The counter argument seems to be the same one against torture of suspects from Afghanistan.
The counter argument by experts in the field of information gathered from tortured suspects is that tortured suspects will say anything, and we don't know if what they say is true or false just by hearing them scream it out at us.
Likewise, an Afghan expert says:
... you cannot defeat terrorists by airstrikes.(HuffPo). One cannot defeat terrorists by torture murder, either, because that makes one a terrorist doesn't it?
Murder does not stop murder, terror does not stop terrorism.
It is the old story that keeps on going and going and going. Many civilians were killed by a U.S. air strike in what is called "the war on terror". The reports say:
... bloodied bodies of children laid out with other corpses, confirming international Red Cross findings at the two remote villages in western Afghanistan ...(ibid). Another report indicated that a Red Cross volunteer and 13 members of that volunteer's family were killed in the bombing:
President Hamid Karzai said the airstrikes were "not acceptable" and said the government estimated the number of civilian deaths to be 125 to 130, according to an interview with CNN on Friday.
"We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an airstrike," Stocker said.(AP Story). I have heard several Generals say the war cannot be won militarily.
So will the Cheney-Noonan explanation (if we don't do torture and do airstrikes the terrorists might attack us) grace this carnage into acceptability? No.
One wonders why, then, tactics are being used that are going to lose it (if it hasn't been lost already)?