Refugees

How the Travel Ban Helps Terrorists

America offers ISIS a useful propaganda recruitment tool.

|

protesters
Andrea Renault/Polaris/Newscom

If you're afraid that terrorists from a particular country will come to kill your citizens, it makes sense to ban anyone from that place. So brace yourselves, Americans. Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States.

Donald Trump thinks there is a pipeline of violent extremists from Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. He's right, but he's wrong about the direction of the flow. Islamic State recruits aren't coming from Syria to the United States. They are going from the United States to Syria.

Nora Ellingsen, who spent five years working on international counterterrorism investigations at the FBI, went through all the cases she could find over the past two years. Over that time, the agency "has arrested 34 Americans who aspired to leave, attempted to leave or actually left the United States to join a terrorist group overseas," she writes—compared with two refugees it has arrested from the seven countries included in Trump's travel ban.

A report from Congress found that 250 U.S. nationals have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL and ISIS. "More Americans have snuck into Syria to join ISIL," she writes on the Lawfare blog, "than ISIL members have snuck into the United States."

In ruling against the president's executive order, a panel of three judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals couldn't help noticing that "the government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States." Now we know why.

The Trump administration portrays itself as the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, trying to block a flood of militants disguised as Syrian kindergarteners. John Kelly, secretary of homeland security, explained the abruptness of the travel ban: "The thinking was to get it out quick so that potentially, people that might be coming here to harm us would not take advantage of some period of time that they could jump on an airplane."

Even before the ban, though, Syrians couldn't just claim to be refugees and proceed to the airport. They had to spend 18 to 24 months being screened and processed. It's not an option for someone in a hurry.

Kelly also left out the large, honking fact that the danger Americans face is less from without than from within. That's clear from a new study done by the Chicago Project on Security and Threats at the University of Chicago.

"The American Face of ISIS" examines 112 cases of people known to have been involved in "ISIS-related offenses"—including carrying out attacks, plotting them, traveling to take part in them or helping other confederates. It reports that 83 percent are U.S. citizens, with 65 percent born here. None came as a refugee from Syria.

Only three of the 112 were refugees, two from Bosnia and one from Iraq. CPOST Director Robert Pape said the researchers found "no evidence of ISIS smuggling in fighters into the United States alongside with refugees."

Sniffing out incoming terrorists among those arriving from these nations is like scouting for future NHL stars in Jamaica. In the past two years, Ellingsen says, the FBI has arrested more Americans plotting violent attacks on Muslims in the U.S. than it has refugees from all the banned countries combined.

Skittish sorts may figure it's better to be safe than sorry. But the travel ban doesn't enhance our safety even marginally. Just the opposite.

Middle Eastern terrorists figured out long ago it was too hard to get their people into this country. What is easy is transmitting propaganda. As Pape points out, "ISIS terrorists in America are walk-in volunteers"—people living in the U.S. who have been radicalized by its online videos.

What the travel ban does, by singling out Muslims in these seven countries, is to buttress the Islamic State claim that the West is at war with Islam. If the policy induces a small percentage of American Muslims—who number 3.3 million—to embrace the group, the risk of terrorism will multiply.

Trump thinks he can protect the nation by blocking the arrival of foreigners with murderous plans. The bigger danger is that the Islamic State will enlist more Americans in its bloody cause. And Trump may be the best recruiter it has ever had.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

141 responses to “How the Travel Ban Helps Terrorists

    1. Southern California Dachshund Relief?

  1. Since disasters often come in pairs are we going to see Dalmia today or were her violence endorsing tweets too much even for the personnel decision makers at Reason?

  2. Another jackassed admonishment to not piss off Muslims, because it can be dangerous.

    1. Let me guess it amounts to “Appeasement totally works guys”

    2. The laziest fucking journalistic trope out there : “It’s HELPING ISIS to recruit NEW terrorists!!!”

      And D-day was just playing into Hitler’s hands….

      Reason really is just phoning it in these days… glad I donated to NRO instead….

      1. I think a better analogy than D-Day would be the actual travel bans in WWII. Millions of refugees from Nazi Germany were prevented from coming here because people with paranoid delusions thought they’d commit crimes and bring down the quality of the country. Over six million of them were left to die in Nazi Germany. Imagine how much richer America would be today if that hadn’t happened.

        Unfortunately, paranoid delusions appear to be at least partly genetic, so people still suffer from them today, and use them as the basis for immigration policy.

        1. or maybe there were 6 million more people to fight Germany? No? I would say it was smart to force Europeans to unfuck their situation.

          I don’t see how they are our problem. They let their shit get out of control so they should unfuck it themselves. Not my business.

          1. same reason why Mexico is never unfucked. All of them flee to US instead of fighting for their rights. If US goes to shit I will gladly grab my gear instead of fleeing. Maybe i am the last American? Who knows.

