" Suicide Bombing". Legitimate Weapon of War?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

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    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3378
    (4/12/02 1:12:22 pm)
    Reply "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    While the idea of "Suicide Bombing" by terrorists attacks our basic sensibilities as "civilized" people, there IS a train of thought which makes it a legitimate "Weapon" especially by weak or guerrilla forces who have no other way to fight.

    And it HAS been arguably successful in the past, if we remember Vietnam, or even the formation of ISRAEL itself.

    Is it like Kamikazes? THAT was a legitimate if shocking weapon ...in fact, MAYBE the first "guided weapons..."but they WERE aimed at MILITARY targets, right?

    I just thought it would be interesting to see what we think.

    Frankly, I'm not sure on this one myself....



    YES. It is a legitimate and acceptable Military Weapon.
    NO. It is NOT a legitimate weapon.
    Not sure...maybe SOMETIMES it is.....

    Show results

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    inplanotx
    Member
    Posts: 21
    (4/12/02 2:13:30 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    Sorry, I cannot legitimize "suicide bombing" due to the fact that it is aimed solely at civilians. The Japanese kamikaze was aimed at military targets. Anyone who kills innocent civilians knowingly, is nothing more than a COWARD!

    Rick USMC '67 - '72 Semper Fi
    I am not a native Texan, but I got here as fast as I could!

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 283
    (4/13/02 5:03:48 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    ^^^-- what he said.
    If the Palestinians wanted or were after real political change, they'd either take up arms en masse, or focus on targeted political assassinations.

    (not saying either of those would work for them, they's still be massacreed)

    (sure like the looks / features on those Merkava tanks...)



    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 4566
    (4/13/02 6:19:13 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    The spin has started.....no longer "Suicide Bombers" now refered to as "Homicide Bombers" don`t ya just love how someone sits in a back room with nothing but time on their hands and gets paid to think this crap up. Blows me away (pun intended)

    People say this is the only way....cause their poor and don`t have the resorces to fight fair. Whats the going rate for C-4 and Sym-Tec....along with fusing. This is old warfare, from as long as history goes back, Trojan Horse style. Warfare has two fronts and is directed at both and always has been. The Military and the civillian. Destablize one, both or either one...in any way and your half way to winning.

    You use what gets results and as bad as some hate it, scores with me. Oh, some want to play fair.......no hitting below the belt. Seems snipers were a "no fair weapon" long ago and some still think so......don`t give me that Military target BS either, civies are targets too. How come we are just now becoming so upset with these bombers, been going on for years......we looked the other way until now. Oh! WAR ON TERROR!!! Bandwagon approaches, lets jump on.....finger in the wind.....maybe some should insert it in their butt, before licking. LTS
    T.F.F.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3115
    (4/13/02 6:56:45 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    Whether we like it or not it has become a conventional weapon of war.

    WyomingSwede
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 364
    (4/14/02 10:39:07 am)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    Agree with Piggy...like it or not, its here and will continue to be used as long as there are militants who are ready to die for their ideas. (I would not call them patriots although there are probably those who would.) Blowing up women and kids is not my idea of a military target. Their whole idea is to make the disputed political process or strategy too high cost to continue. In that realm it is undoubtedly effective.

    swede
    Wyoming Swede

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3409
    (4/14/02 12:16:31 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    The change to "Homicide Bombing" is a good thing in my book..."Suicide Bombing" was starting to sound glamorous, in some parts of the world that sympathises with "underdogs", and to "starry eyed" kids on college campuses like the U of M and USC...

    "Homicide" is simply an attempt to take the focus away from the "glorious martyr" and aim it at the "murder." I condone it, because words always HAVE been an important tool of war...as for who thinks it up, Psyops today is probably as imortant a branch in the military as any of the combat arms...if you look at "Special Operations," EVERYBODY conjures up visions of SEALS and Beanies and Delta Force, when almost half, maybe more of all assets assigned to "SOF" is Psyops....

    I think I would have gone farther...and called it "Homicide by People Too Stupid or Too Gullible to Use Remote or Timed Detonation..."

    As a weapon, the "Suicide" part is as big a thing as the explosion...implies total dedication to a cause, martyrdom...

    The "terrorist bombings" in the past, whether it was the VC, ANC, or the Zionists, or the IRA, WERE just as effective, but the bomber usually lived to do it again.

