If we needed further proof that reality show star-turned-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cares more about the flattery of Russian president Vladimir Putin than anyone’s human rights anywhere in the world, we have it.
Speaking to Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly last night, Trump complained that “Russia is absolutely furious at us” after a US-led coalition airstrike hit a Syrian Army position near Deir el-Zour on Saturday. Russia’s diplomatic embassy at the United Nations called an emergency session of the Security Council that evening to discuss the incident, which killed as many as 90 Syrian troops.
“We bomb the wrong people,” Trump said of the strike, which was launched after consultations with Russian officers who somehow failed to inform their American counterparts that the targeted position was occupied by Syrian troops instead of ISIS. “I mean, we are like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”
Trump made the remark in response to O’Reilly’s request for a further explanation of his assertion that “temperament” is his “strongest suit.” Transcript via the Washington Post:
Well, I know how to win. I know how to win. I have been winning. I do win. Even in sports. I win. And we don’t win. Our country doesn’t win. We don’t win at trade. We don’t win. We can’t beat ISIS. Can you imagine General Douglas MacArthur or General Patton? Can imagine they are spinning in their grave right now when they see the way we fight. We announce that we are sending certain people over here at a certain time. Everything is political. It’s very, very sad. Then we bomb the Syrian troops. You saw that over the weekend. We bombed, I guess we killed more than 80 troops. And now Russia is absolutely furious at us. But we bomb the wrong people. I mean, we are like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Our country, with this leader, is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. That’s what it is.
After the botched strike, Russian diplomats floated a Trump conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is actively helping ISIS. In fact, wherever the Islamic State abuts his enemies, Assad has actively assisted them with his own air power, while Putin has pursued a policy of allowing extremists to leave Russia and join ISIS.
Trump, who speaks highly of Putin as “a leader” whenever he is asked about the murderous regime in Moscow, had nothing to say to O’Reilly about yesterday’s airstrike on an aid convoy that was trying to relieve the apocalyptic suffering of Syrians.
The United Nations has suspended all humanitarian actions today in response to the attack, which killed one aid worker and 20 civilians, smashing a warehouse and hospital. Either Syrian or Russian warplanes conducted the attack, which is perfectly in line with their previous targeting of ‘soft’ civilian targets such as hospitals, refugee camps, and markets.
Calling for an immediate investigation of the incident, UN aid officer Stephen O’Brien said that deliberate targeting of humanitarians “would amount to a war crime.” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, called the strike “a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
According to Reuters, “At least 18 of 31 trucks in a U.N. and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy were hit” while delivering aid for 78,000 people in Aleppo province. As usual, there were no apologies or expressions of regret for the loss of life.
Aid convoys had only just been allowed to move into the war zone after a week of delays as American and Russian diplomats sought to implement a ceasefire that the regime of Bashar al-Assad has now unilaterally declared to be over.
Featured image via Wikimedia.
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