During the GOP debate on Thursday night, Senator Ted Cruz reiterated his promise to utilize carpet bombing in the Middle East to combat ISIS, reports Think Progress. Cruz either doesn’t know that carpet bombing is considered considered a war crime under the international Geneva Conventions, or he just doesn’t care. Based on what we know about Ted Cruz, both options are equally likely.
Cruz’s defense of his carpet bombing promises came after he was pressed to explain the discrepancies between his voting record and his tough talk regarding national security. These discrepancies include Cruz’s three-time vote against the Defense Authorization Act and his opposition to giving President Obama authority to enforce his red line in Syria.
In typical Republican fashion, though, rather than address the actual question he was asked, Cruz decided to defend the promises he has made in the past regarding carpet bombing and saturation bombing parts of Iraq and Syria. He used the Persian Gulf War as an example to back up the reasoning behind his promises, saying that these types of bombings were successful for the United States.
Again, Cruz either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that carpet bombing is explicitly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, which the United States has been a part of for decades.
Cruz also didn’t know what he was talking about when he used the Gulf War as an example of effective carpet bombing. In this war, the United States used laser-guided precision bombing that was meant to reduce the accidental damage that would have affected civilian buildings — thousands of civilians were still killed, even with this more careful method.
This isn’t the first time Cruz has been wrong, either knowingly or otherwise, about carpet bombing. In Dec. 2015, Cruz proved that he is unclear about the definition of carpet bombing. When asked about his promise to use carpet bombing against ISIS, Cruz defined the act as targeted bombings aimed at destroying ISIS troops without negatively affecting civilians. This type of bombing that Cruz described is what the United States is already doing.
The term carpet bombing, for the record, refers to an attack on an area that does not distinguish between targets. Cruz obviously needs a vocabulary lesson, ASAP.
In addition to Cruz’s competition with Donald Trump to see who can get the worst endorsers, they also seems to be competing to see who can propose to violate the most international laws. In December, Trump called for the ability to assassinate the family members of terrorists, which, like carpet bombing, also constitutes a war crime.
Who knows how long this “competition” will go on? One thing is certain, though: These Republican candidates really need to learn what is and is not considered a war crime, and soon.
Watch the full video of Cruz’s plan to destroy ISIS below, courtesy of Ted Cruz via YouTube.
Featured image via Marc Nozell