        2. I think a better analogy than D-Day would be the actual travel bans in WWII. Millions of refugees from Nazi Germany were prevented from coming here because people with paranoid delusions thought they’d commit crimes and bring down the quality of the country.

          We might have let in more European Jews, people persecuted by the German government, stripped of their citizenship rights, and facing death because of their religion.

          We should not have let in millions of other Germans who would doubtlessly also have loved to come to the US, whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed in WWII, but who weren’t prosecuted.

      2. “And Trump may be the best recruiter it has ever had.”

        Actually the media are the ones pushing this narrative. They have absolutely lost there shit on this and scream in every lede “Muslim Ban”. The Islamic State doesn’t need to reference anything Trump has done, just the fact that all US news organizations, celebrities and Democrat politicians believe it to be true. So it must be true.

        Setting aside Trump reasoning, I don’t see the big deal. As a new administration, they should evaluate the vetting process anyway. Imagine if he did not and there was a European style attack from a recently admitted refugee. Noone would let him get away with..but Bush. And if Obama was asked about it he would just say, in between bong hits, “it’s a fluid situation. The new administration should have evaluated the process and updated it.”

    3. Hillary solidified Trump’s based by calling them a “basket of deplorables.” Do you think telling her that was a bad idea was a “jackassed admonishment?”

      It really is dangerous to convince people that you hate them, don’t think they belong, and want them to suffer.

      When it’s jackassed is when refraining from pissing people off creates an incentive for them to get more pissed off, so they can force you to refrain from doing even more stuff. That doesn’t appear to be happening in this case.

      1. We should never have let the Nazis and Japanese know we hated them!

      2. There’s a difference between acknowledging your hate for a murderous bunch of psychopaths who ALREADY HATE YOU and fomenting hate among your own countrymen.

      3. Trump supporters weren’t out making viral videos of themselves sawing people’s heads off. If that were the case, Hillary’s admonishment would have been not only justified, but crucial.

        In this case the media and left are pretending people in the mideast are being singled out for no good reason other than racism and general mean-spiritedness, and as such will suddenly become ISIS fanatics because we’re denying them entry to the United States for a while.

        This just utter absurdity on every level; for one thing, there are legitimate reasons to block transit from countries engaged in a war, particularly one in which the participants also consider our nation a target. And second, the idea that heretofore ‘peaceful’ individuals are one inconvenience away from resorting to public decapitations and jihad. I’m sorry, but anyone who’s on that kind of precipice really shouldn’t be admitted to the country under any circumstances. The truly reasonable people can wait.

      4. Hillary solidified Trump’s based by calling them a “basket of deplorables.” Do you think telling her that was a bad idea was a “jackassed admonishment?” It really is dangerous to convince people that you hate them, don’t think they belong, and want them to suffer.

        I don’t see what’s “dangerous” about it. What did Trump supporters do after Hillary called them a “basked of deplorables”? They went and voted for Trump.

        What did Hillary supporters do after the lost the election? They became violent and rioted.

        The problem is obviously not with calling people names, the problem is that some groups of people (progressives, socialists, Muslims) are violent, while others (conservatives, libertarians, Christians) are not.

  3. Oh boy, a chapman article.

  4. “Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States.”

    Even if they’re in uniform?

    1. That would be great. Best possible outcome.

  5. Yeah, it’s Monday again, isn’t it?

  6. By this logic, If Syria tries to ban travelers from the US won’t that just increase the number of terrorists going there from here? So wouldn’t we want to encourage that? Why would we want them to stay?

    1. Or is blowback just an ethnic people thing

    2. Didn’t you watch the science fiction series 7 Days? It’s like that.

    3. You mean I might have to cancel my Syria summer holiday I’ve got planned? Dammit! No other destination ipwill be any fun!

    4. They go there and then they come back. *That’s* when it’s a problem.

  7. What the travel ban does, by singling out Muslims in these seven countries, is to buttress the Islamic State claim that the West is at war with Islam.

    Heh. You said “butt”.

    Seriously, Steve — If this is how “Islam” decides “the West” is at war with it, it’s more delusional than Trump.

    1. Heh. You said “butt”.

      Remember, it’s ass-ass-in.

  8. Can someone explain why Trump’s E.O. is a better ISIS recruitment device than the Muslim men, women and children blows to pieces by Obama’s eight years of drone attacks? After all, if you are trying to convince Muslims that the West is at war with your faith, wouldn’t actual warfare against Muslims be the best evidence to support your case?

    Maybe it’s because Trump doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize.

    1. Nobody has explain how any of it is a better recruitment tool than the Koran and Hadith – which have been working like a charm for over 1400 years.

