November 19, 2015

"How can something American law requires be 'not American'?"

That question — intended as a rhetorical question — is asked in a National Review article by Andrew C. McCarthy titled "Refugee ‘Religious Test’ Is ‘Shameful’ and ‘Not American’ … Except that Federal Law Requires It."

McCarthy makes good points in that article: Under U.S. statutory law, religious persecution is one of the grounds for granting asylum.
There is no right to emigrate to the United States. And the fact that one comes from a country or territory ravaged by war does not, by itself, make one an asylum candidate. War, regrettably, is a staple of the human condition. Civil wars are generally about power. That often makes them violent and, for many, tragic; but it does not necessarily make them wars in which one side is persecuting the other side. In the case of this war, the Islamic State is undeniably persecuting Christians. It is doing so, moreover, as a matter of doctrine. Even those Christians the Islamic State does not kill, it otherwise persecutes as called for by its construction of sharia (observe, for example, the ongoing rape jihad and sexual slavery). To the contrary, the Islamic State seeks to rule Muslims, not kill or persecute them.... While there is no question that ISIS will kill and persecute Muslims whom it regards as apostates for refusing to adhere to its construction of Islam, it is abject idiocy to suggest that Muslims are facing the same ubiquity and intensity of persecution as Christians....
So, there is a basis for making the process different for Christians and Muslims: They are differently situated with respect to their exposure to persecution. There is still, however, a serious question about whether the U.S. government should openly adopt a policy of sorting the refugees into Christian and Muslim and treating them radically differently. Obama has articulated his position in terms of what it means to be an American:
When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted … that’s shameful…. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.
Obama calls us to what he portrays as a higher standard of compassion and nondiscrimination. We are — perhaps you've noticed — always in the middle of a debate about what America means. McCarthy's side of the debate reminds us of a statutory choice to provide refuge for those who face religious persecution and of the factual differences in the persecution experienced by the Christians and Muslims who are fleeing Syria. 

We don't have to answer immigration questions by deciding which approach is most American, but the culture here in America is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values. We don't hear any serious politicians saying: I don't care what America supposedly means or what American values theoretically are, I only care about protecting the lives of American people. They might think that, but they don't speak in those terms. We wouldn't accept that.

Does McCarthy, with his rhetorical question — "How can something American law requires be 'not American'?" — really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values? I'll bet there are many American statutes that conflict with McCarthy's idea of what is American.

So, let's move forward and look closely at what kind of discrimination based on religion we want to support. It's one thing to say we want to offer asylum to those whose lives are in danger because of religious persecution. It's quite another to propose that when thousands of people are fleeing from one place and all are exposed to religion-fueled violence, that we will, at the outset, crudely sort them into 2 groups, depending on which religion they espouse.

Is that who we are?

165 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

"But the culture here in America is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values."

You can replace "defining" with "declining" and the sentence still works.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

That's a women's argument, a style that has taken over the public debates since soap opera news.

rhhardin said...

It's not a religious test. We let in all sorts of religions, just not the one that wants to kill us.

It's a doctrine problem.

pst314 said...

It's 1942. Is it "un-American" to sort European refugees based on their political sympathies? To deny entry to refugees with fascist or communist sympathies?

Curious George said...

"Is that who we are?"

If we are smart.

rhhardin said...

It's unamerican to pay forever-unemployment instead of making people take jobs.

While regulating jobs out of existence.

This needs to be dressed up in cute little children clothes to make it for the women's market.

rhhardin said...

It's all in the estrogen amendment to the Constitution.

Barry Dauphin said...

If you like your borders, you can keep your borders.

tim maguire said...

It's a great argument, but Muslim "apostates" are, in fact, in the same boat as Christians and other minorities--convert or die. The fact that they are being required to convert from one form of Islam to another is not so important as it might superficially seem. If a Baptist was told to convert to Anglicanism or die, would that not be religious persecution?

Carol said...

Didn't we do just that during the Carter admin, when certain Christians were boosted out of the USSR for persecution? They were evangelicals or something.

chuck said...

> is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values.

No, it is to watch folks who despise American values attempt to exploit them to undermine America. It is a considered strategy.

David Begley said...

1. The US has no duty to accept any refugees but might in the case of Syria simply because Obama was the proximate cause of their status as refugees. Mr. Red Line is a disaster.

