View Poll Results: See OP: Who is responsible for the death of the human shields?

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Thread: Human shields

  1. #1
    Banned Goobieman's Avatar
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    Human shields

    Side A and side B are fighting a war.

    Side A uses human shields to protect its forces.
    Side B attacks the forces of side A, and the human shields die
    (Clarification -- the human shields involuntary act as such)

    Who is responsible for the death of the human sheilds?
    Last edited by Goobieman; 03-10-10 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Human shields

    Both. Side A for using them, Side B for shooting them anyway.
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    Re: Human shields

    Side A is responsible for the deaths of the human shields as well as the human shields if they volunteered to be human shields. To allow someone to get away with using human shields only encourages the use of more human shields and endangers the troops.
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    Re: Human shields

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    Both. Side A for using them, Side B for shooting them anyway.
    Does the presence of a human shield create a legal and/of moral imperative to not attack a legitimate military target?

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    Re: Human shields

    Both sides are guilty. Using the human shields is probably a bit higher on the list, but firing anyway causes the sin to be shared.
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    Re: Human shields

    Both sides are responsible.

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    Re: Human shields

    Side A, in every possible situation I can think of except one: They didn't want human shields at all, but some people idiotically made themselves such anyway. As the wording of your question removes that possibility, then in the context you present Side A is always at fault.

    Side B, only in some situations. For example, if they were attacking Side A for no valid reason, it would be slightly their fault, as Side A wouldn't be using human shields if they weren't under attack.
    However, Side A would still bear most of the blame, as they didn't have to use human shields, they chose too.
    Last edited by The Mark; 03-10-10 at 06:37 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Human shields

    Side A is completely at fault. Side B is completely innocent.

    Side A is using human shields, if side B fires they kill both the civilian and the militant. However, is side B doesn't fire side B will die by the person using the human shield. If a human shield dies the blame lies solely on the one using the person as a shield. They would not have died had side A not used them and placed them in the line of fire.
    Last edited by digsbe; 03-10-10 at 07:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Human shields

    Both sides are responsible for their deaths. Side A is responsible because the human shields wouldn't have been there had they not forced them to be. Side B is responsible because they fired the shots that killed them.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Human shields

    Sometimes you don't have any choice but to shoot anyway.

    We Americans have gotten used to wars taking place 5,000 miles or more away. If we lose the war, it doesn't necessarily mean the homeland is in danger of invasion.

    Most nations don't have that privileged position, between two vast oceans, with a friend to the north and a weak nation to the south.

    For many nations the loss of a war may mean that invasion, conquest and oppression follows the loss.

    Even if that is not the case, there are times when the consequences of not shooting outweigh the consequences of shooting. Let's say an Al-Q camp is known to have a suitcase nuke, and plans to set it off in New York... they also have civilian hostages. You have to measure the cost in lives of a nuke going off in NYC vs taking out the camp and risking the "human shields".

    Or the way that terrorists have of hiding among the civvy population right after blowing up an Allied convoy...


    I think it is somewhat analogous to a hostage-rescue situation, something I once trained for. Sometimes you have to take the shot, even if it endangers a hostage, because the consequences of not shooting will be worse.

    A buddy of mine had to do that for real, one night. A murderer hid behind his hostage so well, that my friend had to shoot him through the meaty upper part of her (hostage's) shoulder. The murderer was shot thru the head and killed; the hostage suffered a moderately-serious wound but survived and recovered. Her survival, had the hostage-taker been allowed to escape, would have been very iffy.

    Then there's the Russian handling of the theater-hostage/terrorism event a few years ago. They took the risk to the hostages to intervene, killing the attackers, because if they allowed the operation to succeed it would be an open invitation for more terrorists to perform similar operations.

    Anyway, sometimes you have no real choice but to go ahead and shoot.

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