Well, now you’ve nearly got it. The point about nuclear weapons is almost exactly the point I was making; they were designed to target civilians, public infrastructure and civil defence. Ergo civilians had become important military targets.
The same is true of your point regarding Islamist terrorism.
Our disagreement arises from the importance of distinctions. I argue that, in the ‘minds’ of Islamist fanatics, we are all considered enemy combatants. The Islamic State’s message following the attack in Manchester spoke of a successful assault against ‘the gatherings of crusaders’.
Therefore they consider us soldiers. Yet we have no arms or means of defending ourselves. Ergo the formulation ‘soldiers without arms’.
I am simply granting the enemy the presumption of honesty. We trick ourselves by assuming that they make the same distinction, between soldier and civilian, that we do. They palpably do not. Therefore my point stands.