Balkinization  

Monday, December 07, 2015

America's coming exceptional self-isolation

Sandy Levinson

Put to one side the fascistic suggestion by Donald Trump with regard to barring Moslems from entering the United States and presumably monitoring all Moslem-Americans who are ostensiblly equal citizens entitled to full protections of the Constitution..  And one can even put to one side the obvious legal questions, in terms both of domestic constitutional law and international law, about such proposals with regard to immigrants and visitors.  It is an embarrassing fact, after all, that so long as the Chinese Exclusion Cases remain on the books, it may be the case that the US, as a "sovereign state," has the absolute right to deny entrance on any grounds it sees fit, including religious.  Indeed, it is not unthinkable that Antonin Scalia believes that "sovereign states" within the US have such a right, as the US Supreme Court suggested in the 1837 case Mayor of New York v. Miln, overruled in 1941, but it's not clear that Scalia--or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott--has received the message.


Rather, one might actually raise a pragmatic and amoral  point that one would think a self-professed business genius, who has, by his own assertion, made millions in resorts like Atlantic City, would be sensitive to.  Adoption of such wicked policies would, in addition to everything else, assure that the US would simply for a very long time never again be able to host any international gathering, whether one thinks of the World Cup, the Olympics, or a trade fair.  All of them depend on relative freedom of movement across borders.  Already the US makes it more difficult for foreigners to enter the country, and many countries have retaliated by making it equally inconvenient for Americans to travel abroad.  Thus Brazil and Argentina, to name only two, extract hefty visa charges that are acknowledged quite openly to be a response to the charges the US places on their own nationals when they try to visit the US. 


So why in the world would any international organization pick the US as the venue for its events when other countries would be more welcoming?  Perhaps we will become more like China and North Korea in our hesitation to welcome those about whom we've become hysterical.  Mr. Trump and his allies apparently think that their suggestions would be cost free (except to foreign Others) if adopted.  But not only is there no reason at all to believe that Trump's "policies" would make us safer; it is the also the case, in addition to their betraying what is most admirable about the United States, at least in its self-conception as set out on the Statue of Liberty, that the economic costs would be enormous.  One awaits the next polls, to see what limits there are on acceptance of his idiocy.  If not, then we should be very, very afraid, for all sorts of reasons.  The only silver lining of his continued prominence as a candidate would be the almost certain destruction of the Republican Party as they pay the price for the cynically racist Southern Strategy adopted long ago by Richard Nixon with such effectiveness. 


[UPDATE:  I am chastised in one of the comments for my intemperance in calling Donald Trump a "fascist."  Is he any less "fascistic" that the vaunted "Islamic-fascists" who are the object of vituperation from the Right?  Perhaps neither is "really" fascist if we require, say, commitment to a corporatist organization of society, etc.  So, to be sure, it would be valuable to have serious discussions of what makes one a "fascist," "communist," "socialist," "democrat," "libertarian," and so on.  But there is really no reason to continue treating Donald Trump or his acolytes as mere entertainment (the Huffington Post initial strategy).  He is as dangerous to the stability of the United States as, say, Huey Long or Father Coughlin were during the '30s in the United States or, for that matter, Marie Le Pen in contemporary France.  Does one want to settle for calling him a "dangerous narcissistic authoritarian"?  I would regard this as a friendly amendment.  But it is shameful that some Republican "leaders" continue to treat him with respect.  Lindsay Graham, with whom I agree on very little, is behaving as a truly responsible leader in his own comments about Trump.  He should be commended. 

Comments:

The only silver lining of his continued prominence as a candidate would be the almost certain destruction of the Republican Party as they pay the price for the cynically racist Southern Strategy adopted long ago by Richard Nixon with such effectiveness.

Thank you for your comments, but I fear that this is far too optimistic a conclusion. They currently have three of the four branches of government and are likely to maintain a hold on two of them: the House and the Court. And they are persistent in their often successful efforts to disenfranchise Democratic supporters by any means available, however cynical or counterfactual. Meanwhile, a significant part of the media remains sycophantic withal, and much of the rest is only starting to call them out.
 

A general word of advice. Any time that Trump seems to have said something outrageous, you should dig to find out what he actually said, instead of assuming media accounts are accurate.

I'm not saying he's a calm, temperate moderate, far from it. But we ARE in the middle of a rather intense media campaign aimed at portraying him as an utter madman. It's quite a bit more intense than such campaigns usually are, since both major parties are in on it. And you show signs of having swallowed the lies. Trust me, the truth about him is bad enough, you don't need to worry that you might like him if you find out what he's actually saying.

And, if you find you can't find his actual words, that might tell you something, too.

On the substance of your post, I think the point you're missing is that we're in a war. Trump wants us to act like we're in a war.

I get told, "We can't be at war with Islam, there are too many Muslims!" But the thing about wars is, you often don't have a choice about being at war. Only about whether you'll be fighting back. I look at what's going on in the Middle East and Europe, and it looks like WWIII is warming up.

Maybe we shouldn't pretend that it isn't, just because that's scary to think about.
 

