Newly inaugurated President of the United States Donald Trump has recently come out and stated that he believes “torture works”. He says that in the fight against ISIS the USA “have to fight fire with fire”, claiming “we’re not playing on an even field”.
Throughout his campaign the new leader of the “free world” has supported bringing back the use of torture methods, such as waterboarding, as a means of retrieving information from terrorists. Although torture is often seen purely as a counterterrorism tactic to help defend a nation from terror attacks, Trump claimed that “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us” during his campaign for the Presidency.
The threat of terror is increasing around the world, particularly with the rise of radical Islamic terror groups that Trump has used to vilify the Muslim community. He has promoted this vilification as standing tough against terrorism, while he promotes racial divide and fear amongst migrants. His strong following has been criticised by pundits as racist and compared to groups such as the American terrorist group, The Ku Klux Klan (who supported him throughout his campaign). The use of torture resembles the violent approach of The KKK against African-Americans, such as lynching. This was the darkest period for the human rights of American people.
The President’s claims are a response to ISIS’ use of torture and death to invoke fear in their enemies. He says “They chop them [heads] off and they put them on camera and send them all over the world. So, we have that and we’re not allowed to do anything?” These methods of violence and brutality are horrific and unnecessary. To murder and torture, especially in cold blood is a completely unethical way for people to display their faith. While ISIS may claim to be a religious group, their actions represent those who hold faith to violence and death rather than righteousness, peace and preservation of life.
The implementation of torture techniques like waterboarding, as suggested by the new President of The United States, would destroy what makes America different to terrorists. By committing such hateful violence, we would be no better than ISIS. The water torture method of waterboarding is illegal in America, but was used against Al-Qaeda terrorist suspects under the Bush administration. Both Bush and Obama have since banned the use of torture techniques, such as waterboarding on detainees and when interrogating suspects. Well respected war veteran, Senator John McCain, said that “the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the USA.” He is among many who have spoken out against Trump as he looks to bring back torture in the United States of America.
The use of torture in a country that claims to be the “land of the free” and leading the fight against terrorism would be a monumental step back in the fight for peace and a major violation of human rights. If we consider terrorist groups who perform violent acts and murder people to be an evil enemy to the world, we cannot copy their barbaric approach. Leaning towards violence and taking basic human rights from others, makes us no better than any terrorist group. Unnecessary violence should be condemned by our leaders, not paraded as a defensive tool as we work towards a more peaceful and safer world.
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