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Twitter Critics Explode Over Trump’s Threatened ‘War Crimes’ In Iran

Published: (Updated: ) in Uncategorized by .

Seconds after President Donald Trump threatened US retaliation on Saturday if Iran retaliates for the deadly US airstrike on its top commander, Twitter followers accused him of planned war crimes.

Following the killing early Friday of Iran Major General Qassem Soleimani, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed harsh revenge. The US is now steeling for possible attacks on American troops and embassies in the Mideast, as well as potential cybercrime assaults or even terror attacks in the US

So Trump threatened Saturday in a tweet to target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural centers important to the nation.

….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020

One problem: It’s an international war crime to deliberately target a country’s cultural centers, and it’s a war crime to target the civilians who would likely be expected to gather at a cultural center.

“Someone better let the president know he’s threatening war crimes,” tweeted Tom Nichols, a specialist on international affairs and professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

Someone better let the President know he’s threatening war crimes.

– 52 sites for purely symbolic reasons would be a war crime.
– Striking cultural sites without military necessity would be a war crime
– Striking in revenge is a war crime
– Targeting civilians is a war crime

— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) January 4, 2020

Lawmakers, including Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), also accused Trump of plotting war crimes. AOC flat out called the president a “monster.”

This is a war crime.

Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women and children – which is what you’re doing by targeting cultural sites – does not make you a “tough guy.”

It does not make you “strategic.”
It makes you a monster. https://t.co/IjkNO8BD07

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 5, 2020

In a message directly to Trump, Warren told him: “The American people do not want a war with Iran. This is a democracy. You do not get to start a war with Iran.”

You are threatening to commit war crimes. We are not at war with Iran. The American people do not want a war with Iran. This is a democracy. You do not get to start a war with Iran, and your threats put our troops and diplomats at greater risk. Stop. pic.twitter.com/RoXRgb9GsK

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 5, 2020

Colin Kahl, who was once deputy assistant to then-President Barack Obama, said if Trump doesn’t care about war crimes, members of the Department of Defense do, and they know that targeting cultural sites is a war crime.

For what it’s worth, I find it hard to believe the Pentagon would provide Trump targeting options that include Iranian cultural sites. Trump may not care about the laws of war, but DoD planners and lawyers do…and targeting cultural sites is war crime. https://t.co/HXvJM0kdl0

— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) January 4, 2020

Former special counsel in the Department of Defense Ryan Goodman spelled out the law.

WAR CRIME

“Making the clearly-recognized historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples … the object of attack”

Geneva Convention Protocol I
(also: U.S. Department of Defense, Law of War Manual, 5.18) pic.twitter.com/yqKLA6JHbY

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) January 4, 2020

Let me put even a stronger point on this.

Any U.S. officials or personnel who followed through on this statement by President Trump would be liable under the U.S. War Crimes Act, 18 U.S. Code § 2441. pic.twitter.com/09XImnPWf8

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) January 4, 2020

Some wondered how far Twitter would go down the “war crimes” tunnel with Trump, and were puzzled that a war crime threat apparently doesn’t violate Twitter terms of service (TOS), including its policy against threatening “violence against an individual or group of people.”

There is precedence for being charged with war crimes for destroying cultural and religious sites, so I assume threatening to do so should trip some TOS rule. I reported him, as did thousands, I am sure. I get the idea twitter belongs to Trump, and we are only the audience.

— Lee County KY (@catmanbleu) January 5, 2020

Surely “threatening to commit war crimes” is against Twitter’s guidelines.

— Eva Putzova 🏜️ (@EvaPutzova) January 5, 2020

 Here’s a selection of a few of the rest:

.@realDonaldTrump is too dumb to know it’s a war crime, but also too demented to care. https://t.co/WcEywGa6ht

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 4, 2020

The President of the United States is threatening to commit war crimes on Twitter.

God help us all! #25thAmendmenthttps://t.co/nYZSvpo8rG

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 5, 2020

This is a major test for our country.

Will we allow decades of executive overreach and militarism to continue? Or will Congress step in and perform our Constitutional role to stop a war? The world is watching.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 5, 2020

You know who threatens to blow up cultural sites populated by civilians? Terrorists. Terrorists and, apparently, the current president of the United States of America.

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) January 5, 2020

At this point the US ought to be looking for ways to de-escalate matters as no US strategic purpose served by a protracted conflict w Iran that absorbs US resources. What @realDonaldTrump doing here in not in the country’s interest.

— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) January 5, 2020

Tweeting out that he will commit a major, horrible crime, is a clear demonstration that the US President is not well.

— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) January 4, 2020

When neocolonial overlord Trump threatens to destroy sites of “Iranian culture,” you know who he sounds exactly like? ISIS and al-Qaeda — which have tried to carry out a not only physical but also cultural genocide against Shia Muslimshttps://t.co/CUK8K39mXB

— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 5, 2020

The President of the United States should never threaten on Twitter or anywhere else to target another country’s non-millitary cultural sites. That is an act of evil terrorism with no strategic value whatsoever other than destroying people’s heritage and history.

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) January 4, 2020

Also on HuffPost

Seconds after President Donald Trump threatened US retaliation on Saturday if Iran retaliates for the deadly US airstrike on its top commander, Twitter followers accused him of planned war crimes.

Following the killing early Friday of Iran Major General Qassem Soleimani, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed harsh revenge. The US is now steeling for possible attacks on American troops and embassies in the Mideast, as well as potential cybercrime assaults or even terror attacks in the US

So Trump threatened Saturday in a tweet to target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural centers important to the nation.

One problem: It’s an international war crime to deliberately target a country’s cultural centers, and it’s a war crime to target the civilians who would likely be expected to gather at a cultural center.

“Someone better let the president know he’s threatening war crimes,” tweeted Tom Nichols, a specialist on international affairs and professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

Lawmakers, including Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), also accused Trump of plotting war crimes. AOC flat out called the president a “monster.”

In a message directly to Trump, Warren told him: “The American people do not want a war with Iran. This is a democracy. You do not get to start a war with Iran.”

Colin Kahl, who was once deputy assistant to then-President Barack Obama, said if Trump doesn’t care about war crimes, members of the Department of Defense do, and they know that targeting cultural sites is a war crime.

Former special counsel in the Department of Defense Ryan Goodman spelled out the law.

Some wondered how far Twitter would go down the “war crimes” tunnel with Trump, and were puzzled that a war crime threat apparently doesn’t violate Twitter terms of service (TOS), including its policy against threatening “violence against an individual or group of people.”

 Here’s a selection of a few of the rest:

Also on HuffPost

Source: Huffington Post Australia Athena2 https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/twitter-explodes-trumps-threatened-war-crimes_au_5e128c85c5b6b5a713bc6b6c

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