Donald Trump Says America Looks Weak To Terrorists, But His Security Tactics Won't Actually Make Us Strong
In a speech Tuesday evening at Ohio University's Eastern Campus in St. Clairesville, Donald Trump again tried to scare voters into having faith in him. Speaking of the terrorist attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, which occurred just hours before he took the stage, Trump said, "You know, you have to fight fire with fire.” He continued with, "Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership."
While Trump complains about how weak the United States looks, he fails to offer concrete foreign policy solutions and instead makes the country appear like no more than a bully on the world's playground. Multiple times this campaign, Trump has advocated for the United States to rely on waterboarding to combat terrorism. He did so again on Tuesday during his speech, saying of the tactic, "I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough."
But here's the key problem: There's good evidence that, beyond the considerable ethical concerns, waterboarding isn't even effective. In December 2014, a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation found that waterboarding and other forms of torture "didn't elicit actionable intelligence from suspected terrorists, nor did it foil plots against Americans." Moreover, not only are many of Trump's ideas about combating terrorism not effective, but they have shown to encourage more terrorism activity and to be used as a recruitment tool for terrorist groups. During an interview with Brave New Films, Matthew Alexander, the pseudonym for a former military interrogator who conducted more than 300 in Iraq, said:
One of Al Qaeda’s goals, it’s not just to attack the United States, it’s to prove that we’re hypocrites, that we don’t live up to American principles. So when we use torture and abuse, we’re playing directly into one of their stated goals.
Trump's scare tactics are making some question whether he's the right person to be our next president. For someone who promises to be "so presidential you will be so bored," he might not even be so sure himself. The fact that he keeps accusing his Democratic opponent of not being presidential raises his own red flag. On Tuesday, Trump said of Hilary Clinton, “You think she looks presidential? I don’t.” Although the statement was met with applause at his rally, the general electorate doesn't seem to agree. In a new Washington Post / ABC News poll, when asked, "Who do you think has a better personality and temperament to serve effectively as president—Clinton or Trump?" 61 percent chose Clinton. Trump can bully and boast all he wants, but polls like that say it all.