      1. Drake. This hackneyed criticism is trotted out every time the US makes a response to terrorists. The bad guys conjure up enough atrocities to incite those hopeless young men predisposed to violence that they do not need help from us.

    2. Agreed, and I’d add that there is more proof of violent attacks by people from these seven countries than there is any evidence of an increase in ISIS recruitment due to a travel ban. Where is the evidence in the article that the travel ban actually increased recruitment?
      https://reason.com/blog/2017/02…..bout-terro

      Looking at just the 10 muslim populated countries, only one, Iran, is on the travel ban list. These top 10 countries represent 65.8% of the world’s muslim population. Iran represents 4.6%, so 61.2% of the world’s muslim population, from the top 10 most muslim populated countries, are still allowed to journey to the US unaffected by the ban. You can’t legitimately call it a muslim ban.
      http://www.mapsofworld.com/wor…..s-map.html

  9. ‘Islamic State claim that the West is at war with Islam.’

    You mean buttress their long existing claim that Islam is at war with the west? I’m pretty sure that’s what you meant to write.

    1. This is pretty much the standard understanding of the world view set forth in the Qur’an: The D?r al-Isl?m has always been at war with the D?r al-?arb.

      They don’t call infidels the D?r al-?arb (House of War) for nothing. The D?r al-?arb is at war with Islam, and it must either submit to Islam or be subjugated by the D?r al-Isl?m (i.e., become D?r al-‘Ahd, a vassal.)

      Of course, there’s no consensus in modern Islam regarding the means or timing for getting the D?r al-?arb to submit to Islam.

      1. Of course, there’s no consensus in modern Islam regarding the means or timing for getting the D?r al-?arb to submit to Islam.

        I get the feeling they’d like it no later than Friday.

        1. And make sure they put the right cover sheet on it this time.

      2. There is no mention of either of Dar al-Islam or Dar al-Harb in the Quran. Or in the Hadith. They were administrative terms introduced decades after those books were written. I suppose you could still argue they’re part of Islam, even if they’re not in the Quran, but if that’s the case why are you leaving out all the other Dars that have been introduced over the centuries? In particular there’s the Dar al-Sulh, which refers to non-Muslim territories that have peace treaties with Muslim governments. The idea that all non-Muslim territories are a “House of War” is misinformed nonsense.

        And even if it wasn’t, you realize that the vast majority of Syrian Muslims are ordinary people who live ordinary lives, right? I don’t understand people who think Muslims are perfect ideologues. Do you think there’s no government corruption in Muslim countries because everyone is a perfect Islamic ideologue? (if so you’re wrong, there’s definitely corruption) Do you think that if Muslims adopted socialism it would work because Muslims are perfect ideologues who are immune to public choice theory?

        The majority of Muslims are just like the majority of Christians, they haven’t read or understood the majority of their holy book. They just live normal lives for which their religion is just window dressing they don’t really take seriously.

        1. Yet among them is a disturbingly high percentage that thinks suicide bombing is sometimes justified and who want to impose Sharia on Western nations.

          When one Western Christian woman suggested — while the rubble at 9/11 was still hot — bombing the Middle East and converting them to Christianity, she lost her gig at National Review — supposedly representative of the war-mongering, neocon right wing of our population.

          There’s no moral equivalence between “ordinary” Christians and “ordinary” Muslims in modern times.

        2. Yeah the vast majority of Army personnel are not killers, just support for the ones who do. A muslim is not a terrorist until he decides to be, then he finds religious reasons which back him up pretty damn much.

          I’ve read the Koran. It is a story of war, of conquest, with killing and robbery along the way. The “peace” part is not valid when you are talking about outsiders. It is as much about Arab culture as religion.

  10. Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States.

    Fine. Syria is a sovereign nation. Why would any U.S. traveller want to go there, anyway?

    1. I’ve heard watching the barrel bombings in the light of the setting sun is quite beautiful – like the aurora borealis, but MUCH more…. explosive.

      1. And afterwards, there’s nothing quite like the steady drone of an artillery bombardment to lull you into sleep.

  11. Has Reason been taken over by progressive pod people?

    Seriously? I understand, and even sympathize, with libertarian aversion to Trump. In fact, I think I’m the first in these parts to have said that Trump would be America’s answer to Berlusconi. But Reason’s ANTIFA resistance to the Trump Administration — on all fronts — is ridiculous, and this article is Exhibit 223A.

      1. As rudehost notes below, Reason has written somewhat positively about Trump’s controversial appointment to Dept of Education. Even though the DoED is relatively insignificant in terms of budget and federal employees under the direction of its Secretary, that suggests that progressives have not yet snatched the bodies of all Reason writers.

        I suspect that the progressives abduct their victims at cosmotarian cocktail parties.

        But, seriously, after listening to The Third Column and reading HnR the last couple of months, it really seems as though there’s a raging TDS epidemic in these parts.

