Should civilians be considered valid targets in war?

Discussion in 'Opinion POLLS' started by Turin, Sep 7, 2022.

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Should civilians be considered valid targets in war?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    16.0%
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
    84.0%
  1. Turin

    Turin Well-Known Member

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    In a war, should Civilians be considered legitimate targets?
     
  2. Canell

    Canell Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the war. If it is a WW, i say kill'em all.
     
  3. Mr.Incognito

    Mr.Incognito Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, if you're going to war with America.
     
  4. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Assuming they're noncombatants, then no.
     
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  5. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Waging a war of any kind is impossible without the support of civilians. The Civilian population makes the war possible, supports it, enables it and commands the military. by any measure they are a legitimate target.
     
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  6. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Civilian people as intended targets, certainly not. Civilian infrastructure that ultimately supports combat effectiveness can be a legitimate target and that can lead to inevitable civilians casualties (as can military targets in some situations) but that should never be the intention and should be avoided and minimised as much as practically possible.

    I mean, the generally accepted rules of war mean you shouldn't even kill enemy combatants if it isn't necessary (such as if they're surrendering or captured). Civilians should get at least as much consideration.
     
  7. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Why?
     
  8. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Even if that were the case, that certainly doesn't mean all civilians support a conflict (morally or practically). You also presume the civilians in question are even nominally on the same side as the military force. Your position would suggest that an invading force would be free to target civilians to capture city but the defending force wouldn't be in trying to recapture it (unless you're saying civilians are automatically deemed to be supporting with ever military force is currently occupying their location).

    Morality. If war is deemed necessary, the military/political aims should be achieved while causing the least harm practically possible. Do you support the free use of things like chemical and biological weapons, landmines or cluster bombs? What it they're specifically targeted at civilians?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  9. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The only measure by which I can be demonstrated to have supported any war is by the facts that I pay my taxes (to avoid jail) and I don't try to violently overthrow the govt. Are you saying this equates to my 'supporting and enabling' the wars our government engages in?
     
  10. 19Crib

    19Crib Well-Known Member Donor

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    As collateral damage, yes. The reason being is using civilians as shields is more common now. And killing in war is imprecise a best.
    But when you start losing, civilians targets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
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  11. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Yes to all.
     
  12. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well then we are at an impasse, because I find that ridiculous. People who are coerced by threats of violence into participating in something against their will are not in my opinion responsible for the results. That's why we don't charge hostages for crimes they're ordered to engage in by their captors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  13. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    That's different.
     
  14. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Why?
     
  15. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    You're comparing personal crimes against acts of war.
     
  16. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    In both cases the humans involved are individuals. What's the difference between an individual being coerced by a violent criminal to participate in wrongdoing vs an individual being coerced by their govt to participate in wrongdoing?
     
  17. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    one is individual the other is institutional.
     
  18. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    ok... so how is it different to be coerced into participating in wrongdoing by a violent individual vs being coerced into participating in wrongdoing by a violent institution?
     
  19. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's not completely a simple question to answer. There are different levels of war. The line between peace and war isn't as defined as some might assume.
    Conflicts often have the tendency to escalate, with both sides finding themselves under pressure to use tactics they would not otherwise normally have considered.
    There are some big ethical considerations.

    Oftentimes during wars innocent civilians have been individually executed or put under harsh prison camp conditions due to simply falling under suspicion. Very commonly citizens of the enemy nation are accorded fewer rights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  20. LiveUninhibited

    LiveUninhibited Well-Known Member

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    No, I think it's reprehensible and probably counterproductive most of the time, except in the most extreme and evil scenarios.

    During world war 2, strategic bombing of civilians was common from both sides. Part of it was just a consequence of the technology. You could bomb an area imprecisely. So even if you weren't aiming for the city center, like Dresden, you will still be bombing a lot of civilians. A few million died this way. The idea was to reduce production and to break the morale of the civilian population. The results are mixed in both categories. In Britain it clearly increased morale. In Germany, it appears to have reduced morale. In some areas, bombing caused disruption that freed people up for the war effort.

    Japan is an interesting case to point out, as people often credit the atomic bomb with breaking their will. To most leadership in Japan, it was a non-factor, but Hirohito, the emperor, who usually let the military handle things, was a different case:

    " In the last seven months of the campaign, a change to firebombing resulted in great destruction of 67 Japanese cities, as many as 500,000 Japanese deaths and some 5 million more made homeless. Emperor Hirohito's viewing of the destroyed areas of Tokyo in March 1945 is said to have been the beginning of his personal involvement in the peace process, culminating in Japan's surrender five months later.[228]" Source: Bradley, F. J. No Strategic Targets Left. "Contribution of Major Fire Raids Toward Ending WWII", Turner Publishing Company, limited edition. ISBN 1-56311-483-6. p. 38.

    Note this was before the atomic bombs. In reality, the only thing unusual about the atomic bombings was that it only took one plane. But those bombings were neither the most devastating nor the most lethal.

    The bombings, atomic or not, were not going to break the Japanese will. The real game-changer was the soviets entering the war against Japan, erasing Japanese hopes for using the soviets to negotiate better peace terms with the United States and increasing the threat of invasion by a more ruthless enemy than the US. Hirohito mentioned the atomic bomb in his speech, and while I can't say for sure if it was speaking truthfully for himself, for the military leaders who usually made all the decisions, it wasn't at all an important consideration, and mentioning it makes more sense as a way of saving face for both countries. Better to be defeated by a superweapon, than to be defeated for some deficiency.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
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  21. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Banned

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    Wtf is this question even being asked for? How about rape? Does anyone think raping vanquished populations is alright?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2022
  22. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Of course not. Raping people in no way damages their utility as potential military resources.
     
  23. Turin

    Turin Well-Known Member

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    Because I was curious what people think.

    Russia is obviously targeting civilians.

    Civilians DO DRIVE war efforts. Either through manufacturing. Material support. Money. Emotioanl support. Shelter. Etc Etc.

    Many many things.

    Killing them outright denies the oppoent those ( and many other ) benefits.

    Im not arguing they SHOULD be. I personally dont think they should be valid targets.

    But War is its own beast, and many people hold different opinions on how it should be conducted.
     
  24. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Depends on the civilians and in what they are engaged. They became strategic targets in WW2 as they were the means to produce war goods. Hitler and then later the allies bombed major cities to lessen the will to continue fighting.

    Do you think if we signed some agreement with Russia or China or Iran that civilians would not be targeted in war they would abide by it?
     
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  25. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Compared to WW2?
     

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