April 6, 2010, on this blog: YNATKC, part 3,798
The real world complicates every simple principle and that any meaningful or lasting principle has to account for those complications. But when someone’s first impulse is to cavil and dilute and disqualify by qualification, I’m not convinced that their objections are raised in good faith.
For those who are, in fact, harrumphing in good faith, I’m perfectly willing to calibrate the principle more precisely, something like: You’re not allowed to target noncombatants primarily and intentionally.
What that means, of course, is neither more nor less than this: You’re not allowed to kill civilians.