I didn’t think so….
No surprise in this from those who have knowledge of rules of engagement for military actions and their legal bounds…
Donald Trump made a promise and then doubled down on something that American military people would balk out, every mindful of the repercussions that attacks on target’s that might have civilians present and echoed of what ISIS had done in Iraq which was war crimes….
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper sought to douse an international outcry on Monday by ruling out military attacks on cultural sites in Iran if the conflict with Tehran escalates further, despite President Trump’s threat to destroy some of the country’s treasured icons.
Mr. Esper acknowledged that striking cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with the president, who insisted such places would be legitimate targets. Mr. Trump’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroadwhile deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.
“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” Mr. Esper said at a news briefing at the Pentagon when asked if cultural sites would be targeted as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed. “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”
The furor was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. When Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran if it retaliates for the American drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, none of those targets qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president…..
….our president has declared that cultural destruction is our right. Likely, it is a test, to see how far he can transgress the old boundary lines between civilized and barbaric behavior. He was elected after embracing torture, which was once thought to be across the line, in the dark zone. In his tweets on Sunday, he added the wanton destruction of culture to the list, too….