Are Targeted Assassinations the American Way?

The Supreme Court’s stunning rebuke of Bush’s war-trials procedure makes you wonder in what other ways the war on terrorism has transformed our values. Here is another thing to reflect on:

In a full-page ad in tomorrow’s Times that questions America’s one-sided policy in Israel/Palestine, the Council for the National Interest (yes: bland name for a pro-Palestinian group) argues that the over-identification of American interests with Israel’s has led us “into mimicking in Iraq Israel’s military and targeted assassination approach to counterinsurgency, which has severely complicated U.S. efforts to deal with worldwide terrorism.”

It’s a good point. Yes we got the evil Zarqawi, but we also killed a woman and child in that house, as I recall. How many innocents died for us to get Uday and Qusay? Is this actually productive, or will it enmesh us in the same sort of cycle of violence that Israel has found itself in over 60 years, a cycle that brutalizes all parties? Are Targeted Assassinations the American Way?