On Killing Terrorists

I have been asked how I feel about killing terrorists in one word. One word. A mark of society’s attention span. Even bumper stickers use more ink.

It is not simple to break down my feelings into a single word.

On one hand, I believe that every life is precious. Such sentiment would lead me to conclude that the right word would be “sad.” Sad that a human life will be extinguished.

But I cannot ignore that the targeted human being in question is a terrorist.

Palestinian terrorists carry the body of Mohammed Obied of Hamas in the central Gaza Strip on June 30, 2014 (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
A terrorist is not just someone that probably has killed and injured people in the past so their death may be viewed as a just punishment. A terrorist is someone that will likely kill again in the future. The end of such a threat would lead me to conclude that the right word is “relieved.”

I would much rather this human being not be a terrorist than wish him dead. But if this person is set on his ways, readied to harm civilians and committed to a path of death and destruction, and there is no way to stop him from his actions, well, then, maybe I do have a word.

It’s “Okay.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Double Standards: Assassinations

Alternatives for Punishing Dead Terrorists

The Death of Civilians; the Three Shades of Sorrow

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

Flip-Flopping on the Felling of Terrorist Groups’ Founders

The New York Times wants the military to defeat terrorists (but not Hamas)

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