What GOP New Yorkers just voted for: Torture, Syria Intervention, murder of innocents

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

In the wake of his big win in New York, I want to push back once more against the normalization of Trump as a legitimate presidential candidate, given his policy positions. Let us remember what the Republicans of New York voted for (there are hardly any Republicans in New York City, so it can be spared the shame).

Here is what the Republicans of New York voted for:


I wrote earlier this month,

“In a recent telephone interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump argued “we have to change our law on the waterboarding thing,” that he would “go further” than waterboarding . . . Trump concludes that our respect for the rule of law places us at an unfair advantage in our shared struggle against violent extremism. “We have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight at least on almost equal basis. We have laws that we have to obey in terms of torture. They have no laws whatsoever that they have to obey . . .”

In other words, Trump wants the US to act like ISIL and wants to repeal the 8th Amendment and flout US treaty obligations in international law.

That is what New York voted for.

Murdering women and children

Trump has advocated killing the wives and children of Daesh (ISIL, ISIS) fighters. He has also advocated taking them hostage so as to control Daesh:

“We have to be much tougher and much stronger than we’ve been, . . . I would be very, very firm with families. . . Frankly, that will make people think, because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.”

Deliberately killing innocents is murder. Blaming them for what their relative did is collective punishment, which is repugnant. Using their lives to manipulate terrorists is disgusting. These are war crimes.

Patrolling or closing mosques in US


I think we have to be extremely vigilant in those areas, we have to look very seriously at the Mosques. Lots of things happening in the Mosques, that’s been proven. You look at what’s going on in Paris where Mosques are being closed, OK? And, we have to look very, very seriously.

This is a repeal of the first amendment.

Massive US invasion of Syria

A little over a month ago, Trump said that defeating Daesh might require “20,000 to 30,000” U.S. troops. He said, “We don’t fight like we used to fight . . . We used to fight to win. Now we fight for no reason whatsoever. We don’t even know what we’re doing.”

Well, someone doesn’t know what he is doing.

Shame on the Republicans of New York. Shame.


Related video:

Donald J. Trump Victory Speech New York April 19th, 2016

35 Responses

  1. What Trump has been saying is what many Americans have been thinking, if you’d call it that. In my opinion, that is why he is so popular. his racist comments have found fertile ground and those he appeals to have finally found some rich and powerful guy who agrees with them.

    Cruz’s message isn’t that different, but he says it more quietly, hence the lack of votes.

    Americans may have had a civil war, the Civil Rights movement, but at some level, not much has changed.

    • I think that’s the real problem that needs to be addressed. It’s not that Trump is persuading people with his positions…

      …he’s telling people what they want to hear from someone they’d vote for. At the end of the day, Trump has been, and always will be, a con man. It’s his supporters that are the real crisis point. Even if trump doesn’t get the candidacy, or the White House, they’re still going to be here and they’re going to continue to vote for the same thing (until, I expect, they finally feel the consequences of voting for lawlessness and evil, and by then it will be too late.)

  2. The man can barely speak a coherent phrase in the English language, that reaches up to the standards of millions of ordinary Americans, without displaying tremendous narcissism _and_ tremendous ignorance about human/institutional relationships.

    I would contend that he also displays massive stupidity in failing to understand the intelligence of others, in the pitifully weak, mendacious, pettifogging excuses he makes when called on any of his many areas of ignorance.

    He reminds me of the heroin addicts of the ’70’s: willing to say any and every crazy thing if if might get him towards his fix. How all the culturally-conservative “tough guys” on the right, with their SUV’s and their guns, cannot see thru Donald’s bullshit, seems to show how completely that ignorance and racism are the foundations of their “thinking.”

  3. Trump supporters should be made aware that these positions also violate the US Constitution, and no one so ignorant of the foundations of US government should ever be nominated.

    Torture violates both the eighth amendment and the inadmissibility of coerced testimony at trial.

    The punishing of relatives of even convicted criminals violates Article I section 9 prohibiting “bills of attainder” and Art. III section 3 that “no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of the Blood” (no guilt of relatives of those convicted of treason).

    Closing religious or other gathering places violates freedom of religion, speech, and assembly in violation of the Amendment I.