    1. ^THIS x 1000

      Reason was supposed to be better than all the deranged lefties after Trump’s victory. They might want to take a moment and consider that should Hillary have won, at what stage exactly would her assault on the First and Second amendments be at….

      1. BUT BOOOOSH HELLARY!!!!!!!!!

        1. ^^^ Cytotoxic ^^^

    2. They haven’t resisted him on all fronts or have you missed the rather positive articles about Betsy Devos? Trump is damn near the opposite of a libertarian so it shouldn’t be shocking he isn’t generally well received and as you no doubt know Chapman is about as libertarian as Pol Pot so he isn’t much of a barometer. I wish they would get rid of him so I could justify donating.

      1. Trump is damn near the opposite of a libertarian

        So is every President post Calvin Coolidge. The Trump derangement rings hollow.

      2. Trump is damn near the opposite of a libertarian

        Really? If he manages to pull off his plans: school vouchers, reducing taxes, reducing regulations, reducing foreign military involvement, he’ll be the most libertarian-leaning president we have had in a long time.

    3. Has Reason been taken over by progressive pod people?

      Pretty much, yeah. The best I can say about Chapman is he was one of the only ones who was honest and admitted voting for Hildog.

    4. It was an unconvincing argument laid out here.

    5. This travel ban is definitely the most horrible thing the Trump administration has done so far. I don’t think Reason is out of place opposing it.

      1. Really? You really think the travel ban is worse than the law & order stuff he did last week, or the appointment of Sessions?

      2. This travel ban is definitely the most horrible thing the Trump administration has done so far.

        So, pretty benign then?

        I mean, 90 day travel bans from countries we’re effectively at war with are not exactly a huge problem, or unprecedented.

  12. Yep steve because welcoming with open arms has worked so well for europe

    1. HAH!!! I LOVE hijacked amsoc!!!

      1. True dat

    2. You really need to retire that name, you making sense glorifies the name.

  13. Yep steve this is what will drive isis to attack us…a travel ban

    Not you know the last 15 years of making war there

    1. What caused the Barbary pirates to make war on US and European shipping around 1800?

      hint, the Barbary pirates were Muslim.

      1. An economy devoted to piracy and slavery?

        1. Revenge on Pope Georgivus Bush II for Crusade atrocities?

        2. Yeah, that’s what Islam is.

          And that is not my thought, it comes from Nonie Darwishs’ book “Now They Call Me Infidel”.

      2. hint, the Barbary pirates were Muslim

        Ok. And they were still Muslims after they stopped attacking American shipping. Islam is, at most, only part of the explanation for their motives.

        1. The point is that Islam was making war on the US long before we did anything to provoke it.

          Islam has been making war on all that is not Islam since its creation by the murderous child-raping “prophet” Mohammed (may pigs blood be upon him).

          The WHOLE purpose of Islam is to conquer everything else. Just because not all Muslims have not at all time actively engaged in that effort doesn’t change what Islam is.

          And it only takes a few determined Muslims to create real problems for others.

    2. Much, much longer than 15 years.

      GHWB got involved in 1990 — over 26 years ago — in liberating Kuwait. In doing so, he established a seemingly permanent, infidel US military presence in Islam’s holy land, which was deeply offensive to Muslims who take their religion seriously.

      In 1988 — almost 30 years ago — the US Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 passengers — all civilians on a scheduled Airbus A300 flight from Tehran to Dubai.

      Before that, the US was harassing the Iranians in the Persian Gulf and arming jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan, going back to 1979 — over 37 years ago.

      Even before that, Eisenhower’s CIA was instrumental in setting up the Shah in Iran and FDR secured the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia.

      1. Bear in mind, half of your examples are about the Shia, who have a significantly lower amount of terrorist attacks under their belt.

      2. Kuwait? Liberated? The place is a Landover Baptist and Ku-Klux heaven where women are forced at gunpoint to reproduce against their will. Light beer is a felony there, just as it was in These States when Herbert Clark Hoover was sworn in to murder all who imbibed it! To the Republican National Committee, Wizened Christian Temperance Union and Methodist White Terror maybe Kuwait is liberated. The poor bastards living under that regime prolly wish ISIS would kill us all as payback for thwarting their escape from religious fascism to ordinary lay fascism!

        1. Are the Shia the ones with the green hair?

    3. Yes, it’s well-known that millions of peaceful Muslims, just peacefully living their lives and being not at all radical, will, upon hearing of a limited travel ban, instantly become crazed, bomb-throwing, infidel-decapitating radical terrorists. Because that scenario actually makes sense to some people.

  14. Sometimes we pay an enormous price for our policies. Our torture policy and the resulting photos that came out of Abu Ghraib is an excellent example of that. The price we paid on the Arab street for that torture policy was a hell of a lot more expensive than whatever we gained from torturing those people.

