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Thread: Britain says they will not let terrorists change their lifestyle, but...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    Pardon me for saying, I find your knowledge of terrorist bombing tactics a little shallow, from the fact that you consider the often used crash through vehicle bombs tactics akin to scenes that only happen in hollywood movies. Perhaps you never stopped to wonder what all those giant concrete blocks lining the perimeter of Raffles City was for during the recent International Olympic Council session? If you are still unaware, vehicle crash through bombings HAVE already been used before and often, often enough to warrant those ugly blocks.
    Perhaps you could quote some situations where terrorists have driven a car at high-speed into their target and succeeded in killing large numbers of people? I myself am not aware of any such cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    In fact if I might add, the idea of 'shooting at car tyres and hitting them hence bringing the vehicle to a stop, belongs more appropriately to the realm of hollywood fiction than vehicle crash through bombings. For one, not everyone can boast of toasty's marksmanship to be able to hit the tyres from a far enough distance to remain alive when the vehicle explodes. For another, flat tyres don't bring a moving vehicle to a halt. Drivers with unfortunate flat tyre experiences can surely attest to that. Real footages of police car chases in the US often showed cars with all 4 tyres flat still speeding away for miles after. Or perhaps we should aim the shots such that it would spin the vehicle around and send it moving back towards where it came from?
    I think you should follow the thread before jumping a bit more closely. Zaren's example was trying to describe a scene where the police would be forced to kill the suspect without knowing his intentions. In that case, you'd have to put a bullet through the wind-shield into his head, which is a smaller target than the tires. The scenario was not invented by me, but by Zaren.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    In any case, sarcasms and jabs aside, I similarly deplore the shooting of an innocent man, because it is proof that the terrorists had succeeded.
    I deplore it because killing an innocent man is a serious moral crime. Your comment is a little crass as it implies that an innocent death in and of itself was not despicable. Killing someone innocent is despicable, whether the terrorists do it, or whether the cops do it. From your comments, I get the impression you only think it is wrong when the terrorists do it. It is equally wrong when it's done by the "good guys".

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    he truly had no idea if that was he and his fellow officers' and innocent bystanders' last breath on earth.
    having no idea is no excuse for shooting him. He should make sure he has an idea before shooting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    At the moment the subject ran, it was probably too late or not feasible to surround him from a distance and the possibility that he would run into a crowd and detonate himself is very real in the officers' mind.
    Again, you need to follow the thread a bit more closely, Israel does, on a regular basis, what you assert is "probably too late or not feasible." Now, while Israel does have much more experience in this arena of handling suicide bombers, you cannot excuse the cop's action and say "I don't blame the cop." Certainly he was to blame for his action. A cop, needs to be certain, before he kills a suspect. Fear for your life and all that cannot excuse not making sure before you shoot. It is not impossible, it is not too late, it is not infeasible. It is possible and realistic to expect the cop to make sure before shooting. Especially as the suspect was subdued and on the ground prior to the shooting as in this case.

  2. #42
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    I would like to add, that in Zaren's described scenario, there is much more justification for shooting at the target than in the real situation at hand. In situations where the suspect is shooting at you, or has been identified to be wearing a bomb, or is demonstrating a desire to kill you and as many by-standers as possible, then it is much more acceptable to shoot. This was not the case in London recently however, and in the case in London that we are discussing, I do condemn the actions of the cop. He was on the ground and pinned by two other officers and shot in the head at point-blank range. There is no excuse for that. They should have held his arms out and looked under his jacket.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian
    You are missing the point, it's not so much that he was shot, but rather that 7/8ths of a magazine of 9mm pistol ammunition was pumped in to his head ... which I can tell you from having seen enough carnage in real life leaves a bloody pulp instead of a head.

    England has for 780 years prided itself on a simple legal concept, innocence until proved guilty in a court of law by a jury of your peers, a right guaranteed after the signing of the Magna Carta by King John in 1215. This is diametrically opposed to the the concept of extra-judicial execution (read murder) of people suspected of a possible crime as is the case with this shooting.
    well its easy to say its an "extra judicial killing" sitting in a safe environment. just put yourself in that dangerous position and make an assessment. the decision that will determine if you comes out alive or not. its that simple. all those beautifuls words about humane, legal concept, innocence ....means nothing if you're dead. but of course if you walk away all intact I guess you can have all the say you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_nebula
    well its easy to say its an "extra judicial killing" sitting in a safe environment. just put yourself in that dangerous position and make an assessment. the decision that will determine if you comes out alive or not. its that simple. all those beautifuls words about humane, legal concept, innocence ....means nothing if you're dead. but of course if you walk away all intact I guess you can have all the say you want.
    It is as easy to excuse extra-judicial killings when it is not you who has been wrongfully killed. The police officer needs to take heed of words such as those being said here, if our society is not to decay into the chaos that the terrorists wish upon us.