    Finally a war in Syria with only 30,000 soldiers is an outright lie compliments of a tyrant, as any adult should be able to see. Military intervention overseas is prohibited by Article I section 8 without a declaration of war or to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. The NATO treaty obligations were defensive, and it should be repudiated because it has been used for aggression on pretext.

    And note that accepting bribes from Israel laundered as contributions from US citizens violates Article I section 9 “no person holding any office..shall accept any present…from any…foreign state.” All bribes are prohibited by Article II section 4, which does not make impeachment and conviction optional but states that such persons “shall be removed.”

      • The Bush/Cheney/Hillary war crimes should be punished, as should the bribery of most US politicians and judges, and some acts of Obama.

        The drone wars might be rationalized under the Constitution’s permission of “Letters of Marque and Reprisal” which authorized arrest on foreign soil or attack of specified small foreign criminal entities (usually pirate ships). But those would not have included attacks on villages and homes and groups identified only by suspicions and statistics. Those are acts of war that require a declaration of war, which was intended to be defensive, and to permit repelling encroachments or depredations, not to permit aggressive wars. General acts like Authorization of Use of Military Force with vague targets defined by ignorant ideologues and warmongers are not within the federal powers.

        But the Constitution is not precise on that point, the Supreme Court consists of utterly corrupt right wing thugs anyway, nearly all of the politicians are all bribed by businesses and Israel, and the people are too deluded and morally corrupted by mass media to care, and will approve of any bullying of small nations far away to aggrandize themselves and for symbolic retribution against those who bully them. They are kept ignorant and militant as soldiers of their own oppressors.

        So the Constitution is dead, the US is an empty suit of armor blundering around the globe swinging its sword madly at delusions of the rich, and those trapped within must hope that it collapses or is toppled by its enemies.

  4. I thought this was going to be an article about HRC. But Trump has only been talking openly about what everone since Bush has been actually doing. Clinton has been an enthusiastic supporter and mover in all that you, Juan Cole, fear about Trump. (“Experience!”)

    And I bet the majority of comments on your latest have been going pretty much the same. But you don’t publish anything counter to your opinion.

  5. Many Americans doubtless woke up appalled by the implications of the NY results, but to citizens of other countries who have no deep involvement they appear not good but not surprising. In living memory it has been possible to adopt the attitude that it doesn’t matter what you do so long as you don’t ‘do it in public and frighten the horses’. I don’t believe human nature changes and, although I realise it to be a contentious position, I don’t believe it ever does; it is human attitudes and social environments that change and the most dramatic recent such change is the explosion of media which has rendered it all but impossible for anything to be done that doesn’t reach public scrutiny, and the spin-off from that has made the public more open about what they do, defiantly so in many areas that were simply not talked about before. This is perfectly understandable since if you are going to be outed anyway you might as well be up front about it; the morphing of public attitudes towards homosexuality over the last 50 years provides a succinct illustration of this in action but it applies in many. and soon perhaps all, other areas as well; farewell hypocrisy, the expression of beliefs, feelings and virtues that one does not hold or possess. Trump does not appear to be such a hypocrite; it’s possible to believe he actually does hold the views he expounds. I doubt many feel that about Clinton and in that sense Trump is the more honest. The results in NY and elsewhere may well be a reflection of that fact that many US citizens actually feel the same but have hitherto lacked the temerity or opportunity to admit it.

    As for the things he proposes, the compelling argument against torture is that it doesn’t work. The killing of women and children is effected daily by guys sitting at consoles zapping drone targets thousands of miles away. And, if you have demonised all Moslems to the point of persecution then indeed you need to keep a close eye on places they may assemble. The problem is less the ‘protective’ action than the ignorance that provoked it’s need. None of this is rational but few people are rational or ever have been. Rationality is a tool not a panacea, and like any tool it has precise and limited functions. More importantly, it does not of itself induce morality, it is of no value to philosophy, it can’t be used against the slings and arrows of fortune, it’s useless against Zionists and other religious convictions, etc. It was integral to our liberation from mediaeval theocracy, and an inspiration in the questing centuries that followed but they are passed and we are moving swiftly into a post-rational era where feelings are less constrained. Whether this is a good thing or not is entirely a question of the perspective you take and how free you are in considering others. To my mind the number of Trump supporters demonstrates how many are at last prepared to acknowledge the emperor is quite naked.

