Maurog wrote:Wait, if we can't assume Iran is building nuclear weapons because they're not admitting it, why are are we assuming Israel assassinates Iran's nuclear physicists if they're not admitting it either?
One, I'm not assuming that they don't have a nuclear weapons program because they're not admitting to it. I'm saying that we (as far as I can ascertain) have zero proof of a nuclear weapons program (as stated by the International Atomic Energy Association, US intelligence services, international scientists, and the head of the US department of defense). Since we lack that proof, we are unable to say- even if you accept that weapon designers (or similar) are valid military targets (which I don't)- that you can target those scientists, because we have nothing besides suspicion to say that they are weapons designers (or similar).
Two, it doesn't matter if Israel or the US or anyone else is murdering them, if they just happen to be the oddest string of coincidences, or something else entirely. The debate is over whether it'd be acceptable for them to be murdered for that association- whether that covers past suspected deaths or only potential future deaths is another debate.
Cutting this down to one major part and one smaller reply cause that seems to be all that actually matters:
yoni45 wrote:It most definitely made you part of their coming to power. And research is most definitely part of a weapons program.
The point was that you can assist a group without being a member of it. To be more specific for the example, my parents donated to Obama in 2008. That did not make them members of the democratic party (they're independents), my voting to re-elect my democratic governor did not make me a member of the democratic party (I'm a registered independent too!). When I bought, say, The Witcher 2, I assisted CDProjekt, but it'd be ridiculous to say I was part of the company.
The point with research is that the results of an action are determined by the person that uses it. Alfred Nobel can not be blamed for any non-peaceful uses of dynamite. Former employees of Smith & Wesson and Winchester are not responsible for murders done with guns chambered with a .357 round. Wernher von Braun isn't guilty of murder because rocket technology has been used to kill people. A nuclear scientist is not responsible for someone else using it as a weapon. Let's say someone does use a nuclear weapon, for a moment, and that it kills a bunch of people: would you hold Oppenheimer or Einstein responsible for those deaths? What about the over 120,000 people
that worked on the Manhattan Project to make it happen? Their research would have been a huge part, directly or not, in that weapon's eventual development, and the other workers on the Manhattan Project would be responsible for ensuring that that research happened.
Any possible "evil" (for lack of a better word) for the use of a weapon falls under the person that used it. Otherwise you open yourself up to a long list of people, many completely unaffiliated, that are guilty.
yoni45 wrote:You were using the protocols as relevant evidence of terms the parties may be obligated to. The point is it wasn't relevant evidence -- don't attempt to strawman that into a positive proof on my part.
It makes them increasingly and decreasingly valid military targets, depending on their proximity and vitality to the military 'machine'. You're trying to argue based on an absurdity while ignoring the absurdity of your own position: by your reasoning, any military personnel can be "offloaded" onto civilian bodies. Any military personnel can be argued to be civilian if we just offload them onto civilian bodies. Does that negate them as military targets?
As I explained (twice), the protocols are not examples of what Iran or Israel are specifically limited to. I brought it up as an example of how an international body has decided to define the separation between a legitimate military target and an untargetable civilian, and use their reasoning
to further my argument, because I think it's good reasoning.
Attempting to restate it briefly: If someone does not serve a combat role and they are not member of the armed forces, they are not a valid military target. You can not say that because they are necessary to the military machine they are valid targets, because you can make a strong case that every member of a nation's civilian population is necessary for it's military machine to remain functional, and then civilians have zero protection. Once you start saying "well, yeah, but this
person, they're definitely a valid target", you've opened yourself up to saying that about anybody
because it's true about everybody!
You can't say that any military personnel can be handed down to a civilian, because in the end, you're going to actually need people to fight in the event of combat. Once those people start fighting, they are combatants, either of the lawful or unlawful type, but combatants none the less, and are thus acceptable to fight. This is covered in the protocol: while you engage in hostilities, you lose your special protections. So you can't "sneak" out of the protections by declaring everyone to be a civilian, because direct combat actions open yourself up to being targeted.