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    I have to admit, despite all the debate, I am still not clear on the position that those who seem to be arguing on the side of the police who shot the guy hold.

    I am saying that the policeman should not have done that. He should have taken more care. He should have checked before shooting him in the head.

    Do any of you who seem to be arguing on the other side disagree with any of this? If you disagree, then there is something to discuss. If you agree, then why are we arguing?

    I find it hard to imagine that a rational person (as I consider you all to be) would argue that the police need not take more care before shooting someone down.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    ...I find it hard to imagine that a rational person (as I consider you all to be) would argue that the police need not take more care before shooting someone down.
    The police had to ensure safety of public first and suspect 2nd, given the situation they're in. That is the natural order of things. It would be unjust to put suspects' right above the safety of public. Its very difficult to find a that illusive middle ground given that a wrong choice could be death of many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_nebula
    The police had to ensure safety of public first and suspect 2nd, given the situation they're in. That is the natural order of things. It would be unjust to put suspects' right above the safety of public. Its very difficult to find a that illusive middle ground given that a wrong choice could be death of many.
    You see, in your mind, he's already a terrorist. He's guilty until he's proven innocent. No evidence, no proof, only suspicion, and you are willing to accept the action of killing him. In actuality, he was a member of the public that the police has the duty to protect. The police had to ensure his safety as a member of the public. How far would you permit the police to assume guilty until proven innocent? Can they come break down your door, and search your house because you may have weapons and bombs? Can they torture you into confessing, that you are a bomber? You might be guilty if somebody tipped them off, and they had a suspicion on you. We cannot assume that anyone is guilty before we have evidence of it, as you are doing in this case. The correct and natural way, is to assume he's innocent until he's proven guilty.

    Also, the suspect was already subdued when the police shot him. Once he was subdued, the public's safety was not at risk at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_nebula
    well its easy to say its an "extra judicial killing" sitting in a safe environment. just put yourself in that dangerous position and make an assessment. the decision that will determine if you comes out alive or not. its that simple. all those beautifuls words about humane, legal concept, innocence ....means nothing if you're dead. but of course if you walk away all intact I guess you can have all the say you want.
    Actually I've had a number of firearms (assorted 9mm handguns, AK-47s and a couple of sub machineguns all with live ammunition pointed at my head by cops, the military and other belligerants over the years while I was in the press corps. For example, you try finding your passport and press pass/accreditation papers in a jacket pocket while a trigger happy goon masquerading as a cop has jammed an AK-47 up your left nostril and is screaming at you "Pappor, Pappor" (broken English for Passport) It is not a situation I recommend to anyone.

    Anyway back to the London fiasco. New on the wire today shows that the London Police lied about the intial situation wholesale.

    New Facts that have come to light in the past 24 hours via various police briefings and press releases.

    1) The guy did not jump the ticket barrier

    2) He wasn't wearing a jacket, just a pullover/sweatshirt sort of thing and did not have a backpack of any kind.

    3) The operation was the result of London Met intelligence gathering and collation. A tacit admission has occured that such intelligence information was faulty (Shades of Iraq's WMD debacle spring to mind here).

    4) At the time of the shooting there were some 3,000 armed Police officers roaming around London, it's come to light that the total numbers in SO-19 (Special Operations unit 19, armed intervention unit) is nowhere near 3000, there are perhaps 2000 police in total who are licensed to carry firearms.

    Cheers,
    Ian
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    You see, in your mind, he's already a terrorist. He's guilty until he's proven innocent. No evidence, no proof, only suspicion, and you are willing to accept the action of killing him. In actuality, he was a member of the public that the police has the duty to protect. The police had to ensure his safety as a member of the public. How far would you permit the police to assume guilty until proven innocent? Can they come break down your door, and search your house because you may have weapons and bombs? Can they torture you into confessing, that you are a bomber? You might be guilty if somebody tipped them off, and they had a suspicion on you. We cannot assume that anyone is guilty before we have evidence of it, as you are doing in this case. The correct and natural way, is to assume he's innocent until he's proven guilty.

