Due to certain personal commitments, I could catch up with the American President’s executive order on suspending visas for nationals from certain countries only yesterday. The huge uproar against it and reverberations around the world surprise me. It is orchestrated exaggeration, out of all proportion. The executive order is there for all to read, here. The word, ‘Muslim’ is not there and nor is the word, ‘ban’ part of the order.
We all are used to check http://www.snopes.com for verifying if some emails floating around were genuine or were internet legends. Now, the bulk of the news carried by newspapers, with reputations earned from the past (and being overdrawn fast), on the American President and his actions fall under the category of ‘internet legends’. They are vastly exaggerated and border on outright lies.
There is a constant real time re-definition of the heights of irresponsibility by the media. An email newsletter from FT called it ‘Trump’s Muslim ban’. I took a screenshot of it and I wrote to its editor, Lionel Barber. His reply was all reason and calm. But, his newspaper’s coverage of the American elections and subsequent handover and the administration has been anything but reasonable and calm. Financial Times is not the only one.
Another worst offender is ‘Washington Post’. One Mr. Glenn Kessler splits hairs on whether President Obama’s order in 2011 on refugees from Iraq being subjected to extensive scrutiny for six months was different from that of President Trump’s. He earned himself Pinocchio’ stickers in the process.
The government is reviewing and tightening certain procedures and until it is satisfied with its new procedures, it wishes to place a temporary hold on visas for citizens from certain countries. Yes, perhaps, some forethought about special situations would have been welcome. But, even there, the order had enough safety clauses with discretion granted some officials to review special situation on a case-by-case basis.
If I have bought too much of clothes or too much of furniture and I decide that i am going to take an inventory of what all I have and what to do about them, how to better take care of them and organise them in my shelves so that I know what is where and where is what and, until I do all of the above, if I not buy anything more, is that terrible?
That sounds like very sensible housekeeping to me.
David French at the National Review has an all-too-rare objective evaluation of the Presidential order.
Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s interview with Suhasini Haidar for THE HINDU is well worth a read. The interview has many knockout punches for self-styled pundits.
These are really too little. They amount to murmurs amidst the deafening and toxic noise created by others. Newspapers – on either side of the Atlantic – have gone needlessly ballistic and characterised the decision in such incendiary and polarising terms that they would trigger unnecessary and tragic consequences. It is almost as though these worthies want to trigger a violent backlash against the American President with their disproportionate reactions. It is very dangerous. One has to be afraid and very afraid – not of what the new government in America does but of how the rest of the world is being provoked to react by a cabal, determined to destabilise the government and the agenda.
It is easy for the rest of us, neutral bystanders, to see that the fallout of these reactions would not be more stability and order but unprecedented global turbulence and turmoil. That is a gift of elitist intolerance, arrogance, certitude and hubris, to the rest of the world.
Indeed, one could question the order for its inclusion of certain countries and for its exclusion of certain other countries that have been cradles and fountainheads of terrorism. But then, the order is a temporary one. May be, other nations left out of the order would be dealt with differently or if they are being excluded because of conflicts of interest, then that is a cause for concern. So, there are other justifiable issues to pick with the executive order.
But, the media created a controversy out of other aspects where there is none. It is dangerous. It is lunacy and it is criminally irresponsible. Reactions of some European politicians are inconsistent with their own actions in the light of terrorist attacks on their own soil.
As Rajeev Srinivasan reminds us in Swarajya, this is nothing but a rehash of an order from the Obama era, dressed up differently:
What is most interesting, however, is that the same set of Muslim countries appears in an Obama-era order from February 2016. People who had dual citizenship with one of those countries, or who had visited those countries in the past five years, would be denied visa-free entry, presumably on the assumption they could have been radicalised.
So all that Trump has done is to tighten Obama-era restrictions – the point that has escaped the Leftie observers. Obama issued the order in the wake of terror attacks in Europe, and what Trump has done is to announce a tightening of the rules. [Link]
Rajeev concludes that the new President has made an inauspicious start. Well, I doubt if it could have been any different. Whether it is an inauspicious start for him or it is for the world is a matter of judgement and I think the blame falls more on the reactions than on the actions.
The American President was correct to question, through his tweets, if some of the senators wanted a real world war. He is bang on target. Angry and arrogant elites are dragging the rest of the world, along with them, towards extinction.