Is All Fair And Good In War?

NATO and US air strikes continue pounding away at forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. The latest bombing allegedly resulted in the deah of one of his sons and three of his grandchildren. There is scant doubt anymore that air power is being used to target civilian components of Libyan society. Gaddafi remains defiant, words threatening Western forces as well as those within his own country who refuse to accept his rule. Members of the media inspected the home of a Gaddafi son who died along with his children. There was an underground bunker, but scant evidence the building was being used for military purposes. This raises the question which was always asked during WWII, but never answered: Is it permissible in war to bomb civilian areas in order to weaken the enemy’s resources? For example, we don’t even know if this son was part of the war effort in Libya. We don’t know if there was any military capability in his home. So, was it morally right to bomb this house which contained women and children?

The bottom line is Gaddafi’s defiance and as he so aptly states, “no one can force me to leave my country.” A wise man would have checked bank accounts, rounded up the kids and grand kids and headed for the nearest airport and flown to some nice country whose ruler would not allow him to be extradited. In the end, defiance can have a consequence.