There is a Chomsky Interview by Dimitriadis Epaminondas from July 03, 2002 and this question really struck me:
The war against terrorism will have a lot more casualities, a lot more innocent casualities. Can this be justified?I like it when educated people articulate succinctly exactly how I'm feeling about something.
Again, the question cannot be answered in the abstract. But there are some criteria for answering it. One simple criterion is that if some action is legitimate for us, then it is legitimate for others. To take an example, if it is legitimate for the US to bomb Afghanistan because Washington suspects that the plot to carry out the 9-11 atrocities was hatched there (the FBI has recently conceded they still have only suspicions, no firm evidence), then a fortiori, it would have been legitimate for Nicaraguans (Cubans, Lebanese, and a long list of others) to bomb Washington because they know, not suspect, that it is the source of terrorist actrocities that far exceed even 9-11. Those who do not accept the latter conclusion -- that is, every sane person -- cannot accept the former one, unless they reject the most elementary moral principles, and thereby abandon any claim to speak of right and wrong, good and evil.
The same criterion applies universally. It does not answer all questions, but does answer a great many of them. It is true that elementary moral principles such as this cannot be considered by the rich and powerful, because of the consequences that follow very quickly. Nevertheless, honest people should be willing to entertain them.