Trump’s Incoherent Anti-Terrorism Policy

By blocking travelers from seven mostly Muslim nations – but not ones that have sent terrorists to the U.S. – President Trump has pushed an incoherent policy that may increase the risks of terrorism, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

Donald Trump’s efforts, during his first week in office, to give substance to his campaign rhetoric have involved executive orders that have generated reactions ranging from bemusement over their vagueness to worried waiting for other shoes to drop. But the previous orders do not do as much quick damage, both to individual U.S. persons and their families and to broader U.S. foreign relations and national security, as the grossly mistitled order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. Dec. 16, 2015. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The heartlessness of what the order does regarding asylum and resettlement for refugees fleeing strife and persecution is bad enough. In addition to humanitarian considerations, the move undercuts everything Trump has said about burden-sharing — such as when he complains about NATO and the contributions of other members of the alliance.

Trump has repeatedly portrayed his objective regarding the processing of foreign applications for admission to the United States, and what this executive order supposedly begins to implement, as “extreme vetting” that is somehow more rigorous than what has been in place. He ignores, however, how the existing vetting is among the most rigorous by any country, and by many standards rather extreme already.

The sudden and sweeping nature of the barrier to travel that Trump has thrown up is already having deleterious effects on many U.S. citizens. First- and second-generation Americans especially are suddenly being kept separate from parents and spouses. And that is just a portion of the hardship being experienced by innocent individuals with legal status in the United States, such as businessmen returning from overseas or students and scholars returning from conferences.

The order, despite the title, is divorced from where actual terrorist threats to the United States are most likely to come from. The order does nothing to protect against the kind of attacks the United States has most experienced in the decade and a half since 9/11, perpetrated by radical individuals, including U.S. citizens, in places such as Fort Hood or Orlando. It ignores how terrorism in the West generally has not been the work of individuals who are nationals of countries whose regimes we don’t happen to like.

Favoring Christians

The order is anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, and will be primarily read as such by audiences overseas, given the previously established record of Islamophobia of Trump and some others with high positions in his administration. The President reinforced that message Friday in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, in which he said that in any future refugee resettlement his administration would give preference to Christians over members of other religious groups.

Syrian women and children refugees at Budapest railway station. (Photo from Wikipedia)

In using a falsehood (or lie, or “alternative fact,” or however one chooses to label it), Trump asserted about U.S. practices to date, “If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”

In fact, the United States admitted nearly as many Christian refugees (37,521) as Muslims (38,901) in fiscal year 2016, even though Muslims constitute a significantly higher proportion of people suffering from, and fleeing from, war and violence in the Middle East.

This kind of religious litmus test is a marked departure from the best historical traditions of American taking in tired, poor, huddled masses. It is a throwback to some of the most ignoble phases of American history. “Yellow peril” of bygone years has now been replaced by Trump’s “green peril.” Such religious discrimination in admitting foreigners may also be illegal, as a violation of law that was enacted to prevent a return to the more prejudicial practices of the past.

As for terrorism, the anti-Muslim nature of this order is likely to increase anti-U.S. terrorism rather than decrease it. The order is music to the ears of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other violent groups that portray in their propaganda and recruitment pitches a world engulfed in a war between Islam and a Judeo-Christian West that is led by the United States and is out to persecute Muslims. Persuading other governments, especially in the Muslim world, to cooperate with the United States in the name of counterterrorism will be made more difficult. And Americans will be more, not less, likely to fall victim to terrorism perpetrated by Islamist extremists.

The designation of the nationals of seven states (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for the most sweeping prohibition on entry to the United States (i.e, for all travelers, not just refugees) for at least 90 days reinforces the anti-Islam flavor of the executive order, given that these are all Muslim-majority countries. This grouping of states was first named in legislation that the Republican-controlled Congress passed last year as “countries of concern.” But that legislation had to do with which countries were or were not to be eligible for the visa-waiver program. The new executive order is instead a blanket ban on all travel to the United States, visa or no visa.