    I’m not convinced that suspending immigration from countries that already have a significant anti-American terrorist threat is like that.

    I think we should also take threats from Al Qaeda and ISIS with a grain of salt. Aren’t they already doing their level best to hit us with terrorist attacks anyway? Who really believes they were holding back–right up until we suspended immigration from a short list of countries? Who really believes that was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

    1. I have to wonder how much of an impact a travel ban would have on muslim attitudes. Aren’t these the people who claim our presence on “their land” is one of their major grievances? If so you would think they could sympathize with Trump not wanting them on “our land”.

      1. I suspect it may contribute to the perception that the U.S. is the enemy of Islam.

        Try to see things from their perspective, too. Arab kids are watching Game of Thrones and listening to rap. They want democracy and a consumer society.

        Even David Bowie was afraid of Americans.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7APmRkatEU

        As afraid as some people are of sharia in Europe and America, the Arab street is ten times more afraid of American culture invading their society and changing them.

        We really don’t want them to think we’re officially their enemy, and that was a lot easier for them to do when there were U.S. backed dictators all over the Arab world in the aftermath of the Cold War.

        Not taking asylum seekers from a short list of countries? I don’t think that contributes to anti-American sentiment much–not like backing Israel, the Saudis, or killing children in Yemen with drone strikes.

        1. I would agree that everything else is going to pale compared to having your uncle blown up in a drone strike. I don’t completely understand your other point. If the fear of your average 30 year old in Yemen is that the youth will be infected by American culture wouldn’t they be anxious to ensure nobody comes to the US?

          1. There is some of that.

            Muslims I’ve talked to will say that their friends and family back home think they’ve become Americanized.

            Nobody likes being discriminated against.

            I heard a story one time, I think it was about Captain Cook. He knew that eating sauerkraut would stave off scurvy, but his crew didn’t believe it. They hated the stuff. He served it to them, but they refused to eat it. Then he announced a new rule–only the officers were allowed to eat the sauerkraut.

            Guess what happened? Yeah, suddenly the crew were pissed off at being left out. When he let them have it again, they scarfed it down.

            Tell me I can’t have something I didn’t want anyway, and chances are I’ll suddenly start wanting it.

            I just don’t think it’s as big of a deal as other things, and if it helps us keep terrorists out, then I think it makes sense. I certainly don’t think we should capitulate to terrorism for fear of pissing off the terrorists if we don’t.

            1. I have heard that Cook story as well. It sounds like it could be apocryphal but it does speak to an aspect of human psychology. Of course there is also the “The grapes are sour” reaction when you can’t have something. In any case I think we agree. I could believe this as a footnote in some jihadi propaganda video but I can’t imagine it as a major selling point.

        2. I suspect it may contribute to the perception that the U.S. is the enemy of Islam

          Major portions of Islam declaring itself the enemy of the U.S. may contribute to the perception that Islam is the enemy of the U.S.

          1. The crowds chanting ‘Death to America’ and burning American flags also help contribute to that perception.

    2. Our torture policy and the resulting photos that came out of Abu Ghraib is an excellent example of that.

      That’s simply a lie. The photos out of Abu Ghraib were not representative of U.S. policy. They were the work of a handful of rogue jackasses.

      1. You should read the Schlesinger Report.

        The fact is that the policies that were written for “detainees” and those policies were allowed to migrate from Guantanamo (where those torture practices had been approved by way of policy changes initiated by Donald Rumseld and AG Gonzales) to Abu Ghraib. The problem with using those policies at Abu Ghraib–by anybody’s estimation–is that those prisoners in Iraq that those approved torture procedures were used on were captured in uniform and were officially POWs–with all the protections that implies in the Geneva conventions.

        But don’t take my word for it. Read the Schlesinger Report yourself.

        https://www.antiwar.com/rep2/abughraibrpt.pdf

        Read it, and then you won’t make a fool of yourself by going around calling people liars just because you’re ignorant of the facts.

        None of those Abu Ghrabi pictures showed anything that wasn’t specially approved in the new “interrogation” procedures that were by Rumsfeld and Gonzales. You’re just wrong on the facts.

        1. From the report: “The events of October through December 2003 on the night shift of Tier 1 at Abu Ghraib prison were acts of brutality and purposeless sadism. We now know these abuses occurred at the hands of both military police and military intelligence personnel. The pictured abuses, unacceptable even in wartime, were not part of authorized interrogations nor were they even directed at intelligence targets. They represent deviant behavior and a failure of military leadership and discipline. However, we do know that some of the egregious abuses at Abu Ghraib which were not photographed did occur during interrogation sessions and that abuses during interrogation sessions occurred elsewhere.”

