Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
By openly stating that we will, under no circumstances, attack targets where civilians are present, we "hand the foe a blueprint of our acts, incite him to step over our carefully drawn line, encourage his vice and incur our own defeat." (I am quoting a priest who has considered the broader implications of the Catholic just war doctrine.)
Even "just war" acknowledges that, as in medicine, real mercy can sometimes require ruthlessness. We have forgotten this in the West. If we want to save civilians, over the longer run, we must resolve to call the enemyÂs bluff. Show him by our actions that hiding behind baby carriages will not save him. For the enemy will only stop using Âhuman shieldsÂ when they cease to serve his purposes.