A Bizarre List

Conceivably this list of seven could dilute the anti-Islam flavor of the order somewhat, given that other Muslim-majority countries are not so listed. But looking closely at who was listed and who wasn’t only underscores how far divorced this matter is from counterterrorism. No one from any of the seven countries on the list has killed anyone in a terrorist attack in the United States. By contrast, the hijackers who perpetrated 9/11 came mostly from Saudi Arabia and the rest from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon; none of these countries are on the list.

The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

To the extent any distinction is being made between Muslims the administration most wants to keep out and others to whom it will be a little more tolerant, the distinction seems to be made for unrelated reasons that some regimes get favored and others don’t. The reasons not only don’t have to do with terrorism but also don’t relate to democracy or human rights either.

And maybe there’s an additional explanation, very much in the realm of the ignoble. It has not escaped the notice of media that some of the principal countries — including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt — that legitimately could be objects of worry as exporters of terrorists but aren’t on the no-travel list are ones in which Trump in his private capacity has done business or sought to make deals. Thus this matter will be one of the first of what are likely to be many presidential decisions about which, as long as Trump flouts ethical principles and refuses to divest himself of his business interests, understandable questions will be raised about his motives.

On the same day he signed the executive order with the travel bans, Trump implicitly raised the same sort of question about another of his positions that goes against U.S. interests: his support for Brexit and his overall antipathy toward the European Union. In an appearance with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May, the President remarked that in seeking necessary approvals for his business deals in Europe, getting approvals from individual countries was “fast, easy and efficient” but that he had a “very bad experience” with the E.U., where it was “very, very tough” to get approvals. Then he put in a plug for his golf course at Turnberry.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.) 

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38 comments for “Trump’s Incoherent Anti-Terrorism Policy

  1. Zachary Smith
    January 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Since the term “Obama” isn’t used in this essay, I’d suggest googling this headline.

    “Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you”

    It is one of several I found this morning at the Naked Capitalism site in their “Links”.

    The public should be suspicious of Trump’s policies and the media should speak truth to power and demand answers from the administration. But the media should also be truthful with the public and instead of claiming Trump singled out seven countries, it should note that the US Congress and Obama’s Department of Homeland Security had singled out these countries. It should have told us about theTerrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 rather than pretend this list was invented in 2017. Trump’s executive order said “countries of concern,” it didn’t make a list. That list was already made, last year and years before.

    Trump is new at the job, and admittedly he isn’t doing very well – yet. I don’t believe there can be any similar excuse for Obama & Co. when they were doing this.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      January 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Zachary I’m not 100% sure, but I saw some mention to the effect that the seven country list came from the Bush Adminstration. It also could be the same seven country list in five years that Wesley Clark spoke about back in 2005. I’m not an apologist for anyone, just want to get it right.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        January 31, 2017 at 3:17 am

        What I found would take to long to relate, but let’s put it this way if this past weekend CNN would have shown people dancing in the streets with joy over the immigration ban, you would have never heard the name Obama mentioned by this new White House.

        Global Research has an article of Wesley Clark on Democracy Now when he said in 2007 the 7 nations in 5 years….6 of today’s 7 were mentioned. Then HLS has where Obama signed a visa waiver where that Adminstration I believe uses the wording ‘nations of concern’ (ur damn right blowback baby) and Obama signed this back in 2015, and then he added 2 more nations in 2016. In a normal world it would make sense to have a high level of concern with nations you are at war with, but in our world America’s terrorist come from our allies. Any psychology you may apply to you having suspension of inside jobs under the conditions a mentioned previously will get you labeled a conspiracy theorist gook….only in America.

    • Evangelista
      January 31, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Just a quick notification, required for the “News Industry” (MSM [Main Stream Media] and ALTT [Also Less That Truthful] both) fictionalizing The Trump Dangerous Muslims Ban to a “Muslim Ban”:

      The focus of the Trum Order is “Dangerous Muslims”, as defined by perceptible within-groupings inclinations to terrorism, Da’esh activism and the like, and having less than trustable screening facilities and capabilities. The ban is not, as it is being characterized for anti-Trump propaganda purposes, a ban on all of Muslim faith.

