The morning after Iran launched missile attacks against several Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, Fox News host Pete Hegseth suggested the U.S. may need to “rewrite the rules” of war in engaging Iran. And that might include bombing cultural sites and hospitals, he said.
Hegseth, an outside adviser to President Donald Trump who pushed him to pardon accused and convicted war criminals, reiterated his recent calls for targeting Iran’s infrastructure and oil refineries during a Wednesday morning appearance on Fox & Friends.
“I happen to believe that we can’t kick the can down the road any longer in trying to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb,” Hegseth declared. “They used the killing of [Qassem] Soleimani as an excuse to say, ‘we’re scrapping the Iran deal.’”
“We all know they were scrapping it anyway, so what better time than now to say, we’re starting the clock, you’ve got a week, you’ve got X amount of time before we start taking out your energy production facilities,” he added. “We take out key infrastructure. We take out your missile sites. We take out nuclear developments.”
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt, meanwhile, brought up Trump’s recent threat to hit 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites, should Iran retaliate following the assassination of Soleimani.
“But what do you know about these cultural sites,” she wondered. “Because we’re not supposed to be hitting cultural sites, but I understand, I’ve been hearing that we believe that the Iranians are hiding missiles and weapons in some of these cultural sites, churches, or mosques.”
“Of course they do. This is what Islamists do,” the Iraq War veteran exclaimed. “It’s what they’ve done in the battlefield against folks like me and my entire generation. Human shields, using mosques, using, you know, hospitals, schools. This is what our enemies do.”
He continued: “Now, that doesn’t mean we go on and target cultural sites. But what it means is we are clear-eyed about how our enemies use the rules that we write against us.”
After claiming that the rules of war are “rigged to help them so that we can’t win,” Hegseth then declared that “we need to rewrite the rules that are advantageous to us.”
“I don’t want to hit cultural sites on purpose,” he concluded, “but if you’re using one to harbor your most dangerous weapons, then that should be on the target list, too.”