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Opinion

Readers React: We knew Trump was OK with war crimes — and we elected him anyway

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President Trump speaks about modernizing the immigration system in the White House Rose Garden on May 16.
(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

To the editor: The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board should not be surprised by reports that President Trump is considering pardoning Americans suspected of committing war crimes. He has never wavered on this issue.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to bring back waterboarding and much more. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of torture, and he was elected as the 45th president of the United States.

What’s more, this was never a big issue in the election, and it has never been much of an issue in the media. So, it’s a little late to be indignant about this. The American people seem not to care.

Like so many things that Trump says and does, it’s not about the president, it’s about the people.

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Stan Brown, Victorville

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To the editor: For a while our dear country has been sliding down the slippery slope of, as you quote retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as saying, not taking “law of armed conflict seriously.”

Just going back two administrations, President George W. Bush had his lawyers bend the law on torture, and President Obama extrajudicially assassinated an American citizen with a drone strike.

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I don’t like what Trump is doing, but let’s not be surprised.

Stephen Fischer, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Let’s face it — war is not for the faint of heart. The job of the military is to break things and defeat the enemy. You may not like that, but it is the harsh reality.

Some time ago, a colleague of mine asked if we were ever going to defeat Islamic extremism. I said no; here’s why.

First, you cannot win a war when you are charging your own troops with crimes. Second, we have not been allowed to win a war since 1945 (and even then, the West did not win in Europe — the Soviets did). Finally, you cannot win when political correctness determines the rules of engagement.

You cannot kill the enemy when you have your hands tied behind your back.

Joseph A. Lea, Mission Viejo

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