      The focus being to guarding against dangerous Muslims (violent Muslim Puritan fanatics), and not to non-violent rational religiously Muslim persons, makes the Presidential Order legal. It also makes the direction of the Order to specific groups legitimate.

      Arguments and hyperventilations that the ‘ban’ is a “Muslim Ban” are, for the focus of the Order being to “dangerous Muslims”, Not legitimate. They are off-point and irrelevant.

      Wrongful inclusions, for example, Iran, whose extra-national aggressive actions have included legitimate intercepts and assaults, and whose “terrorist” activities, including taking hostages, have occurred within its borders (or in retaliations given legitimacy by the like being accepted legitimate when undertaken by other nations (specifically the US), are legitimately contestable as inappropriate.

      Other inclusions may be contestable on humanitarian grounds, which may be met by appropriate procedures to separate the sheep from the wolves, which humanitarianism requires to be put in place. Such measures require measures of time to bring on line . For this hysterias in the first couple of days, or couple of weeks, are propaganda, fluff and mindlessly hostile blather.

      We can all save a lot of time and make addresses more focused and on point to legitimate issues if we ignore the hysterical media at least long enough to Read the Original Documents, and find out what the Media Mud-Wrestlers are not aware of and so not reporting, for their incompetence that no one with a working brain can today not be aware of and not recognize to be next to certain.

  2. Vera
    January 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    “Blazing Guns” Trump…

  3. Lee
    January 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    There is a way to attack what Trump is doing, in the context of America’s record over the last 16 years. If the attacks on Trump suggest that Obama was virtuous, this is a blatant misrepresentation. Ever since Trump won the nomination, the “liberal” media (which is anything but liberal) did their best to hide the crimes and hideous policies of both Obama and Clinton. The way to tell the truth is to expose the full historical context. It doesnt make Trump any better, but it prevents us from becoming fools.

  4. Zachary Smith
    January 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I just read a piece at ZeroHedge which may explain the scale and fury of the attack on Trump about restricting people coming to the US. The Big Corporations may be setting the stage for an all-out attack Trump’s next move – restricting their H-1B visa cheap-labor employees. The very nerve of him preferring Americans over lower-paid foreigners!

    Headline to google: “Why The Cold War Between Tech CEOs and Trump Is About To Go Nuclear”

  5. Bill Bodden
    January 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    The heartlessness of what the order does regarding asylum and resettlement for refugees fleeing strife and persecution is bad enough.

    And it is doubly odious when we consider the foreign policies of the United States in the Middle East and North Africa were and are major factors in creating this refugee crisis. It is difficult to determine what, if any, effect the airport protest will have in influencing the Trump administration, but at least they will let the world know there are some decent Americans who are offended by this ban.

    Thus this matter will be one of the first of what are likely to be many presidential decisions about which, as long as Trump flouts ethical principles and refuses to divest himself of his business interests, understandable questions will be raised about his motives.

    More than likely most of Trump’s decisions will not be based as much on putting America first as what’s in it for Trump – and, perhaps, his ego.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 30, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Bill – Trump is doing what he was elected to do, secure the borders. Unfortunately, Trump has to deal with all of the baggage the U.S. has accumulated over the last few decades. The countries he is putting a temporary ban on are the very countries who have been most harmed by U.S. foreign policy; therefore, they are the most likely to be angry with the U.S. citizens and possibly bent on revenge.

      Saudi citizens are not going to angry with the U.S. They’re going to be angry with Russia because Russia have prevented ISIS (Saudi’s proxy) from winning. This might explain why two Russian passenger airliners have been blown to smithereens in the last few years (one carrying the Russian choir on Xmas night, 2016; the other one over the Sinai Peninsula).

      Trump has to clean up the huge mess left behind. Hopefully he can join Russia in attacking ISIS, stop the funding of ISIS, thereby scattering them to the wind. If ISIS don’t have funding, they’ll pack up. Saudi Arabia, the gulf states and Israel need to be told to cease and desist.

      It is always better to have the refugees return to their home country, after fighting has stopped, so they can help rebuild it. If you take all of their doctors, dentists, scientists, teachers, you will have gutted the country. That leaves them with nothing. First the country is bombed, thousands killed, and then you take all of their best citizens.

