US President Donald Trump on Thursday invoked debunked pig’s blood myth related to an American general while tweeting on Barcelona terror attack.
He wrote, “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Just like the BJP is accused of relying on fake photoshop industry to spread propaganda, Trump has often relied on information to push his pro-bigotry argument using inaccurate information.
As is often the nature of popularity of fake news, the myth on General Pershing too has been widely circulated on internet even though this has been proven wrong by historians.
According to the myth, a US general John Pershing had ‘shot dead’ 49 out of 50 Muslims using bullets dipped in pig’s blood during the US war in the Philippines in the early 1900s. He deliberately kept the last man alive so that he could go share what happened to his people.
The pig’s blood story, even though proven fake, found plenty of takers because the animal is considered unclean for Muslims all over the world.
Trump’s tweet came hours after 13 people were killed in Barcelona after a van crashed into a crowd in the Spanish city. He condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona and offered help to the Spanish authorities after a man ploughed his van on pedestrians, killing at least one person and injuring 32 others.
He also said that the US will do whatever is necessary to help Spain.
“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help.
Be tough and strong, we love you!” Trump said in a tweet. An advisory has also been issued to American citizens in the area to stay in touch with their “loved ones”.
“We offer our condolences to the loss of life and the injuries that have occurred to so many innocent people yet again. We will continue to monitor the situation. We stand ready to assist law enforcement and national security authorities in Spain,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a joint news conference with the Defence Secretary and their Japanese counterparts.
“Our consulate in Barcelona and our entire Mission Spain team are currently assisting Americans in Spain who are affected by these events.
“We ask US citizens in the area to let your loved ones know you are safe. Terrorists around the world should know the United States and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to justice,” he said.
The Department of Homeland Security said it has reached out to Spanish authorities, and is standing by to support them.
“We will not let terrorism become the new normal.
Instead, such acts of violence only harden our resolve to fight back against violent extremists, bring them to justice, and dismantle their networks,” it said in a statement.