  6. Why do you think the law matters in the US? I am not being ‘grumpy’. Why would one think a list of broken laws will somehow curtail the actions? How?

  7. The same can be said for Hillary too perhaps even more so. Definitely read Diane Johnstone’s book “Queen of Chaos” to get a clear understanding of her terrible foreign policy decisions. I fear for the world if and when either of them win.

    • Hillary does not support any of the policies listed in this article. Anyone who thinks that Clinton is as bad as the Republicans isn’t playing with a full deck or is terribly uninformed. As for Diana Johnstone, from Wikipedia, “After the 2003 publication of her Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions, Johnstone became the centre of controversy over her claim in the book that there is “no evidence whatsoever” that the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims was genocidal,[2] and that only 199 Bosnian Muslims had been killed.[3][4] ” A historian is quoted as saying it was an extremely poor book. I think that speaks to her credibility.

  8. Karl Durston

    I agree wholeheartedly however the choice for republicans is difficult trump or Cruz or jump ship to Clinton whom they despise.

  9. For a second there missed the ‘GOP’ in the headline and thought this criticism included all New Yorkers, including the Democratic ones voting for torture, Syria intervention and killing of innocents.
    Maybe unfair, however, I actually wouldn’t find that same criticism surprising against Clinton’s foreign policies either (Note: torture and collective punishment has happened under Obama). But yea…nothing close to being as blunt or outrageous as Trump and says a lot about the Republican base.

  10. Political commentators should concentrate more on the reason why Trump is so popular. A possible reason is that he, and Sanders, has not shown signs of treason.

    • Trump is popular became he gathers the lion’s share of the broadcast media’s attention and he’s agile (as a campaign) on social media, using it as a weapon to create more attention.

      When the corporate media doesn’t question all these things, they, too, are complicit in the shenanigans. As they have been for several decades following the start of consolidation in ’83 under Reagan and again in ’96 via Clinton.

  11. The Republican Party went off the rails some time ago. Cruz’s policies aren’t a whole lot better than those of Trump’s. It would be more accurate to call them less odious than better than Trump. Anyway, nationwide, Trump’s negative rating among the total populace is around 2/3, his positive rating around 30%. So, about 30% of Americans are racist, xenophobic and have no compunction about torture or murder of people in other countries. And they live among us.

  12. At the risk of appearing to let this blustery windbag off the hook, this is all a consequence of the ideology of American Exceptionalism, where the U.S. can play by different rules than the rest of the world. Don’t let Hillary (or Obama) off the hook for their support for our extrajudicial executions by Drone warfare or their support for the terrorist acts by the Saudis in Yemen or the Israelis in the occupied territories of Palestine. I doubt a Trump presidency will be that much worse than a Clinton one. A dose of realism will temper his rhetoric, once in office.

  13. and what were the nyers voting for when they dropped a ballot for hitlery billary killary ???

    regime change worldwide

    and we see the death and destruction worldwide every single day now.

  14. Oh well here we go again. Sanders proposals will never happen says the media but Trump’s will. What gives hum? True Trump will be nominated unless a political earthquake happens but the reality is that the low % of voters in the corrupted primaries means he will never win the general election. 125K voters just in Brooklin removed from the voting lists? We really have a corrupted system of electing politicians and others. It’s not one person one vote at all with the % to decide delegates for each running candidate.

  15. I’m curious about what percentage of primary voters in New York are satisfied with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump or would vote third party if they were the options. Lots of people on both sides have said in polls they’re looking for a third party to vote for in previous polls in other states.

    I’m personally supporting Gary Johnson (John McAfee, Marc Allan Feldaman, Darryl W. Perry, Austin Petersen, or anyone else who gets the nomination) and the Libertarian Party. I Side With and On The Issues have profiles on all the candidates and party platforms on a whole spectrum of political issues. Who supports non-internvetions, civil liberties, and peace the most? The Libertarians do!

  16. I disagree about Trump supporting intervention in Syria. I think he would defer to Russia- they are after all succeeding beyond the wildest claims of our neocon pundits- and that is because their narrative has been consistent with the facts on the ground and their policies have been sensible. I also think that, as he himself has said openly, he would be more circumspect about initiating new wars, and would instead reinvest in our economy at home. After all, that is one of the reasons the military-industrial-media-Congressional complex has come down on him with a ton of bricks.

