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Legal murder

ricksfolly

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Why is murdering one person a crime and murdering thousands of innocent men, women and children in a war heroic?

ricksfolly
 

MKULTRABOY

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The death of one is a tragedy
The death of a million is just a statistic

-Marilyn Manson



A question with a very long answer...
 

Goshin

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Why is murdering one person a crime and murdering thousands of innocent men, women and children in a war heroic?

ricksfolly

Good lord, are you actually serious?

Killing in war isn't murder, for one. Murder is an unlawful killing.

The State maintains a monopoly on the initiation of force, and legally legitimizes the initiation of force in its name for its purposes. Therefore it isn't murder.

If you want to argue about whether it was just or not, that will require specifics. Some wars are just, some are not.

It is circumstantially dependent.
 

Winston Smith

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It is murder if the war is illegal, as our wars usually are. It's considered heroic because we apply a double standard.
 

ricksfolly

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Brrrr... All of a sudden it got very cold.

ricksfolly
Good lord, are you actually serious?

Killing in war isn't murder, for one. Murder is an unlawful killing.

The State maintains a monopoly on the initiation of force, and legally legitimizes the initiation of force in its name for its purposes. Therefore it isn't murder.

If you want to argue about whether it was just or not, that will require specifics. Some wars are just, some are not.

It is circumstantially dependent.
If the UN determines a war is not legal, can they bring it to the world court?

ricksfolly
 

Bodhisattva

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It is murder if the war is illegal, as our wars usually are. It's considered heroic because we apply a double standard.
Our wars are usually "illegal". Good lord man, are you feeling OK?
 

Goof Noodle

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If the UN determines a war is not legal, can they bring it to the world court?

ricksfolly
Who cares? The UN is a joke and only a fool thinks the UN is useful. The only creditable thing about the UN is that it is the biggest moocher to our society.
 

Winston Smith

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Our wars are usually "illegal". Good lord man, are you feeling OK?
Yeah, they are wars of aggression and therefore illegal under international law. The Nuremberg Principles and the UN Charter define crimes against peace as "(i) planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)."

There's some room for debate about whether Afghanistan is a war of aggression, though I think it's pretty clear once you look at the whole project and see how little it really has to do with 9/11. There's no question in the case of Iraq. The invasion was a blatant act of aggression as well as a direct violation of UN Resolution 1441.
 

Goshin

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Yah, the UN... which has such a GREAT record of righting wrongs and protecting the innocent, a third of whose membership consists of tyrants and oppressive governments. Yeah, the UN. :roll:
 

Winston Smith

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Yah, the UN... which has such a GREAT record of righting wrongs and protecting the innocent, a third of whose membership consists of tyrants and oppressive governments. Yeah, the UN. :roll:
It really doesn't matter what you think of the UN. I don't think much of it, myself. The fact remains that our treaty agreements are binding federal law and are incorporated into our Constitution through Article VI.

And before you dismiss the Nuremberg Principles, remember where they came from. When we righted wrongs and protected the innocent in WWII, they were the theory on which our prosecution of the enemy's war crimes rested. The UN is ineffective partly because we flout international law whenever we find it inconvenient, but the principles we sneer at today are ones we helped design.
 

ricksfolly

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Our wars are usually "illegal". Good lord man, are you feeling OK?
You're the ill one... The only legal war is retaliation when we're attacked by a COUNTRY, not individuals who may or may not be connected to a country.

We were not attacked by Afghanistan, Iraq, nor any of the others excursions since Pearl Harbor, and since the UN is ran by us, any decision the UN makes is orchestrated by us, all because we're caught in the middle of partisan survival politics.

ricksfolly
 

Bodhisattva

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You're the ill one... The only legal war is retaliation when we're attacked by a COUNTRY, not individuals who may or may not be connected to a country.

We were not attacked by Afghanistan, Iraq, nor any of the others excursions since Pearl Harbor, and since the UN is ran by us, any decision the UN makes is orchestrated by us, all because we're caught in the middle of partisan survival politics.

ricksfolly
I'm more chill than ill. But seriously folks... perhaps you can show me where in the US Constitution, or anywhere else, that it states the the United States, or any other country, can only go to war when we are attacked by a country. If congress supports the president or the UN's decision to go to war, or have a police action, then it is legal. End of story. Unless, that is, you have some evidence to the contrary...
 

Winston Smith

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I'm more chill than ill. But seriously folks... perhaps you can show me where in the US Constitution, or anywhere else, that it states the the United States, or any other country, can only go to war when we are attacked by a country. If congress supports the president or the UN's decision to go to war, or have a police action, then it is legal. End of story. Unless, that is, you have some evidence to the contrary...
We can go to war without being attacked by a country, but the decision of Congress and the president isn't enough to make it legal. According to the UN Charter, it either has to be approved by the UN or it has to be in self-defense.
 

Orion

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Why is murdering one person a crime and murdering thousands of innocent men, women and children in a war heroic?
Our beliefs about the value of life are inconsistent and many are afraid to stare this truth in the face and accept it for what it is.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Why is murdering one person a crime and murdering thousands of innocent men, women and children in a war heroic?

ricksfolly
The problem with your comment is your use of the word "murder". Not all killing is murder.
 