2. In the movie "Bridge of Spies" the lawyer played by Tom Hanks asks,"What makes us Americans? The rules. The constitution."

McCarthy just called Obama on the carpet.

Obama ignores the rules or makes up his own. And that's why he is the worst president ever.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derp said...

Obama does not know shit about what it means to be an American. That is why the American people constantly disappoint his eminence.

Derp said...

but we all know that if it is a law that Obama doesn't like, he is free to completely ignore it without explanation on any whim he chooses.

Tank said...

It's a question of both who we are, and who they are. If they are Muslims, their religion, their Sharia, their customs, their laws are incompatible with our Western civilization. A small percentage of them will kill us to achieve a Sharia State here. A larger percentage (much larger) will support the killers. A (much, much larger) percentage will vote, when they have the chance to achieve the Sharia State. If you don't want Sharia here, don't let Muslims come here.

It's not either or.

We can help Muslims fleeing war by setting up a safe zone over there (some already Islamic country).

Original Mike said...

"It's quite another to ... crudely sort them into 2 groups, depending on which religion they espouse."

We would not sort them because of their religion. Religion would be used as a marker for safe/unsafe. To suggest otherwise is missing the point.

Derp said...

Remember when he mucked up the Oath of Office. He and his buddies neither knew nor cared what the duties of the president are. "To faithfully execute the laws of the land..." Get me a vomit bag now.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Yes, that's who we are. Because that is what it will take to survive as a society. Some people still don't realize that we are in a real war here.

Matthew Sablan said...

There are plenty of Muslim sects that are oppressed as well; we could simply look for "religion oppressed" instead of just "Muslim/Christian."

EDH said...

It's one thing to say we want to offer asylum to those whose lives are in danger because of religious persecution. It's quite another to propose that when thousands of people are fleeing from one place and all are exposed to religion-fueled violence, that we will, at the outset, crudely sort them into 2 groups, depending on which religion they espouse.

It's not just about from where the refugees are fleeing and why but also where they have available to go to, isn't it?

The entire region into which these refugees can spill is more hostile to Christians than Muslims, and some Muslims more than others. So, I'd "crudely sort" them into at least three groups: Sunni, Shia and Christian when weighing resettlement options.

It's about who they are, not us. That the many patently Islamic states in the region will not accept refugees even from their own official sect speaks volumes.

Derp said...

Althouse constantly confuses rationalizations with ratiocenations.

exhelodrvr1 said...

On a related topic:

http://hotair.com/archives/2015/11/19/abc-say-remember-in-2013-when-terrorists-used-refugee-status-to-infiltrate-the-us/

traditionalguy said...

Obama would wed us all to the false concept that democratic Muslims exist. They do not exist with the exception of the few who are privileged to live in a Democratic State dedicated to individual liberty like France.

The rest of the Muslims live in countries where on penalty of torture and death loudspeakers shriek demands that they bow their prostrate faces into the dirt five times a day in submission to the iron legalism of a Judgemental and merciless false god.

Obama covets that life for all of us and has spent 7 years destroying all opposition to it.

Ask the Egyptians how Hussain Obama rolls.

Derp said...

You guys are trying to get her to think when clearly what she wants is to feel superior to you all. Good luck on that mission.

Rick said...

Obama calls us to what he portrays as a higher standard of compassion and nondiscrimination

No, he says anyone who disagrees with his position is un-American. I'm old enough to remember when the left pretended criticism of them was questioning their patriotism. They contended such comments were politically out of bounds and proved the extremism and hatefulness of those who engaged in it. That was 2001 - 2008, so maybe most on the left are not old enough to recall back that far.

I find it very strange that when yesterday's interpretation turns out to be wrong we're supposed to move on to the next least offensive (but completely implausible) interpretation of his comments even though this new interpretation contradicts the interpretation advanced yesterday. It's like we're reading Jay Carney.

traditionalguy said...

The Jewish State has recently successfully bombed the Hizbollah Arms shipments coming in to kill them. It has been coming in under Obama's air cover and threats to abandon Israel in the UN. But a new sheriff is in town with an operational airforce.

Putin gave Israel the cover to strike the common enemy. That is the exact opposite of Obama's slimy antisemitic policy.

William said...