    THAT is the key that will make or break it for the PLO, number one is numbers, every bombing also means one less fanatic...will they ever run out? Doesn't look like it....BUT...more and more are blowing themselves up by accident before they get to the target, so maybe they ARE running out of "smart ones..."

    Even in Japan towards the end, there were Kamikazes put into the cockpit at the point of a gun, and with threats and/or promises to families...not ALL were "enthusiastic" volunteers, especially when it became apparent to many on the homeland the war was lost...when Battleships and Cruisers are shelling targets in the Home Islands with impunity, it wasn't hard for the young pilots "volunteered" by their instructors for kamikazes to figure out the "Divine Wind" wasn't working...

    But yeah, I am leaning toward considering it just another amoral "Weapon of War," for poor people....I mean, if the RAF can firebomb whole cities without even a PRETENSE of aiming at a military target, is that BETTER because it was DURING a war? By a recognized "power?"

    But I do NOT believe it will work the way the PLO wants it to....when it DID work in the past, it was when it makes the civilians first not trust their own government's ability to protect them, THEN exasperation on the part of the government cracking down first on the liberties of the civilians it's trying to protect, then leading to reprisals and shootings of INNOCENT civilians by mistake or frustration, whose only "crime" was to try and exercise freedoms recently taken away...so they then support the opposition, that started the war by killing THEM.

    It works, and it's available in manuals, has been since the Russian Revolution...

    But it DOESN'T work against determined civilians, who trust the government...."terror bombing" did NOT work against the British OR the Germans OR the Japanese civilians in WWII...or the British by Sinn Fein, and I don't think it will work against the Israelis..who KNOW their survival is at stake...it MAY bring down the government, but probably replace it with a more hard-line one against the PLO...

    But, what you have to think about, is COULD it work here?

    I dunno...with dumb people "clamoring" for more "safety and security" after 9-11, and 70% or so polled saying they would "voluntarily" give up some constitutional rights for security?

    Scary....

    And one other thing, the PLO always say they would end the bombing if we gave them tanks and planes and guns to fight a "real" war with...

    I say make the deal, give them all the old stuff we got sitting in the desert of Kuwait...hell, throw in a few squadrons of 15s and 16s to boot...

    IF they took it "conventional," Israel would kill them all in a WEEK or less...it takes TRAINING and LOGISTICS to fight with real weapons against a REAL military force...not unarmed civilians...and the PLO has neither, and probably never will...THAT for one is a big bluff...
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    jimejones
    Member
    Posts: 32
    (4/15/02 9:47:32 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    Inflicting the horrors of war on defensless civilians is a commonplace tragedy of war. Nazi Germany practiced it with particular barbarity on the Eastern Front. The Russians retaliated brutally. The Japanese did it in China. The Allies practiced it with efficiency against Germany and Japan. The major difference between these actions and the suicide bombing in the Middle East is the scale of casualities and the certainity of death for the perpetrators.


    As to the deliberate sacrifice of one's life in combat, Americans have practiced that, too, and applauded those who did. Colin Kelly was admired for diving a B-17 onto a Japanese battleship early in WWII. Actually, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for something else, but we were desperate for heroes. At the Battle of Midway, Marine Captain Richard Fleming dived his flaming plane onto the after turret of the Japanese cruiser Mikuma, which sank soon after. Perhaps he was making the best of a bad situation. He may have been dead at the stick. I like to think he was a good Marine just doing his job. As the war turned in our favor, we had less and less cause for such heroics, and the Japanese had more. Otherwise, we might have had many such heroes.


    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3429
    (4/16/02 12:29:36 am)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    jime, there is a lot of books and has been a lot of historical discussion especially since WWII on the difference between deliberately sacrificing yourself in battle to save your buddies, your ship, or even your country, or when you are wounded, "Going out in a Blaze of Glory," or calling artillery in on your own position, or even jumping on a grenade, and the premeditated act of SETTING out to kill yourself in an attack...like a kamikaze...

    There is even a fine line there if you leave on a mission that is hopeless from the start, like flying Buffalos off of Midway KNOWING you will probably die, or Torpedo 8 boring in unprotected and getting shot down one after another until they all go down....or Jesus Villamor diving on Zeros in a P26, but the BIG difference is you still HOPE to survive, like a couple of Buffalo pilots, George Gay, Audie Murphy, and Villamor did...or else you already KNOW you are dead anyway, you just want to do the most damage...