We're no more 'at war' with Islam than when our Founders faced the Barbary Pirates, Muslims who justified their thuggery in Islamic doctrine, and they explicitly stated in the Treaty of Tripoli that we were involved in no such war. There are some terrorist groups that are Muslim that consider themselves at war with us, their aim is to convince most other Muslims in the world and here that we are at war with them. People like Trump play right into this, they are ISIS' best recruiters. The way to win over any enemy is not to unnecessarily gain allies for them. We currently have Muslims fighting on the ground and air for us in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, we are relying on long time allies like Muslim Turkey in the area. To alienate these allies by joining ISIS in declaring a war between Islam and the West would be most foolish.

In WWII we did not declare war on all Europe because of the actions of the Germans and Italians. Heck, we didn't even declare war on fascism, as we were willing to get by with Franco. This isn't just a matter of American values at issue, it's a matter of sensible strategy.
 

I'm interested in seeing further analysis of the legal question. It seems to me that any policy that draws religious lines would be a violation of the Establishment Clause.
 

I would strongly suggest that you progressives think very hard about your response to Trump's suggestions before engaging in a jerk of the knee.

To start, you need to acknowledge that we are in a religious war for the first time in our history. We may not be at war with Islam, but a substantial portion of Islam is at war with us.

Furthermore, we are at war in the homeland for the first time since Pearl Harbor and then the Indian Wars a century ago. Unless you can provide a concerned and angry people with a sensible set of alternative proposals to provide for their security, they will take the simple solution like detaining Japanese-Americans in camps and Indians in reservations.

Arguing that foreign Muslims have some sort of right to come to the United States (they do not) and attacking those who question that policy or argue that the government cannot effectively screen Muslim migrants for terrorists as bigots will increase support Trump and his ideas. After France's socialist government offered these arguments and attacks, La Pen's anti-immigrant party won elections across France.

The only way to defeat the Islamic fascist movement is a combination of force and convincing the rest of Islam to categorically and publicly excommunicate terrorists from the faith in order to dry up support and recruiting. This is a delicate balance because our use of force and our immigration policies by necessity must target Muslims.

Let's discuss how to strike that balance in the area of immigration.

Please do not tell me our current immigration policies are sufficient. The enemy has invaded the country on multiple occasions posing as visitors or migrants, the most recent example being the woman who committed mass murder in San Bernadino.

 

Our dynamic dyslexic duo, Brat and Bert, "Trump-et" war, religious or otherwise, probably getting their personal arsenals ready for domestic combat of some sort. Recall their lockstepping with the Bush/Cheney Administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq that has spawned the current mess in the Greater Middle East. Before heeding their advice, I suggest a trip to the TomDispatch website to read Andrew J. Bacevich's "Beyond ISIS, The Folly of World War IV." Our own dynamic dyslexic duo, Brat and Bert, provide their knee-jerk, lock and load mentalities.
 

To start, you need to acknowledge that we are in a religious war for the first time in our history. We may not be at war with Islam, but a substantial portion of Islam is at war with us.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:59 AM


Arrant nonsense. We're at war with a fringe group of lunatics. Unfortunately, the fringe lunatics on our side want to help them turn it into a religious war.
 

We're at war with a group of lunatics. Poll after poll of Muslims indicates they're not a "fringe" group of lunatics. They're a very large faction of Muslims.

You can want to not be at war with Islam all you like, that won't mean Islam isn't at war with you. As a basic matter of Islamic theology, the world is divided into "Dar al-Islam " and "Dar al-Harab". Literally, "the house of Islam", and "the house of war".

There's nowhere else you can be, Bart. Either you live in a place Islam controls, or you live in a place Islam is at war with. They may or may not, at any given moment, be persecuting the war by violent means. That's a question of tactics. But they are at war with us.

As a matter of our own tactics, it might not be smart to have Congress pass a declaration of war against Islam. It's flat out stupid to act as though we're at peace with them.
 

One of the problems with routinely labeling your political opponents as lunatics/fascists/dictators, etc. is that no one will pay you much heed when one appears who actually deserves the label. I think there was a story about a boy and a wolf along those lines. In the story, though, the wolf just ate the boy's sheep, as opposed to the boy and all the people in the town.

So there's that.
 

BB:

It's long past time to wake up and face reality.

Islamic fascism is fielding armies of tens of thousands in multiple countries and they very seriously intend on establishing a world theocracy. They are not some fringe group huddled in a cave.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-plot-world-domination-revealed-6968444

Islamic fascism is engaged in the largest religious genocide across the Muslim world and increasingly elsewhere since Nazi fascism's final solution. They are very much engaged in a religious war against you.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/27/dying-for-christianity-millions-at-risk-amid-rise-in-persecution-across-the-globe

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/newsroom/tag-news-post/persecution-of-christians-reaches-historic-levels-conditions-suggest-worst-is-yet-to-come/

Under the Quran as written, Allah instructs Muslims to subjugate people of the book (Christians and Jews) and kill non-believers (which includes all of you secular progressives). Islamic fascism has reinterpreted this as a commandment to kill all non-Muslims.

 

BB:

It's long past time to wake up and face reality.


Says the imbecile who still thinks that invading Iraq was a good idea.

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!
 

