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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Refugee Policy, or Assisted Suicide?

The political fall-out from the Paris massacre continues.

Here in the USA, we have seen some tentative battle lines drawn as over half of the nation's governors have announced that their states will not accept the so-called refugees from the Middle East. While I welcome this defiance of progressive political correctness, I have no idea whether that is a legally tenable position. Can a state refuse to accept an alien person that the federal government has deemed fit for residence in the USA? We certainly see the progressives arguing that cities and states can refuse to turn over for extradition aliens deemed unfit, but . .  . well, you know how it is with progressives. Yes for me, but not for thee, and they do control the federal bureaucracy and much of the court system. So we'll see what happens as the lawyers bash it out.

The state-by-state strategy, of course, has one big flaw. If just one state, e.g., California, announces the "refugees" are welcome, then--presto!--they're in. We have no border controls among the states, so somebody arriving in California, will soon have freedom to move about freely throughout the rest of our beleaguered Republic.

This is clearly an issue for Congress. That raises other issues, the first being how quickly can Congress move to draft effective legislation to ban the "refugees," overcome a likely veto, and withstand the mau-mauing from the elite progressive media and the "intellectuals"? Another issue is that we have a lawless president, one who has shown disregard for Congress and the Constitution, and is more than willing to get his way by executive fiat. Is impeachment a realistic option? 'Tis a lovely thought, and if ever a president deserved it, this one does, but I have doubts that will work. That said, Congress must act to show that at least one branch of the government still sees America as worth saving.

One more time, let's visit some basic facts. The vast majority of these "Syrian refugees," is neither Syrian nor refugee. We have no realistic way of vetting tens-of-thousands of arrivals--more on that below. We have no vast and accurate data base against which we can compare, names, fingerprints, DNA, stories, etc. We have no idea who these people are, from whence they come, or the intentions they have. Our immigration system is already broken by the crush of years of illegal aliens from elsewhere, and the confused and often contradictory policies and legal attitudes we adopt towards them. No way can the immigration lads and lassies handle this new wave. If the "Syrians" come, they stay.

As I have said so many times before, vetting is nonsense.

First, as noted, we have no way of checking the bona fides of these arrivals. Second, more important, as I have said repeatedly, the most serious issue is not whether this or that "refugee" belongs to ISIS, Boko Haram, Jamiat Islamya, Hamas, Al Shabab, and on and on. It is the Islam he brings with him--and most are men. Setting up tens-of-thousands of Muslims in a tolerant, democratic Western country sows the field for a later harvest of radicalization and terror. We have seen it repeatedly as "home grown" Muslims get "radicalized" in their local mosques and become jihadi crazies. Go to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, or Dearborn, and see what I mean.

Islam is not a religion like any other. Where Islam establishes itself, freedom disappears. It is a violent, totalitarian, political-social-economic creed which abhors independent thought, sees women as essentially worthless, murders gays without a thought, and sees non-believers as worthy only for conversion, enslavement, or death. There is no tolerance, no peace, no love for the other preached or practiced in Islam. It has had no enlightenment and what reformation it has had has pushed it back ever closer to its 7th century origins in the Arabian peninsula. As I have seen throughout my career abroad, a person born in a Muslim culture has the choice of becoming either a good Muslim or a good person. The two sets do not overlap.

We need a total ban on these Muslim "refugees." We need to treat Islam as we have treated Communism, Fascism, and Nazism in the past, to wit, as a totalitarian threat to our national security. Practitioners of totalitarian creeds, including Islam, should not get security clearances, certain jobs, and certainly not immigration visas.

This week's horror in Paris is just one more example of what happens when the West does not stand up for itself and its precious values and civilization.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I don't understand how you can take the position that these refugees represent any danger because of where they come from or their religion. Didn't you listen to Bernie Sanders? Terrorism is the result of gobal warming!

  3. Any law would have to be carefully constructed in order to circumvent the Constitutional 1A and Art. VI provisions regarding religious freedom and "no religious test" (respectively.)
    Islam is a totalitarian "religion," yes, but it IS commonly accepted as a religion. The other fascistic regimes that you mention were anti-religion political movements.
    How do you write that law?