    Do I trust him? No. But I take his inflammatory language with a few grains of salt, and think those who would censor (including self-censor) in the name of political correctness, and who rely on words alone- and not deeds- are deluding themselves and others.

    As for New Yorkers voting for torture, Syrian intervention and murder of innocents, that is a spot-on characterization of their vote for Hillary Clinton- and her past, as well as recent history bears it out in spades. A vote for Hillary is a vote for a psychopathic serial liar and serial war criminal who will continue to lie and commit the same atrocities again and again while covering it with politically correct language. After all who voted for and sought to perpetuate the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Who initiated the horrendous wars in Libya, and Syria? Who was responsible for the overthrow of the duly elected President of Honduras? Who laid the groundwork for the neo-nazi coup in Ukraine while she was Secretary of State? And who hectored her husband into bombing Yugoslavia into the stone age? The list is endless, and she must be held accountable.

    Furthermore, it is clear that over a hundred thousand voters in Brooklyn alone were purged, and many more disenfranchised by the New York State primary rules, and who was responsible for that? The Party leadership that is so gung-ho on getting her elected, of course.

    • I am rather dumbfounded that there are readers who support your view. Donald Trump may be the most unprepared major candidate in foreign policy of anyone in my lifetime and I’m 70. He makes George Bush look good and is about as knowledgeable as Sarah Palin. They say that even a blind squirrel can eventually find a nut. As far as Trump finding a good foreign policy, I would put my money on the blind squirrel finding a nut first.

  17. Hell New York Democrat’s just voted for “torture, Syria, murder of innocents.”. Clinton beat Bernie. Let;s get real here…Trump says some dangerous things….Hillary has done some extremely dangerous and very deadly things. Iraq, Libya, Syria

  18. I think the scariest trait that Trump exhibits is his adoration of US police forces.

    There has been a lot of talk about reforming law enforcement in this country. Black Lives Matter was born as a result of police violence.

    If Trump is elected, I think talk of reforms like videotaping interrogations, wearing body camera’s, stopping stop & frisk, and changing civil forfeiture will all lose any ground they have made in the past few years.

    That’s the scariest part of Trump for me.

  19. Trump is a matter of style. That he can advocate war crimes on the campaign trail can only be style. He’s been cautioned and I think he won’t repeat those statements.

    He stated clearly that we invaded Iraq on lies. He hasn’t made that mistake again. Nor has anyone with any status in the US.

  20. Clinton is the nominee-wannabe who STILL favors toppling the legitimate government of Syria after all this time . . . . so that a pack of rebels and jihadists can take over the government there. That is more interventionist against Syria than anything Trump has said.

    Trump has expressed recognition of Assad as the legitimate President of the legitimate government of Syria . . . which is less philosophically interventionist than the violent regime change which Clinton advocates against Syria.

    • You do realize, don’t you, that Assad is guilty of war crimes? I find it interesting that people hate Hillary Clinton so much that they resort to saying things like she is responsible for the civil wars in Libya and Syria and Assad and Quadaffi were really good leaders. Everything would have been hunky dory if only Hillary Clinton hadn’t intervened and started those wars. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little on this last part, but not much. Elsewhere today I read that Clinton is also responsible for the troubles in the Ukraine. Amazing how this one woman could be the most powerful person in the world, causing multiple wars all over the place.

  21. I’m voting Democratic but I don’t think Trump believes half the things he says. Even then, he’s more palatable than Cruz, who is more hardline and a religious fanatic, to boot. Let’s hope we don’t have to find out whether he moderates his positions after winning the W.H.

  22. As the Republican Convention nears, the leading candidates push peripheral and extremist positions which are common-sense, NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR COUNTRY. Yet, corporate-controlled media plays the nonsense at full amplitude, 24/7.

    Giving undo credibility to attention-grabbing topics and tactics with the current intensity in tone, both audibly and visually, skews the “national view” portrayed by corporate-controlled media to viewers.

    This is dangerous bu!!•••• and fits the category of a tacitly sponsored multi-billion$$ airtime PROPAGANDA BARRAGE.

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