American talk show host calls for mass violence against Afghans over terrorist attack that killed US citizens in Kabul
Talk show host Todd Starnes has called for the destruction of an Afghan city for every American killed after an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 12 US citizens.
Starnes’ post, made in the aftermath of two explosions at the Kabul airport on Thursday, seemingly blamed all Afghans for the carnage, which left at least 60 people dead, including 12 American servicemembers and numerous Afghan civilians.
But ethnically-misguided revenge fantasies from American talk show hosts are a dime a dozen, and have been throughout the ‘War on Terror’. The really shocking part of Starnes’ statement was that it was made on Twitter, which would normally send its moderators to swarm all over an opinion expressed by a conservative pundit. Even Twitter’s most free speech-friendly competitors ban incitement to violence, as well as expressions of ethnically- or nationally-based hate. Yet Starnes’ jingoistic tweet remained online, where many fellow tweeters used it as a piñata.
The kind of thing said from an arm chair with cake crumbs around the mouth. https://t.co/hUAJOZLv49— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 26, 2021
ah yes, indiscriminate mass-murder and genocide. who could have a problem with that?— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) August 26, 2021
Plenty of users pointed out that the US and its allies were already well on their way toward achieving such grisly proportions with almost 20 years of war.
The US has already killed a nearly a quarter-million Afghans and made 5.9 million refugees. I think they've done enough damage to Afghanistan already.— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) August 26, 2021
How “Christian” of you.Are you sure there any cities left in Afghanistan though after what you’ve done? https://t.co/cCEgc9xFvg— Richard Medhurst 🇸🇾🇵🇸 (@richimedhurst) August 26, 2021
And others rolled their eyes at what this would realistically accomplish.
I'm sure that will improve women's rights Todd. https://t.co/7LST3XgY0E— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) August 26, 2021
This is how terrorism gets started. The idea that you can kill people who are innocent of the crime you are avenging is terrorism. Don't be a terrorist @toddstarnes.— Libertarian Party of Texas (@LPTexas) August 26, 2021
After hours of such abuse, Starnes apparently deleted the tweet. Rather than simply erase it and slink away with his tail between his legs, however, he doubled down on the sentiment, insisting “the killing will continue” if “you do not threaten the Taliban with this sort of language.” That's despite the fact that the attack was carried out by Islamic State, and not the Taliban, which suffered its own losses in the aftermath.
If you do not threaten the Taliban with this sort of language, the killing will continue. Gotta play hard ball with evil.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) August 26, 2021
Some attempted to talk him back down to reality, pointing out that there was no evidence the Taliban had had anything to do with “the killing” and that 20 years of tough talk with the Taliban had produced the US retreat already underway.
Interesting you describe wiping an Afghanistan city off the face of the Earth as "hardball" and not also evil.— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) August 26, 2021
This wasn’t even done by the Taliban. You’re not threatening them, you’re threatening the Afghan people, you know…kind of like the ones you tweeted a prayer for earlier today.🙄 pic.twitter.com/x1wLmSLWYP— JJDiane ❤️🏳️🌈🗽 (@JJDianeM) August 26, 2021
…but it was of no use.
Several countries’ intelligence agencies had picked up ‘chatter’ about an impending attack on the airport, with the UK and US among others urging their citizens to vacate the area on Thursday morning. Even the Taliban had warned NATO that some terrorists might find the massive crowds thronging the airport irresistible and seek to attack it, then blame the Taliban in order to hurt its “reputation” in a false flag attack. The group had agreed to give the Americans until August 31 to evacuate, but refused to postpone the date any further.Also on rt.com We were the ones to warn NATO about potential terrorist plot targeting Kabul airport, Taliban spokesman tells Russian media
Twitter was one of the few social media platforms that didn’t deplatform senior members of the Taliban upon the news they had taken control of Kabul earlier this month. It's questionable this is the type of dialogue they were hoping to have, however.
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