Is it OK to go around assassinating unarmed “terrorists” and enemy leaders? I mean, not for you and me, we’d be done in an instant if we tried to take the law into our own hands, but is it OK for governments? Certain ones at the moment seem to think its a jolly idea. They shot Osama, and also claim not to be targeting Gadaffy Duck directly, whilst dropping three massive bombs into a bunker they, presumably, knew was occupied by the Colonel (NATO/US claim to be targeting command and control systems, which will include various individuals of course, rendering the concept of not targeting specific people meaningless). I’m not saying these folk don’t deserve it, but is it morally sound?
Well, we all know killing people is supposed to be bad, but in the real world, bad people usually have to be stopped by force one way or another. Despite what the churches and whatnot say, most people accept that self defence is right. Most people in the West are not unduly upset by the death of Osama (assuming its real and recent as claimed).
We must bear in mind that the targets of these assassination attempts (in the case of Mr Duck) need not be one-sided: he can send his own assassins across the water, and probably will, if he lives long enough. Our own great leaders may be writing their own death warrants: a reason, I suggest, that such behaviour is generally avoided by them: it makes them more vulnerable to assassination themselves. A war and the killing of tens of thousands of nobodies is one thing, but our glorious leaders can’t be put in the line of fire…
Personally I think they should all be locked in a room with one loaded gun and let them sort it out between themselves. So, yes, I think assassination is more moral than the killing of large numbers of people in a wider conflict. Why kill thousands when one will do?
Hmm… and while I’m on the subject… I just note that Iraq has loads of oil; Afghanistan has the route for a long-planned oil pipeline from Iraq to the sea (and a load of heroin production); Libya has oil. Yemen doesn’t have much: it is expected to run out by 2017; Syrian oil production peaked in 1996 and it may become a net importer within a decade. Libya on the other hand has an estimated 60 years of reserves. So which countries would you be most interested in taking the opportunity of intervening in, if you were the West, and stupidly dependent on oil?