One of the problems with routinely labeling your political opponents as lunatics/fascists/dictators, etc. is that no one will pay you much heed when one appears who actually deserves the label.
# posted by Blogger mls : 10:43 AM


Nutcases like Baghdad Bart and Yosemite Brett definitely deserve the label.
 

I really don't want to be "at war" with a billion and a half people or even "a very large fraction" of that, so it is reassuring -- Brett moving past constitutional analysis now to school us on Islam (perhaps we can next discuss what the Christian Bible says about divorce) aside -- we are not.

http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/the-future-of-the-global-muslim-population/?utm_expid=53098246-2.Lly4CFSVQG2lphsg-KopIg.0

It is useful to understand one's enemy and confusion here is kinda dangerous. Some further reading: http://www.nature.com/news/terrorism-science-5-insights-into-jihad-in-europe-1.18923 Also, "Blood That Cries Out From the Earth: The Psychology of Religious Terrorism" by James W. Jones.

Usage of exact transcripts is useful -- Buzzfeed, e.g., is a good source since it often includes linkage to primary documents.

"total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States"

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration




 

I imagine our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) keyboarding his anti-Islam screed with "Onward Christian Soldiers" providing incentive in the background. Under the Constitution does Congress' war declaration power apply to our own MRO's "religious" war? With Republicans in control of both the Senate and House, can we expect them to declare a religious war against Islam? His Republican fav, Ted s.CRUZ, suggests carpet-bombing ISIS, perhaps as part of a President Cruz's "FIRST CRUZADE."
 

As I said, Joe, you don't have to be at war with Islam, for Islam to be at war with you. Denial won't stop the genocide of non-Muslims in the Middle East, anymore than denial stopped the Holocaust.

That nobody wants to face the reality of evil in the world is evil's greatest asset.
 

Denial won't stop the genocide of non-Muslims in the Middle East, anymore than denial stopped the Holocaust.


On the other hand, denial does appear to allow you to conveniently ignore that these groups are mostly killing their fellow Muslims.

That nobody wants to face the reality of evil in the world is evil's greatest asset.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 11:18 AM


No, ignorant bigots like you are the greatest assets these groups could hope to have.
 

Perhaps Brett could reveal all the "evil in the world" (including in America) that Americans should want to face to back up his:

"That nobody wants to face the reality of evil in the world is evil's greatest asset."

What is Brets prepared to put his asset on the line for?




 

Right, right, that's why Syria has essentially no Jews, and the number of Christians has been cut in half in just a few years. Because they're killing mostly Muslims. Like I said, denial.

I'll grant you that they're just about out of non-Muslims to kill in some parts of the Middle East. But that's not the absence of a genocide, that's it being finished.
 

Denial won't stop Islamic fascism's genocide against anyone who does not follow their beliefs.
 

Denial won't stop Islamic fascism's genocide against anyone who does not follow their beliefs.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:40 AM


But it's a great way to pretend that the last idiotic war you supported was not a complete disaster.
 

Like I said, denial.

# posted by Blogger Brett : 11:40 AM


You are right about the denial part. Let us know when you morons find Iraq's WMD.
 

"Islam" is not at war with us any more than "Christianity" was at war against Native Americans in this country. Some people (see, e.g., link) are using their own view of Islam to advance certain ends. "Islam" is not some united whole. You can "deny" this all you want, but if we want to deal with "evil" or perhaps some less religiously slanted concept, ignorance can be our true enemy here. Agree on that.

 

I'm usually opposed to the sort of militaristic stupidity that Yosemite and Baghdad support. But I'm very much in favor of them heading to Syria to fight the "Islamic Fascists" that are currently making that country such a great tourist destination for assholes.
 

Joe:

Islamic fascism is effectively a denomination of Islam like the Catholic Dominicans who prosecuted the Spanish Inquisition.

Islamic fascism is at war with us in every religious and military sense of that word.
 

Islamic fascism is at war with us in every religious and military sense of that word.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 12:29 PM


Blankshot, if you think we're at war with "Islamic fascism", you should be in Syria on the front lines.

 

historical precedent? -- http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2015/12/trump-and-religious-exclusion-from-the-us-the-mormon-precedent.html
 

Bart: "... convincing the rest of Islam to categorically and publicly excommunicate terrorists from the faith .." I've always thought it is rather to the credit of mainstream Islam that it doesn't have the mechanisms developed by Christianity to identify and expel heretics. ISIL has; it has also developed a rococo apocalyptic that must owe a lot to Christian nutjobs, down to a starring role for a spear-wielding Jesus in the last battle.
 

Per, Mr. W., there is this:

"I continue to contend that the U.S. government establishing a religious test for immigration and entry would violate the Constitution."

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/428198/muslim-immigration-ban-and-constitution-jim-geraghty

I don't assume Jim Geraghty has some special constitutional knowledge here but it is somewhat reassuring (though as noted at Talking Points Memo by its founder, Trump is speaking to a zeitgeist here) that Trump is getting pushback from the likes of NR, Dick Cheney and others often not the font of rationality in this general area.
 

Mr. W: "I continue to contend that the U.S. government establishing a religious test for immigration and entry would violate the Constitution."

No alien outside the United States has any right to enter the United States or any other right under the Constitution.

