The critical role that the United States plays in setting the standards of acceptable behavior across the world was made disturbingly clear on Friday when President Trump’s viciously cruel ramblings against innocent migrants were used to justify atrocities committed by other nations.
Yesterday, Trump declared that “If they want to throw rocks at our military […] I told them, consider it a rifle,” referring to migrants who have on occasion thrown rocks or other projectiles at the abusive and cruel Border Patrol agents that harass and hunt them in the desert.
Just one day later, the Nigerian Army posted a video of his remarks to Twitter with the caption “Please Watch and Make your Deductions,” in an obvious effort to justify the recent alleged massacre of 45 protestors in the capital of Abuja.
Sickening. Under scrutiny from human rights orgs for firing on a crowd of protesters, the Nigerian Army tweets Trump from yesterday telling US troops that any migrants throwing rocks should be handled as if they are armed with “a rifle” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/2udS9fgAhm
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) November 2, 2018
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is a Shiite Muslim political group that regularly holds protests demanding that the government release its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, from prison. Zakzaky has been held without charge since 2015, when the army raided his residence, arrested him, and massacred of 357 of his followers including three of his own sons.
His group, whose overarching goals include an Iranian-style Islamic revolution and the liberation of the Palestinian territories, has been a common target of persecution by both the government and from Sunni terror group Boko Haram.
While it’s unclear whether or not the body count was as high as the IMN alleges it was, multiple protestors were definitely shot and killed by the military earlier this week — and now the government is using the Republican President’s own words to justify their repressive murders.
The President’s refusal to criticize or even acknowledge the flagrant crimes committed by the Israeli Defense Force, who killed hundreds and viciously maimed tens of thousands of Palestinian protestors during the Great March of Return earlier this year, sent a message to the world that said the United States no longer cares about the people’s right to peacefully protest.
Now that he’s openly dancing around the idea of mowing down migrants at the border, one shudders to think of what kind of atrocities will be committed by other repressive governments giddy at the prospect of being able to crush dissent without having to give lip service to basic human rights.