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Bret Stephens’s Op-Ed


Perhaps not surprisingly, Andy, I was less taken with it than you were. Stephens presents himself as arguing that certain evils must be done in war that good may come from it (a fairly straightforward rejection of the Pauline Principle). But he doesn’t really think of the intentional killing of civilians as an evil–he thinks it was the right thing to do, although it’s unfortunate that it had to be done. His position is almost purely utilitarian. He is right to say that the Allied bombings don’t erase the moral distinction between the Allies and the Nazis. But surely you can affirm that distinction while also thinking that we should not deliberately target civilians for killing.


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