The United States historically denied entry to persons from countries with which we are at war and interned those who are already in the country.

During a religious war, I see nothing in the Constitution which prevents the United States from denying entry to aliens who are the enemy's co-religionists. We can argue the wisdom and morality of such a ban, but not its legality.

Where Trump crosses the legal line is attempting to banish American citizens who are Muslim.

 

Has he crossed that line? I read the press release from Trump's campaign, and there was no mention of applying the moratorium to citizens.

Posner on the subject. He doesn't like the proposal one bit, but thinks those denouncing it as unconstitutional have the worse of it.
 

Brett:

Categorical bans prohibiting all Muslims from entering the United States would by definition include returning American Muslims.

Trump and his campaign are walking this implication back now.

Hazards of saying whatever stupid thing comes into your head.
 

"Islamic fascism is fielding armies of tens of thousands in multiple countries and they very seriously intend on establishing a world theocracy."

Estimates of ISIL's strength in terms of numbers is somewhere around 100,000. That puts them behind the military powerhouse of Spain.

"Islamic fascism is engaged in the largest religious genocide across the Muslim world and increasingly elsewhere since Nazi fascism's final solution."

Your own cited source numbers this 'largest religious genocide...since Nazi fascism's final solution' to be at around 4,000 this year.

"No alien outside the United States has any right to enter the United States or any other right under the Constitution."

I'm not arguing based on the right of the alien to enter, but on the prohibition on Congress favoring some religions over others.
 

"Right, right, that's why Syria has essentially no Jews, and the number of Christians has been cut in half in just a few years. Because they're killing mostly Muslims. Like I said, denial."

Uh, if you start with way more of group X than Y and Z you can certainly take away lots more of group X than you do Y and X and get a result with very little Y and Z...Brett, are you going to make war on math next (those numbers are...arabic, after all!)?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Brett, are you going to make war on math next (those numbers are...arabic, after all!)?
# posted by Blogger Mista Whiskas : 4:01 PM


It's all part of the ongoing GOP war on sanity. It's being fought on many fronts.
 

An immigrant law expert believes it would be unconstitutional:

http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/07/donald-trump-calls-for-banning-muslims-from-entering-u-s/

The NR piece cites some the other way such as Eric Posner, whose views can be somewhat authoritarian and troubling in general. Posner in various cases would support presidential and congressional powers that Brett etc. would find problematic in certain cases, but on this they will blandly cite his views.

Ultimately, as in various cases, it is a matter of judgment, including of basic constitutional values. What we did in the past (see, e.g., targeting "belief" of polygamy or regulation of corporate speech) is not necessarily binding today there.

Mr. W. is concerned with 1A issues which limits congressional powers broadly, including over immigration. The Due Process Clause also protects "persons" and some "plenary" power here can be problematic. Past history again is a mixed bag; anyways, constitutional limits are not the same thing as bad policy.
 

What does the Constitution say explicitly about "religious war"? What does originalism inform us about "religious war"? Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) continues to use this phrase in his views on the Constitution in this thread. Congress has yet to declare war, but would that power TRUMP the 1st A religion clauses? The Framers were familiar with the Crusades, so they had some sense of "religious war" when formulating the Constitution. This is just more of our own MRO's hyperbole.
 

Mr. W: I'm not arguing based on the right of the alien to enter, but on the prohibition on Congress favoring some religions over others.

What prohibition would that be?

The Establishment Clause?

On what basis would an foreign alien have standing to bring an Establishment Clause claim?

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40825.pdf
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Joe: "The Due Process Clause also protects "persons"

You have a right to due process before the government may deny you life, liberty or property.

Foreign aliens have no right to enter in to the United States.


 

The want of standing would not mean there is no violation of the Clause. I would think you of all people would get that given your opinion on some of Obama's actions for which there is likely no standing.
 

Mr. W:

The Establishment Clause keeps Congress from establishing a state religion and has no effect on Congress' plenary power to regulate immigration.

Even if the Supreme Court was willing to rewrite the Establishment Clause to state that Congress cannot use religion as a qualification for immigration, they can't do so unless foreign aliens have standing to bring the case to them.


 

Brett spoke of Trump only speaking of citizens. "Persons" have protections under the Due Process Clause. I don't know what his latest is but "Muslims entering" can be a range of people. For instance, a long term resident of ten years might not be a citizen, but blockage of return to his or her family and children etc. can very well be a problem. Plenary power here can be abusive and new wrongs can result in crystallization of proper applications of rights.

The barrier can affect citizen spouses, children and so forth. They very well might have standing to sue under Establishment Clause or other grounds. Regardless:

"It must be remembered that, even where parties have no standing to sue, members of the Legislative and Executive Branches are not excused from making constitutional determinations in the regular course of their duties. Government officials must make a conscious decision to obey the Constitution whether or not their acts can be challenged in a court of law and then must conform their actions to these principled determinations."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/06-157.ZC.html

I am not sure why there is an "immigration exception" to the First Amendment. If a law "respecting the establishment of religion" is involved, "Congress shall make no law." Can it make immigration officers only be Christians? One is better left with arguing that Muslims are so dangerous that there is a compelling state interest here to selectively disfavor them. Something I don't think works factually but better than saying "no" means "for certain things."