    1. No! The idea of the Bill of Rights is that the government can not treat Americans as enemies. People who are not even in this country do not have the rights of Americans. If they did, they'd be happy where they are, and not try to come here.(Well, OK, they would be happy if other governments recognized those rights) We could, and should, admit Christian and Jewish refugees. who are not self-declared enemies of the United states.Calling Islam a religion, or calling Communism a religion, does not entitle Communists or Muslims to enter this country. I realize that people under fifty, who've lived their whole lives under the Civil Rights Acts of 1965 and 1964, get very confused about this. I have heard young people denounce something as "discrimination" as if any kind of discrimination is illegal.It is not. If I choose chocolate over vanilla ice cream, that discrimination is perfectly legal,at least, so far. Equal rights IN THIS COUNTRY do not apply to foreigners, still outside. That's why it is perfectly right and legal to deny entry to migrants from the Third World countries south of us. I know a lot of them, and they are perfectly nice people, but it is very bad policy to take in more uneducated, unskilled people, who will depend upon government largess for their entire lives, and the lives of their children. While it is quite illegal to discriminate against an ethnic group in this country, it is not illegal to keep that same ethnic group from crossing our borders.

    2. I was not clear in my comment, and then I left to attend to work matters.
      It is certainly within the scope of federal law to prohibit entrance into the country by someone who is considered a security threat. I was thinking, first, more on the order of the Dr. Carson comment about not supporting a Muslim candidate for U.S. President, and the ensuing uproar about the constitutional prohibition against religious test for office. While candidates for President must be natural born citizens and therefore it does not apply to that office, there is no such requirement imposed on other federal appointments (so far as I'm aware, but should I be wrong about that, please let me know.)
      Secondly, by these words, "Practitioners of these totalitarian creeds should not be eligible for security clearances, certain jobs, ..." our gracious host seemed to refer to a "refugee" who has already been permitted entrance, who is already inside the border, and who I then considered might be "discriminated against," on the basis of his Muslim religious affiliation, with respect to particular employment, clearances, etc.
      How does one persuade a regulator (or jury) that the decision not to employ, grant clearance, etc., to a Muslim was based on one's perception of that person's threat to national security, as opposed to a bias against his religion?
      Apologies for a too-hastily written comment.

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    4. That "no religious test" means that we don't have to acknowledge that the Queen is the earthly head of the Church. In my church, in a technical sense, she is. But, when I was a Baptist, I could still hold office. Of course, in Texas,, I could not hold office if I had ever fought in a duel, or been anybody's second, but I am OK, there, too.

      So, no, we do not have religious tests. I doubt a Mohammedan could be elected, here, though. It is becoming questionable whether a Christian can be elected.

      However, the solution to the problem of Mohammedans in positions of trust here, requiring security clearances, etc, is not to let them in here. I realize that it's a sore point, but we need to keep making it, that there are wealthy Mohammedan countries who could take in the refugees, and we could take in the Christians and the Jews, although a majority of Jews might choose Israel, where they already speak one of the languages. The damned Communists in the White House won't accept the Christians, though, because they are oppressors.

  4. Kevin Williamson at NRO has (as always) some interesting words.

  5. "If I choose chocolate over vanilla": thank goodness you put it that way round.

    1. That's OK; just be sure you don't choose vanilla over chocolate, ever.

      That would be racist.

    2. Given Blue Bell's recent difficulties, they're not producing the only flavors I'm willing to spend money on (Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, if anyone cares), so the great Chocolate vs. Vanilla debate is a fight in which I have no dog.

      Now if we're discriminating between Ginger and Mary Ann...MA all the Way!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. When the patient resists assisted suicide and it happens anyway, isn't that called "murder"?

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  8. A facebook acquaintance who professes to dislike talk of politics posted this horrifying article: http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/16/dont-give-isis-what-it-wants-united-states-reaction/
    Which links even more horrifyingly to a Juan Cole article. How would you respond?

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  11. There is a lot of spin surrounding our immigration vetting process. It is said it takes two years to process an immigrant. If so how can we have any "Syrians" entering this year? Do you trust the diplomatic corps to not be coerced to just wave these "refugees" into the U.S.?

