War crimes

Trump yesterday:

He’s promising to commit war crimes. He’s doing it on Twitter. The US president is saying on Twitter that he plans to commit war crimes.

The AP reports:

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday evening that if Iran attacks any American assets to avenge the killing of a top Iranian general, the U.S. has 52 targets across the Islamic Republic that “WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

Some are “important to Iran & Iranian culture,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

That’s a war crime.

Iran’s earliest traces of human history reach as far back as 100,000 BC. Its historic monuments preserve the legacy of a civilization that has kept its Persian identity throughout the tides of foreign conquests, weaving in influences from Turkic, South Asian and Arab cultures, and the footprints of Alexander the Great and later Islam.

“Through MILLENNIA of history, barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted in response Sunday. “Where are they now? We’re still here, & standing tall.”

Up to a point. The Islamic part of the ravaging and razing and burning is still there, as the Foreign Minister’s name reminds us. Islam involves a lot of ceremonial prostration, which is the official opposite of standing tall. That’s not relevant to Trump’s criminal threats, but it is part of the bigger picture. Trump is threatening war crimes but that doesn’t make the government of Iran the good guys. There are no good guys in this brawl.

But, that said, Trump’s carrying on is disgusting and contemptible.

Targeting cultural sites is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural sites. The United Nations Security Council also passed unanimously a resolution in 2017 condemning the destruction of heritage sites. Attacks by the Islamic State group and other armed factions in Syria and Iraq prompted that vote.

Trump and Islamic State deserve each other.

Trump’s tweet also caused concern in Washington. One U.S. national security official said Trump’s threat to target Iranian cultural sites had caught many in his administration off-guard and prompted calls for others in his government, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to clarify the matter. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the issue, called such a clarification necessary to affirm that the U.S. military would not intentionally commit war crimes.

Oh what is this “caught many in his administration off-guard” shit? What, because they thought he was adult and cautious and reasonable? Because they didn’t realize he’s a reckless destructive mindless bully? Are they all drugged?

Iran is home to two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Persepolis with its ancient ruins that date back to 518 BC, the 17th century grand mosque of Isfahan located in a teeming bazaar, and the Golestan Palace in the heart of Tehran, where the last shah to rule Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was crowned in 1967.

The country’s cultural sites reflect the expanse of Iran’s history: Geological and archaeological sites date back several thousand years, while 1,000-year-old sites reflect Iran’s contributions to the Golden Age of Islam. In Qom, the Feizeh Religious Science School and a shrine of a Shiite saint, Masoumeh, attract Muslim pilgrims from around the world, reinforcing Iran’s preeminent place among Shiite clerics, theologians and scholars.

Image result for grand mosque of isfahan

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