The "plenary" doctrine has been used, e.g., by states too. A 'plenary' control over marriage was used to justify miscegenation laws. The past is not always a good precedent for the future there. Anyway, again, bad policy need not be unconstitutional. Still bad policy.
 


The Establishment clause forbids the government from favoring or disfavoring among religions. Forbidding immigration based on religion would be the latter.

And, as I mentioned, a lack of standing to challenge the practice does not mean the practice is constitutional.

On a more practical note, you never answered my initial point about strategy. We know ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups recruit by trying to convince other Muslims that the West in general and the US in particular is hostile to Islam and Muslims generally. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally play right into their hands?

Also, we are currently relying heavily on Muslim allies in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Our allies are risking much for us, and a constant criticism of them is that they are working for nations generally hostile to Islam. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally slap them in the face and undermine their legitimacy among their people?

You and Brett seem to want to paint this as 'progressives' being softhearted and denying the danger or evil of ISIS, but what I see are conservatives practically (though of course unintentionally) aiding and abetting a dangerous, murderous enemy of ours.
 

Regarding Trump as entertainment may not be a mistake. I assume he has a Plan B, a Plan C and even a Plan D, as time goes on, to avoid being tagged with his own tag as a "Loser." Whatever happens, he can say it was part of his plan all along. I'm reminded of Bob Newhart's last show, awakening from a dream along side his "wife" from an earlier series, relating hs dream to her. Trump will do anything to avoid being branded as a "Loser" as that would destroy his brand. Maybe he'll end it with a morality message. Why JEB! is now suggesting some sort of Trump/Clinton conspiracy of sorts. But a feasible morality of his campaign may be how the other Republican candidates could not cope with his unusual methods at low costs, providing the directions for their campaigns in mimicking his, in effect demonstrating their foolishness and thus their inability to lead America. Trump has been Pied Piper-ing his Republican competition for the most part by maintaining his polling leads, frustrating those in single digits to play his fool. Re-runs of the GOP debates can be entertaining for years to come. But Trump will survive - and at little cost to whatever billions he has. And he has been and will continue to do so at very little personal expense. Imagine more Trump hotels. Imagine a Donald J. Trump room in each of them in which the Donald has slept. His fans may desire to sleep in a Trump bedroom over the White House's Lincoln bedroom. Marketing! Why take a cut in pay as President with all those potential conflicts that might arise? So I expect all this to end as a morality play for Trump.

I don't expect Trump's polling to go down as a result of his recent brouhaha; in fact they may go up. My late high school and college buddy Joe's stories about his grandfather included an old Italian saying: "If you're rich, you're not only smart, but good looking too."
 

Mr. W:

I am not arguing in favor of Trump's proposal for a blanket prohibition on admitting Muslims. I am merely observing that it is not unconstitutional.

American "persecution" of Muslims has very little to do with how Islamic fascism recruits.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-manual-al-qaeda-and-now-isis-use-to-brainwash-people-online-2015-7

This recruiting strategy is classic fascism. Compare it to the television movie The Wave based on a real life classroom experiment by California High School history teacher Ron Jones.

If you have not seen this movie, I cannot recommend it enough.

https://youtu.be/ICng-KRxXJ8


 

Bart,

Islamic terrorists main recruiting line is to tell Western Muslims that the West consider itself at war with Islam, so the potential recruit should get off the fence and take sides.

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/15/377442344/how-orwells-animal-farm-led-a-radical-muslim-to-moderation

When we take generally anti-Muslim positions we bolster that.

I notice you didn't respond to my points about our foreign allies.
 

Actually their main recruiting line is something like, "We're actually doing what the Koran directs Muslims to do, waging unrelenting war on apostates and unbelievers. Not like those pantywaists you're following now who don't follow any part of the Koran they find inconvenient." It has bite, because that's actually what the Koran directs Muslims to do.

That's the fundamental problem here. ISIS demonstrably acts more like Mohamed, Islam's 'perfect man', than moderate Muslims do. Islam was invented by a warlord, spread at the point of a sword. It's not a "religion of peace", except in the notorious Soviet definition: "Peace is what you get when everyone does what we tell them." It's a religion of unrelenting war on everybody who doesn't accept it.

And not metaphorical war, either.

A Christian who asks, "What Would Jesus Do?" isn't going to be dangerous to anybody except maybe a moneylender in a temple. A Muslim who asks, "What would Mohamed do?" is going to start killing people who won't convert.

That's the ugly truth.
 

A Christian who asks, "What Would Jesus Do?" isn't going to be dangerous to anybody except maybe a moneylender in a temple. A Muslim who asks, "What would Mohamed do?" is going to start killing people who won't convert.

That's the ugly truth.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 6:22 AM


And yet the Christian still ends up invading Iraq for no good reason...

That's the ugly truth.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) tries to show his skills at marching backwards (aka backtracking) with this response to Mr. W:

"I am not arguing in favor of Trump's proposal for a blanket prohibition on admitting Muslims. I am merely observing that it is not unconstitutional."

