Imagine if you were a natsec official and received information that [American hostage Kayla] Mueller was being held at a location that Special Forces couldn’t safely reach, that she was being routinely raped (by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself), and that she was likely to go on being raped indefinitely until she was eventually murdered on film for propaganda. That dilemma is a bit like the dilemma FDR faced in deciding whether to bomb concentration camps: Is the humane option to put the innocents out of their misery and wreck some of the machinery of death in the process or do you hold back and let the suffering go on in the hope/expectation of liberation eventually?Aquinas would have said that you strike and hope for a miracle to preserve her safety: and that you can hope for a miracle proves the morality of the case. If you were acting immorally -- if killing her were your end or the means to your end -- the miracle would undo your intended end. Because you can fervently hope that the bombs might miraculously avoid harming her, you know that your intention is not the evil but the good.
Clearly it feels like a dilemma to Allahpundit, however, which is interesting to me. To me it seems so clear a case as to require not the slightest hesitation before deciding. It's interesting that the intuitive feeling differs, although I think reason decides the case one way for all.
What do you think? Would you find this a difficult decision, were it to fall on you to make it in this war? Would you make it differently?