December 5, 2015

Donald Trump has some new thuggery to show off: boasting that he wants to kill families of terrorists because he “just knows” they’re guilty. Nobody told Mr. “Make America Great Again” that it’s anti-American, a war crime and, according to a real terrorism expert, ineffective.

Trump was so omnipresent on Fox News last night, you could have dubbed prime time as “Trump time.”

As part of his double segment on The O’Reilly Factor, Trump was asked about his statement on Fox & Friends the day before, “With the terrorists, you have to take out their families.”

“So what does that mean?” Bill O’Reilly asked, obviously unimpressed. “You’re going to have assassins roaming around, shooting the families of the terrorists?”

O’Reilly repeatedly pressed for details about what Trump plans to do but, apparently, he was too busy admiring his own chickenhawk mojo to have an actual plan.

TRUMP: You have to do what Israel was doing for a period of time. “Take out” means that you have to wipe out their homes where they came from. You have to absolutely wipe ‘em out. It’s the only way you’re gonna stop terrorism.

…I want to tell you they would suffer. They know what was going on. …Those wives knew exactly what was happening, the children, everybody knew.

…We have to be much tougher than we are. We’re just not doing it right. We have to be much more vigilant and we have to be much tougher. We can’t allow this to happen. …There has to be retribution and if there’s not gonna be retribution, you’re never gonna stop terrorism.

But while Trump pretended to emulate Israel, a real Israeli counterterrorism expert completely discredited Trump’s plan:

“Any deliberate attacks aimed against civilians is a war crime, regardless if they are family members of terrorists or presidents or presidential candidates,” said Boaz Ganor, a former consultant to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Adopting this policy is immoral and against the common liberal democratic values,” added Ganor, the founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel. “Deliberate attacks against the terrorist families is blurring the moral differences between the terrorist organizations and the state which is fighting terrorism. This by itself might benefit the terrorists which are trying to claim that they are fighting a moral war against relentless and immoral entity.”

…Ganor, who worked as part of an international anti-terror advisory group to the NYPD after 9/11 and has written extensively about terrorism, told CNN that killing the family members of terrorists also would have little benefit in the effort to stop attacks.

“They might just spend more time and resources” on protecting family members, he said. “Nevertheless, I don’t think that the threat to kill their families will deter terrorist leaders form being engaged in terrorist activities.”

Ganor also said that Israel never targeted family members of terrorists.

But O’Reilly never mentioned any of this, other than to suggest, via his tone, that Trump’s plan was unworkable.

Crossposted at

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