Re:Clinton, Us citizen responsilbility vs Milosevic and Serbs

Brian D Williams (
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 06:57:20 -0700 (PDT)

From: Elizabeth Childs <>

>>Brian D Williams wrote:

>>In a dictatorship they do not share responsibility, in a
>> representational republic, we do.

>>>by that standard, the students who died at Tianamen square would
>>>be as culpable as the soldiers who killed them.

>> ?????

>Imagine an apartment building in Beijing. "Civilians" live there.
>Of those civilians, 15 are former members of the People's
>Liberation Army. 5 have been in the Lao Gai, the Chinese Gulag,
>for opposing the government. 25 silently oppose the current
>regime. 25 vocally support the current regime. 50 have no
>opinion, and try to get by from day to day without getting into

What this have to do with Tianamen?

>Who deserves to die? If it is morally acceptable to bomb civilian
>targets on the premise that those civilians were supporting an
>enemy regime, then it would be moral to blow that building up
>whether it would be useful to a military campaign or not.
>Clearly, that premise is false.

If by civilian targets you mean some sort of apartment building that is clearly not a valid target. Now lets take a real world example. After some of the initial bombing in Japan WWII it became apparent that a large portion of the Japanese military-industrial complex was cottage based, "a drill press in every home". This was used to support the massive firebombing raids, which killed many more than the 2 A-bombs. A famous photo taken after one of these events showed a large area burnt to the ground, every dozen or so yards/meters apart there stood a drill press or other machine. Justified?

>There may be legitimate military reasons to bomb civilian targets,
>even if innocent people die as a result. But the US has a
>sufficiently powerful military to make avoiding blowing up
>civilians a reasonable goal, and I think that's commendable.

We do avoid it, but power stations, water works, bridges, train tracks, etc are all valid targets.

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