Monday, February 20, 2017

Like many new American veterans, I owe my life to Muslims: Trump’s executive order is un-American, dishonorable and severely harmful to U.S. national security

    Monday, February 20, 2017   No comments

Like many new American veterans, I owe my life to Muslims — the Iraqi and Afghan comrades who fought alongside me during my multiple combat tours as a Green Beret.

I join fellow veterans in Seattle and nationwide in denouncing President Trump’s decision to temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. Trump’s executive order is un-American, dishonorable and severely harmful to U.S. national security.

This sweeping and ill-conceived order will further damage U.S. credibility in the Muslim world, and will fuel recruiting by insurgent and terrorist groups claiming that America is at war with Islam.

Moreover, this shortsighted move will backfire by curbing the immigration of people from the Middle East and Africa whose language skills and cultural knowledge are in short supply in the United States. From a national-security perspective, turning our backs on them undermines our long-term interests.

 This indiscriminate ban threatens to make it harder to recruit native-born translators to support operations in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, as well as in future conflicts, jeopardizing the lives of U.S. troops.

Throughout my military career, loyal Iraqis and Afghans displayed incredible bravery under fire to protect me and my men. These linguists have proved their trustworthiness on the field of battle and undergone extreme vetting. Our nation pledged to resettle in America interpreters who put themselves and their families at risk by working for the U.S. government.

But Trump’s ban even temporarily blocked Iraqi interpreters and their families from the United States — exposing them to unnecessary danger. It took an outcry from veterans and concern inside the Pentagon to push the Trump administration to amend the ban on Thursday and allow these heroes to immigrate as promised.

The damage caused by a stroke of Trump’s pen is already being felt, disrupting thousands of lives — from the most vulnerable refugees to talented immigrant employees of major U.S. companies. Fear is spreading.  source

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