The New York Times reports that President Trump has announced executive actions, including the “Muslim ban”; this executive order, Michael D. Shear and Helene Cooper describes, “suspends the entry of refugees into the United States and directs official to determine additional screening”. However, this extends from the refugee situation as the order also halts the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely and “bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism”.
We shall review a small, rushed (** cough ** college student with calculus awaiting ** cough **) description of these seven countries through interventions, terrorism, etc.
Iraq: Under the “invitation” of the Iraqi Government in 2014, former President Barack Obama led a military intervention in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an intervention that still extends to the present.
Syria: Beginning in the March 2011, the Syrian Civil War has continued to preside over Syria with spillovers in neighboring countries: a struggle for power between the Syrian Arab Republic, the Syrian Opposition, ISIL, Rojava, and the organized CJTF-OIR.
Iran: Now barring US citizens from entry as retaliation, the Shia country is a struggling hybrid between a theocracy, a constitutional republic, and ‘Islamic Republic’. In an alleged ‘proxy war’ with the United States (or Saudia Arabia, depending on the outlet), Iran is believed to be backing the Houthis rebel forces aligned against the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi albeit Saudi-supported. Otherwise, Iran has not engaged in direct warfare with the United States and has cooperated to the point of reaching the famed 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework, an agreement that called off sanctions in exchange for measures that made nuclear facilities and uranium enrichment facilities only suitable for nuclear power and civil use. However, in a reckless move, sanctions against Iran were officially extended for another decade by Congress, with cosponsor of the H.R. 6297 including 6 Democratic Representatives and 4 Republican Representatives (Rant: as a Californian, I hate that a Californian Democrat cosponsored the bill… looking at you Representative Brad Sherman of the 30th District). Since then, bills have been introduced to impose nonnuclear sanctions with respect to Iran by Congressmen, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Iran still remains in the State Sponsors of Terrorism, which also humorously continues to exclude Saudi Arabia. A country that has been escaped media criticism for its clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other and other radical Sunni groups in the region.
Sudan: This hybrid between a presidential republic and an Islamic Republic has been pressured by the United States and other countries toward ‘moderate’ positions. Moderate position does not include common liberties, such as the freedom of the press, as Sudan ranks 172 of 180 countries in terms of freedom of the press according to Reporters Without Borders. Hamas and the National Islamic Front continue to have influence within the country despite considered a general “cooperative counterterrorism partner” by the Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.
Libya: Key Democrats and Republicans supported US action in Libya through bipartisan resolution towards allied military action long ago, including John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Barbara Boxer; the three officials and others were shared the common interest of at least a no-fly zone. Nicole Gauouette of CNN reports that the country has since then fallen into a spiral downward, with ISIS bases flourishing across the country, economic turmoil, and a reminiscent vacuum that for “rival government factions and associated militias”.
Somalia: TIME magazine and Daily Signal sheds light on the concern on Somalian terrorists with Abdul Razak Ali Artan as the 74th Somalian-American to plot terrorism.
Yemen: As mentioned before, this country has become the battleground of a ‘proxy war’ between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a fight between the Shia and Sunni powers. As of October 2016, the BBC reports, Yemen has been a victim of “airstrikes by a Saudi-led multinational coalition”, with the conflict and a blockade imposed by that coalition leaving “80% of the population in need of aid”. “Intervention” is a curious word for widespread and systematic attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law, isn’t it?
Given these details, why is that politicians will applaud the military intervention of these countries as humanitarian crises and protections of the West against the force of ISIS, but God forbid we ever bar them from entering our own country, the world is falling apart and racism has triumphed the one and only President Donald J. Trump? In fact, as sfrantzman says in his post, “Ctrl-F” in the official order, and you will see that none of the countries listed above are mentioned explicitly. Former President Barack Obama’s administration, or Congress and the Department of Homeland Security, chose those countries in their implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, a “kind of ‘Muslim ban’ before the Muslim bam” as sfrantzman hilariously points out. So which is it? Countries of concern, state sponsors of terrorism, or humanitarian crises? Pick your poison.
For more information (and inspiration for this post), watch The Jimmy Dore Show‘s clip surrounding the topic: