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  #21  
Old 03 November 2017, 01:07 PM
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ChasFink ChasFink is offline
 
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
If I can add to that...must we invariably label every terror attack as "cowardly"?
Yes! I have always wondered the same thing. In fact, I think it just makes things worse: "Cowardly, are we? Well, now you're going to see just how brave we are!"
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  #22  
Old 03 November 2017, 05:18 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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I think the idea is to try to goad them into open combat against our soldiers, rather than into sneak attacks on civilians. Of course, that would be incredibly stupid of them, since we would have an overwhelming advantage in a conventional war.

I think deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is despicable, deplorable, and any number of other negative adjectives. (In this particular case, the majority of the people killed weren't even Americans, so if the idea was that we as Americans are collectively the enemy of Islam, and therefore legitimate targets -- he missed.) But in asymmetrical warfare, even if you stick to legitimate military and political targets, you are going to use stealth and unconventional means; that's just the only way you can win. (And I suspect the targets will always consider the attackers 'cowardly' regardless of the moral position.) The idea of a "fair fight" is emotionally appealing, but outside of the sports world, it's not generally the way things are done.

(I always recall a particular scene in a Tom Clancy novel, where someone has watched a group of Marines practice a lightning raid on a simulated enemy camp. "Don't you Marines believe in a fair fight?" he asks. The top sergeant replies, "Sir, a 'fair fight' means all my Marines come home. NFBSK the others, begging your pardon."

I'm certainly not trying to glorify this person in any way at all, but 'coward' would be pretty far down the list of insulting terms I think are applicable.
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  #23  
Old 03 November 2017, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post

I'm certainly not trying to glorify this person in any way at all, but 'coward' would be pretty far down the list of insulting terms I think are applicable.
It would make my list of insulting terms. It's a term I would apply to anyone outside a war zone**, who deliberately harms a defenseless person or persons whatever their motivation.

** then it very much depends on the specific situation
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  #24  
Old 03 November 2017, 05:46 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
I'm certainly not trying to glorify this person in any way at all, but 'coward' would be pretty far down the list of insulting terms I think are applicable.
I agree. But in the immediate aftermath of any terror attack, it is highly emotional. Coward is a very easy word to grab, and it does not imply race, politics, religion or even motive. It is inoffensive and provides a bit of catharsis in saying it.
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