pragmatic sense. As a cop, when deadly force is justified, I have always wondered if there is such a thing as excessive force. As a soldier, if you go to war, I have always thought it should be an all-out war. I don't believe in "limited" war. And I have very few qualms with the old saw that if you are in a fair fight, you are doing something wrong.
Yes, if I were president and had a chance to end a war, or even to prevent a war, by assassinating the leader of the nation, I would take that chance. But just because I am pragmatic enough to do this, it doesn't mean that I find it moral or ethical. Wrong is wrong, whether I do it or my enemy does it.
And I guess what it also means is that I recognize just how thin the veneer of civilization is on people. Well, at least on me I know it is thin. I want to be civilized and I try to be civilized, but I know I would get very savage very quickly in certain cases. One case would be if I went to war, especially against my own government. Another would be if someone ever hurt my kids or grandkids. They are sacred to me.