    Also, the suspect was already subdued when the police shot him. Once he was subdued, the public's safety was not at risk at all.
    You have to take the info as given on paper on that day and not the after thought. It is the decision on ground that instance that matters. My position is not the after evidence, it is the very instance at the moment that matters. What would you say if in 2 of the 4 first bombing that there were people who saw the bomber with explosive around his body and tried to talk him out of pulling the cord instead of jumping in to restain him? Those people are dead because they made that fateful decision. We'll never know do we? All the after thought and evidence cannot safe them. All I'm saying is that there are time one has to make that difficult decision it maybe right it may be wrong, but at that moment, given what facts & info there is, that is the choice one made to the best of him knowledge. All other evdience that comes later is of no use as it wasn't present when he has to decide. Shoot to safe many or risk killing all.
    There are what 8 bombings in all right? Do a lucky dip and put yourself in as police officer. Confront the potential bomber and make a decision, to shoot or negoitate. Now open up the lucky dip and see which train/bus you've pick and tell if you live or get blown up based on your decision. You've 50/50 chance.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_nebula
    You have to take the info as given on paper on that day and not the after thought. It is the decision on ground that instance that matters. My position is not the after evidence, it is the very instance at the moment that matters. What would you say if in 2 of the 4 first bombing that there were people who saw the bomber with explosive around his body and tried to talk him out of pulling the cord instead of jumping in to restain him? Those people are dead because they made that fateful decision. We'll never know do we? All the after thought and evidence cannot safe them. All I'm saying is that there are time one has to make that difficult decision it maybe right it may be wrong, but at that moment, given what facts & info there is, that is the choice one made to the best of him knowledge. All other evdience that comes later is of no use as it wasn't present when he has to decide. Shoot to safe many or risk killing all.
    There are what 8 bombings in all right? Do a lucky dip and put yourself in as police officer. Confront the potential bomber and make a decision, to shoot or negoitate. Now open up the lucky dip and see which train/bus you've pick and tell if you live or get blown up based on your decision. You've 50/50 chance.
    I am also talking about the position on the ground at the instant he pulled the trigger. At that moment, the policeman should have exercised more caution than he did. The victim was on the ground, subdued and the police, instead of shooting him, should have made sure he was a bomber first. Even if he were a bomber, the situation is better for them, if he is apprehended alive, than if he is shot. None of your hypothetical "should the passerby's have grabbed the bomber" scenarios make any difference to this. And the premise that you keep trying to push is faulty. Even if he was a bomber, he was not in a position to risk anyone at the time he was shot.

    On top of that, Israel apprehends bombers alive fairly often, and whenever are able to. They are far more experienced than the British cops or you and I in apprehending bombers. The fact that the israels are able to apprehend bombers alive and take them into custody, is testimony that your scenario, where you either have to shoot the bomber or die, is faulty. There is always another option, a better option to killing. What we've got to do, is get over this tendency of thinking that killing the bomber is the only viable option. It's not. It is definitely one of the options. But from your argument, you make it seem like it is the only possible (good) outcome, and that's just not true. In fact, it should be the last resort option. Not the first and only option, like you are pushing it to be.
    Last edited by toasty; 29th July 2005 at 03:27 PM.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    I am also talking about the position on the ground at the instant he pulled the trigger. At that moment, the policeman should have exercised more caution than he did. The victim was on the ground, subdued and the police, instead of shooting him, should have made sure he was a bomber first. Even if he were a bomber, the situation is better for them, if he is apprehended alive, than if he is shot. None of your hypothetical "should the passerby's have grabbed the bomber" scenarios make any difference to this. And the premise that you keep trying to push is faulty. Even if he was a bomber, he was not in a position to risk anyone at the time he was shot.

