[quote=PlumberKhan;2939164]A dead kid is a dead kid...no matter how much the killers "didn't mean" to kill them. [/quote]
From the perspective of the kid and the people impacted by the kid's death, absolutely.
But from a policy perspective? Absolutely not.
The fact is, Plumber, questions like "was there a legitimate military target" and "was the attack directed at that target in such a way as to minimize noncombatant casualties" are truly important. Because when you start looking at things from a macro perspective, you realize that doing away with those distinctions will result in more dead kids, not fewer.
What do I mean?
Well, if placing military targets in civilian areas effectively immunizes those targets from legal attack, what do you think will happen?
Hint - look at how Hezbollah fought in Lebanon.
And what will the results of that be?
More dead kids, more dead civilians. Because if you give nations a choice between surviving as war criminals (by attacking those military installations) or dying legally (since no legal counter attack was possible), they will (and should) choose survival every time. As Justice Cardozo (I believe - him or Learned Hand) once famously wrote about the Constitution, international law is not a suicide pact. And that understanding is the reason why the Geneva Conventions require military personnel to have distinguishing uniforms, and for military installations to be separated from civilian surroundings.
So, if you want fewer dead kids, the questions to ask are "was there a legitimate military target? Did the attacker take all feasible means to avoid non-combatant fatalities?"
And if the answers are yes and yes, then the dead kid is still a tragedy - but not (and shouldn't be) a crime. If either answer is no, then the dead kid is a tragedy, and a crime.