When Christians and Muslims are put in the same boat and the waters become troubled, the Muslims push the Christians overboard. I'm not using a metaphor. That really happened, and it happened without Obama hectoring Muslims about how they need to reflect on their Islamic values........I distrust Moslem refugees. I think the Christians and their children will look upon the USA as a place of refuge. I think a significant portion of the Muslims and their children will look upon the USA as the source of their problem.

M Jordan said...

Walter Russell Mead had an epiphany on this president. Like Althouse, he was once enamored by him. No more. Read this article for his takedown of our preening president:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/11/17/president-obamas-cynical-refugee-ploy/

Lem said...

Churches are shutting all over the place while Mosques are popping up everywhere... well maybe that's an exaggeration. But I think is our duty to keep Christianity alive. It has contributed mightily to make us who we are... whatever that is.

JHapp said...

The UN is intentionally sending us Muslims not Christians.

Derp said...

The key to being a good liberal is the profound talent for elision; on must ignore uncomfortable truths in order to get to the "truth" that makes one feel the best about oneself and smugly superior to one's opponents.

Good luck trying to unseat such a thought process using logic and evidence guys.

pst314 said...

tim maguire "It's a great argument, but Muslim 'apostates' are, in fact, in the same boat as Christians and other minorities--convert or die. The fact that they are being required to convert from one form of Islam to another is not so important as it might superficially seem. If a Baptist was told to convert to Anglicanism or die, would that not be religious persecution?"

Muslim apostates who leave Islam are good candidates for assimilation into the West.
Muslims who face persecution for belonging to the "wrong" sect of Islam? Not so much. Islam in general is hostile to other religions (and especially to secularism) and its core doctrines mandate non-assimilation, militancy, and the eventual conquest of the world.

An analogy: One would not, in the 1940's, plead on behalf of communists fleeing fascist persecution in Europe and fascists fleeing communist persecution in the Soviet Union: Neither were (or are) the sorts of people we ought to welcome.

Lem said...

We have Football and Baseball.

They bring Soccer.

Enough said.

SMGalbraith said...

Isn't this as much discrimination on nationality or national origin as it is religion?

No one is saying - yet - that we ban all refugees who are Muslim. The concern is about Muslims from a specific nation or region where a fanatical terror group is operating. In fact, the concern is about young male Muslims from the Syrian region.

This is much more complicated then either side wants to describe it. I.e., religious bigotry vs. fanatical terrorists.

Big Mike said...

Obama has articulated his position in terms of what it means to be an American

I beg your pardon, ma'am, but what has Obama done during the past seven years makes you think Barack Obama himself understands "what it means to be an American"?

... but the culture here in America is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values

Not for all of us. Some folks get their kicks by endlessly trying to REdefine American values. Others of us have a core understanding of those values.

I'll bet there are many American statutes that conflict with McCarthy's idea of what is American.

And you a Con Law professor! If there are, then go find them. If that's too much effort then give it to your L1s as a homework assignment. What LRS do you use at Wisconsin? WestlawNext? LexisNexis? It shouldn't take more than a half hour, tops.

We don't hear any serious politicians saying: I don't care what America supposedly means or what American values theoretically are, I only care about protecting the lives of American people. They might think that, but they don't speak in those terms. We wouldn't accept that.

You might not. I have a wife and kids, and maybe grandchildren some day.

Is that who we are?

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?' " - George Bernard Shaw

mccullough said...

Very few Americans believe we should have open borders, as the country did until the 1920s. And our immigration laws since the 1960s give preference to non European immigrants and our border non enforcement allows 10% of Mexico to come to this country in the last 30 years.

If we want to go back to be open borders days, then we need to get rid of Social Security, Medicare. Medicaid, food stamps, etc. Any talk of American values is a joke.

pst314 said...

"I beg your pardon, ma'am, but what has Obama done during the past seven years makes you think Barack Obama himself understands 'what it means to be an American'?"

This.

SGT Ted said...

Since when did allowing indiscriminate immigration from hostile countries become an "American value"?

Qwerty Smith said...

Some of the American colonies were founded as outright theocracies. The establishment and religious test clauses are explicitly directed against the federal government; the state governments, which were still American the last time I checked, sometimes collected tithes, mandated church attendance, and even punished blasphemy into the nineteenth century. Twentieth century school prayers? Check. Maryland banned atheists from state office until 1968, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the relevant state constitutional provision under its (legally mistaken) process of incorporation. Much of our political rhetoric and policy has been religious or even narrowly sectarian since forever. There may be loads of reasons to reject such things, but historically speaking, the idea that religiously-defined policies are "not American" is transparently false.

damikesc said...

