Israel has just assassinated the leader of Hamas. Some would argue that selectively killing leaders of terrorist groups may help save the lives of innocents.
Should proven terrorists be assassinated?
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I think it really depends. You risk causing more death and destruction when there is a clear possibility of a political settlement. The middle-east conflict is one over territory and both sides have historical claims. Ideological disputes do not lend themselves so easily to political resolution (i.e., al Qaida and the West).

How likely is it that the terrorists will retaliate? If the risk is low or you can put measures into effect to reduce the risk of retaliation, maybe it's worth it. But if they live next door in Gaza City, you'd better think long and hard about it or a lot of civilians are going to die.

This most recent killing was, in my opinion, a huge mistake.
I say no. When we employ the same tactics as those who do evil, we are no better than they are. It's easy to kill in the name of doing good for society. We have laws to deal with criminals and neither we nor our government should take the law into our own hands. More evil has been done in the name of "doing good" than most of us are aware of. In a free and just society, everyone is presumed innocense until proven guilty, the guilty are entitled to a just sentence. Assassanation is not a just sentence. Assassination is vigilanteism, and it is wrong.
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Kill them
Dont waite for someone else kidnap some civilians or politicians and demand for theire release.
Happend many times in India
Proclamation: It is wrong to kill, so killers shall be punished by death.

"Wait, if we put killers to death, then technically we're in the wrong. It shouldn't be wrong to put a killer to death; killing killers is good. We must revise our law so that we are always in the right."

Proclamation, amended: It is wrong to kill anyone but killers. Killers shall be punished by death.

"Hmmm. So, now we're always in the right, but we could still face death for killing a killer."

Proclamation, twice amended: It is wrong to kill anyone but killers. Killers shall be punished by death except those killers who have killed a killer.

"Excellent. Now we can kill terrorists so long as they haven't killed other people who have killed. Hmmm. But when they kill our soldiers, they'd probably be doing it legally, since most of our soldiers have killed before. What a mess. This could lead to endless acts of violent retribution between two parties claiming to be in the right."

Proclamation, thrice amended: It is wrong to kill anyone but those deemed killable by the state.

"Yes, I like the sound of that..."
I'm confused.
I just want to get rid of mass murdering terrorists! They kill innocent women and children - not just one or two ... thousands of them!!!
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Great post, Ryan. It is so sensible.
I was wondering how to word a post to this thread, until I read yours. I couldn't have put it better even if I had tried hard.

As usual, as always, it all comes down to who is in charge, who makes the decisions.
The day A is in charge, B will be considered a terrorist. Now, if tomorrow B is in charge, you can bet A will be the terrorist!
Man will always kill the people he doesn't like, and he will always try to come up with a suitable reason for that.
But any reason you might think of will be a fallacy. You have the right to kill someone only because that person has killed someone before? Nahh... not in my book, not in this life.

A couple of days ago, I read a post about mind control in another section of these boards, and I posted something from Orwell's "1984". Trust me, you have to keep your guard up; governments tend to put strange ideas in the heads of their people, and strange words in their mouths. Those governments will insist until you are fully convinced that what you are thinking or saying is actually your own idea. Mind control exercised in the subtlest ways can result in the most dreadful manifestations.

IMHO

Miriam
Does this mean we should just do nothing? Maybe they have controlled our minds into wanting to do that too!
Yes, I too want to get rid mass murdering terrorists. I have no idea how, but suspect that assassinating them will do nothing more than convince more people to become mass murdering terrorists.

I agree with miriam, whom I thank for the nice comments. Jets and tanks are the weapons of the rich, car bombs and hijackings are the weapons of the poor. Those who want to fight will always find innovative ways of killing each other. Those who don't want to fight will always run the risk of getting caught in the cross-fire. Some poor fellow who did nothing more than go to work early on 9.11 gets killed by a hijacked 767. Likewise, some innocent girl who happened to be born in the wrong Iraqi town gets maimed by a US cluster bomb. Where does it end? How can we trace it back to the beginning and say that so-and-so started it?

Lastly, the words terrorism and terrorist are ambiguous, and this is telling. By definition, terrorism is performed to evoke terror in someone else. So, anyone who's ever committed a substantially violent act could be called a terrorist. If we assume that missiles raining down on an old man in a wheelchair outside a mosque would evoke terror in innocent bystanders, we could say that Israel committed a terrorist act by killing the leader of Hamas. Are the leaders of Israel now eligible for assassination? Who will want to assassinate their assassins?

My answer to the question is "No".
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