Opinion: Trump’s Twitter threats against Iran cultural sites borrow from the ISIS playbook

Posted by on January 7, 2020 10:07 pm
Categories: Politics

Being Iranian American is like being the child of divorced parents who refuse get along, not even for the kids. Growing up as one of these embattled children, conflict embedded in my DNA, I’ve never known a moment when my two homelands have been anything short of archenemies. Thus, what most of the world experiences as an external, geopolitical conflict, I and my fellow Iranian Americans experience as an internal, deeply personal one. These are our parents you’re talking about, and we love them both, even when we hate them.

But lately – between the American regime’s targeted assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and President Donald Trump’s ensuing threats, not to mention the Iranian regime’s murder and detention of innocent protesters – I can’t stand either one of them. Their fighting is literally keeping me up at night.

Like countless writers, I knew to reach for my craft, but mercifully, it found me first.

But more and more, it feels like art is under attack, usually rhetorically but this week literally. On Saturday, Trump took a page from the ISIS playbook, tweeting a threat to commit cultural war crimes if Iran retaliated for last week’s killing of Soleimani. “We have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” Trump tweeted.

In a tragic bit of irony, Donald Trump and all of the wounded souls apparently so threatened by art are also the ones who most need what it has to offer.

Indeed, although I find the president’s threat repulsive, it also compels me to pray for him. Why? The answer is rooted in my Persian ancestry.

(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com .

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