Apparently our own MRO realized some of the past history of religious/ethnic hatred in America as well as avoiding giving his support (for whatever it might be worth) to Trump, as that would not be in the interests of our own MRO's dog in this hunt, the snarly Ted s.Cruz. No, our own MRO was focusing on a religious war. Now he puts on his constitutional dunce-cap in a weak attempt to temper his hyperbole. And I note our own MRO's efforts to somewhat separate himself from his compatriot Brett.

Speaking of Brett, I remind all that he is a self-proclaimed anarcho libertarian. His screeds are as nuanced as the GOP elephant's derriere. Brett seems to want a religious war. That's the anarcho part.
 

Brett, have you read the Old Testament?


 

Mr. W:

Your interviewed former-Jihadi mentions undefined British racism, the Yugoslav civil war, hip hop music and the Nation of Islam as the reasons he sought out the Islamic fascist movement. There is no discussion as to how they recruited him, but this is the sort of aimless young man the fascists target. He further describes how Egypt's Islamic fascist movement was thriving decades before the Afghan and Iraq Wars.
 

Let's get back to the subject at hand - what immigration system do you propose to deny entry to Islamic fascist terrorists?

It is easy to condemn Trump's blanket prohibition against admitting Muslims, but not so easy to offer your own alternative.

I suggest that we need to begin with a far better intelligence gathering system to identify the sources and identities of Islamic fascists. That means we need to start capturing and interrogating the enemy again rather killing them with drones. We need to use all of our electronic intelligence gathering to track who the captured jihadi have been in contact with. We need to identify the radical mosques which preach Islamic fascism and provide support to jihadi groups.

Immigration reform can start with barring entry to anyone we identify as part of or related in any way with the Islamic fascist movement overseas. If you are a foreign alien who are friends and family with an identified jihadi, attend a Islamic fascist mosque or are on the phone list of a jihadi, you are not admitted into the United States. If you a foreign alien here on a visa and meet one of these criteria, you are expelled.

If you are an American citizen who meets these criteria, the FBI will conduct a security clearance check on you. If that check unveils evidence of ongoing communications with Islamic fascists, you are placed under ongoing surveillance. If that check reveals probable cause that you are providing material support to jihadi groups, the FBI will start a criminal investigation. The CIA will join the investigation if the material support involves foreign jihadis.

Such a system would not be perfect, but it is the most narrowly tailored I can conceive of while still being relatively effective.

Do you have a better idea?
 

It is easy to condemn Trump's blanket prohibition against admitting Muslims, but not so easy to offer your own alternative.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:46 AM


No, it's actually pretty easy to find an alternative. But that won't win you a lot of votes in the GOP primary.
 

BB:

You are free to offer your proposal.
 

You are free to offer your proposal.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:57 AM


We let them in as long as they're not on a terrorist watch list. Problem solved. But not a lot of votes from the racist base of your party.


 

BB: We let them in as long as they're not on a terrorist watch list.

When asked what her plan was to defeat ISIS, Hillary Clinton replied that she would defeat ISIS.

You two are the poster children for progressive brilliance.

Does anyone else have a serious proposal?
 

"Brett, have you read the Old Testament?"

Sure, have you read the New Testament? It supercedes the old, you know.

That's what Islam really needs, is a New Testament, to reduce the current Koran to a historical footnote. Hard to do when anybody who tried to write one would be murdered.
 

When asked what her plan was to defeat ISIS, Hillary Clinton replied that she would defeat ISIS.

You two are the poster children for progressive brilliance.

Does anyone else have a serious proposal?
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:14 AM


And your response was "we'll do exactly the things that we're doing now, we'll just pretend that it's something different". You are the poster child for right wing stupidity.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

BB:

Obama ended the CIA interrogation program and now the NSA data mining program.

The US terror watch lists do not begin to cover the population I am proposing to exclude and have not prevented the entry of any of the jihadis who have invaded and attacked the United States over the past quarter century.

You are proposing that we maintain the failing status quo.
 

Obama ended the CIA interrogation program and now the NSA data mining program.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:30 AM


Blankshot, Obama ended the Bush/Cheney torture program. But somehow we're still getting enough intelligence on terrorists so that we're able to continue to blow them up on a regular basis. That should be more than sufficient for checking refugees.

In the meantime, stop pissing your pants over Muslims coming into the country. They're much less of a threat than the gun nuts that already live here.
 

Bart

Read the transcript:

"a perfect opportunity for me, as an Islamist, to spread that propaganda to try and convince ordinary, everyday Muslims that there is a war going on against Islam and Muslims and that, in fact, they have no long-term future in the West. And, therefore, the only way forward would be for Muslims to self-segregate and eventually establish their own state which we would call the caliphate."

and

"he reason for this is primarily because of them-and-us narrative, that the Islamists - as I tried to explain at the beginning of this interview - have a vested interest in peddling. If the Islamists can succeed in saying there's a them and an us, that this is a clash of civilizations - Islamic civilization on the one end and Democratic civilization on the other - which is false by the way. But if they can succeed in peddling that narrative, they create the divide over them and us, and they leave only one option left to Muslims, which is you'll only ever be safe in this so-called theocratic caliphate, so help us establish it."
 

