Donald Trump is a showman who plays to the gallery. His latest tweet about an incident involving General Pershing when he was the governor of the Muslim majority province of Moro (1909-13) is another of his attempts to present facts in a way that support his views. In the wake of Thursday's deadly attack in Barcelona when a van plowed into a crowd and killed 13, The President has tweeted that General Pershing had the right ideas in dealing with terrorists. Army General John "Black Jack" Pershing was born in 1860 and died in 1948. After his stint as governor of the Moro Province, he took part in World War I and at the end of the war was promoted General of the Armies, the highest rank in the army at that time.

Trump has tweeted that all must study how General Pershing finished terrorism in Moro with one act in a way that there was no radical Islamic terror for the next 25 years. News week has reported this news.

The incident

Trump had earlier referred to this incident of General Pershing in February 2016 at a rally in South Carolina and then related the story of how General Pershing treated the captured Muslim fighters. The Washington Post carried this story and reported that Trump told the crowd that Pershing used bullets dyed in pig’s blood to shoot the terrorists. Pigs are deemed impure in Islam and Trump probably liked the effect of his words on the crowd.

The story of Pershing executing 49 out of 50 terrorists with bullets and pigs blood has been doing the rounds for decades.

It cannot be confirmed that this story is true as no eye witness or any historical record of the same is available.

Historians are skeptic

Many websites have tried to find the truth of what happened but have concluded the story is not true. Generally, most historians also look at this story with skepticism. However, it must be stated that there is no smoke without fire and it is probable that General Pershing dealt harshly with the Muslim terrorist caught but the story of bullets dyed in pig’s blood has never been proved.

As per historian Brian McAllister Linn of A&M Texas University, the story is without foundation and probably a fabrication but all the same, the president has brought it out to say that a tough stand is required against Islamic Jihadi elements. Whatever the facts the president is not wrong when he says that a tough line is needed against Jihadi elements. But his propensity to twist facts to suit his line of thought is cause for alarm.