Re: Democracy held hostage

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 09:07:22 MDT

jeff davis wrote:
> --- Brian D Williams <> wrote:
> >
> > >From:
> >
> > >It would if they had actually been cowardly. But
> > >they obviously
> > >weren't, and saying they were just makes us look
> > >like kooks.
> <snip>
> >
> > Murdering innocent civilians is a definition of
> > cowardly (and
> > criminal) in any soldiers book, and should be in
> > anyones book.
> Several factors define cowardice or bravery. As Brian
> notes above, killing the defenseless and "innocent" is
> seen as cowardly. Putting one's own life at risk, on
> the other hand, or knowingly and deliberately facing
> certain death while maintaining your resolve and
> composure, is seen as courageous. So the recent
> attacks can be characterised either way, which is
> emotionally convenient for the various parties
> involved.

Once again: putting one's life at risk when killing the defenseless is
not courageous one bit, it is simply rigging things to avoid culpability
for the crime: doubly cowardly. If your victims are defenseless, then
you endure no risk from them, the risk is solely that which you create
for yourself in how you stage the atrocity. Thus, it is an act of
fearlessness, not courageousness. Courage is defined as facing fear with
determination. The only risk which can therefore be said to be
courageously faced is that which the person has absolutely no control

This defines the difference between a suicide bomber of civilians and an
infantryman who charges a machine gun nest.

> Also interesting is how the ultra-rationality required
> in the conduct of war often conflicts with, and always
> subordinates the "value" considerations of cowardice
> or bravery. Destroying the enemy as efficiently and
> cheaply and safely as possible is pretty much the
> hallmark of military professionalism. Attacking from
> ambush, from safety, from out of range, with
> overmatched force (the more the better); using the
> element of surprise, the cover of darkness, the
> enemy's unpreparedness, confusion, ignorance, or
> weaknesses of any sort, including any value-based
> rigidity about what constitutes the "proper or
> ethical" conduct of war--this is the military gold
> standard.
> In short, fighting dirty or "cowardly" is consummate
> soldiering, and fighting fair is either insanity or
> criminal incompetence.

Uh, no. You are still conflating the killing of civilians with the
killing of combatants, and you misunderstand the difference between
strategic and tactical suprise.

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