Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has caused some controversy online after calling for "no quarter" on some of the protestors engaged in demonstrations across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd. In a tweet posted Monday, Cotton initially called for the "anarchy, rioting and looting" to end and threatened the deployment of the 101st Airborne Division.
That tweet received plenty of criticism on its own, including from Cox Media Capital Reporter Jamie Dupree. After quote-tweeting Cotton's initial tweet, he quote-tweeted Dupree, claiming he'd call for "whatever it takes to restore order." The tweet also included his reference to "no quarter," a military term that implies enemy combatants in battle wouldn't be captured but killed instead. The practice is outlawed in modern warfare, thanks to the 1907 Hague Convention that declared that the practice "is especially forbidden."
And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters. https://t.co/OnNJmnDrYM— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2020
Cotton is no stranger to over-the-top rhetoric. On May 19, he appeared on Hannity to explain his proposal to withhold stimulus payments from certain cities that he claimed would spend "hard-earned taxpayer dollars on illegal immigrants." While controversial, his call for specific lawbreakers to be killed without trial didn't sit well with voters on Twitter.
Sen. Tom Cotton suggests "no quarter" for rioters and looters.
Historically, it means you kill people rather than arrest them.
It's a literal war crime. pic.twitter.com/Y63ZkJWNlS— Lis Power (@LisPower1) June 1, 2020
Hi @SenSchumer @senatemajldr one of your Republican colleagues is calling for the U.S. military to summarily execute American citizens in the street. Perhaps a joint statement condemning this is in order?https://t.co/BB2JkqkxGB— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) June 1, 2020
“No quarter” in war traditionally means “kill them all, spare none”. So I have three thoughts:
1: I truly believe the vast majority of our military will disobey such an unlawful order
2: The Joint Chiefs need to immediately denounce this
3: Tom Cotton should be impeached https://t.co/6vW5Kgywpk— John #BlackLivesMatter (@mistermegative) June 1, 2020
Today, June 1, 2020, Harvard Law graduate and US Senator @SenTomCotton called for the deployment of battle hardened US Army combat units to America’s burning cities with shoot to kill orders. He wants the US Army to kill Americans. Cotton is a dangerous man. Radical and illiberal— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 1, 2020
Senator Tom Cotton is ex-military, so he should know that the term "no quarter" means enemy combatants are to be killed and not permitted to surrender or be taken captive. It is considered a war crime under international law. https://t.co/vXTt2yzITe— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) June 1, 2020
Tom Cotton is calling for "No quarter" against civilians and Matt Gaetz wants to "hunt down Antifa". They want to kill Americans over some broken windows and shoplifting. They really just want to kill people not in their political party. They are the real terrorists.— Secret Agent Number Six (@DesignationSix) June 1, 2020
People are talking in circles about this. To sum it up, Tom Cotton used the term "no quarter" (which was a term used by Confederates to kill all Black Union soldiers) as a racially coded, dog whistle for law enforcement to kill Black Americans on sight, by calling them "looters" https://t.co/DmvzDYXGPd— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) June 1, 2020
Tom Cotton thinks police violence is unacceptable...against Hong Kong citizens.
For US citizens Tom Cotton wants military force and issues illegal war crime “no quarter” order. pic.twitter.com/IXyJVCSVVF— Karl Darrin Devlet (@hesanihilist) June 1, 2020
More Kent States. More Jackson States. More tanks in Tiananmen. More dogs for Bull Conner. More blood. No quarter.
Tom Cotton, a statesman for our time. https://t.co/b7njchjGU1— David Simon (@AoDespair) June 1, 2020
No Quarter literally means leave nobody alive. Take no prisoners. Kill them all. It’s against the Geneva Convention and a war crime. Tom Cotton should be fully rebuked and investigated by the FBI.— Jarrid (@ChefSkeptic) June 1, 2020
A no quarter order is a war crime, prohibited even in actual insurrection since Abraham Lincoln's signed the Lieber Code in 1863. Such an order is banned by international law and would, if carried out, be murder under American law. https://t.co/YbSw1sM9KW https://t.co/OiNsRT7PPy— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 1, 2020
This is what “no quarter” means in today’s context: a fascistic police state with authority backed by military technology and personnel. This is what Senator Cotton is advocating—the end of government by the people and the administration of “justice” at the barrel of a gun. https://t.co/H7AlJnNxeZ— James Miner (@jminer137) June 2, 2020