Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

Trump Shames America and Puts Us All in Greater Danger

Middle East, Terrorism, Trump Maladministration

Coward-in-Chief Donald Trump has shamed America and made all of us less safe with his probably unconstitutional ban on certain refugees:

Mr. Trump’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen on Friday afternoon, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The September 11 terrorist attacks were mentioned several times in the order; note that none of the September 11 perpetrators were from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen. They were nearly all from Saudi Arabia; one guy was from the United Arab Emirates.

Oh, wait — Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants excludes countries with ties to his businesses. Never mind.

Now, let’s look at the immediate effect of this ban:

President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated through the United States and across the globe on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked as an interpreter for the United States Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio, among countless others.

Around the nation, security officers at major international gateways had new rules to follow. Humanitarian organizations scrambled to cancel long-planned programs, delivering the bad news to families who were about to travel. Refugees who were airborne on flights when the order was signed were detained at airports.

At least one case quickly prompted a legal challenge as lawyers representing two Iraqi refugees held at Kennedy International Airport in New York filed a motion early Saturday seeking to have their clients released. They also filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and other immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.

The  order bans people about to travel here who had already been vetted every which way from Sunday. The order bans people who already had been living in the U.S. on legal green cards who happened to be traveling out of the country when the ban went into effect:

A homeland security spokesman also said on Saturday that green card holders who effectively hold permanent US residency from the seven countries, will be included in the temporary ban.

Ali Abdi, an Iranian with permanent residency in the US, said the measure means he is now in limbo in Dubai. He says he can’t go to Iran because he has been outspoken about human rights violations there, can’t return to the US because of the visa bans, and can’t stay longer in Dubai as his visa will run out.

“I am an Iranian PhD student of anthropology in the US. Doing fieldwork is the defining method of our discipline,” he said. “I left New York on 22 January, two days after he was sworn in.

“Now in Dubai, I’m waiting for the issuance of my visa to enter Afghanistan to carry out the ethnographic research. The language of the racist executive order he just signed is ambiguous, but it is likely to prevent permanent residents like me from returning to the country where I am a student, where I have to defend my thesis.

“Meanwhile, it’s not yet clear whether the consulate of Afghanistan in Dubai would issue the visa I need in order to stay in Kabul for a year, and I cannot stay in Dubai for long or my UAE visa would expire. It’s not wise to go to Iran either,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “This is just one story among thousands.”

This ban was nothing but chest-thumping on Trump’s part. He was even stupid enough to say, out loud, in public, for the record,, that Christian refugees would be prioritized over Muslim refugees.

This was met from an immediate backlash — from Christians.

The announcement was met with immediate backlash from leaders of nearly every Christian denomination, along with those of other faiths. They argue that Trump’s actions do not reflect the teachings of the Bible, nor the traditions of the United States, and they have urged the president to let them get back to work—many of the country’s most prominent refugee resettlement organizations are faith-based.

The extremist right wing of American Christianity supports the ban, and the discrimination, of course, but they’ve already thrown Jesus and the Gospels under the bus to gain political power.

I also predict Trump’s chest-thumping will lead to an increase in violence aimed at Americans, including those serving in our military overseas.

Across the Muslim world, the refrain was resounding: President Trump’s freeze on refugee arrivals and visa requests from seven predominantly Muslim countries will have major diplomatic repercussions, worsen perceptions of Americans and offer a propaganda boost to the terrorist groups Mr. Trump says he is targeting. …

…“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said as he signed the order at the Pentagon. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”

We don’t want who here? All Muslims? Is this s putting a big, fat “shoot me” sign on all Americans.

But in interviews with dozens of officials, analysts and ordinary citizens across Muslim-majority countries, there was overwhelming agreement that the order issued Friday signaled a provocation: a sign that the American president sees Islam itself as the problem.

“I think this is going to alienate the whole Muslim world,” said Mouwafak al-Rubaie, a lawmaker and former Iraqi national security adviser in Iraq.

“Terrorists can say, ‘See, their aim is not terror but Muslims,’ ” said Ilter Turan, a professor of international relations at Bilgi University in Istanbul.

Even George W. Bush wasn’t this stupid. He was careful to put out all kinds of signals that the U.S. had no enmity toward Islam, just terrorism.

Now, according to some of America’s most experienced veterans of Arab diplomacy, that important distinction has been compromised — and along with it America’s relationship with the very people it is seeking to befriend.

“The Islamic State says it is leading the war against the U.S.,” said Ryan C. Crocker, who served as the United States ambassador to five Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, between 1990 and 2012. “Now it only has to pump out our press releases to prove that.”

Mr. Trump’s executive order will alienate the pro-Western elites that Americans turn to for help in Muslim countries, Mr. Crocker said. And it broke promises to people who have risked their lives to help American soldiers or diplomats.

“You know, we can be cynical about these things, but values count,” Mr. Crocker said. “This is a core identity of ours that we are repudiating in a very callous fashion. What do we do — get a new inscription on the Statue of Liberty?”

It’s cowardly, I tell you, and it will make us less safe, not more safe.

Speaking of which — I’d heard the Coward-in-Chief had released a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that forgot to mention Jews.  So I went to the website, following a google link, because I wanted to read the statement for myself. OMG — have you been there lately? He’s turned it into a campaign site for his movement/ego.

I was greeted by a popup asking me to join Trump’s movement and make America great again. Clicking past that, I was confronted by a video of Trump’s inauguration. He’s turned the White House website into some ghastly campaign site.

I finally did find the statement on the Holocaust, which did indeed fail to mention Jews. The last paragraph was just odd:

“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”

And then the creep goes and signs an order banning Muslim refugees? Christians fleeing persecution must be given priority over Muslims fleeing persecution? This is a degree of self-obliviousness rarely seen on this planet.

Update: The Boston Marathon bombers were from Chechnya. One of the San Bernadino terrorists was from Pakistan, although the other was born in the U.S. of Pakistani parents. Am I missing something? Apparently not:

President Trump’s freeze on immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries cites the potential threat of terrorism. But here’s the twist — it doesn’t include any countries from which radicalized Muslims have actually killed Americans in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.

The president’s executive action, which he signed Friday at the Pentagon, applies to these countries: Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan.

Yet no Muslim extremist from any of these places has carried out a fatal attack in the U.S. in more than two decades.

In contrast, here are the countries of origin of radicalized Muslims who carried out deadly attacks in the U.S., beginning on Sept. 11, 2001: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Russia and Pakistan.

The two lists are completely distinct, raising all sorts of questions about the reasoning behind the White House plan.

I doubt “reasoning” was involved at all.

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