      Bill, I have hope that this will all soon end.

      • David Hewson
        January 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        What strange logic. Ignore those countries that have already harmed the U.S. and proved their hatred and ban those from places that have not !!
        Add to this the real horror of Americans shooting their own children in numbers that exceed by far those killed by outside terrorists which Trump is going to tackle by arming even more madmen and we have reached the point where the asylum is being run by the inmates.

    • SteveK9
      January 31, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      The Obama dropped 26,172 bombs (actually bombing sorties) in 2016. Were you ‘offended’ at all by that? Or, does it pale by comparison with stopping someone in an airport?

  6. D5-5
    January 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    From Robert’s recent analysis on this topic that Trump has gone “politically correct” while pretending not to re neocon influence, we should add conflict of interest problems due to policies formed in line with his business interests, as with this piece. Additional concerns include competition on competing pipelines and water rights let alone Trump’s braggadocio with “we should have taken the oil.” On the one hand he’s an incompetent buffoon and on the other an evil manipulating genius. (And here we are at the beginning of his second week).

    What I more specifically object to here is “another of his positions that goes against US interests: his support for Brexit and overall antipathy toward the EU.” Supporting Brexit and critiquing the EU is not an automatic sign of “[going] against US interests” if those interests are separated from Wall Street neocon thinking and related to his base, and what helped win him the election. Brexit and critique of EU can be argued without automatically signaling one is a xenophobe.

  7. Bill Bodden
    January 30, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    “Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister”.by Glenn Greenwald – https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-old-american-in-yemen-trump-just-killed-his-8-year-old-sister/

    Abstract: “And Trump notoriously vowed during the campaign to target not only terrorists but also their families. All of that demands aggressive, independent inquiries into this operation.” That looks like a war crime to me.

  8. January 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    See this story at link below:
    “Friendly Reminder: Obama Selected The List Of Muslim Countries in Trump’s Executive Order”
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/01/29/news-bulletin-the-list-of-muslim-nations-in-trumps-socalled-muslim-ban-are-ones-obama-choose-n2278021

    • backwardsevolution
      January 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Stephen – good link. One of the commenters brought up an important point:

      “Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iran. With the exception of Iran, NONE have functioning central governments. How can we vet fully?”

      You can’t.

  9. January 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    A question worth asking:
    “Where was the outrage when Obama was hurting innocent foreigners?”
    http://rare.us/story/where-was-the-outrage-when-obama-was-hurting-innocent-foreigners/

    • Bill Bodden
      January 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      CounterPunch and other websites and their readers were opposed to Obama in several ways before and during his presidency.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm

        Bill Bodden – but we didn’t see huge protests against Obama. It seemed okay to bomb these people year after year, but ban them? No way. That doesn’t make sense, does it?

      • Zachary Smith
        January 31, 2017 at 12:25 am

        A story at Counterpunch is already calling for Trump’s impeachment. That sure didn’t take long.

        Story title to google: “The Case for Impeachment: Donald Trump’s Islamophobia and the Threat to the Constitution”

        About the same time I found the one above, I ran into this at the Middle East Reality site.

        “Bill & Hillary Clinton & Obama until LAST WEEK murdered a million Muslims. Trump imposed a travel ban. And HE is the No 1 villain?” (George Galloway tweet, 30/1/17)

        Not being up on British politics I’m not sure who Galloway is nor where he got the “million” number, but he makes a good point about keeping things in perspective.

        • John
          January 31, 2017 at 10:50 pm

          George Galloway is a former British MP. He is supposed to be having a movie out soon – “The Killing of Tony Blair”. He goes way back, having helped transport arms to the ANC in the Apartheid years. He converted to Islam years ago, and is one of the most vocal supporters of Palestine for decades. He is a Socialist, and started the Respect Party in the UK during the Blair takeover of Labor.
          He hosts shows on PressTV and RT.

          In other words, check him out.

    • ADL
      February 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      This is the 2nd time someone has linked false info concerning the Visa Waiver Program and Bill 158.
      One more time – the 2015 Visa Waiver Program Bill 158 was NOT Obama’s idea or initiative.

