Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, who served in the Army for 26 years and was an executive officer to David Petraeus in Iraq, said that having Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in the White House would be a “foreign policy disaster for the United States.”
He’d be a loose cannon who would shoot from the hip. He would endanger America’s status in the world, he would dismay our allies and empower our adversaries,” Mansoor said. “Other than that it’d be a great idea to have him as president.
Mansoor is one of more than 100 signatories who signed an open letter denouncing Trump and his bid for the presidency. Mansoor, who is now the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Chair in Military History at Ohio State University, denounced Trump’s penchant for torture.
I think waterboarding’s torture. I would have refused to have done it.
Mansoor said that one of the main reasons he opposes torture is that he doesn’t want American soldiers subjected to the same kind of horrors if they should be captured. He also condemned Trump’s argument that torture is okay because ISIS is doing worse. Pointing out that only by not sinking to that level and “maintaining a moral high ground” can we push for higher standards.
In some cases the Germans tortured prisoners, and the Japanese often tortured prisoners, a third of our prisoners died in Japanese captivity.
But we retained the moral high ground and that enabled us to build a post-war order based on liberal democratic values… based on the rule of law. And based on values enshrined in Western civilization and in our Constitution.
If we were to all of a sudden become no better than the people we seek to kill, then we lose any kind of claim to be, you know, the standard bearer for the global order.
The key is in the past we’ve had leaders who didn’t stoop to their level, they retained the moral high ground which enabled the United States to craft a post-war order to our benefit.
Mansoor conceded that there was a grey area when it comes to deciding whether or not an action would violate international law, adding that when Trump steps over the line and the military has to refuse to follow his heinous orders there will be a “shit storm the magnitude of which we can’t comprehend.”
If you say, ‘Well, we say we’re going to kill this terrorist’s family. You know, someone might disagree with that. But if the order is, “Well, you’re going to hit this target because there’s a munitions cache in it’ — some of them will agree to that, still knowing that the real purpose is to kill the terrorist’s family.
So, yeah, there’s some grey areas, but if there is a clear order to disobey the laws of war, someone, hopefully someone in the U.S. military will disobey it and then it will become public knowledge, and then there will be a shit storm the magnitude of which we can’t comprehend in the international community.
After vowing to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump has finally come to understand that his ideas of acceptable interrogation techniques, which are classified as torture by those of us who aren’t bigoted sadists, are a violation of international law.
However, for a fascist like Trump this is simply unacceptable and he has vowed to fight to have laws changed to allow waterboarding, “at a minimum.”
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