In foreign policy there is no such thing as gratitude, only interests.
President Trump has signed an executive order temporarily suspending the entry of immigrants from Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Iran and Iraq to “protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals.”
According to a Fox News report, Trump’s action “is already drawing outrage among some Iraqis who have taken the lead in the fight against ISIS.”
An anonymous high-ranking Iraqi Army general said: “This has caused massive disappointment in the hearts of every Iraqi who is fighting radicalism.”
Another anonymous Iraqi “with close ties to the Iraqi Forces Intelligence community” thought Trump’s refugee ban sends a message that Iraqi “lives are cheap.”
Joining the chorus of anonymous Iraqis is anti-Trumper Clint Watts (“A Trump victory could pave the way for Russian ascendance and American acquiescence”), who states:
“We invaded Iraq and displaced people. We have since relied on Iraqis as partners to fight against ISIS. If we don’t want to deploy thousands of troops to fight these terrorist groups, then we rely on partners in Iraq and elsewhere. This [Trump’s] policy sends a very negative message to countries where we will need indigenous support from translators and peacekeepers.”
That is, Iraqis have no responsibility for the security of their own country or an interest in combating radical Islam and will only accept our assistance in the effort to free Iraq from the threat of ISIS on the condition that we re-locate Iraqis to the U.S.
Compassion has its place, but not as blackmail, especially, as in this case, when it conflicts with protecting U.S. citizens.
American foreign policy has, for too long, been the captive of a liberal need for emotionally satisfying gestures and a willingness to subvert our interests by submitting to the psychological demands of another culture.
What do I mean by that? Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels describes it well:
“People raised by Western standards generally have an inner locus of control, meaning that they experience their lives as governed by inner factors, such as one’s own choices, world view, ways of handling emotions and situations, etc. Muslims are raised to experience their lives as being controlled from the outside. Everything happens ‘insha Allah’ – if Allah wills – and the many religious laws, traditions and powerful male authorities leave little room for individual responsibility. This is the cause for the embarrassing and world-famous Muslim victim mentality, where everybody else is blamed and to be punished for the Muslims’ own self-created situation.”
That is, the existence of ISIS and its presence in Iraq is primarily a Muslims’ own self-created situation.
The U.S. strategic interests in Iraq include: the comprehensive defeat and elimination of ISIS and the establishment of a stable, non-Islamist, if not democratic, Iraq that will act as a bulwark against Iranian regional hegemony by fracturing the Shia Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon crescent.
I don’t see how moving Muslims to Peoria contributes to those goals.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.