    On top of that, Israel apprehends bombers alive fairly often, and whenever are able to. They are far more experienced than the British cops or you and I in apprehending bombers. The fact that the israels are able to apprehend bombers alive and take them into custody, is testimony that your scenario, where you either have to shoot the bomber or die, is faulty. There is always another option, a better option to killing. What we've got to do, is get over this tendency of thinking that killing the bomber is the only viable option. It's not. It is definitely one of the options. But from your argument, you make it seem like it is the only possible (good) outcome, and that's just not true. In fact, it should be the last resort option. Not the first and only option, like you are pushing it to be.
    I'm not convince by your arguement nor you mine, so I suppose we've to agree to disagree.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    I am also talking about the position on the ground at the instant he pulled the trigger. At that moment, the policeman should have exercised more caution than he did. The victim was on the ground, subdued and the police, instead of shooting him, should have made sure he was a bomber first. Even if he were a bomber, the situation is better for them, if he is apprehended alive, than if he is shot. None of your hypothetical "should the passerby's have grabbed the bomber" scenarios make any difference to this. And the premise that you keep trying to push is faulty. Even if he was a bomber, he was not in a position to risk anyone at the time he was shot.
    Know that in this case we're dealing with a bomber who does not care about dying for his cause. Like I said, I agree with you that the police MUST only use deadly force as a last resort. Yet what qualifies for it to be the last resort depends on the individual situation itself and the background intel and overall security climate. I do not condone police officers taking lives frivolously. we just need to understand that even the most cautious and strict person makes honest mistakes. The passer-by scenarios make a difference although you simply fail to see the point.

    Besides you have not answered my question on the concrete blocks, the vehicle scenario, or perhaps you do not know the answer or choose not to know? While you ask for my examples to justify my claims, should you perhaps justify your own sweeping statements with similar statistics? Or perhaps your claims are justified enough because you alone have not heard of it? I do not need to have any justifications to disprove something which itself has no justification. If you knew the answer to my question, you would not need to ask for examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    On top of that, Israel apprehends bombers alive fairly often, and whenever are able to. They are far more experienced than the British cops or you and I in apprehending bombers. The fact that the israels are able to apprehend bombers alive and take them into custody, is testimony that your scenario, where you either have to shoot the bomber or die, is faulty. There is always another option, a better option to killing. What we've got to do, is get over this tendency of thinking that killing the bomber is the only viable option. It's not. It is definitely one of the options. But from your argument, you make it seem like it is the only possible (good) outcome, and that's just not true. In fact, it should be the last resort option. Not the first and only option, like you are pushing it to be.
    By understanding where the police is coming from, does not necessarily equate "killing is a better option or only option". We're merely saying that under certain circumstances, that IS the best option because that is assessed to be the last resort. They most certainly should learn from the israelis how best to avoid a situation where they have to be forced to make that assessment. No doubt about that.

    Know that your arguments are unconvincing because you choose not to address the issues which we have raised. Instead, you insist on your own opinionated dismissal of other's arguements as hypothetical ideals, when your own self-justified scenarios are even more out-of-this world? Your tendency to believe your own opinions as common sense and other's opinions as coming from outer space and hollywood is flawed and necessarily defeats the purpose of any possibility of our fruitful discussion with you.

    Finally, please refrain from putting words into our mouths or putting as our opinions, your own distorted understanding of our arguments. Perhaps the answer to your question of why so many of us are so irrational (as you seem to suggest), is to first look into the mirror.

  14. #54

    Lightbulb

    i did not read the entire thread.

    what do you think the armed policemen should have done when you said that 'He should have checked before shooting him in the head'?

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    I am saying that the policeman should not have done that. He should have taken more care. He should have checked before shooting him in the head.

  15. #55

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    presumably look for the bomb, if any. and risk the lives of commuters in the train. a shot in the head ensures immediate death(with the appropriate type of bullet) with no attendant risk of detonating the bomb, if any, by the shot or the bomber's action.

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    They should have held his arms out and looked under his jacket.

