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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Friday, November 20, 2015

U.S., not ISIS, Values

“President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America—it is nothing less than lunacy,” Ted Cruz said on Fox News, the day after the attacks on Paris. If there are Syrian Muslims who are really being persecuted, he said, they should be sent to “majority-Muslim countries.” Then he reset his eyebrows, which had been angled in a peak of concern, as if he had something pious to say. And he did: “On the other hand,” he added, “Christians who are being targeted for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them. But President Obama refuses to do that.”
As noted here, which links to the New Yorker article, drawing religious lines like this makes us less safe. It also is an ugly approach that violates our basic values. Sure, there is the time old value in a negative fashion to such divisive tactics.  Nothing new under the sun there.  This is seen here, particularly in the comments, where the recent troll is rooting for Cruz and the reasonable one (aka Mr. W) agrees the strategy is both productive to certain ends while still being reprehensible.  My hope is that Cruz is too divisive and too much of an asshole to win the nomination, but then, the best case scenario seems to be that he will get a lot of delegates and influence all the same. 

It is in the air. The "sane" candidate (whenever this is suggested, others quite sensibly point out various things he did that are horrible) put up a flag regarding using our government to help people learn "to be a part of a Christian-Judaeo society."  Loads of state governors now are saying, though it is clearly unconstitutional to do it in any real way, they would refuse to help with Syrian refugees.  This is a time old reality contra the opinion of Justice Scalia in Arizona v. U.S.  Compare:
"Sense of Congress-- It is the sense of Congress that the United States should (1) continue to recognize and promote diversity in the Armed Forces; and (2) honor those from all diverse backgrounds and religious traditions who have made sacrifices in serving the United States through the Armed Forces."
There is some sharing of blame here and not just regarding the internment curious. This is seen by the apparently veto proof House measure that was rushed thru in nice kneejerk fashion to add requirements before Syrian refugees are allowed in.  To be clear, the fact less than fifty Democrats signed on doesn't show "not a dime worth of difference" here, here. Also, a helpful summary of the rules in place.  But, wrongdoing requires assistance and looking the other way, and this remains quite troubling. And more. A layer of disgust should be present.

Just what to do in these cases as a matter of long term policy is to be a bit weenie about it very hard. I think, as a whole, President Obama provided a reasonable approach though surely criticisms can be applied, including his supporting long term troublesome assumptions like the value of force in various instances. For instance, I have argued the drone policy is not akin to murder as some without rejecting those very concerned with it as applied and as a matter of basic policy overall.  Basic rules should be applied though.  Talk of only bringing in Christian refugees? Kneejerk bills like this?  Promoting Judaeo-Christian values on the government's dime? Uh no. It isn't THAT hard, is it?

The concern, by the way, some Syrian refugee will leak thru that is a terrorist is not horrible. It is human nature.  But, think it through. First, it is not like we don't have home grown terrorists, including those that shoot up movie theaters.  Second, will not terrorists come from some other part of the region? Should we then not allow any from the Middle East? But, the Boston Marathon bombing showed the limits of that approach too.  Finally, just how productive is it to block some people feeling from oppression here, especially since helping is a basic human and American thing to do? After all, there is a lot of vetting already, and if anything they might be somewhat less likely to be one in the process than from some other region.

This sort of thing is why I scream during football games. So much simpler. Jags won the loser bowl last night, btw.

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