/ Empathy for robbers? What about Osama, and the rule of law?

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Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Following on from what I regard as the pretty disgusting comments that made light of a criminal's "deserving" death (at the hands of some of his victims):

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=536114

I was struck by the apparent selectivity of people's empathy for their fellow kin, from which category I wouldn't want to disclude anybody. However, in addition to the example set by people's ethical point of view on this issue, there is also consistency of ethical standards and the rule of law. I was curious therefore where people might fall on this question time debate, which I remember seeing at the time, and being quite taken aback by Douglas Murray's position:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTWB1vyePqo
Sir Chasm - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I'm with you jimbo, I'm frequently bemused that not everyone has the same opinions and feelings as me. Obviously those people are wrong, but why can't they see it?
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> I'm with you jimbo, I'm frequently bemused that not everyone has the same opinions and feelings as me. Obviously those people are wrong, but why can't they see it?

Glad to have you in the bemused camp.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Refreshing to hear someone say what they think rather than what they think the audience wants to hear.Regardless of topic.

Interesting that the lady in the audience that was caught up in the 7/7 bombings who was almost in tears was fully behind Douglas.

I personally don't think there is much in common between the two stories at all apart from a man was killed in both instances.

Osama would have killed again and again given the opportunity. bloke in ladbrookes had no intention of killing anyone.

winhill - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> I was curious therefore where people might fall on this question time debate, which I remember seeing at the time, and being quite taken aback by Douglas Murray's position:
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTWB1vyePqo

When Paddy Pantsdown says Murray is awfully young, Murray should have punched him hard in the face.
elsewhere on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
"ethical point of view on this issue, there is also consistency of ethical standards" - you can expect that in a formal debate between groups of philosophers or lawyers but I expect most people just have a deep sense of what's right and wrong and make it on the hoof from there.
MG - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Would have preferred he was arrested and tried etc. But, this was/is a war essentially and different rules apply in war to everyday life. So I don't really have a problem with him being shot, probably deliberately. This is a different position to what Murray seemed to be arguing, which was simply revenge is OK as far as I could see.
Tom V - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

What happens to "the rule of law" (whatever that means) when a state of war is declared?

Tom V - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Tom V:

Sorry - for "state of war is declared" substitute "Security Council Resolution is passed".
aln - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> What happens to "the rule of law" (whatever that means) when a state of war is declared?

It's the 2nd casualty, just after the truth.
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

> But, this was/is a war essentially and different rules apply in war to everyday life.

Oh, you don't believe that guff about a "war on terror" do you? I mean, we can't object wholeheartedly to the notion of IRA legitimacy, correctly calling them terrorists, then switch conveniently to a war on terror when it suits our US allies? That term has only ever been a rhetorical term to manipulate (succesfully) the masses.

> So I don't really have a problem with him being shot, probably deliberately.

I don't will the death of any man, but I certainly don't celebrate it nor do I spend much time thinking about him, and don't see his absence of being a loss to humanity. Rather, I think the loss is to ourselves, our integrity, and the resultant lack of infectiousness that that imposes upon our democratic message and ethical integrity in public discourse.

> This is a different position to what Murray seemed to be arguing, which was simply revenge is OK as far as I could see.

It did seem to be something along those lines, and much though I empathise and sympathise with the woman involved in 7/7, I wouldn't want such an emotional response to pervade ethical decision making.
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Tom V:

> What happens to "the rule of law" (whatever that means) when a state of war is declared?

I don't regard it as a war, anymore than we allowed the IRA to legitimise their terrorism with the words "war", but the idea is that the "rule of law" should be maintained, but as abu ghraib etc shows, those involved in law can quite easily become a law unto themselves.
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to winhill:

> When Paddy Pantsdown says Murray is awfully young, Murray should have punched him hard in the face.

Was a bit of a cheap shot, but I otherwise pretty much agreed with him.
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Game of Conkers:

> Refreshing to hear someone say what they think rather than what they think the audience wants to hear.Regardless of topic.