  16. #56
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    fwiw:
    In defense of the police,
    When i left london 3 weeks ago, most of the cops do not carry guns, i don't believe that has changed. As such if i were in a position of being confronted my a TEAM of armed police and told to stop, i think most innocent people would have stopped. The fact that he did not, in addition to the fact that he was spotted carrying a bag trailing wires (he was an electrician as it turns out) was big grounds for suspicion. As it turns out he was guilty of a lesser crime but he still shouldn't have run. 2 double taps from probably MP5s of 4 cops is hardly a lot really, since they probably shot simultaneously.
    Let us be fair to the met police, they have arguably as much experience as the israelis in dealing with terrorists what with the ira and all. Its easy to say this that and everything from a singaporean point of view, but as a student in london, i'm glad they are doing their job. Sure, i'm going to be stopped more often now when i go out with my lens trekker bag or any of my lowepro backpacks but its all for our collective safety.
    Toasty, there are lots of reasons why we should not shoot to kill, but perhaps at times it is a case of protecting the greater majority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    Know that in this case we're dealing with a bomber who does not care about dying for his cause. Like I said, I agree with you that the police MUST only use deadly force as a last resort. Yet what qualifies for it to be the last resort depends on the individual situation itself and the background intel and overall security climate. I do not condone police officers taking lives frivolously. we just need to understand that even the most cautious and strict person makes honest mistakes.
    Shooting a person before being sure of the situation means the policeman was not cautious nor prudent, but acted on impulse and too quickly. Like someone, who in a fit of anger murders someone, acting on impulse, without considering the consequences, the policeman acted on impulse, although the action was probably triggered by fear instead of anger. he was not exercising enough care when he acted and it was his duty to exercise that care before shooting. he did not follow his duty, and killed someone innocent for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    The passer-by scenarios make a difference although you simply fail to see the point.
    No it does not make a difference. The bomber who is about to detonate his payload has made his intentions clear, and someone would be justified in trying to stop him. A person who has run and has been subdued could have a variety of intentions and his status needs to be made clear before an irreversible action like shooting him in the head is taken. Therefore the passerby scenario has no bearing on how the policeman should have acted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    Besides you have not answered my question on the concrete blocks, the vehicle scenario, or perhaps you do not know the answer or choose not to know? While you ask for my examples to justify my claims, should you perhaps justify your own sweeping statements with similar statistics? Or perhaps your claims are justified enough because you alone have not heard of it? I do not need to have any justifications to disprove something which itself has no justification. If you knew the answer to my question, you would not need to ask for examples.
    I do not feel the need to answer questions to scenarios which are not related. If you wish to push your point (that the scenario Zaren suggested is realistic) then the onus is on you to provide the examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    By understanding where the police is coming from, does not necessarily equate "killing is a better option or only option". We're merely saying that under certain circumstances, that IS the best option because that is assessed to be the last resort. They most certainly should learn from the israelis how best to avoid a situation where they have to be forced to make that assessment. No doubt about that.
    I'm glad you are making an attempt to clearly specify your position. If I have been arguing against positions you do not hold, it is because your positions have not been made clear. So for the record, could you state your position: Was it acceptable or not acceptable for the policeman to shoot the subdued suspected bomber on the ground? Should the policeman have made sure before shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    Know that your arguments are unconvincing because you choose not to address the issues which we have raised.
    If you will choose to raise more realistic issues, I will address them. If you are going to raise scenarios where terrorists are behaving like they came out of a hollywood movie, then I will not bother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguardian
    Your tendency to believe your own opinions as common sense and other's opinions as coming from outer space and hollywood is flawed and necessarily defeats the purpose of any possibility of our fruitful discussion with you.
    I state my opinions clearly and unambiguosly: I think that the police should not have executed that man after he'd been subdued and they were not sure of his status.
    Your camp makes vague ambiguous statements without committing yourself to a fixed position. Do you or do you not believe that the officer's action was unacceptable? Should he not have exercised more caution in the situation. do you believe that his best course of action was to put a bullet in the suspect's head or was there a better choice that he should have considered before acting?

    All your arguments and words tend towards the position that the policeman's actions were acceptable, but you refrain from coming out and saying it. So please state your position for the record.
    Last edited by toasty; 1st August 2005 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_nebula
    I'm not convince by your arguement nor you mine, so I suppose we've to agree to disagree.
    Perhaps one day, if someone kills you or your family in the name of the greater good, you will find your own position less "understandable" than you do now. This argument will not reverse to me as I am saying that the killing is wrong, and unacceptable in either case (done by terrorist or by police), whereas you seem to be arguing that it is understandable for the police to do it in the name of the greater good.

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    Those of you who wish to argue that the policeman's actions were understandable. Ok, I will concede that they are understandable, in the same way I will concede to the terrorists that their positions are understandable. I understand that they feel they have been wronged by western nations and feel the only way to right that wrong is to kill civilians of those nations. (being unable to face the military and technological might of these nations)

    However I will not say that either the terrorists' actions, nor the policeman's actions were acceptable. I find the police's actions of killing somebody innocent (and trying to defend it), to be almost the exact counterpart of the terrorists actions of killing innocents, they also defend it in their own warped way. The policeman killed someone he thought was "bad" in the name of "the greater good". The terrorists kill people that they think are "bad" in the name of their "greater good".

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