      “Following] on widespread anxiety and fear following the Paris terrorist attacks and the San Bernardino shooting … Congresswoman Candice Miller slid the H.R. 158 rider into the must-pass budget bill, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill 2015 … this bill was passed almost unanimously in the House and signed into law by President Obama on December 16 [2015]”

      BTW – Congresswoman Miller is Republican and Tea party. It was a rider wholly pandering to fear-mongering and Islamophobia.

      The VWP was and is exactly that – a WAIVER program making it easier for foreigners to travel to USA. Bill 158 made it harder, but did NOT BAN, travel from those 7 countries. In essence those 7 countries now had to jump thru more hoops to get cleared for travel to US. There is a huge difference between making someone physically apply to a visa at their Consulate – than Banning travel.

      So unless someone can please find documentation of Obama’s involvement other than signing the ‘must pass’ Omnibus Spending Bill 2016 we need to stop this constant propaganda. Which is what it is.

  10. D5-5
    January 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I would just like to add, and thanking consortium news commentators for their tolerance, that my effort to let out the fuse length on Trump has run to a stop here this morning with the news of his ordering the attack in Yemen that killed 8 women and 8 children. Duplicity and tears of the crocodile in business as usual stand foremost for me right now along with the wearying more of the same same. It would seem Trump’s vanity is the foremost card in everything he does, and “lookin’ good” his foremost driving impulse. I’m just hopeful all this attention to Anwar Aw-laki’s 8 year old daughter is not a variation on the white helmets propaganda.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170130-us-soldiers-shoot-and-kill-8-year-old-girl-in-yemen/

    • backwardsevolution
      January 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      D5-5 – if this truly happened the way it did, I am hopeful that Trump will put an immediate stop to this genocide. What the heck are American soldiers doing in there, anyway? Are they paid mercenaries? U.S. soldiers should be hauled out of there and Saudi Arabia should be sanctioned hard. What should be investigated is who exactly is supplying the money for these wars in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. Whose bank accounts are supplying the money? Once we know that, then any assets they own in the U.S. should be frozen. And who are the American, British, Russian (and other) companies who are selling arms to these killers?

      You are also correct to mention that this could be propaganda. We will have to wait and see. Dmitri Orlov had a post on who the U.S. would strike next. His conclusion: Saudi Arabia.

    • Zachary Smith
      January 31, 2017 at 12:41 am

      There is so much propaganda floating around it’s impossible to be certain about anything. Here is what an agitated (probably foreign) blogger is reporting about that raid.

      Yesterday, people were protesting at airports against Trump’s new immigration restriction. Lots of outrage against Trump ensued on social media over this and the other issues. The hypocrisy here stinks to high heaven. Where were the protest when Obama did similar? Where are the protests demanding the repeal of the Patriot Act? Where are the anti-war protests? These died as soon as Obama came into office. They never came back even as Obama pursued polices that were, at best, Republican light and far from any progressive ideal. Only fake liberals, aka “libruls”, could agree with these. Many of the people coming out now against Trump would likely have jubilated had Hilliary Clinton won the election and introduced the exactly same policies. How can they expect to be taken serious? There was no outrage today from any of the Pindo “libruls” and their media outlets about last nights failed Pindo military raid in Yemen. The rural home of a tribal leader’s family, friendly with some Yemeni AQAP members, was raided by a Pindosu SOF commando. A Pindosi tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft was shot down during the raid. One soldier was killed and several were wounded. The Pindos responded with their usual panic, killing everyone in sight and bombing the **** out of any nearby structure. According to Yemeni sources, between 30 and 57 Yemenis were killed, including eight women and eight children:

      From the Urban Dictionary: Pindo – A popular Russian mildly pejorative term for USA citizens, often imagined as a stereotypical fat American patriot. In the plural form it may mean the whole USA.

      • Greg Herr
        January 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm

        That was from moonofalabama.org

  11. January 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I believe all:
    “The Diabolical Destroyers of a Number of Countries” should be put on trial for war crimes. Yet, how can we arrest those that are running this corrupt and bloodstained system? When they control the system?
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-diabolical-destroyers-of-number-of.html

  12. John P
    January 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Nobody is answering my question on the ‘Trump Lets Saudis Off His ‘Muslim Ban” page so I’ll place it here.

