If only Donald Trump would be nice, the Muzzies would be nice too!
President Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that his administration condemns the day’s terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain – then tweeted a false story about beating Islamic terrorism by shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.
‘Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!’ the president tweeted.
Trump had already issued a more prosaic tweet 45 minutes earlier, writing: ‘The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!’
But the reference to Gen. John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing inserted Trump into the day’s most riveting news story in a way his White House could come to regret.
There was criticism of the president for his use of it, with CNN anchor Jake Tapper calling it a ‘lie’, something unlikely to improve his network’s relations with the White House.
Trump’s anecdote is a fictional story that he told in South Carolina ahead of the state’s Republican presidential primary in February 2016.
The story centers on Pershing’s supposed killing of prisoners during the early 1900s when his army was targeted by an insurgent guerrilla campaign of Muslim ‘Juramentados’ who targeted Christians with gruesome sword attacks.
Pershing was governor of the Philippines’ Moro Province at the time.
‘They were having terrorism problems, just like we do,’ Trump said.
‘He caught 50 terrorists that did tremendous damage and killed many people and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood.’
‘And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people, and the 50th person, he said; ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened’.’
‘And for 25 years,’ Trump ended, ‘there wasn’t a problem. For 25 years there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem. So we better start getting tough!’
On Thursday Trump upped Pershing’s effectiveness by 10 years, to 35.
Problematically for him, the bullets-in-pigs-blood episode never happened.
It doesn’t matter whether the General Pershing story is true or not.
Myths have more power over us than just about anything else. Take the myth about the Statue of Liberty symbolizing a Constitutional imperative for the U.S. to accept the world’s riff raff. Or take the myth that Martin Luther King was anything other than a Communist agitator. Or the myth that Lincoln was a great man instead of the pile of sh*t that he was.
Myths drive our actions everyday. Trump is playing with Muslim minds with his now condemned Tweet. It’s very similar to when he said on the campaign trail that he advocated killing the families of terrorists. We all know that he’s been playing mind games with Kim Jong Un too.
It seems to have had its genesis in a 1927 Chicago Daily Tribune article that described Pershing sprinkling some Muslim prisoners with pig’s blood, which the Juramentados believed would condemn their souls.
After that, however, he let them go.
The Tribune article claimed that ‘those drops of porcine gore proved more powerful than bullets.’
Even the newspaper’s story, rendered without mention of summary executions, may have been made-up.
Texas A&M University historian Brian McAllister Linn told Politifact last year that it’s ‘a fabrication and has long been discredited. I am amazed it is still making the rounds.’
Christopher Einolf, a DePaul University expert and author, added: ‘I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences. This kind of thing would have run completely against his character.’
It’s also not clear that the Moro were particularly observant Muslims.
And Michael H. Hunt, an emeritus historian at the University of North Carolina told Politifact that Pershing hardly crushed a rebellion.
The region ‘remained in constant unrest during the period of American rule and into the period of independence, right down to the present.’
The liberals like to call out Trump for racist “dog whistling,” sending messages with hidden meaning. Trump’s Tweet is a dog whistle, you might say.
Europe will be holding signs saying “We are Barcelona.” There’ll be candlight vigils and tears galore.
Trump’s message is simple: Kill the bastards and don’t let them claim their 72 virgins.