So 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.srothstein wrote: ↑Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:13 pmIt is assassination to send a sniper out to kill a leader who is not in combat. While I do not have a problem with the moral guilt of the politicians who order the killing being as great (and even greater in some cases) as the guilt of the person who did the killing, I still have moral reservations about hunting them down and using assassination as a tool.
The reason you see a ethical dilemma in assassination is because it is unethical to live in a perceptual state of war- and much less ethical to live in a perpetual state of undeclared war. If a nation has the moral justification to openly (and legally) declare war against an opponent, any opportunity within the scope of war is justified, as allowed by the common-law treaties of time. Assassination is perfectly acceptable in that context. The real problem is when you have illegal, undocumented wars occurring because congress handed off (illegally IMO) its constitutional duty to declare war through an act of congress, against a specific party, in a specific scope. Instead, congress has merely said "Here executive branch, do whatever you want in the sandbox"... And then we are surprised when the executive branch acts completely unrestrained.
tl:dr- If a war is illegally initiated, it doesn't matter how the killing happens, its an illegal war.