I would say depressing.

> Interesting that the lady in the audience that was caught up in the 7/7 bombings who was almost in tears was fully behind Douglas.

What was interesting about it, and what did you conclude from that?
Tom V - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

So, in a formally declared war like WW2, what would have been your stance with regard to the rule of law if we had arrived a bit earlier and found Hitler alive in his bunker?
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Tom V:

> So, in a formally declared war like WW2, what would have been your stance with regard to the rule of law if we had arrived a bit earlier and found Hitler alive in his bunker?

We should have put him on trial, determined the full extent of his guilt, and sentenced him accordingly. However, in the context of no obvious end to a war in which ethnic cleansing is apparent would I like to believe I could do what Bonhoeffer did? I like to believe I might have, but I really don't know, and Bonhoeffer did not find it flippant, or easy to justify.
dissonance - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Tom V:

> So, in a formally declared war like WW2, what would have been your stance with regard to the rule of law if we had arrived a bit earlier and found Hitler alive in his bunker?

try him in a court of law.
Curiously while assassination plots were discussed by the UK and USA part of the reason they didnt go ahead with them was that there was a)they were concerned about making a martyr out of him based around "if he had lived then they wouldnt have lost" and b)because whoever replaced him might have been a better military commander (or started delegating again to those who were).
MG - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Oh, you don't believe that guff about a "war on terror" do you?

No but I think the actions of Islamic terrorists, inspired or led by Bin Laden, went well beyond what could be handled by normal legal means. Military means had to play a part. Generally this wasn't done very wisely but I think the killing of Bin Laden was acceptable in this context. However, we don't know what went on in the attack but had he clearly surrendered and there been no threat to the US military, then I think shooting him would have been wrong. Realistically though, it being Bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan, these conditions couldn't be fulfilled.

Sir Chasm - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to MG: I wonder what the resulting death toll would have been had bin laden been captured alive. But then the market bombings and other "civilian" deaths would have happened in far away countries so I suppose it wouldn't have mattered realty.
Enty - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
> [...]
>
> When Paddy Pantsdown says Murray is awfully young, Murray should have punched him hard in the face.

I've normally got a lot of time for Paddy Ashdown but what is it with these liberals and their condescending patronising attitude?

E
Pinged - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty and Sir G:

Two very well baited hooks....Im not biting this time :)
Daithi O Murchu - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

if they can shoot Jean Charles De Menezes then they can shoot Osama.

No one seems to give a f*ck about how De Menezes died anymore that was more shameful than the killing of Osama.

Nothing can be done about either now after the events.

In my own view sometimes its necessary for some individuals to die for what they have done. I make no comment as to who should make that decision.

As for the chap in the bookies i'm inclined to think that there is plenty of CCTV and if it shows that someone went beyond what is proportionate in the restraint of the robber then let them have a trial.

I can easily see where a mob mentality might have taken hold, and where one yobbo kills another as they assume just cause. Who knows i'm sure all will be made clear on that one in time.

That QT link talks about the osama killing and how it demeans an exemplary president and democracy, no it doesn't, it's an imperfect world,

Osamas not even a ghost anymore, he'll be forgotten about in 5 years, had they detained him in 5 years we'd perhaps be watching his trial and he'd be representing something again.

he made his choices long ago, no doubt many years back he looked at himself in the mirror and had a chat with himself and weighted up the consequences. Osama himself would not have expected anything less!
redsonja - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: i dont believe that was bin laden they killed anyway. but whether it was or not, there are some people that the world is a lot better place without them in it
Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Daithi O Murchu:

> if they can shoot Jean Charles De Menezes then they can shoot Osama.

The JCM was not at all defensible, it was incidental that I happened to came across the QT interview last night when googling douglas murray.

> No one seems to give a f*ck about how De Menezes died anymore that was more shameful than the killing of Osama.

Really? Who doesn't?

> Nothing can be done about either now after the events.

