On the uneasy morality of violence

This article from Vincent Browne does eventually wind up comparing the killing of Louis Mounbatten to the Nazis in a roundabout way, but his attempt at working through his logic should be appreciated rather than scorned. Many on this site profess a moral certainty in their favoured direction over the Troubles that I have never been able to possess. Vincent takes the argument from one direction, but I have always found it as easy, if not easier, to arrive at the same unease no matter where I take as my starting point.

    Would it be justifiable to fire a rocket at the boat to kill Hitler, and thereby very probably save the lives of millions, knowing that the innocent child would be killed as well? The logic of my argument is that it would be unjustifiable and no utilitarian calculus can rescue that. Hence my unease.

    This may seem a long way from Mullaghmore on August 27,1979. But if it would be justifiable to kill the child on the boat with Hitler, then what was so heinous about killing Paul Maxwell, Nicholas and Geraldine Knatchbull for someone who believed it was justifiable to kill Mountbatten?

NOTE: Keep it clean and civil, kids. Edit: Slight typo fixed there lol! H/T willis