          The non-photographed abuses were also not reflective of U.S. policy: also from the report “There is no evidence of a policy of abuse promulgated by senior officials or military authorities. Still the abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards, and they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline. There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels.”

          So, the things I said were lies were, in fact, lies.

          What was shown in the photos was neither authorized behavior, not reflective of U.S. interrogation policy, and even the non-photographed events were not representative of U.S. interrogation policy.

    3. Yes those policies caus d terrorists to go back in time and commit acts before they were policies. Also Reagan causes WW2.

      1. I didn’t say they caused the 9/11 attacks, bozo.

        I said we paid a hefty price on the Arab street–in terms of both recruiting afterwards and in terms of support from the Iraqi people themselves.

        Why wouldn’t us using Saddam Hussein’s former torture facility to torture Iraqis crush their support?

        Remember when we were still trying to win hearts and minds? Any legitimate hope of that happening died once the Abu Ghraib photos hit the internet–and the Bush administration stood up to defend torture.

        Did Obama ever say anything so absurd as that waterboarding wasn’t really torture?

        And what was the benefit of that compared to what we lost in credibility and support?

      2. I thought it was Bush (both of them)

  15. If only we drone more and take in the displaced…totally isis will become friends of america

  16. Since America is the home of the devil, why would any Islamic Terrorist or potential Islamic Terrorist be upset if they were not allowed to visit the Devil’s home? This makes no sense.

    Does anyone feel motivated to murder if North Korea denies them permission to visit?

    1. Not me! I studied the language and you couldn’t pay me to go to either side of the Korean Mason-Dixon line.

  17. Fucking tedious.

  18. Do all human beings have natural rights, or don’t they?

    What is the difference between a Syrian and, say, a Turk or a Lebanese, who may just be a few miles away on the other side of an imaginary line on a map? They may all be similar in their attitudes and beliefs towards the US. What sense does it make to allow one of them to *apply* to visit – visit only! – but not even allow the other one to *apply* to visit?

    1. Ever seen the pictures of NK/SK at night? Or the dividing line between Haiti and the DR? Those imaginary lines can have dramatic effects on reality.

      1. Is this because the people are inherently worse in North Korea, or because their government is inherently worse, compared to South Korea? Hmm?

        1. Chicken and egg

        2. No group is inherently worse than any other group on a genetic level. However, by the time they reach adulthood they’ve long been saturated with the cultural norms they’ve grown up with and that includes religion and history *as they’ve been taught it.*

          I don’t know how many American idiots I’ve had to correct on the Constitution itself, which is freely available for anyone to read. But the cultural beliefs of the specific milieu they’ve grown up with convince them that since they’ve heard it it must be right, even if it’s absolutely wrong.

  19. We’re propping up dictators, occupying countries, and bombing civilians… But a TRAVEL BAN is what’s going to turn Muslims into terrorists.

  20. Help me here. Has Chapman ever complained about the 16 countries that ban entry to da Joos?

    1. It’s perfectly OK when the Islamic Middle East engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide, just like it’s perfectly OK when Block Yomomma wages wars and imposes temporary travel bans for security reasons. Because, reasons.

      1. It’s perfectly OK when the Pisslamic Fiddle Yeast engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide, just like it’s perfectly OK when Block Insane Yomomma wages wars and imposes temporary travel bans for security reasons. Because, reasons.

        1. I always know what the empty white space above you is….. thanks?

          1. Here’s a hint: it’s the last person in this chat room that thinks “Block Insane Yomomma” is hilarious.

    2. Don’t be absurd. Everyone knows that Judaism is a covetous ideology whose adherents infiltrate the banking and entertainment industries so they can make obscene profits before collapsing the entire economy.

      1. Shut it DesigNate, you’re not supposed to tell people about the Libertarian End Goal.

        Oh wait, you’re talking about the Jews, nevermind, carry on.

      2. Are you telling me that Herbert Hoover and the Bush Dynasty are libertarians or Elders of Zion? Both?

        1. Aren’t all libertarians members of the Elders of Zion? That’s what I was told at our last super secret Jew meeting.

  21. Does Hillary work for Reason now?

  22. Soooo, American Muslims are vapid and violent enough to join a murderous bunch of animals because of a lousy temporary ban?

    Gee, maybe they are that bad!

    1. Open borders or terrorism. Your choice.

      1. False choices FTW!

      2. Another trolley-dilemma lifeboat ethicist! Do they inculcate this crap in Bible classes at Landover Baptist?

  23. “Sniffing out incoming terrorists among those arriving from these nations is like scouting for future NHL stars in Jamaica.”

    They prefer bobsledding anyway.

  24. “If the policy induces a small percentage of American Muslims?who number 3.3 million?to embrace the group, the risk of terrorism will multiply.”