    When Henderson left Midway to bomb the covering force in his Vindicator, he was not INTENDING to crash it into a ship...and a minute before it happened, all the medal winners from 'nam that fell on the grenade, I bet NONE of them knew it was going to happen...and if you asked them about the thought of it beforehand, they would have all probably said "No way.."

    But I see even a fine line between Kamikazes and the Terrorist bombers...even if just the choice of targets, and the fact they WANT to blow up innocents, to get the "press," not necessarily to do lasting damage, or to hurt military targets...even the Japanese would not have considered flying a Betty into the Empire State Building...Heck, they considered having their subs sink transports "cowardly..." they were to attack WARSHIPS.

    I guess I see a difference, if a PLO member straps on the C-4 and tries to take out a Merkava, or a M113 filled with IDF troops, or a military checkpoint, as compared to blowing up a pizza shop or a bus stop in Tel Aviv on a Friday night....I could maybe accept it as a desperation weapon...and maybe the first "Suicide Bomgers" were...but now it's Arafat or Hussein manipulating stupid people into furthering THEIR agenda, only BECAUSE of the press coverage and public shock..
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    jimejones
    Member
    Posts: 33
    (4/16/02 1:27:09 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    My years in Japan helped me appreciate why the kamikaze was acceptable to the Japanese. I've visited the Tokyo cemetary where the 47 ronin are burried, and noted that incense seems to be always burning. Hundreds of plays, movies, and books have perpetuated their deed. Their death was merely for honor, not for military or personal gain. In the waning years of the Pacific War, and without the formidible technology of Germany, the Japanese developed the most effective guided missile of its time. With a long tradition of honorable suicide, the kamikaze was logical to them.

    As noted in earlier posts, Americans prefer to have at least a chance of survival. Perhaps it is a slim chance, as in the battlefield leadership of men like Douglas McArthur and G. A. Custer, or our submariners and aviators with their ineffective weapons early in WWII. We treasure individual lives too much for most hopeless heroics. American citizens of Japanese ancestry and an appreciation of the Japanese attitude towards honorable death fought both American predjudice and Axis armies with distinction. Early in the Civil War unarmed men sometimes followed the troops into battle in hopes of acquiring a weapon somehow and continuing the fight. Americans can do what must be done, even against formidible odds. Fortunately, we rely more on machines than blood. Should we be faced with the necessity of self sacrifice, we may well do those things we so despise in others.

    the real fredneck
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 950
    (4/16/02 5:21:27 pm)
    Reply Re: "Suicide Bombing." Legitimate Weapon of War?
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    problems of the Middle East are difficult to frame in military terms the conflict still boils down to a particularly viscious family feud both sides want to be rid of the other on "their" land, if it can be confined locally and not spread to the oil states let both sides just kill the sh*t out of the other, eventually sanity will return

    Ballistic
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (12/11/02 4:13:58 am)
    Reply NOPE
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    NO, i dont believe it is considered a Legitimate weapon, a weapon should not take a persons life to be used! although it is a way to make sure of attacking a certain target...

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3178
    (12/11/02 10:25:33 am)
    Reply Re: NOPE
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    Hi Ballistic.....and welcome to TFF.

    OK....let's look at this logically. Let's presume a situation where you're losing the war. The enemy is vastly better armed than you are. His kill ratio 6 to ten times better than yours.....he's killing 6 to 10 of your people for each one he loses.

    You've got the chance to take out 10 to 20 enemy for the loss of only one of your troops....at a minimum expenditure of munitions.....and you've got hundreds of eager volunteers.......

    What would you do?

    Chas
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 84
    (12/11/02 4:04:32 pm)
    Reply what to do?
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    It depends upon an evaluation of what losses the enemy can take and keep fighting effectively. It also depends on how long you can continue lossing 6-10 to 1 on the battlefield. Even with a 1000 suicide bombers you maybe kill 10 to 20k (while still losing 6-10 to 1 on the battle field). A net gain of roughly 9000 tops. Once you run out of bombers the war is once again back to 6-10 to 1 ratio...except now the enemy is either really pi$$ed and the ratio will rise to 12-15 to 1 or they are demoralized and the ratio will shift in your favor.

    A tactic like this might buy you enough time to even up your numbers (depending on how long they been kickin' your butt)...but it must also include, at the very least, an evening up of the material superiority.

    Whatever it does, if it doesn't reverse the ratio in favor of the bombers over the course of the war it was futile (duh). It may be a good idea to use 500 of those men to blow up factories and supply lines, etc., in order to upset their material superiority.