Nothing can be done to bring them back, but I disagree that we cannot learn from such history.

> In my own view sometimes its necessary for some individuals to die for what they have done. I make no comment as to who should make that decision.

Well if you think that, frankly you should make that decision. You think its justified, you take the responsibility.

> As for the chap in the bookies i'm inclined to think that there is plenty of CCTV and if it shows that someone went beyond what is proportionate in the restraint of the robber then let them have a trial.

From what I've read of the story, even if they had been more than rigorous in their restraint, I'm not at all convinced they should have to face a trial.

> I can easily see where a mob mentality might have taken hold, and where one yobbo kills another as they assume just cause. Who knows i'm sure all will be made clear on that one in time.

How so? Through what mechanism?

> That QT link talks about the osama killing and how it demeans an exemplary president and democracy, no it doesn't, it's an imperfect world,

Yes it does. Thus your description "imperfect". Its not a desirable outcome, and absolutely cannot be rendered acceptable, because, then aiming for such might also become acceptable.

> Osamas not even a ghost anymore, he'll be forgotten about in 5 years, had they detained him in 5 years we'd perhaps be watching his trial and he'd be representing something again.
> he made his choices long ago, no doubt many years back he looked at himself in the mirror and had a chat with himself and weighted up the consequences. Osama himself would not have expected anything less!

I would rather have like to hear how he was armed and turned into the West hating man he became. I don't see why we couldn't have withstood his rhetoric, and why couldn't look at ourselves in the mirror as we look at him in the dock.
Dauphin - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Douglas Murray. I used to find him interesting because of his contrarian stance on almost anything especially the usual limp characters on Question Time.

Clearly a cheerleader for torture and assassination after listening to him on a late night radio 4 program on Iran a couple of months ago. Oddly the whole panel was made up of neocons of similar ilk so he didn't sound as deranged as he did on this clip.

Braying Geoffrey to boot.

D
Timmd on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to winhill)
> [...]
>
> I've normally got a lot of time for Paddy Ashdown but what is it with these liberals and their condescending patronising attitude?
>
> E

As opposed to Ken Clarke or at times David Cameron? (:-))

People of any poitical hue annoy me when they're patronising or condescending.
Rob Exile Ward on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin: Thankfully I'd never heard from him until a few moments ago. He has the sophisticed intellect we need as we navigate to ever higher standards of civilised behaviour, reconciling the evolving rule of law and with our legitimate pursuit of security.

Not. He's an a*se.
Timmd on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

I can remember seeing a Jewish ex concentration camp inmate on television, talking about how he and his fellow inmates on being fearfull that one of the gaurds was going to escape while the camp was being liberated by the allies, got together and threw him out of a fourth floor window to his death, and commented on how they saw it as justice for what he'd done.

At the same time as struggling not to agree with them I also think it owuld have been more positive if he could have been tried and sentences for what he'd done. Can't help thinking 'At least he felt some fear' as he fell to the ground though. Not sure how comfortable I am with this. I think in all of us there's probably a side who'd rather there was some kind of retribution even if it's not one served in law.

Quite remarkably in Rawanda there are women living and working side by side and working towards rebuilding thier country who have husbands and brothers and sons who killed each other and people in thier families, and they're putting it behiend them.

I guess in the end we have to use the law to punish people, or forgive, rather than go seeking revenge and become involved in blood feuds.
stroppygob - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> Following on from what I regard as the pretty disgusting comments that made light of a criminal's "deserving" death (at the hands of some of his victims):


Can you quote just ONE person who said he DESERVED to die?

Thought not...
Dauphin - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:

That happened all over the place in all sorts of situations after they got liberated. Whoever liberated Auschwitz (U.S. I think) gave the survivors automatic weapons and some quality time with the guards who hadn't deserted.

D
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Jimbo W on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

Vark:
It sounds like this guy got what he deserved. The customers in the shop could easily have been using reasonable force but this collectively could be enough to kill the robber. I will not be shedding a tear over this..