    The implications of this speculation support going well beyond the simple travel restrictions now in place.

    By the way, how small is “small”?

    1. How wonderfully patronizing of Chapman.

  25. Everytime someone says something helps the terrorists, you have to take a drink.

  26. Middle Eastern terrorists figured out long ago it was too hard to get their people into this country.

    Therefore, make it easier to let people in? Chapman’s argumentation is always odd and shallow.

    So brace yourselves, Americans. Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States.

    I believe he thinks this is some profound ‘gotcha’ when the near universal answer is probably “ok?”

    1. The larger irony of this article is that Chapman spends most of his time claiming there is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist threat.

    2. Fuck! Where will I winter then?

  27. Jesus, just stop. An equal case can be made that America’s existence helps in recruiting terrorists.

  28. So, if I follow this reasoning: Muslims are so unbalanced that the slightest offense could turn them into anti-American terrorists. But, if we let them here, they’ll be virtually indistinguishable from Methodists.

    1. I know that when my grandparents were refused immigration to the United States in the 30s and had to spent five years under the Nazis they took it quite personally and were building bombs immediately.

      1. Does slave labor in concentration camps actually count?

  29. Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States.

    According to the “The American Face of ISIS”, Syria should target exclusion of American Muslims … particularly second-generation American Muslims and recent converts.

  30. Before mohammedans took over the US embassies in Pakistan and Iran, a Millerite whack job claiming to the the New Prophet took over Mecca with terrorists. To this day few gringos know it happened. Carter and Reagan never mentioned it, but George Holy War Bush did invade the only place out there that was NOT a mystical theocracy. Bush Junior repeated the dumb move, declared America a mystical theocracy, instituted a faith-based importation of Positive Christianity into government and we’ve since had nothing but trouble from the wreckage of Byzantium–plus exacerbation of nativist ku-kluxers eager to bully girls and hippies. But Bush’s pumping of tax money into organized mysticism primed youngsters for brainwashing by any and all who despise reason and worship the initiation of force. Obama appears to have made that Bush money available to berserker faiths. So, as in the new Vichy France and People’s Staat Germany, brace yourself for exploding converts to Mohammed in a replay of the Taeping Rebellion missionaries unleashed by foreigners on China in the Opium War and Civil War era.

  31. If a criminal murders a family and the surviving son executed the criminal as well as HIS family in retaliation, we would rightly condemn it as an act of vigilantism. We don’t discourage crime by citing acts of vengeance as a possible response. Why do the Ron Paul use that rationale on legislation addressing national security and terrorism?

    If Trump’s EO is unwise or unconstitutional, we can’t be cowered into doing the right thing by extremists threats who have incentive to radicalize people using contexts true or false. No more than the left should be forced into closing immigration or respecting 2A rights when an army of Bundies start taking over government buildings.

    If the SC upholds Trump’s EO, then whether it becomes an effective recruiting tool is completely irrelevant. Our law is law and every nation has its right to its borders. And if a Syrian kills 100 Frenchmen tomorrow to protest Trump’s travel ban, who would rise against Trump and argue for accepting more refugees? Seriously.

    Up to 72 people from the 7 travel banned nations were charged for terrorism related incident. The left is really busy making random distinctions to lessen the perceived threat “Well selling drugs and arms for ISIS isn’t the same thing as actually plotting to kill Americans” It’s so mind boggingly tone deaf. Only FBI stings on incredibly gullible would be Jihadists stops bank and town square explosions from happening annually.

  32. RE: How the Travel Ban Helps Terrorists
    America offers ISIS a useful propaganda recruitment tool.

    Let the people go where they want.
    However, if they get kidnapped, raped, robbed or murdered, don’t expect a squad of Navy Seals to rescue your stupid ass.
    If you’re stupid enough to travel to a dangerous country, then you deserve what you get.

  33. So does that mean we should expect waves of Cuban terrorists because Obama decided we’re not going to take refugees from there anymore?

  34. The travel ban does NOT help the terrorists. This is mush-brained liberal/progressive thinking. Liberals are afraid to die. They believe EVERYONE thinks the same way they do. The world would truly be a different place BUT Maslow defined the hierarchy of life for a RATIONAL organism. Islam has a different view.

    Maslow’s #1 is self survival. Islam, however, values suicide if it “advances the cause of Islam”. Muslims have put bombs on their children. Mothers have clutched their infant to their chest as the mother’s bomb vest detonates.

    Liberal/progressives SAY they value women and their rights. Women are flogged if they are raped. The reasoning is that they were someplace they should not have been. Women can be stoned to death for adultery. Fathers and sons kill their daughters/sisters for violating the “honor” of the family.

    There is a big difference between a “rational” person and one who is “rationalizing”. The latter is trying to convince the former that the truth is different from what it appears to be.

