Sure, it’s appropriate to call Trump’s Muslim ban an act of official hate. But, it’s also a nightmare for our military on foreign soil.
Don’t mince words, and don’t say anything you might have to take back later. Tell the truth, or at least believe what you say. Keep it simple. Think ahead before you move forward. Never show fear – or anger.
That was my father’s credo that he picked up when he was in the Army in the early 1960’s as an instructor of cryptography and communications in the days before the US was fully engaged in Vietnam. He kept that code throughout his adult career working as a civilian with the military as his primary client. I picked it up because it works. Lately, it’s been on my mind more than usual for many reasons, including a mind-numbing array of missteps by our president.
When the travel ban that is now at least occasionally being referred to as the “Muslim ban” was instated last month, I stuck with the “Muslim” descriptor, mostly because it doesn’t mince words and it’s truthful. While Trump might think that his idea was simple, the fact is that a myriad of unintended consequences have happened to disprove that belief. One doesn’t have to think very many steps ahead to realize that this ban that he’s still trying to force is more than just rampant hatred and racism emanating from the highest office in the land. That alone is reprehensible, but the fact is that the move is dangerous to our military.
That should have become immediately clear when we saw news of translators from war zones having trouble getting to the US thanks to the president’s order. Our military needs the assistance of locals on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan for a start, and if it wasn’t difficult before to find people who were willing to do the work for little pay before, it’s nearly impossible now. It’s not about the pay for many of these people – they choose to help our soldiers in the hope of escaping the region to the US, period. That is the prize, and by ripping that option away from anyone for even a few hours is going to harm our military’s ability to recruit and keep these people working for us.
But, we have pundits here in the US who apparently believe that they understand the situation on the ground in the Middle East. All the people in “those countries” are subhuman monsters who are hell bent on our destruction. Just ask them. They don’t even protest in their own streets, so they must be happy with the status quo.
Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Farhadi addressed Iranian protestors in London today. Because there are no Iranian protestors in Iran.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 28, 2017
Many people who are apparently as misguided as Ann Coulter think that there are no protests in Iran because the people are happy and loyal to their leaders. It hasn’t occurred to any of them that Iran is a country where young people are convicted of vice crimes for dancing together – boys and girls – in the streets. That can earn them a death sentence, and if they’re lucky, it will be suspended. If dancing can get you a death penalty, what in the world do these people think an actual protest would get?
And this mentality is apparently what our president is drawing on when it comes to crafting his foreign policy. Keep in mind, these people are also making fun of the fact that there are some Democrats who are bringing some Muslims to the president’s speech to Congress. One of them is Hameed Darweesh, a translator and engineer who worked side by side with our military in Iraq for years. He was repaid for his service by being detained in an airport, thanks to our president.
My contention that our president is not particularly concerned about military strategy or our service members in general is also obvious in another recent misstep. Someone forgot to warn him that he is the Commander in Chief – all blame floats to the top in the military. That means the president does not blame military leadership or service people for the deaths of Navy SEALs. Of course, that’s precisely what he did anyway.
I’m not silly enough to think that my father’s credo was just his. It’s been around for a very long time, in one form or another. He might have played with the wording, but it’s the meaning that matters. That is why we haven’t seen statements from anyone associated with the military, past or present, showing fear or anger at these actions. I never wore a uniform, and I just inherited the mindset for civilian life. I am afraid for the safety of our military personnel, and I am furious at the complete lack of self-awareness that we’ve seen in this administration so far. Being a leader requires thought and foresight. There is no “leap and then look” involved. This isn’t about politics, ideologies, or anything else. Just pure leadership, which is the primary portion of the job description here. From what I’ve seen so far? Our president saw the success that he did in business in spite of himself. It’s possible, and it happens every day. This is America. Even the stupid can succeed, with a great deal of luck. I’m waiting. Everyone else should be, too. Where’s that business acumen, and strategic mind? For now, it’s all just bluffing and luck.