Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Why Trump’s Travel Ban Is Pointless

Malaysian columnist Azmi Sharom says US President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering America is not only discriminatory, but also foolish and pointless.

Here is the full text of his article in Malaysia’s The Star Online, which was covered in Farsi by IRNA:


Let’s examine why [Trump’s travel ban is pointless], shall we?

The biggest terrorist attack on American soil is the Sept 11, 2001 airplane hijacks and crashes.

Who were the people involved? They were Saudis. Strangely enough, Saudi Arabia is not on the list above. Which makes one wonder whether Trump is really serious about stopping terrorists (who are exclusively Muslim, naturally) from entering his wonderful country or he is just making a great big show-and-tell to make his voters happy.

Furthermore, since 2001, according to the New America Foundation, 82% of terrorist attacks in America have come from American citizens and Permanent Residents. And according to the Cato Institute, an American is over 250 times more likely to be killed by ordinary homicide than a terrorist attack.

So by taking aim at the peoples of these seven countries, what we have, therefore, is a policy that is utterly misguided and pointless.

Well, maybe I am being overly harsh. There is a point to this policy. It makes racist, misinformed bigots happy. That is surely a good thing for Trump. Also, it is great news for the Islamic State and their ilk because the “Great Satan USA” now has a leader who is an Islamophobe and proud of it. Trump is the ideal poster boy for extremist recruiters.

And what can the world do about it?

In Britain, the answer is to be as subservient as possible. Theresa May, the British PM, was the first world leader to go rushing to pant at Trump’s door and she was quite happy to excuse his vile policies as something within his right to do. The United States has its policies and we have ours, is roughly what she said when asked. How convenient.

However, the people of Britain have not been so pliant. Nearly 1.5 million have signed a petition demanding that the planned state visit of Trump be cancelled. It takes only 100,000 signatures to force a debate in the House of Commons. Within hours, this number was exceeded many times over.

Now, will the government cancel the visit? Of course not, the Brits have no friends in Europe any more so they have to play ball with the Americans. It would be nice for the government to admit that this is the case.

Instead, we have seen the usual political squirming along the lines that Trump was democratically elected and thus we have to respect the will of the American people. How wonderfully hypocritical.

When America chose to cut all aid to Palestine because the people of that country voted Hamas into power, it was perfectly acceptable for them to disregard the democratic will of the Palestinian people.

Of course, their reasoning was that Hamas was a “terrorist” organisation.

If it is acceptable to not respect the democratic choice of a country because you don’t like their elected leaders, why then is it not acceptable for a country to minimise relations with a country that voted a misanthropic, uninformed bigot into power?

If you don’t have the guts to do so, just admit it. Please don’t hide behind the false high horse of respecting democracy, as it seems that the powerful are more than happy to disrespect democracy when it suits them.

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