    1. Mr. Potts: I was actually involved in processing Vietnamese with the Orderly Departure Program prior to our opening relations with Communist Viet Nam, humanitarian parole into the US for Cambodian DP's in Thai border camps; and reporting on the situation of the Hmong either being resettled in the USA or repatriated to Laos.

      It's only in the movies that the US government knows everything. A family hikes out of the jungles and rice paddies of NW Cambodia and gives a story in A.D. 1991, and the best we have is the family tree given to INS (which is now subsumed into ICE) when Uncle went to the States in 1975. If the knowledge of the family tree meshed with Uncle's they got approved (in absence of TB, smallpox, addiction, or whatever).

      With administering the Mrazek legislation (Amerasian Homecoming Act), we quickly found that if it's Vietnamese and a document, it's probably fake (except, perhaps, Roman Catholic family books). INS told us to take anyone who looked "mixed". We might be helped if Amerasian sister had evidence of having been educated like the other kids and showed up in the family album (a mere handful of cases), and hence could guess that the adoptive Vietnamese family were adopters rather than [ab-]users of semi-slave labor or bribe-payers. But there was nothing to tell us that we weren't dealing with the grandkids of Frenchmen and Senegalese--or more recent offspring of Russians who happened to look a little on the older side.
      And of course, if the mother was still alive, she knew the father only by a first name.

      In refugee situations, it's virtually impossible to know anything about anyone, save in the rare cases where someone is being absolutely truthful (and you have know way of knowing that at the time).

    2. A number of those Vietnamese (or their children) ended up in my college (early 1990s). They were infamous for acting like gangsters, including pulling guns on people and each other.

      A number of them were in my dorm. They were a very unpleasant bunch.

    3. @Hell_Is_Like_Newark.

      I hate to admit it, but during my years as a consular office, I developed something of a soft prejudice against Fuzhou-area Chinese and the Kinh (Vietnam's majority group).

  12. Dip, our policy elite don't have a clue about what they're up against, and I'm not so sure they even want to have a clue. It is so much easier to yell "Bigot!" or "Islamoiphobe!" at people, and bask in the comfortable platitudes of the Silly 'Sixties and Sillier 'Seventies.

    When I was getting my orientation course on SE Asia before being shipped to Bangkok, I was taught how "Monsoon Islam" was somehow nicer than "Desert Islam." The chief evidence presented was that all those folks from B'desh (or even Bihar?) down to Mindanao (or even the guy who sold beef jiaozi in Taiwan?) were influenced by Sufi'ism. Sufi'ism is mystical rather than doctrinal Islam, and actually dialogued with Quakers!

    I winced. A Quaker pacifist was originally nothing but a screaming Leveller or Fifth Monarchy Men firebrand out to revolutionize further an already revolutionized mid-17th century England who had an unfortunate run-in with Cromwell's Ironsides and got the bajayzas kicked out of him.

    I also pondered, didn't our brilliant teacher know about those Suf-inspired folks who gave our troops a run for their money back in 1902, and kept up a festering problem in the southern Philippines down to the present? I don't blame him for skipping over the running sores of southern Thailand, for at the time, right after the Cold War and both Thailand and Malaysia cooperating against the Communists while trying to be nice to each other's minorities on either side of the border, there was reason to hope that the Phak Dai was the counteractual to Samuel Huntington's thesis.

    But it also struck me that our teacher ignored the history of Sufi'ism in Central Asia and the Kavkaz, with those lovey-dovey mystics including the likes of the Hui and Uighur rebels of Northwest China during the Qing, Shamil the Chechen in his war with the Tsar's troops, and all those others who tried to hold back Russia's march to warm water in Central Asia.

    My guess is that the approach to Islam I heard in that orientation class was just the lingering afterglow of the Sillier 'Seventies campus, where Zen and Sufi'ism were "cool".

