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Cruzing for love

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“We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out!”

Ted “Aspirational War Criminal” Cruz

OK, carpet bombing is bombing an entire area, including homes, grade schools, and clinics. It is illegal under international law that the US has signed and ratified, making it the supreme law of the land, even recognized by—OMG!—Fox News. Ted Cruz wants to be a war criminal. I wish him luck. I hope he has a nice run for Grand Dragon of the Free Willies Republic of Texas. But he needs to be questioned right now by Interpol for stating clear and credible conspiratorial intention to commit crimes.

I laughed when, in the 1990s, rightwingers wrote that the permissive, drug-and-peace-addled hippies of the 1960s caused US society to go off the rails (we totally didn’t know our own power!). But I’m not laughing now. I am watching this trainwreck of US values in slo-mo, sliding off the rails, hitting that angle of repose even as a big curve looms ahead, and my eyes are opening wide, realizing that this xenophobic, scofflaw, militia-minded idiocy of right-winged white men have all shifted to the downside of the freight cars, the luxury cars, and the engine of the US locomotive. Even as we tilt toward disaster, Cruz, Trump and others are gaining a following of petrified, fear-chattering, heavily armed, cowardly white men.

If a candidate for office said, “I’m going to take out my sidearm and shoot the mayor of Minneapolis if elected,” would law enforcement maybe take note? If a candidate for US Senator said, “If elected, I’d rape little girls,” would an FBI agent maybe investigate?

How is it that we can listen to bombastic threats to commit crimes against humanity and our system doesn’t even blink?

Oh—that’s right—he’s just issuing a death fatwa on Muslim boys and girls. No problem. We have an unwritten omission of the Responsibility to Protect as long as it’s an Islamic city, town, wedding party, village, or hospital. We see that plainly in the daily dose of US air war against ISIL that smokes all in the area, approximately 10,000 such jet bomber air strikes (not including drone attacks with Hellfire missiles) since we started.

Never mind. Carry on, Republican candidate for President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States military. American exceptionalism gives you impunity, the bloody corpses of little girls notwithstanding, as long as they are Muslim. You must be so proud.

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Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

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