Bodhisattva

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We can go to war without being attacked by a country, but the decision of Congress and the president isn't enough to make it legal. According to the UN Charter, it either has to be approved by the UN or it has to be in self-defense.
Legal to whom? If Congress declares war, it is legal. The US Constitution makes it legal. Regardless, and going back to the intent of my question... what wars that the USA has been involved in have been "illegal".
 

Goshin

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We can go to war without being attacked by a country, but the decision of Congress and the president isn't enough to make it legal. According to the UN Charter, it either has to be approved by the UN or it has to be in self-defense.

**** the UN.
 

Aunt Spiker

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For once no one made my point - while reading my point keep in mind that everyone on their own side of the fight (in war) is considered a war hero by their own people.

Murder:
Killing *one* or *ten* as a defined murder crime is defined as such because it's for selfish reasons *unless* it is done in self defense. (In that case you are protecting yourself *or* your family thus, not a selfish choice).

Murder as a Crime: One person (or a group of people) decided that, for whatever their reason, someone else (or many others) were going to die. . .and they aimed, fired.
OR - for no reason (aka - pure recklessness) someone met their untimely end while they were posing no harm and doing no wrong.

It is a very self-indulgent and self-centered act which has no redeemable *value* and means *nothing* - people were killed for no reason.
It is either intentionally self-indulgent or unintentionally self-indulgent. But self indulgent none the less - your self was decisively more important than someone else.

Along with being self-indulgent such murder is usually done in tandem with keeping along one's personal path in life. Someone's a thug - murders someone while committing a crime to maintain their lifestyle. Someone's driving to work and listening to the radio - kills someone with their self-satisfying carelessness.

In war:
Civilians et al are currently *not* directly targeted. (General McChyrstal went to great lengths to see to a reduced number of civilian casualties. General Petraeus, however, isn't so concerned with this issue. Take not of that for future reference - civilian casualties will INCREASE coming soon)

Why it's different:
Killing in the name of what your people value (religion, region, food source, environment, etc) is not just *for yourself* - you are fighting to defend what you and many others cherish and depend on to live.
You are altering your lifestyle and giving up safety and comfort for a perceived greater good.
This greater good doesn't have to coincide with someone else's greater good - but the greater good is the key difference, here.

Killing innocents unavoidably happens in war - which is why war should ONLY be waged if it's for a VERY noble cause (what's noble? that changes depending on who you talk to).

Heroism
Heroism is *not* claimed (by the US, anyway) when someone *only* kills civilians in the duration of a fight. This is *not* heroic - that *is* murder . . . a quick google will net you soldiers who were tried *for* murder and related crimes because they killed someone who was of the enemy-nationality while in battle, but they weren't a threat.

Heroism is when you are brave - face the oncoming enemy - and risk your safety and your life for the greater good of some *one* else or many *others* - not yourself.

A husband protecting his family from an armed burgler and murdering the burgler in the process is quite heroic, yes? He put his *life* on the line to *save* others - yes?

Same as in wartime. Your sacrifice *must* be for the good of others and *not* to the pure detriment (murder, injury) of others.
 
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Winston Smith

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Legal to whom? If Congress declares war, it is legal. The US Constitution makes it legal. Regardless, and going back to the intent of my question... what wars that the USA has been involved in have been "illegal".
Under Article VI of the Constitution, our treaty agreements are part of the supreme law of the land, like the Constitution itself. Under the UN Charter, we have an agreement not to engage in crimes against peace, which are defined in the Nuremberg Principles:

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
A war that violates these principles violates not only international law but also American law. This is true regardless of whether Congress approves it.

The Iraq War, for example, was both a war of aggression and a violation of UN Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 did not authorize the use of force against Iraq without further action by the UN Security Council, and the members who signed it did so only with that understanding. So, the invasion violated our international agreements and assurances as well as the UN Charter and therefore United States law.
 

Bodhisattva

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Under Article VI of the Constitution, our treaty agreements are part of the supreme law of the land, like the Constitution itself. Under the UN Charter, we have an agreement not to engage in crimes against peace, which are defined in the Nuremberg Principles:



A war that violates these principles violates not only international law but also American law. This is true regardless of whether Congress approves it.

The Iraq War, for example, was both a war of aggression and a violation of UN Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 did not authorize the use of force against Iraq without further action by the UN Security Council, and the members who signed it did so only with that understanding. So, the invasion violated our international agreements and assurances as well as the UN Charter and therefore United States law.
The Iraq war was technically illegal, apparently... I skimmed the document, but could not find where it stated that no country was not allowed to go to war twith Iraq, could you point it out. I have heard that it is Illegal for a long time now and that is the generally accepted notion on which all America Bashing originates.

But, what other wars have been illegal. You said all the wars after WWII, didn't you?
 
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German guy

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Good lord, are you actually serious?

Killing in war isn't murder, for one. Murder is an unlawful killing.

The State maintains a monopoly on the initiation of force, and legally legitimizes the initiation of force in its name for its purposes. Therefore it isn't murder.
The question is, why do we make this difference? The effect for the victims is the same.

Personally, I think war is always evil, inherently. Yet it can be just sometimes: When the inevitable death of people due to this war prevents the death of even more. Because saving human life is the only possible action that could ever justify taking human life.

A war for merely material interests, or for ideologies is thatfore never any better than mass murder. It IS mass murder.

There is the problem, though, that in reality, it's always hard to determine the number of victims of a war before it is started, and it is often hard to determine how many lives can be saved. This adds to the dilemma we are facing when deciding if a war is just or not.
 
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