Is intentional maiming and mayhem a war crime?

Is intentional maiming and mayhem a war crime?
by digby

Remember when Trump implied that we might have to behead some terrorists to show who's boss? We're getting close:

I'm sure he's very proud:

The Pentagon’s senior enlisted service member has issued a blunt warning to Islamic State fighters, saying in new social-media posts that they could either surrender or face death in a number of forms, including being beaten to death with steel entrenching tools.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser in the Pentagon, issued the warnings on Facebook and Twitter. Senior U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have warned Islamic State fighters for months that they must lay down their weapons or face annihilation, but Troxell’s message was unusually forceful.

“ISIS needs to understand that the Joint Force is on orders to annihilate them,” Troxell wrote on Facebook. “So, they have two options should they decide to come up against the United States, our allies and partners: surrender or die!”

Troxell added that the U.S.-led military coalition will provide militants who surrender with safety in a detainee cell, food, a cot and legal due process.

“HOWEVER, if they choose not to surrender, then we will kill them with extreme prejudice, whether that be through security force assistance, by dropping bombs on them, shooting them in the face, or beating them to death with our entrenching tools,” Troxell wrote. “Regardless, they cannot win, so they need to choose how it’s going to be.”

Very strong. Very impressive. But really, they need to start putting heads on pikes or maybe do some disemboweling if they really want to get their point across. Of course, beating someone to death with that "entrenching tool" would probably do just that.
Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for Dunford and the Joint Staff, said that Troxell’s comments emphasized the sincerity of the U.S.-led coalition’s resolve to defeat the Islamic State over the last four years. Ryder noted the count atrocities that the militants have committed against men, women and children.

“His intent was to communicate the tenacity of the warrior ethos that, even when faced with the brutal and unforgiving nature of combat, will use every resource available to fight and win,” Ryder said of Troxell.

When you have a monstrous commander in chief like Trump, probably best to rhetorically err on the side of civilized, legal behavior. People could get the wrong idea.