Brett
The New Testament doesn't really supersede the Old for most Christians (why do you think most Christians place emphasis on, say, the Ten Commandments?). But more to the point, I was thinking of Jews. The Torah is as bloody as the Koran, and yet the Jews don't seem to be involved in that today. So I don't think having a bloody Book means a religion has to be that way.
 

"Let's get back to the subject at hand "

I'd rather you answer my questions first. I'll restate them:

We know ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups recruit by trying to convince other Muslims that the West in general and the US in particular is hostile to Islam and Muslims generally. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally play right into their hands?

Also, we are currently relying heavily on Muslim allies in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Our allies are risking much for us, and a constant criticism of them is that they are working for nations generally hostile to Islam. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally slap them in the face and undermine their legitimacy among their people?
 

You are proposing that we maintain the failing status quo.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:39 AM


LOL

Check out this graph.

https://tribwtic.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/gun-deaths-v-terrorism.jpg?w=1117&h=566
 

An amusing graph, which prompts two thoughts.

1. You can't blame guns for the spike in suicides since Obama took office. (Most of those firearms deaths were suicides.)

2. Maybe we'd like to keep those terrorism numbers down, instead of reaching French levels of terrorism?
 

An amusing graph, which prompts two thoughts.

1. You can't blame guns for the spike in suicides since Obama took office. (Most of those firearms deaths were suicides.)

2. Maybe we'd like to keep those terrorism numbers down, instead of reaching French levels of terrorism?
# posted by Blogger Brett : 12:16 PM


The only amusing part is that people like you are wetting your pants over such an insignificant problem.
 

Islam is argued to favor violence.

Christianity was and in various cases is quite the "fighting faith" too as was/is Judaism (the Jewish Bible is full with extermination rhetoric).

The New Testament wasn't available for those people, or what? In fact, the NT ends with the enemies of God being destroyed and Christians -- as with certain Muslims selectively of course -- have used the book to target Jews, homosexuals, women and others, including by death.

Ignorance again can be our biggest enemy.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W:

Here is the full quotes from your linked transcript:

Maajid Nawaz, welcome to FRESH AIR. Let me start by asking you how you would have interpreted the cartoons including this week's cover of Charlie Hebdo if you were a militant extremist - if you were still an extremist?

MAAJID NAWAZ: I would've believed that there's a cosmic struggle going on between Muslims and non-Muslims. And that this struggle will continue until the day of judgment. And that is that Muslims can never live as a minority or under the authority of anything but an implementation of their interpretation of Islam or Sharia, that Muslims in a minority context or in a context where they don't have authority are bound to constantly receive such battering and attacks on their religion and faith. And the only way to protect the religion is, in fact, to establish or enforce the religion over society, pretty much how ISIL are claiming to do so now in Iraq and Syria.

And so this would've been a perfect opportunity for me, as an Islamist, to spread that propaganda to try and convince ordinary, everyday Muslims that there is a war going on against Islam and Muslims and that, in fact, they have no long-term future in the West. And, therefore, the only way forward would be for Muslims to self-segregate and eventually establish their own state which we would call the caliphate...

GROSS: And it just seems, like, so confounding. Maybe you could talk about that a little bit, and I also make the assumption that, as a think tank trying to counter extremism, that you've been trying to organize moderate Muslims into asserting themselves and asserting their version of the religion over the extremist one.

NAWAZ: Yes. The reason for this is primarily because of them-and-us narrative, that the Islamists - as I tried to explain at the beginning of this interview - have a vested interest in peddling. If the Islamists can succeed in saying there's a them and an us, that this is a clash of civilizations - Islamic civilization on the one end and Democratic civilization on the other - which is false by the way. But if they can succeed in peddling that narrative, they create the divide over them and us, and they leave only one option left to Muslims, which is you'll only ever be safe in this so-called theocratic caliphate, so help us establish it.

Now the them-and-us narrative has gained some ground, unfortunately. So even among non-Islamist Muslims, they tend to see the world - many of them tend to see the world through a tribal lens. And of course, when the debate deteriorates to a tribal level, when you are arguing to defend your own tribe, you tend to ignore the mistakes of your tribe and focus only on the mistakes of others. And that's the nature of a tribal-style debate.

Of course, the truth is there is no clash of Islamic civilization versus Democratic civilization. The real clash - and there is certainly a clash, and it's certainly an ideological clash. But the real clash is within Muslim peoples and within the rest of the world between those who subscribe to Democratic values, Muslim and non-Muslim, and those who subscribe to a form of fascism, whether it be theocratic fascism as is the form with the theocracy of Iran or the ISIL Star caliphate, or any other form of fascism, such as North Korea that is an ally with Iran. That is the real clash that's going on in the world at the moment. And on both sides of that debate, you'll find Muslims and non-Muslims on either side. And that more complex, richer picture is what Islamists don't want people to understand, and it's why it suits them whenever the debate deteriorates into a them-and-us, being Muslims versus the rest.


This is classic fascism.


 

Mr. W:

We know ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups recruit by trying to convince other Muslims that the West in general and the US in particular is hostile to Islam and Muslims generally. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally play right into their hands?