    I reckon this was the ratio facing the Russians on the eastern front...they had the weather and superior numbers in their favor...and they were extrodinarily pi$$ed.

    Interesting that the Afgans defeated a militarily superior Russia in the 80's.

    chas

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 646
    (12/11/02 4:12:37 pm)
    Reply Re: what to do?
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    The original question here was about suicide bombing (also called homicide bombing). When used against a military target in a time of war, it is a perfectly legitimate and effective tool. But in the Palestinian case, military tactics are irrelevant. It is a clear case of civilians killing civilians. Mass murder, pure and simple.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    Chas
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 85
    (12/11/02 5:11:30 pm)
    Reply military tactic
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    I'm not sure we can say that military tactics are completely irrelevant in the Palestinian case. In other words, suicide bombers are not committing murder for murder's sake. The objective, after all, is to win a strategic military victory without having to directly engage a superior military force. The Palestinians clearly want the Israeli's, at the very least, to "withdraw" from the so-called occupied lands.

    This "strategy," when comparing apples to apples, has only worked once...and that's when the Algerians kicked out the French. And if I remember right, the Algerians lost 3 men to the French's 1 (ratio wise). This represents the birth of modern terrorism and is also the pattern Yassar Arafatso has used.

    This is also the immediate objective of el kite a...to force the Americans to withdraw their military forces from the muddled east and especially Saudi Arabia were the Muslim holy shrines are located.

    The question we should be asking ourselves is this: how many American civilian casualties are worth a military presence in Saudi Arabia?

    Chas


    Edited by: Chas at: 12/11/02 5:16:28 pm

    1952Sniper
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    (12/11/02 5:16:31 pm)
    Reply Re: military tactic
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    Quote:
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    The objective, after all, is to win a strategic military victory without having to directly engage a superior military force.
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    I would definitely agree that they don't want to engage a superior military force. But that doesn't mean it's a military objective. Their goal is political.

    The September 11 hijackers were doing the same thing as the Palestinians, only on a larger scale. Their goal is one and the same: to influence political change via fear.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    Chas
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 86
    (12/11/02 5:37:24 pm)
    Reply Re: military tactic
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    You're absolutely correct, Sniper. The fear begins in the civilian population (the target of indiscriminate violence) and has the potential of making dramatic political changes (fix this problem or we'll vote you out of office)...which may or may not include the order to withdraw all military hardware from a certain place (otherwise known as a retreat).

    Gandhi achieved the same sort of "military" victory without firing a single bullet when he forced the British military out of India. This was a political (and military) victory par excel lance.

    Politicians use the military to either defend or further the political will...known as "interests."

    chas

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3183
    (12/11/02 6:38:44 pm)
    Reply Re: military tactic
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    "....in the Palestinian case, military tactics are irrelevant. It is a clear case of civilians killing civilians. Mass murder, pure and simple."

    And whom are the Israelis killing, may I ask? More than 90% of Palestinian casualties have been civilians.

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 649
    (12/12/02 8:35:44 am)
    Reply Re: military tactic
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    Well, you may be correct that the Israelis are killing civilians too. But I would venture to say that it is not "indiscriminate" killing of civilians. They at least put forth a token effort to target the civilians that are responsible for the suicide bombings and other terrorist activities.

    But then again, you won't find me defending the Israelis. I think both sides are guilty of murder. It's really quite a shame that Jews, as a whole, are incapable of living anywhere in large numbers without pissing somebody off. No flames, please; I'm not trying to be racist or anti-Semitic. I'm just stating a fact.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    Rat A Tat SR
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (3/1/03 1:46:00 pm)
    Reply Re: military tactic
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    Now you said weapon of war. Yes it is, and has been used by many nations. Most of witch were Asian like Japan and Vietnam against us. It is a Great Sacrifice to give your own life if you plan to take life.

    However to use it on unarmed unsuspecting civilians. That is a weapon of terror. Not a weapon of war.

    enc9
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (3/7/03 12:50:09 pm)
    Reply military tactic
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    To me the nations and people that feel the need to walk into an area filled with woman and kids and blow them selves up are a very low class of people. Nothing is in their life worth living for, and, or, very much sheep like people with no thoughts of their own. There are places in the world that they would rather fight and hate and kill for thousands of years knowing there will be no winner just to attack and hate. I can see a probable death mission that the risks are very high but I don't see a rational country sending teams of soldiers much less a young boy or girl to do this kind of thing. So I think it is a terror tactic even in war.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2003