To all of the misguided people crying crocodile tears because of Donald Trump’s new temporary immigration policy towards seven Middle Eastern and African countries, I have only this to say: you reap what you sow.
The only reason Trump has instituted this policy is because of the neocon/neoliberal interventionist wars that have destroyed much of the Arab world, beginning with George Bush and Tony Blair’s illegal war on Iraq in 2003.
Prior to 2003, no such need for a ban on individuals travelling from Iraq or Syria to the United States would have been necessary. The internal security apparatus of countries like Iraq and Syria was geared towards weeding out terrorists and bringing them to justice before they had an opportunity to harm innocent Iraqis and Syrians, let alone fly on a plane to the US or anywhere else.
Even the Libyan Jamahiriya, often blamed for exporting terrorism when it was the fault of others, began cooperating fully with the CIA (of all organisations) in helping to bring radical Islamic terrorists to justice.
For the record, I do not believe Libya had any hand in the Pan Am 103 atrocity. Like many I believe the true culprits to be an obscure but violent Palestinian group called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.
Be that as it may, the point is that Ba’athist Iraq, Green Libya, Ba’athist Syria and pre/post-Brotherhood Egypt, all had strong internal security measures in place designed not to let any terrorists slip through the cracks. No system is perfect in this respect, but what existed was tremendously better than what is.
Consider this, person A was born in Iraq and holds a valid Iraqi passport. He frequently slips past the non-border between ISIS controlled Iraq and ISIS controlled Syria. One day he sneaks into Libya (in all likelihood with help from Turkey) to conduct terrorist operations in the non-state that Hillary Clinton created out of one was once Africa’s most prosperous country.
This person could technically buy a plane ticket to New York, obtain a tourist visa and there would be hardly any way to differentiate him from a doctor, businessman or scientist from Baghdad.
Suddenly America’s notoriously expensive tourist visa becomes the world’s cheapest terrorist visa.
This is the problem. Trump is absolutely correct to say that there is no way of knowing who these people are. The reason is because Bush, Blair, Obama, Cameron and Clinton destroyed the security systems which did know who these people are. Egypt of course has restored its secular regime after a brief period of chaotic rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Syria is a special case. In the parts of Syria controlled by the government, the security apparatus remains strong. However in regions occupied by terrorists no such mechanism exists. A terrorist with a Syrian passport operating in al-Raqqa could shave his beard, claim to be a doctor from Latakia, and his Syrian passport would make customs officials none the wiser.
This clearly shows that Trump’s blanket plan has become a necessity due to the instability his predecessors wrought upon the Middle East.
Now, I have no idea what Trump’s personal feelings are towards the people of the countries on his list. Nor do I care, as his personal feelings are inconsequential to this discussion.
One must accept the fact that travel to anywhere is a privilege and not a right, and that a state can refuse a visitor entry for any reason it chooses, just as an individual can refuse someone entry into his or her home.
Trump’s plan is not a cause but an effect. Where once people like Gaddafi could be relied on as partners in the war against terrorism (according not only to me, but ironically also according to those famous Green Book acolytes, Tony Blair and George Bush), now there is no one to rely on, no records, no law.
There is only lawlessness and a fine if not invisible line between real and fake passports.
The idea of a non-state like Libya issuing passports ought to make anyone uneasy.
So congratulations to liberals like Christopher Hitchens who wanted to invade Iraq in order to make the world a better place. The world is now a much worse place because of that war, and all subsequent Western wars upon Arab lands.
Donald Trump is merely doing what he said he would do and what most Americans want.
The only thing I would add is that Saudi Arabia and Qatar should be at the top of the list, and should be permanently on it.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.