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New Osama bin Ladin
Osama bin Laden declared war on the US a long time ago, some time in the 90's. He has considered himself at war with the US since then, he has no reason to declare war now.

If he is behind the attack, and yet publicly denying it, then he is a coward. But I don't think you can call the terrorists that actually made the attack cowards. Stupid and evil, yes, but not cowards.

New Question
Are the people who carried out the instructions of the leader considered terrorists or are they "soldiers"?

And as to saying that they were "evil"... Were any of the pilots/crew of the planes over Japan or Germany in WWII "evil"?

Yes, the acts were terrible and reprehensible.

Remember we are using our WASP mentality and viewpoint. From their, the actual perpetrator, viewpoint, they were only carring out the instructions from their leader and their reward for sacrificing their life is eternal happiness...

We try to train our soldier to question the commands that may be "illegal" but we still had MyLai (sp) where the soldiers convinced themselves that the massacre was a military necessity.

Do I condone the violence, the acts? Absolutely not. I believe the leaders should be sought out and executed.
New Terrorist or Soldier
The question of them terrorists or soldiers is a rather relative one. They don't meet my definition of soldier, but that is not because of the nature of the attack, rather because of the goal. The Pentagon is a legitimate military target, but the World Trade Center certainly isn't. The WTC was selected only because of the extremely high number of civilian that would be killed, and that marks them as terrorists to me.

As for 'evil', I'm not quite sure what you are asking with this question. I understand that civilian casualties are an unavoidable effect of war. But intentionally targeting civilian populations for destruction is certainly evil. And yes, I consider some the bombing done by the Allies during WWII to be fairly evil, mostly the firebombing Japanese cities. I don't know of any bombing that was done just to cause as many civilian casualties as possible though.

New Re: Terrorist or Soldier
Who is the "evil" one? The pilot who flys the mission or the leader who orders it? Was the "soldier" who hijacked the plane that crashed into the Pentagon 'evil'? Was the "terrorists" who hijacked the planes that crashed into the WTC 'evil'? What is/was the "status" of the person who hijacked the fourth plane and 'failed' in achieving his/her mission? Soldier because target was probably the pentagon or terrorist because the mission failed and "only" killed civilians?
New Re: Terrorist or Soldier
The leader who ordered the attack is certainly evil. The question of the individual people that carried it out being is evil is more complex, something that can't be answered without knowing the people themselves. But in general, if the voluntarily carried out the attack then they probably fall into the side of evil.

The degree of evil would vary from person to person. It's very likely that some of the people where simple teens that got caught up in a religious frenzy and didn't really consider what they where doing. I would consider such people evil, but not nearly to the same degree as the life long terrorists that gets a kick out of hurting others or the leaders that worked out the attack to kill as many bystanders as possible.

Some of the people involved may have been duped or blackmailed into involvment, which renders their cases that much more complex.

If the line between good and evil was simple, even we humans would have figured it out.

New Bombing to cause civ casualties: Dresden 1945
This is what I know (IIRC) about the firebombing of Dresden.
No military targets (factories, plants, installations) in the city, a fact known to everyone on both sides. Because of this, city never bombed before and packed with hundreds of thousands of refugees from the east fleeing the advancing soviet armies in addition to its 600,000 inhabitants. Firebombed by thousands of British and American bombers in multiple waves Feb 13 & 14 1945 (ten weeks before German surrender). Temperatures reached a thousand degrees centigrade, and the city burned for a week. Civilian deaths impossible to calculate, estimated between 135,000 and 300,000.

Utter devastation, massive loss of life, terror. No militarily significant targets.

New Yes, a war crime, that.
Probably much better known about, for Kurt Vonnegut's brilliant story (he was there, in that bunker, in Dresden).

ONLY because we won - it was not prosecuted. My Lai OTOH, a lesser crime, committed much later and by a lower echelon of 'ours' - we at least pursued.

It's probably just not imaginable that a 'winner' would submit to the fantasy of a fairwitness, and submit to her judgment of deeds done along the way to that winning.

Would need a mature species, for such an event. Maybe in the next yuga..

New Yes, Dresden was a war crime
It was pure vengence, no military value. Unfortunately it's really hard to get your public behind hanging your own war heros, especially when the other side was so inescapably the bad guys.
New Interesting; Can an individual declare war?
I mean, doesn't a state of war legally occur between two govenrments? (I know, the concept of "legal war" very closely approximates an oxymoron.) If so, then what "government" does bin Laden claim to be the head of?

The Islamic Republic of Moron?

And if not (that is, if a state of war can occur between a government and a private citizen or enterprize), then by extension why can't a state of war exist between two (or more) private citizen or enterprizes? Can I declare war on Micros~1 (OOOhh, now that's tempting...)

No, I think bin Laden's "Declaration of War" is just so much chest-thumping propaganda. He's nothing but a common criminal...a highly skilled, murderous, cowardly common criminal, but a common criminal nonetheless.
(Resistance is not futile...)
     Possible reason for the PA crash - passengers heard the news - (dmarker2) - (26)
         Re: some further dialogue on the alleged event ... - (dmarker2) - (25)
             You have a wise friend; can we borrow him? -NT - (Ashton)
             Wasn't me asking if plane was shot down... -NT - (jbrabeck)
             well noted as Mayor Guiliani said - (boxley)
             Disagreement re: cowardice - (jb4) - (19)
                 Note on WWII. - (addison)
                 Regarding cowards and evil demons - (brettj)
                 Osama bin Ladin - (JayMehaffey) - (8)
                     Question - (jbrabeck) - (6)
                         Terrorist or Soldier - (JayMehaffey) - (5)
                             Re: Terrorist or Soldier - (jbrabeck) - (1)
                                 Re: Terrorist or Soldier - (JayMehaffey)
                             Bombing to cause civ casualties: Dresden 1945 - (GBert) - (2)
                                 Yes, a war crime, that. - (Ashton) - (1)
                                     Yes, Dresden was a war crime - (Andrew Grygus)
                     Interesting; Can an individual declare war? - (jb4)
                 It's probably a matter of semantics... - (Simon_Jester) - (3)
                     Who are we calling the terrorists? - (brettj) - (2)
                         Suicide - (jbrabeck) - (1)
                             I disagree. - (brettj)
                 "Cowardly" is a Clintonism. - (marlowe)
                 Re: It takes balls... - (mmoffitt) - (2)
                     Exactly - (tuberculosis)
                     Re: It takes balls... - (TTC)
             I don't want revenge, exactly. - (marlowe) - (1)
                 And another thing. - (marlowe)

Have you ever noticed that all the instruments searching for intelligent life are pointed AWAY from Earth?
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