Originally Posted by bunnydixon
is because we let you.
WHY? why didnt they just barrel in, take who they need and kill/lock up/send away/whatever.... the rest of the peeps? Why all the secrecy and tiptoeing around?
I think that quote was just posturing. The answer to your question was given in "Maternity Leave" when Claire finds her way back to the Staff Station. Ethan was supposed to infiltrate the camp, make a list, take it back to the others and then grab Claire. Before Ethan had a chance, Hurley got ahold of the flight manifest, so Ethan improvised and grabbed Claire before putting together the list. In their defense, the Others didn't just swoop in take people and hurt or kill whoever they didn't want. They would quietly kidnapped the "good" people they wanted to make Others and left everyone else for the island to take care of. The only time the Others hurt someone was when they interfered with whatever the Others were doing.