Christians in the Middle East, no matter how much our current pResident wants to deny it, are in the midst of a genocide. Screw him if he refuses to notice.

Is it "un-American" to sort European refugees based on their political sympathies? To deny entry to refugees with fascist or communist sympathies?

To the Left, they'd deny entry it for "fascists" (Socialists who DON'T agree with the USSR) and support it happily for Communists.

I also eagerly await Hillary to complain that she is tired of people saying people who don't agree with the administration are un-American (something Bush didn't do but Obama routinely does)

Dr.D said...

Oblama is the very last person I would consult to find out "what is American." How would he know? He certainly is not. All he knows for sure is that he hates Americans.

SGT Ted said...

Obama calls valid criticism of his reckless refugee policy "Un-American" and Althouse responds by asking the critics why they are being un-American.

MayBee said...

Frankly, I don't think who we are as a country is to stand in front of the world and say the future shall not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.

So I really don't need Obama to tell me what's American and what's not.

As for the refugee situation, there is an adult conversation that can be had over people's legitimate concerns. That Obama doesn't want to have it also shows us who he thinks we are as a country.

cubanbob said...

Not to belabor the point but after seven years have we forgotten that the man's name is Barack Hussein Obama and not Hans Christian Andersen? Or are we still unworthy of seeing the Magical Coat which only Leftists and fools can only see?

Anonymous said...

The 5 richest Muslim countries don't want them. Saudi Arabia has over 1 million air conditioned tents...they have the room for them, but they don't want terrorists, and immigrants taking the jobs of citizens.

Per http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/15/why-isnt-saudi-arabia-taking-in-any-migrants/
Saudi Arabia is the opposite. The country doesn’t believe in liberal democracy, so it doesn’t have to take in migrants to prove its government loves liberty. Saudi leaders don’t want the migrants to come because they know the exodus contains terror elements. They also know that taking in thousands, if not millions, of migrants overnight is bound to lead social instability and to jeopardize future national prospects.

But we're Un-American or something.....

MayBee said...

Maybe we should just tell the ME Christians to get off their high horse.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

" to religion-fueled violence,"

Neat trick.

It's a Muslim civil war and we can't take every single noncombatant. We can't take every claimant who says he is exposed to violence, as McCarthy says.

So how do we sort? Just the ones who make it to our borders? To safe camps in Turkey? They're not in danger, right? And, Think about incentives.

McCarthy proposes that we take those most likely to be enslaved or killed, which happen to be religious minorities. Makes more concrete sense then vague religious-blind aspirations.

SGT Ted said...

What would Obama know about being an American? He sure doesn't govern like one.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This is a corollary of the Marx quote:

'The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.'

Levi Starks said...

Well....
Let's suppose a future president were to take the side of unborn children, and call abortion un-American? It's nice to know you'd be flexible enough to not stand on the "it's the law of the land" pedestal.

Balfegor said...

To wax a bit Godwinesque, I don't think that "crude" sorting is particularly problematic -- there were refugees from Nazi Germany, for example, and when sorting through them it would be reasonable to make a first cut: Jews are particularly targeted by the National Socialists, so they're presumptively legitimate refugees. And then look at the residual population of Gentiles and figure out what other criteria you would apply, to ensure you're getting the persecuted, and not the persecutors.

I wouldn't want that to be the end of the analysis for either side -- just as there's an obvious risk of ISIS operatives (or common-or-garden terrorists, war criminals, etc.) coming in as refugees, an open policy of accepting Christians with minimal scrutiny would open up another obvious hole. But as a crude first cut, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'm just glad dissent is the highest form of patriotism, so people who disagree with the President are considered true patriots.
Wait, what's that you say?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gotta love a famously thin-skinned President mocking Republican candidates for insisting on debate ground rules, calling them wimpy, when in 2007 he and his party cancelled a debate on Fox altogether--if I remember correctly they said they couldn't debate there because Ailes made some joke about Obama.
Calling for rules to ensure fair treatment = wimpy.
Taking your ball and going home after someone makes a joke about you = strong.

hawkeyedjb said...

"what kind of discrimination based on religion we want to support"

I'll suggest a kind: No muslims.

Name a western country that has allowed massive muslim immigration and gotten anything good out of it.