    Linda Gentsch mentioned this site where it reports that Trump only added Syria to the Visa Waiver. The video story by Seth J Frantzman makes out that Obama had put the other 6 countries on the list which was active, some time before. Only chosen members from the military or government would be allowed a visa.

    I did a quick search on Frantzman, he lives in Jerusalem, which part I don’t know, but he is very opposed to the work of Israel’s new historians. They were certainly more honest than the first lot and some today.

    One thing puzzles me about Frantzman’s story, and perhaps someone can help. If Syria was just added to the list, and restrictions were already in place on the other 6 and active, then how come it caused so much turmoil at airports around the world.

    On the news there was an Iraqi in Egypt along with his family going to the US. Having a visa was not on my mind at the time but I’m sure he must have had one. He had worked with the US military in Iraq, had sold his home and quit his job and it all blew up in his face the very day they were to fly out thanks to Trump.

    If Frantzman is right, can anybody explain why just the addition of Syria, to an active list naming the other 6 states would have caused so much havoc ?? To me it suggests restrictions were all brought on at once. Am I wrong ?

  13. Wm. Boyce
    January 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    “Trump’s Incoherent Anti-Terrorism Policy”

    So far, you can call it all incoherent. I don’t buy the theories that these guys have some nefarious plan that they will implement when the time is right. Trump wakes up in the morning, decides who to attack via Twitter, then goes to the office to play president all day.

    We are in real trouble.

    • John P
      January 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      I fully agree William. The social problems caused by new technology, job losses being number one, non face to face (or voice to voice) communication and the nastiness that has emanated from some even here (social media?), poor pay etc have created a dangerous atmosphere in the young. It worries me how these tensions, unless addressed, are going to lead us all down a dark road.
      Trump is not the answer, he’s a twitter head, vain, narcissistic and adept at influencing stressed-out generations. But at the same time, he will probably fall under the spell of panderers (Putin, Netanyahu), some if not all of whom I fear will use him.
      He never voices any depth to policy. He’s flying blind.

  14. exiled off mainstreet
    January 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    By indicating the Saudis possess too much “juice” with the yankee imperium despite the change in leadership in that he has not put them on the list even though they are the undisputed chief purveyors of jihadi terrorism gives a huge opening to neocon prattlers like Pillar to go after Trump. If he is going to do it all he should follow through in a non-contradictory fashion.

  15. Wm. Boyce
    January 31, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    “Furthermore, no terrorist attack in this millennium in the United States has been perpetrated by any citizen of the seven banned countries. Of course, this doesn’t mean, in the absence of a ban, no attack would occur in the future, but these countries have not posed a unique risk in the past. Additionally, countries whose citizens have perpetrated attacks, like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, were not banned.”
    (The Federalist 1-30-17)

    You certainly can’t call the Federalist a liberal blog. Trump’s incoherence does leave his business interests safe in Muslim-majority countries not affected by the ban, it’s important to note. That is one thing that does stay on his mind, you can bet. People who hate Ms. Clinton, are you rethinking your position yet?

    • John
      January 31, 2017 at 11:22 pm

      Why should we?
      Just because Drumpf is bad, in no way makes the Red Queen any better.
      Keep in mind, had Debbie WTF Schultz not tipped the scales in the primary, and Donna Brazile not fed the questiond before the primary debate, We’d be talking about President Sanders right now.
      Had the DNC not promoted the Pied Piper, it would have been Rubio or Cruz losing to Sanders, and Drmpf would be a footnote.

      Are you still loving Lady MacBeth? The spots she is responsible for will not be washed out…

  16. Julian
    January 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    “In fact, the United States admitted nearly as many Christian refugees (37,521) as Muslims (38,901) in fiscal year 2016, even though Muslims constitute a significantly higher proportion of people suffering from, and fleeing from, war and violence in the Middle East.”

