Ethical Limits in Warfare: Civilians as Targets


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Essay #: 051401
Total text length is 6,093 characters (approximately 4.2 pages).

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The beginning:
Ethical Limits in Warfare: Civilians as Targets
Determining if the targeting of civilians during wartime is morally acceptable and ethically supportable or, alternatively, morally reprehensible and ethically maligned is essentially a philosophical debate rather than a moral one. This is the approach taken by some researchers such as Fussell who tend to view the targeting of civilians during wartime as distasteful but strictly utilitarian. For instance, Fussell states that not only were Japanese citizens in general being groomed to die during the planned invasion of Japan during World War II in which “One Hundred Million Souls for the Emperor” was the common refrain in Japan and the US’ wartime planners believed that approximately 1 million...
The end: some would believe but to secure valuable resources whatever those resources may be and whether they are already under a nation’s control or desired to be taken under a nation’s control. While Walzer’s viewpoint that soldiers “must also value civilian lives” is a nice thought, he overlooks the fact that the distinction between civilians and soldiers is purely a semantic one and that anyone, civilian or soldier alike, becomes a potential killer with a gun in their hand (155). Therefore the targeting and killing of civilians is a recognized and acceptable risk in warfare because warfare is itself the total rejection of any form of moral humanistic behavior despite humanistic attempts to make it noble, heroic or even patriotic. 
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