While it is true that Jihadis will attempt to use any perceived slight as propaganda, Islamic fascism recruits on its own merits and grew long before the West "disfavored" Muslims.

Also, we are currently relying heavily on Muslim allies in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Our allies are risking much for us, and a constant criticism of them is that they are working for nations generally hostile to Islam. Wouldn't our having policies which disfavor Muslims generally slap them in the face and undermine their legitimacy among their people?

We should not disfavor Muslims generally, thus my proposal to fine tune our actions against Jihadis and their circle of family and friends.
 

While it is true that Jihadis will attempt to use any perceived slight as propaganda, Islamic fascism recruits on its own merits and grew long before the West "disfavored" Muslims.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 4:46 PM


It was here before the Crusades? I think that makes "Islamic fascism" even older than regular fascism.
 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...

We should not disfavor Muslims generally, thus my proposal to fine tune our actions against Jihadis and their circle of family and friends.


But make damned sure to mention that they're Muslim at every opportunity.

Amiriteoramirite?
 

BB:

Another reality check for you.

Jihadis are 100% Muslim;

The fascist version of Islam took its lead from the Euro fascists.
 

Jihadis are 100% Muslim;

The fascist version of Islam took its lead from the Euro fascists.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 6:18 PM


Another reality check for you. Not all terrorists are Muslim, dumbfuck. We've got plenty of Christian terrorists right here in the USA.

Seriously, stop pissing your pants over Muslims
 

Speaking of Christian terrorists, I never realized how much this asshole matched your life story. We should probably be watching you more carefully.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh
 

"Islamic fascism recruits on its own merits and grew long before the West "disfavored" Muslims"

We have the words of a former jihad recruiter that they try to paint things as the West vs. Islam. Why make that pitch easier for them? It doesn't make sense to say 'they've recruited people before we do X, so doing X can't possibly make their recruitment in the future easier.'

"We should not disfavor Muslims generally"

Weren't you arguing we should have a policy of accepting Christians from Syria but not Muslims? How is this not going to be seen as anything but disfavoring Muslims generally?

To answer your question about screening, I think we should carefully screen anyone coming in, but we've done this before (think about the Cold War) without such general disfavoring of groups.
 

This Post and thread will soon enter the Archives of this Blog. The initial comment was from Larry K (from whom we don't hear from often enough) quoting the closing sentence of Sandy's post (pre-Update):

"The only silver lining of his continued prominence as a candidate would be the almost certain destruction of the Republican Party as they pay the price for the cynically racist Southern Strategy adopted long ago by Richard Nixon with such effectiveness."

This sentence had caught my eye as it briefly informs of what constitutes the principal base of the current Republican Party. I've talked about this in many comments at this Blog over the years and do not plan to repeat myself. Race is at the forefront of the current Republican Party, not just Trump, in the 2016 presidential campaign. It's as if we have a Father Coughlin seminary of Republican presidential candidates..

 

BB: We've got plenty of Christian terrorists right here in the USA.

There is no Christian terrorist movement analogous to Islamic fascism.

No denomination or sect of Christianity has used terrorism to impose a Christian theocracy on the world for centuries.
 

BD: "We should not disfavor Muslims generally"

Mr. W: Weren't you arguing we should have a policy of accepting Christians from Syria but not Muslims? How is this not going to be seen as anything but disfavoring Muslims generally?


I made a distinction between Christians suffering religious genocide in Islamic nations from perfectly safe Syrian economic migrants.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

I noted from the outset:

Arguing that foreign Muslims have some sort of right to come to the United States (they do not) and attacking those who question that policy or argue that the government cannot effectively screen Muslim migrants for terrorists as bigots will increase support Trump and his ideas. After France's socialist government offered these arguments and attacks, La Pen's anti-immigrant party won elections across France.

As I suspected, after all the establishment attacks, a plurality of all voters and a super majority of GOP voters support Trump's proposition.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% of Likely Republican Voters favor a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Just 24% oppose the plan, with 10% undecided.

Among all voters, 46% favor a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, while 40% are opposed. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.


http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/december_2015/voters_like_trump_s_proposed_muslim_ban

"The only silver lining of his continued prominence as a candidate would be the almost certain destruction of the Republican Party ...

If the progressive political class does not develop and offer serious proposals to counter Trump, they face certain political destruction.
 

No denomination or sect of Christianity has used terrorism to impose a Christian theocracy on the world for centuries.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:41 AM


So fucking what? We've still got lots of Christian terrorists.
 

If the progressive political class does not develop and offer serious proposals to counter Trump, they face certain political destruction.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:51 AM


These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!

You thought the same thing about Sarah Palin. How did that go for you?
 

More on the EC: http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/the-legality-of-muslim-exclusion-part-ii-the-establishment-clause

And EPC (including federal analogue): http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/the-legality-of-muslim-exclusion
 

"I made a distinction between Christians suffering religious genocide in Islamic nations from perfectly safe Syrian economic migrants."

You lumped all Christians in the area into the former favored group and all the Muslims into the region into the latter. That's 'general' treatment.

"No denomination or sect of Christianity has used terrorism to impose a Christian theocracy on the world for centuries."

I think the KKK was more recent than 'centuries' ago.


 

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