Things have gotten a bit crazy, haven’t they? Ever since the Trump administration issued its executive order regarding immigration from predominantly Islamic countries, the news media and social media have both been ablaze with contentious debate.
There are those on the side of Syrian refugees, who have been banned indefinitely. These people argue that barring Syrian refugees is an atrocity tantamount to rejecting Jewish refugees during World War II.
There are also those who support the ban. They say that the temporary ban will keep us safer from Islamic terrorists.
Then, there’s the media, which has been a veritable bastion of truth in these troubling times. They are reporting on this issue in a balanced way without giving in to the hysteria. They have given us all of the facts that we need to make sure we’re properly informed on this situation.
Oh wait, no they haven’t. My bad.
As it turns out, the media has been doing what they always do. They are reporting information in a way that is designed to influence us to think the way they want us to think.
According to the major news networks, this ban is just an attempt to foment fear and encourage xenophobia. And Islamophobia. Let’s just throw in good, old-fashioned racism for good measure.
It seems that the media is leaving certain facts out. Now, these facts may not change your position on the ban, but it will at least give you a more complete picture.
Here’s one thing you may not know about the ban. It’s been done before. That’s right. President Trump is not the first president to implement a ban of this type. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest components of Trump’s ban is derived from Obama administration policies. I’ll discuss this later.
Former President Barack Obama imposed a ban on Iraqi refugees in 2011. According to an ABC news report, Obama barred Iraqi refugees from entering the country for a period of six months. This was prompted by the 2009 discovery of two members of Al Qaeda in Iraq. These people were living in Bowling Green, Kentucky. They even received public assistance payouts. The authors wrote:
As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.
Not only did the Obama administration ban Iraqi refugees, they also restricted and targeted people who traveled to certain countries. This brings me to my next point.
For a four month period, the ban will prevent immigrants from these countries.
Here they are:
Many in the media are criticizing the Trump administration for the countries they selected for inclusion in the ban. Numerous posts on Facebook have challenged these choices. The media is telling us that Trump purposely excluded countries where he has business interests.
Rosalind S. Helderman, in a recent piece for the Washington Post writes, “The seven nations targeted for new visitation restrictions by President Trump on Friday all have something in common: They are places he does not appear to have any business interests.”
Pretty damning, right? Well, maybe not. Why? Because Trump did not create this list. The Obama administration did.
Remember when I said that the Obama administration decided to restrict and target people who had traveled to certain countries? Well, the list that Trump is using now is the same list that the Obama administration laid out earlier. Trump was following Obama’s template.
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s see what the U.S. Customs And Border Protection Agency said regarding its Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
Under the Act, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP:
- Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, or countries listed under specified designation lists (currently including Iran and Sudan) at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
- Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
Now, don’t the countries listed by the U.S. Customs And Border Protection Agency sound familiar? Of course they do. They are the exact same countries that are targeted by Trump’s ban. Maybe former President Obama was the one trying to protect Trump’s business interests.
Obama’s ban didn’t go as far as Trump’s ban. But when Obama felt it was necessary, he was willing to ban Iraqi refugees for six months. Jimmy Carter did it too during the Iranian crisis of 1979. There were no protests. There was very little criticism. And there was no mass hysteria like we’re seeing today.
And yet, the media isn’t telling us this. They’re not giving us the whole truth. President Trump is not the first President to impose a ban on refugees or immigrants from other countries.
So why am I writing this? It’s not to convince you that the ban is right or wrong. That’s a topic for later. I’m writing this to cover the utter hypocrisy that the leftist media has shown in this matter. They have used Trump’s ban in order to vilify the right, not to fight for the lives of Syrian refugees. If they were being intellectually honest, they would have condemned the left’s similar behavior.
What this shows is that whenever a President acts, we must be willing to dig deeper into the story. We can’t rely on the news media to give us the truth. It’s no longer the media’s objective. Their objective is to shape our thinking. The goal is to get us to believe what they want us to believe.
My advice? Take everything the media says with a grain of salt. Get the facts for yourself. Make up your own mind.