  35. Saying that the ban serves as a good anti-US propaganda tool for ISIS is like claiming that a burglar was “triggered” to break into your house because you didn’t have the courtesy to leave the porch light on for them.

  36. Yeah! Don’t call a madman a madman because they might get mad, man. What nonsense.

  37. Once again, the ban is labeled to be something it is not. The word “Muslim” does not appear anywhere in the Presidential Order. In order for any writer to include it, they, themselves, must make the LOGICAL connection between the protective order and the religion of those who we need protection from.

    How can one clearly KNOW who constitutes the threat and on what basis then blame the POTUS for doing his DUTY?

  38. What the travel ban does, by singling out Muslims in these seven countries, is to buttress the Islamic State claim that the West is at war with Islam. If the policy induces a small percentage of American Muslims?who number 3.3 million?to embrace the group, the risk of terrorism will multiply.

    So, let me get this straight. Because the press is misrepresenting Trump’s temporary ban on visas for people from seven countries based on the fact that they don’t have a functioning government as a “Muslim ban”, and because American Muslims are easily triggered into violence and terrorism, we should let in more Muslims and it’s all Trump’s fault.

    Here are some better ideas. First, the press should stop misrepresenting the facts. Second, we should have immigration that actually reflects our demographics and our values, meaning about 1% of immigrants should be Muslims, not 40-50%. Third, we should press our “allies” in the Middle East to take in Muslim refugees, which provides the refugees with an environment that is culturally compatible and is much cheaper than flying people to the US.

  39. The true followers of Islam already are willing to kill us if we do not convert.
    How can anything make them hate us more than that?

    On a more political thread, why do the democrats just rail against the President instead of introducing legislation of some kind that will lead to a national discussion about the entire terrorist threat? Are the “terrorists” true followers of Islam, or heretics? Did the declaration of war by a group that was/is not a true nation-state have any legal validity? Should our response be military, law enforcement, or a bit of both (military outside our territories, police within)? Is there an effective response short of a crusade to eliminate Islam by killing every man woman and child? How bad would it be to ignore the problem altogether? Was the combining of a bunch of overlapping and redundant agencies really such a good idea (as in effective or cost effective), or just another giant bureaucracy wasting tax dollars that still does not coordinate?
    You know, do their duty as stated in their oath of office.

  40. “In ruling against the president’s executive order, a panel of three judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals couldn’t help noticing that “the government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.””

    That’s also irrelevant. First off, let me be clear… Fuck Trump; I don’t support him. That said, the logic advanced above is… there haven’t been terrorist attacks from these specific countries, but they have come from other countries; therefore the ban on travel from these countries isn’t valid.

    That’s the equivalent of saying that I don’t know anyone who has died from a vehicle collision while not wearing a seatbelt and the only person I know who has ever died in a car died from a gunshot wound therefore wearing seatbelts isn’t smart or justified. Both possibilities are very rare, but the gunshot death is ridiculously, extremely rare. Choosing not to prepare for the unlikely (but vastly more likely in comparison) possibility because it hasn’t happened (while the extraordinarily unlikely has happened) is just f’ing stupid. The specific countries in the ban are unquestionably more likely to produce terrorists.

    1. That said, our entire Homeland Security Theater policy is based on the principle of reacting to threats that have previously occurred and not reacting according to probability. People want that warm fuzzy feeling from seeing that TSA is specifically searching for box cutters.

  41. Ok Steve Chapman. Let’s let them all in – gee you’re so brilliant. So tired of you left wingers taking over Libertarian discourse. The funny thing is that it is largely the backlash over precisely this type of nonsense coming from the pompous media that got Trump elected. If you guys stopped writing half-baked one-sided arguments, maybe this country would be better off. Retire or start being fair in your reporting. Actually I don’t know if there is any true reporting left – it’s all opinion pieces these days. Well, guess what, opinions are cheap – everyone’s got one…

  42. So, the flip side is open borders and allowing in refugees? How does THAT enhance our security? I’m sorry, but I’ll go with enhanced border security over the iffy proposition that ISIS will somehow turn this into a handy — and EFFECTIVE — recruiting tool.

  43. Just think of the waste ISIS is about to suffer. Recruit to overflowing and can’t get in. Ha, ha, ha, ha!!
    The logic that things we do are recruitment tools for the enemy are exactly what I want. Get ’em all bunched up and send them some practice suicide vests.

  44. Nora Ellingsen, who spent five years working on international counterterrorism investigations at the FBI, went through all the cases she could find over the past two years. Over that time, the agency “has arrested 34 Americans who aspired to leave, attempted to leave or actually left ???? ???? ?????? ? ??????? ??????? ????? ???? the United States to join a terrorist group overseas,” she writes?compared with two refugees it has arrested from the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.