    Not a hard thing to do, since the anti “everyone who is not Muslim” policy and society of most Arab and Muslim countries has made sure that countries like Iraq are 95% Muslim and rising, while Christians are suffering horribly in Muslim countries. It would be like bombing a Metallica concert and then being completely shocked that the vast majority of the victims were Metallica fans. The Christian population has dwindled over the past century in countries where Christianity was once at home long before Mohammed had his first epileptic seizure in his cave in primordial Saudi-Arabia.

    The majority of Muslims fell silent while it was publicly known that non-Muslims were being persecuted and killed by radical Muslim groups. Now that the radicals are turning on their own, they are fully embracing the role of the poor victims.

    It should also be noted that citizens of the countries on the list have routinely committed acts of terrorism in Europe by posing as refugees while planning and executing terrorist attacks. There was no vetting because they were officially refugees and had also largely destroyed or “lost” all of their papers. Except their money, designer sunglasses and smartphone.

  17. Seer
    January 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    GW Bush mocked the US Constitution. Obama did end-arounds around it. Trump is now wiping his ass with it.

    Trump supporters will blame the past when it serves them. But know this, just because someone else violated the law that doesn’t mean that it’s OK for someone else to (POTUS).

    I’ve protested every US president since I can remember: I last supported Ron Paul (and to see his supporters support Trump sickens me).

    Regarding “Executive Orders,” they’re wish lists. Obama signed an Executive Order to close Guantanamo. Didn’t happen.

    Trump’s Executive Order here was pushed into action (action before the mouth stopped moving). Those that say there aren’t “nefarious” plans in place are ignorant. Project For A New American Century was the framework for which the aftermath of 9/11 was laid down (immediately afterwards): the USA PATRIOT Act was rammed through Congress. It’s Congress that has the real power: the POTUS can veto, but only if there’s the support; in the case of Obama and Guantanamo it was Congress who blocked any attempts for that order to be executed (whether Obama was really in favor of any of this is a matter for another discussion).

    The reality is that this is how empires end. And ALL empires end/collapse. No religion, no ideology, no style of “leadership” has ever kept an empire from collapse. The “end” nearly came during GW Bush’s administration- the start of the banking crisis; this got momentarily papered-over. And during Obama’s administration it was more of the same, though on a stepped-up scale (papering-over). And now we have Trump, who has informed us that he’ll deliver 4% growth. Never mind that 4% growth would be many deviations above the norm/reality. What this says is that we will be force-fed inflation, more borrowing from the future what we can never repay. The economics here is mathematically certain to rocket us all right over the cliff.

    Continue on with your petty party banterings (and religious righteousness). Mother Nature bats last. The end of growth takes down the system.

    • Wm. Boyce
      February 1, 2017 at 1:06 am

      Ron Paul: A sick puppy and an enemy of all women. Enjoy your darkness.

  18. Michael Elvin
    February 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    The freeze order has nothing to do with protecting anyone from terror. It is a purely political message, designed to elicit support from Trump’s low-information voter base. We need to keep in mind our leader’s object in every game he enters: to win big. The losers do not figure into his calculation in any way.

  19. Davidj
    February 2, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Trump’s list of nations is not congruent with actual terrorist nations, and arguments of weapons of mass destruction, or of a brutal dictator, or the export of terrorism were propaganda tools to motivate the populace, The nation list that Trump used originated in the Pentagon after 9/11, but it had a nebulous and arbitrary agenda, certainly not to defeat terrorism. And Trump was baited by the prior administration and Pentagon to attack the Hauthi in Yemen. Try to figure that out.

  20. Kevin Beck
    February 4, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I will take note that the countries on this infamous list may not be the ideal list of terrorist nations, I will point out that four of the nations on the list are active war zones. It also seems to be that the nations on the list are on the Shiite side of the Muslim order. And there have been claims that the list originated in the Obama regime during the last few years.

    But these same countries were also on a list constructed by Donald Rumsfeld when he was Secretary of War (or as they say in the swamp, “Secretary of Defense”) in 2002 as countries that were ripe for conquest by the United States. The reason attributed with being on Rumsfeld’s list was because these countries were supposedly conspiring to bring about the end of the dollar-based oil market.

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