Daniel McAdams |
So what’s really driving the immigration ban on Iranian Muslims? In these early days of the Trump Administration, many on both the Left and Right are looking to confirm their greatest hopes or darkest fears about what to expect. For some, the President’s recent 90-day visa pause for seven majority-Muslim countries confirmed fears about Trump’s anti-Muslim bias, even prejudice. Others saw this as a president carrying out what he had been promising on the campaign trail for more than a year.
Omission of Saudi Arabia from the list of banned countries
We take a different view. On yesterday’s Liberty Report, Dr. Paul and I pointed out the inconsistency — perhaps even willful blindness — in singling out countries where “Islamic terrorism” is claimed to be a threat while ignoring at least one country where the threat has already been realized. We mean of course the omission of Saudi Arabia from the list, a country whose government has been demonstrated to have been involved in the 9/11 attack on the United States. Whereas Iran is included.
One wonders whether with these moves the Administration seriously intends to address the threat of a terrorist attack on the US or whether it is more concerned with making political points: Saudi Arabia, which has attacked us, gets a pass; Iran, which has neither attacked nor threatened us, gets blacklisted.
in singling out countries where “Islamic terrorism” is claimed to be a threat while ignoring at least one country where the threat has already been realized.
Add to that the phone call over the weekend between President Trump and Saudi King Salman, where according to the White House, “the two leaders also agreed on the need to address Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” and you have the appearance that Trump’s promised war on radical Islam is being politicized.
Donald Trump being hawkish toward Iran
Not only has the President been consistently hawkish toward Iran, he has surrounded himself with at least two top advisors — Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis and National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn — who are literally obsessed with taking down the Iranian government.
For some, the President’s recent 90-day visa pause for seven majority-Muslim countries confirmed fears about Trump’s anti-Muslim bias, even prejudice. Others saw this as a president carrying out what he had been promising on the campaign trail for more than a year.
While it is far too early to write off the new Administration as a continuation of its previous two predecessors, these are troubling signs. Particularly when added to the news that President Trump appears to be continuing Obama’s drone assassination program, killing a number of civilians in Yemen over the weekend, and news that the US first shipment of military equipment to rebels in Syria has arrived.
One of the few bright spots in an Obama Administration at war literally every day for eight years has been the nuclear deal and related reduction in tensions with Iran. We know that trade and person-to-person engagement achieves what no sanctions can achieve. But there is reason to fear that with this Administration we will get the same US belligerence in the Middle East of the past eight years with an Iran attack added on top.
Daniel McAdams served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.