Ted Cruz: Republican Presidential Candidate Calls For Airstrikes With More ‘Tolerance For Civilian Casualties’ After Paris Terrorist Attack

Ted Cruz has stirred up controversy after suggesting the United States conduct more aggressive airstrikes in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, saying he believed they should have more “tolerance for civilian casualties.”

Speaking in the hours after the terrorist attacks that have left at least 158 people dead in Paris, Cruz suggested a new bombing campaign against radical Islamists.

In a long message posted to his website, Cruz said the attack was part of escalating violence from these groups, and it demands a strong response.

“Such steps, however, are defensive reactions to an enemy that will continue to try to attack us until they succeed once again. We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life.”

Cruz connected the attack in Paris to the downing of a Russian jet over Egypt, which has been linked to the Islamist militant group ISIS. Cruz wrote that American officials must closely consult with NATO allies who could be the target of further attacks, and “immediately declare a halt” to any plans to bring refugees in who could be infiltrated by ISIS.

Others have echoed Cruz’s call to stop refugees from entering the United States, and a number of governors have said their states will not take in these refugees. While some believe they have no control over it, the situation seems to be setting up a political showdown on the matter should the federal government force states to comply.

Many politicians have responded in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, vowing support for America’s ally. President Barack Obama pledged to stand in solidarity with France, calling the attack outrageous and saying it was an attack on all humanity.

But many of the comments were overshadowed by Cruz, who is no stranger to making controversial remarks. Earlier this year, Cruz suggested he would kill Iran’s ayatollah if the country were to continue seeking nuclear weapons under his hypothetical presidency.

CNN reported that Cruz also remarked he would take the Iran nuclear deal and and “rip (it) to shreds” if he were elected president.

“And if the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to the 72 virgins,” Cruz said, referring to a believe among some Muslims that they would be rewarded in heaven with 72 virgins if they die a martyr.

Many slammed Cruz’s remarks, including the Occupy Democrats website, which also took Cruz to task for his seeming lack of knowledge of Muslim philosophy.

“In a breathtaking show of dangerous extremism and astounding disrespect for (our) nation, our president, and the international community, Cruz announced that on his first day as President, he would “rip to shreds” the Iranian nuclear peace deal and threatened to kill Iran’s leaders. ‘If the ayatollah [Sayyid Ali Khamenei] doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to the 72 virgins’ (Referring to the misconception that virgins await Islamic martyrs in heaven). The enormity of those statement(s) is simply astounding and enormously offensive.”

But despite his controversial remarks on the Paris terrorist attacks, it seemed that many followers stood with Ted Cruz and agreed with his assessment that the United States needs to be more aggressive in its targeting of Islamist militants.

[Picture by John Raoux / Associated Press]