Saturday, January 28, 2017


I'm sure I don't have to tell you about yesterday's Trump administration executive order blocking entry to the U.S. by immigrants, refugees, and non-citizen returnees from seven majority-Muslim countries. (Not included on the list: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Azerbaijan, countries where Donald Trump either has done business or has pursued deals.) Already, refugees who were in flight to America are being detained, and they're people on our side, or at least they have been until now:
The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was coming to the United States to join his wife, who had worked for a U.S. contractor, and young son, the lawyers said. They said both men were detained at the airport Friday night after arriving on separate flights....

Mr. Darweesh worked as an interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Baghdad and Mosul starting shortly after the invasion of Iraq on April 1, 2003. The filing said he had been directly targeted twice for working with the American military....

Mr. Alshawi was supposed to be reunited with his wife, who has been living in Texas....

She pulled out her cellphone and flipped through her pictures while seated on the couch. She wanted to show a reporter a picture she took of her son’s letter to Santa Claus. In November, at a Macy’s Santa-letter display at a nearby mall, the boy wrote out his wish: “Dear Santa: Can you bring my Dad from Sweden pls.” He has not seen his father in three years.
Here's a ProPublica report saying that half a million legal U.S. residents might be banned from returning to America from overseas trips, because their visas and green cards no longer allow them reentry. Here's a story about an Iraq-born refugee who works as a software engineer for Facebook in Seattle and can no longer see his family just across the border in Canada. Here's Google telling foreign-born workers from affected countries who've traveled overseas to return to America ASAP, a warning that already seems futile. And on and on.

Former State Department counterterrorrism coordinator Daniel Benjamin is right:
The executive order is ... likely to erode trust in the government, which will set back law enforcement’s efforts to build stronger bridges to Muslim communities. Those ties ... are essential to U.S. domestic counterterrorism....

We should also expect the order to anger Muslim partners around the world. Shutting the door on Iraqis, on whom we are relying in the ground fight against ISIL, isn’t going to help in that ongoing conflict.... At a moment when U.S. influence in the region is at a low ebb, and Russia, Iran and Turkey are collaborating in Syria and excluding the U.S., the American president should be concerned with building goodwill, not eroding it.
As is Connecticut senatior Chris Murphy:
ISIS, the most dangerous of a global array of radical Islamic terrorist groups, is in retreat. Every day, they lose more territory, and it is only a matter of time before their self-proclaimed caliphate disappears before the world’s eyes....

But ISIS has a second purpose -- to take part in an imagined global struggle of civilizations between Christians and Muslims. President Obama and President Bush before him knew the danger of stoking talk of war between east and west. Obama knew how important this kind of talk was to ISIS’s recruitment and expansion, and he went out of his way to tamp it down.

Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth. They can and will use his announcement today as confirmation that America is at war with Muslims, especially those Muslims living in desperate circumstances. Their recruitment bulletin boards will light up with new material. Their entreaties to would-be lone wolf attackers in America will have new energy and purpose.

All the work we have done to cut down on extremist recruitment at home and abroad now goes out the window. It’s a new day for terrorist recruiters.
As is Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War vet Seth Moulton:

So, Democrats in Congress, how are you all feeling about your degree of cooperation with this administration? For a while, only one Democratic senator -- Kirsten Gillibrand of New York -- had voted against every Trump Cabinet nominee, but now even she has broken that streak, voting for Nikki Haley as UN ambassador.

After which Haley rewarded her trust with this:
The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, issued a stark warning on Friday to allies and rivals abroad, saying in her first remarks at the headquarters of the world body that the Trump administration would hold to account those who do not back the United States.

“You’re going to see a change in the way we do business,” Ms. Haley said. “Our goal with the administration is to show value at the U.N., and the way we’ll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our back as well.”

“For those who don’t have our back,” she added, “we’re taking names; we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
If you're a decent human being, there is no possibility of compromise with this administration. Everything this administration does will be an act of conservative revenge against real or perceived enemies, foreign and domestic. If you're a Democrat, that very much includes you.

If you're a Democratic senator in a red state, it won't help you to try to cover your ass with a few pro-Trump votes -- the Trumpers and the rest of the GOP are gunning for you whatever you do. And if you're a blue-state Democrat, I don't want to hear about "promises" you may have heard from this or that appointee. This administration is beyond the pale, and it's just going to get worse.

The only principled stand is a constant reminder to the public that all this is unacceptable, accompanied by as much resistance as you can manage. Reject the notion that it's possible to make a reasonable accommodation with these people. It isn't. It's now obvious that the only reasonable response to these people is no, every time. At the very least, you need to vote agaiunst every Trump appointee from now on. History will judge you on the basis of how much you collaborated.


Victor said...

None of this, not one thing, NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL!!!

I understand that Democrats are trying to try to salvage some part of the democratic practices in our representative democracy. They're trying to save a few things while "the ship be sinkin'."

But by doing that, they are becoming compliant, complicit - and collaborative - in the completely un-American policies of the Orange Shitgibbon and his Republican "Flying Monkey's!"

JUST SAY NO!!!!!!!!!

Ok said...

This is why I am so disturbed to hear that Sen. Warren is willing to vote for Ben "Pyramid Scheme" Carson as head of HUD. All the Dems are doing by this is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Amen, Steve. We expect the worst from Republicans and are rarely disappointed. When we see some in our own party acting against the principles we supposedly all share, it's beyond disappointing. It's betrayal. When Sen. Schatz said when it comes to confirming nominees, the door swings both ways in Washington, my thought was yeah, and it keeps hitting the Dems in the ass. It's up to all of us to get them to stiffen their spines, and to hold them accountable when they fail us.

Susan said...

If you're a decent human being, there is no possibility of compromise with this administration. . .

If you're a Democratic senator in a red state, it won't help you to try to cover your ass with a few pro-Trump votes -- the Trumpers and the rest of the GOP are gunning for you whatever you do. And if you're a blue-state Democrat, I don't want to hear about "promises" you may have heard from this or that appointee. This administration is beyond the pale, and it's just going to get worse.

YES. Thank you. Non-Muslim folks are saying "when the Muslim registration comes I'll register as Muslim." WHY LET IT GET THAT FAR?
I want a mass protest at every immigration office in every city of the U.S. right now. We need to be in the streets, thousands of us, right now, so even the elected Democrats get it.

Anonymous said...

As recounted elsewhere, only 17 Senate Democrats opposed granting Mad Dog Mattis an exemption from a law that makes it illegal for a recent non-civilian to serve as Defense Secretary. And the only vote against confirming him was from a self-serving corporate shill who wants to run for president by recalling an uninformed Democratic base with her "progressivism" and courage. Only 11 Senate Democrats voted against confirming General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security. Only 8 Senate Democrats were serious in their opposition to torture enthuseiast Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA. And only 4 Senate Dems voted against confirming Nikki Haley as the Ambassador to the UN.

There is only one "party", and we ain't in it.
Ten Bears

Unknown said...

There is no penalty for dumocrates supporting Trumps nominations. Until the dumos picket the dumo quisilings or make them feel like there is something to lose by supporting trump we're fucked. But to we really expect the dumos to grow a spine now?

Philo Vaihinger said...

As to the point about Manzanar, why did you think they wanted a national registry of Muslims?

It's for that or for deportations, whichever way it goes.