A common claim among those who try to delegitimize bombing our enemies during a time of war is that when such bombings result in civilian deaths, they constitute “murder”. This, much like every other time leftists use words, isn’t a misunderstanding of the concept represented by the word, but rather its intentional misuse, designed to cover up the left’s true agenda, and reverse the roles of victim and perpetrator.Only a monster would advocate the murder of innocent civilians. And they do. These monsters now have a presence in every major western city. But their bases are in other countries. And they have financial backers in yet other countries. These can be dealt with at any time using our far superior firepower. But we aren’t dealing with them. They hide their worst operatives and their most devastating weapons among civilians, because they know their allies in western countries will make sure they’re safe there, and accuse any country that takes the necessary action to defend its citizens in such a situation of “murder” and “war crimes”.
In every question the human mind ever attempts to answer, a valid conclusion can only be reached if the facts are dealt with within the context in which they exist. The context for the question of what actions a government should take and what actions it should avoid is the overall role of government, namely what limitations should there be on its power, if any.
In laissez faire capitalism the answer to this question is clear: government exists to protect its own citizens from force. When faced with a foreign power trying to kill its citizens, therefore, the individuals in charge of such a limited government should be limited in the scope of choices available to them. Just as they may not start a war for any interest other than the security of the country’s citizens, so they may not stand idly by while their citizens are being butchered, certainly when they have the military might needed to prevent, mitigate or end the threat.
Understanding this position also helps clarify just where those who want us to avoid killing civilians in enemy-controlled territory truly stand: firmly on the side of our enemies, no matter who those enemies are, no matter what war is being fought. Don’t let them fool you when they downplay the significance of the current wave of terrorist attacks. If we were nuked, their position on civilian casualties would be no different: we should live (or die) with the fact that our own citizens and soldiers are getting massacred by the hundreds of thousands if the only way to prevent such a massacre is to bomb a school or a hospital, and certainly if it is to nuke the enemy.
When the government faces the choice of killing civilians in enemy territory or allowing the enemy to kill its own citizens, choosing the latter is, by definition, treason.