Read Chapters 10 and 11 in The ethics of war andpeace: An introduction to legal and moral issues. ISBN-13: 978-0-13-092383-7
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Review the passage on Article 51(6) of theGeneva Conventions protocols on page 178 of your text and the definition ofterrorism in Chapter 11. 

Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan Administrationwas struggling to advance and defend U.S. interests in theMiddle East. At this time there were several catastrophic setbacks in thenation of Lebanon. The political group Hezbollah, then and now considered aterrorist organization by the United States, carried out a number of successfulattacks against U.S. personnel and installations throughout the Middle East. Several U.S. embassies weretargets of bombings. In 1983 the U.S. embassy in Lebanon was destroyed in an explosion that killed 63people, including both diplomats and CIA officers. Six months later, the U.S. Marine barracks inLebanon was blown up, killing 241 service personnel. A year later, the CIAStation Chief in Beirut was captured, tortured, and executed by agents ofHezbollah.

The Reagan Administration was humiliated andfrustrated by these attacks and was determined to retaliate in a meaningfulway. Executive Order 12333 legally prohibited any political assassinations bythe U.S. government, so the CIA and other departments circumvented thisprohibition by recruiting and training Lebanese operatives, working withLebanese government intelligence agencies, and hiring an ex-Special Air Service(British Special Forces) agent to formulate and execute a plot to kill a Muslimcleric, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, who was believed to be a spiritual andpolitical adviser to Hezbollah and involved in its operations. Inter-agencydisagreements and miscommunications between the CIA, Department of Defense,Pentagon, and the White House over the feasibility and details of the assassinationstalled initial plans and made the actual chain-of-command for the operationunclear. 

Nonetheless, understanding that they hadreceived authorization from the United States for the killing to proceed,operatives set and detonated a car bomb on March 1985 on a crowded street inBeirut, just outside of a large mosque where women and children were leavingfollowing prayers. Fadlallah walked away uninjured, but 80 innocent civilianswere killed and over 200 were injured. It was later established that Fadlallahwas a relative political moderate who had no meaningful connection toHezbollah’s activities. An outraged international community condemned theUnited States for the attack, although the Reagan Administration officiallydenied involvement. 

• Given Article 51(6) of the Geneva Conventionsprotocols, was this action a violation of international justice?
• According to the text’s definition ofterrorism, did the United States commit a terrorist act in this instance? Ifso, what would be an appropriate course of action to take against itsperpetrators?
• Is this an ethical act regardless of whetheror not it fits the definition of terrorism?
• Under what circumstances, if any, could apolitical assassination be considered a moral act rather than simply an act ofmurder


Given Article 51(6) of the Geneva Conventions protocols is this an ethical act regardless of whether or not it fits the definition of terrorism
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