The President of the United States just admitted that he's ready to commit a war crime in order to win a clash of egos against Iran.
For those who aren't familiar, we might all be on the brink of World War III. Last week, the United States conducted an airstrike in Iran - allegedly in retaliation to an attack on the United States Embassy in the Middle Eastern nation - which killed two top military officials. Since then, Iran and the United States have been engaged in a heated war of words. After newly-appointed General Esmail Ghaani promised to "take action" against the United States as "revenge" for Soleimani's murder, United States President Donald Trump threatened to place trade sanctions on Iraq in light of an impending war. More recently, he warned that the United States would target Iran's cultural sites, NPR reports. There's only one little problem though - that's like, 100 percent illegal.
In addition to the greatly revered General Qasim Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, the airstrike resulted in the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and several members of the Iranian military. Since then, the US military has stationed thousands of new troops in the Middle East in a surprise deployment. As one would assume, tensions have quickly escalated following the airstrike. President Trump's threats have thus come at a highly sensitive point in time. He took to Twitter (because of course he did) to announce his strategic, well-thought-out plans to bomb several of Iran's cultural sites.
In a series of tweets, Trump stated, "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!" The attacks will definitely be huge if you haven't guessed already. In order to execute his plan, all President Trump has to do is violate a couple of clauses in the 1954 Hague Convention, of which the United States is a signatory. It's quite simple, really.
Seeing as how the rest of the world is clued in on how Trump's threats constitute a war crime, a bunch of officials at the Pentagon had to bend over backward so as to complete some major damage control. United States Defense Secretary Mark Esper implied that the nation would never go through with Trump's suggestions. He stated, "We will follow the laws of armed conflict." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added, "We'll behave lawfully. We'll behave inside the system. We always have, and we always will." But Trump, as always, refused to back down. Doubling down on his threats, he told reporters, "They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way." Well, Trump is pretty much mired in criminal cases, we may as well add war crimes to his long list of violations.