    Then, when I was in Guangzhou, China, right after I got some kudos cables for reporting conversations with Chinese and foreign journalists, travelers, and "foreign experts" who had seen firsthand some of the unrest in Xinjiang and Qinghai (plus some buzz from the Uyghurs who sold us bread and raisins), we got a "think piece" from INR that assured us that there was no danger of "Islamic fundamentalism" in China, because China's Muslims were Sunni rather than Shi'ah--as if we didn't have the likes of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar among the Afghan Mooj, our fine Sa'udi friends who won't let us pray or read the Bible when sojourning on their sacred sand, the Muslim Brotherhood (heck, I actually read one of Seiyyid Qotb's book in Main State's library) and other pretty ugly Sunnites.

    All this left me with the impression that our best brains in Washington are working on a mix of studied ignorance, wishful thinking, and journalistic half-truths. And they'd all be d--d before they'd ever admit they've been pretty consistently caught with their pants down re Islamic ferment ever since the Iranian Revolution.

    1. I'm not sure of half of what you wrote. What I do know is that China is a police state and they will kill anyone that doesn't agree with them. How do I know this? My husband works about 5 months out of the year in China for Motorola. That's how.

    2. I was writing about our State Department and other official agencies' responses to Islamic unrest across the globe. For those of us who worked in the Asia-Pacific region, Islamic unrest was one of those things that arose in the wake of the Soviet collapse and end of the Cold War, and we watched it nervously (the Iranian Revolution was not that stale a memory back in the early 1990's).

      I'm not saying China is not a police state, and I am fully aware of its ruthlessness. I do not trust the Chinese Communist Party, nor do I trust the regime it controls. And I will admit that I am proud of being very distant kin to people who stood up for their own future enough to throw monkey wrenches into the workings of the One Child policy in certain localities (chiefly through the "disappearing" of health officials who got a little too zealous). Chinese is my best second language (well enough to be paid for document translation and to teach the lower level courses to high schoolers).

      However, in the 1990's, the message that swept China, no less than Eastern and Central Europe, was that Big Brother is mortal. Never forget that one of the major harbingers of the Communist collapse were the student demonstrations in China in 1989. Even if the Chinese lost their bid for more liberty, they still flooded the Rumanian Embassy with congratulatory messages that were piled high enough to bury a man to his armpits after their regime's big "foreign friend" Ceaucescu was shot.

      In Sharki Turkistan (aka the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) in the 1990's, the rumblings of a drawn out, low-level guerrilla conflict ignited. The area combined totalitarian decay, a strongly disaffected minority group, memory of brutal Communist conquest and suppression, Islamic militancy (the Uyghur are overwhelmingly Muslim), and even the fate of China's nuclear proving ground. There were murders of Han (the Chinese majority group) in rural areas, and even ambushes of PLA and police forces--to say nothing of shadowy militant groups able to plan and execute such things. One of the things that helped is that whereas the Uyghur were expected to learn Chinese, few Han ever deigned to learn Uyghur or any other minority language.

      Even among the Hui (Chinese-speaking Muslims), there was dissidence and a desire for more religious liberty, even though there was no separatism (the Hui identify with the Chinese state). There were underground Qur'an schools, religious brotherhoods, and open contempt for the Communist Party expressed to anyone who might be expected to stay mum.

      And other Western religions were on the move. It was the beginning of a time when underground Christian churches popped up so much that not even the diplomatic and journalistic communities could ignore their presence. The Communist state itself even started to quake in terror when a few hundred people in Kaifeng, Henan province and a handful of aging foreign Communists resident in Beijing started exploring their Jewish roots (remember what followed when THOSE PEOPLE got uppity in the former Soviet Union?). Indeed, the Communist State was extremely nervous in those days.

      My point about Islamic ferment was that our smart boys in Washington couldn't figure out what was going on, and applied a number of categories that had no real relevance in trying to analyze it. I'm not sure things have improved since then.

      My own guess is that the Chinese Communist State will hang on for a while yet. It's improving its machinery of repression (although the dissidents also are catching on about how to use the net, hack, and worm their way around detection). Frankly, I'd like to see more of China than I did. Tell your husband I'd love to compare notes.

  13. Author Author!
    And Bravo Kepha!

    "Let's Roll"