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The limits of retribution

Reader comment on item: Don't Put Terrorists on Trial

Submitted by Gregg (United States), Jul 14, 2014 at 13:37

Israeli actions against Hamas, Hezbollah and similar barbarians show, I think, that retribution has its limits. The Israelis tend to use massive force, which inevitably has innocent casualties. One could argue that the terrorists specialize in innocent casualties, but who wants to claim moral equivalence with savages? "Unintended collateral damage" looks different depending on which side of the crater one is standing.

I think it's time to consider a sharper blade: By all means announce targets in advance so that at least the intelligent can evacuate the target area. But also try to choose targets that will embarrass the terrorists and are less likely to have civilians standing on top of them. Blow up power stations, roads and bridges and other infrastructure that will cause economic harm but risk fewer civilian casualties. This might seem to be "going easy" on the terrorists. Since when is mercy a bad thing?

g

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

"The Israelis tend to use massive force": Hardly. Follow the news more closely.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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