Trangia:
If he was intent on carrying out an armed robbery then he got all he deserved. If he was a nutter then they've done him (and society) a favour by euthanising him. Just imagine if he'd lived to do it again in, say, a brothel?

Other comments:
Live by the (in this case fake) sword, die by the sword. I feel zero remorse for the dead guy

More bleach in the shallow end of the gene pool, good work those punters
Dude I was being facetious. Restraining an armed robber, saving lives, removing a scumbag from society. Some people will be on free pints down the local for a long time from this one.

The world is almost certainly a better place without him, an armed robber cares not a toss about the fate of their victims, they do not warrant the concern of the rest of humanity, ever. Well done those who dealt with him, they deserve a medal.
stroppygob - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I conceed those, (apart from mine,) retract my comment, and apologise. I must have been too wrapped up in my own debate at the time to notice them.
ice.solo - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

bunch of populist shit-stirrers. well done to the bbc for hosting such a pig-circus and stirring more tabloid-level debate. murrays position as a stereotypical 'hawk' is just as bland as the lady in red and paddy whatsisface's - stale armchair finger waving. 50 years ago these sort of people stood on boxes in parks and ranted in the rain.

the whole bin laden thing as a parallel example of anything is absurd. the process that interweave in conflicts and radicalism across borders defy any immutable set of 'ethics' - lest of all when they involve cultures that have traditions of politics-by-assassination centuries old which they see as a truest form of democracy.

people deserve death when they accept that outcome and play to win for themselves. jihadism takes that mentality to a high level with self-proclaimed and endentured mujihadin who embrace a perspective of already being dead metaphorically (didnt you watch rambo 3?).

the ethical factor is bound to the desired outcome, its not in relation to the actions of the past. the ethics of conflict are about whats acceptable to acheive a result, not about whats tit-for-tat for what happened.

bin laden coming to trial? there were so many factors between the decree to launch the raid and any possible trial its a non-reality: citing nuremberg is an unrelated process. as is citing saddam, carlos or noriega.

the bunch in that panel are debating at a dinner party level on processes that they appear to have no real understanding of - nor need to to sell to the audiences they do.

without knowing the desired outcome for the whole bin laden-related circus its impossible to assertain the appropriate 'ethics' and 'rules of law' that could be involved.
Dauphin - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Glad you see Question Time for what it is - punch and Judy show by the ignorant for the uninformed. The BBC doing its bit to frame the narrative. Not sure about Paddy though as someone who has 'been there' kicking in doors and peeling domes surely what he had to say carried a little more weight than the rest?


'Politics by assassination' this is how we all roll? The hand wringing is to keep the public inside.

D
Sir Chasm - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> 'Politics by assassination' this is how we all roll?

Sort of, sometimes. It's just a tool, like flying planes into buildings, drone strikes, marketplace bombs etc.
ice.solo - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin:

Paddy, yes a bit better, but shoe-horned between the others he was a string of cliches.
Bin laden executed? He wasnt executed he was killed in a raid. Paddy lost a lot playing that silly line.
off-duty - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Leaving aside any criticism for trying to make a comparison between situations of the robber and Bin Laden, I think it is entirely possible to feel some empathy for the circumstance of the death whilst feeling very little sympathy for the person who has died.

I suspect the De Menezes shooting had more in common with the death of the robber, but since you have already suggested that this shooting was indefensible, there is little point discussing it.
Enty - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> As opposed to Ken Clarke or at times David Cameron? (:-))
>
> People of any poitical hue annoy me when they're patronising or condescending.

What have Ken Clarke and Cameron got to do with this?

E
Timmd on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty:You mentioned how patronising and condescending liberals can be.

Was just pointing out it's not just liberals...
Enty - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Enty)You mentioned how patronising and condescending liberals can be.
>
> Was just pointing out it's not just liberals...

And there's me thinking it was just liberals.

E

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