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Snopes had done a story on this way way back, finding a trail of repetitions of the Pershing myth.[1] It is not only Trump who finds it amusing to torment believers with unpleasantness that does not bother the tormentors in the slightest. The psychology is complicated, but at first glance, it affirms the torturers' beliefs, diminishes those of the victim, and, well, torments them. Yeah. Pretty much sadism. The sadism reinforces itself; as with Nazi concentration camp guards and other torturers and mass murder participants, violence was a way of bringing into the sphere of normality, their aberrant behaviour. The more they repeated it, the more normal it seemed to them, the more acceptable, and so their consciences bothered them less.

“He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty 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 there wasn’t a problem. So we better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.” - Donald Trump[2]
The incident as Trump tells it never happened, and terrorism has never once achieved its objective. Pershing is more famous for reading the Koran with the Moro people to make the peace. People who are dedicated to a just ideal become more dedicated when faced with obvious injustice by their foes. But perhaps Pershing was not only a peacemaker; a newspaper account of the time has him doing what was still terrorism, but a lesser terrorism, because there was no deadly violence -he did not kill the men- only the psychological warfare against the men themselves, sprinkling them with pig's blood.[3]
Advocates smile and think, "how silly of them" to be afraid for their souls, but to them it was real, a fate worse than death. For Muslims, ingesting pork is a sin, and pig’s blood is considered unholy. A person who touches pig is defiled, and they cannot enter heaven. Count on Trump to use the word terrorist himself, in describing the victims. They are in fact known to anthropologists as Juramentados, people who had consecrated themselves to the task of killing those who they believed their religion demanded dead. Assassins, in other words. The truth would be in the details (imperialists having done some highly immoral things in the Philippines); the danger of error lying before the devotee (would the world actually be better off without this person?), and only the instigation of the thought and some pretty hefty justification for the deed can be blamed on the religion. For absolute moralists, of course, there is no question: killing is wrong. But then, as there is war, and they let it happen, there are an awful lot of blindly hypocritical absolute moralists.
For too long, media, pundits, and assorted people who know better were using the words "terrorist" and "terrorism" to describe a range of arsonists, monkey wrenchers, freedom fighters, irregular army, assassins, snipers, partisans, people in the wrong place at the wrong time and saboteurs.
What was needed was a public figure to define the term properly, and so it came to pass, albeit from an unlikely source indeed: parasitic scalp alien host and foot in mouth disease outpatient Donald Trump. Trump's definition was not only accurate but graphic and chilling, unless you were one of those in his audience feeling a swelling of national pride at the thought of the American Empire doing terrorism on one of the irregular army combatants or actual terrorists, real or imagined.[4]

Links Edit

  1. [www.snopes.com/rumors/pershing.asp September 11-Pershing the Thought] Snopes.com
  2. Trump tells story about Muslims being shot with bullets dipped in pig's blood, Caitlin Yilek, The Hill
  3. FALSE: Trump’s tale about Pershing executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs blood, debunked History News Network 23 Feb 2016. The article continues with an injunction for others to be as merciful as Pershing was, sidestepping the heresy inflicted on the men and listing truly impressive Pershing accomplishments
  4. Trump cites bullets dipped in pigs' blood- Video, CNN Politics

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