Laslo Spatula said...

“Give me your terrorists, your suicide bombers, your huddled murderers yearning to bomb free.”

I am Laslo.

SMGalbraith said...

Drawing lines, making distinctions, making judgments.....it's called self-governing.

We can discuss this reasonably - or should. To just dismiss these concerns as Islamophobia - particularly coming from people who sneer at religious believers on other occasions - is a bit much.

And yes, some of the people ARE bigots but to characterize all of them as such is analogous to saying all Muslims are "X" too.

grimson said...

"Does McCarthy, with his rhetorical question — "How can something American law requires be 'not American'?" — really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values?"

When an American law no longer reflects American values, we change the law. Previously, this was normally done by the legislative branch.

McCarthy has laid out the legal justification for granting asylum to Christian Syrians, refuting Obama's claim about who we are. I have not seen the legal justification are granting asylum to any Syrian, or even any explanation of how this is in the national interest.

Derp said...

" to religion-fueled violence,"

Neat trick


Yeah, it leaves out an awful lot, doesn't it? But the things it leaves out would make her question her conclusions and coming to that precise conclusion is what makes Ann feel so superior. Are you going to ask her to give up that little frisson of smugness ecstasy? What kind of man are you? Ungentlemanly, I would venture.

Dave D said...

"If we want to go back to be open borders days, then we need to get rid of Social Security, Medicare. Medicaid, food stamps, etc."

Couldn't agree more. The amount of free "stuff" you give out HAS to be inversely proportional to the immigration rate. Human nature dictates this. Proper economics assumes this. Aside from a need for a particular skill set and/or demographic for a well defined reason (not votes!), this has to happen as we progress up the socialism ladder. The left wants if both ways (more free stuff AND unlimited immigration)and I will never understand that. The 1% teat should be valued as much as it is "demagogued" by them as sucking on it is the solution to ALL of their perceived ills.

Blue Ox said...

There is still, however, a serious question about whether the U.S. government should openly adopt a policy of sorting the refugees into Christian and Muslim and treating them radically differently. Obama has articulated his position in terms of what it means to be an American

Once again, we have a tenured Law Professor advocating that we should ignore the legislative process and duly enacted law because, feelings!

Mac McConnell said...

Since we have our national debt paid off, our border secured and our welfare rolls empty of actual citizens sure bring them in.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's a lot of fun to be accused of being unAmerican by a buddy of domestic terrorist William Ayers--you know, the guy who says he wishes his group, the group that planned bombings against American servicemen and their wives, carried out armed robberies and killed innocent people, had "done more!" Oh sure, candidate Obama says that stuff was all in the past, when he was just a boy, can't blame him. The picture of Ayers standing on the American flag, of course, was from 2001, but hey, at this point what difference does it make?

A President who is friends and ideologically brethren with a domestic terrorist who proudly has his picture taken standing on the American flag is now calling others unAmerican. Fun, fun times.

Qwerty Smith said...

So we should not "crudely sort them into 2 groups"? Wouldn't the administration's plan to screen out terrorists also "crudely sort them into 2 groups"? I don't see what is crude about a binary assortment, unless the crudeness comes from our inability to easily distinguish who belongs in which group. If this is the case, is "are you a Christian?" likely to be even less effective than "are you a terrorist?" Seems like there is plenty of crudeness to go around.

Derp said...

Once again, we have a tenured Law Professor advocating that we should ignore the legislative process and duly enacted law because, feelings!

Had to bold that one.

Thorley Winston said...

I think EDH makes some good points. Putting aside the question of whether religious affiliation should be used as a factor in determining whether someone claiming refugee status would be “safer,” there’s also an argument to be made that in giving preference to Christians we would be in fact bringing those that are the most needy because (unlike Muslim refugees) there aren’t as many countries in the immediate region that would take them in and also this is the group that is being targeted for violence by other refugees. So in terms of trying to direct our efforts to help those most needing of protection, this isn’t an unreasonable suggestion.

traditionalguy said...

Establishing Obama's Muslim enclaves in the US that can suddenly need watching and/or restricting will allow Obama's next job heading the UN Government to declare that the USA is illegally abusing citizens of the world.

His assistant John Kerry will see the rational behind that.

No wonder the US Military is now mainly training for suppressing citizen rebellion arising in Red State territories of the United States.

BrianE said...

So if I get the premise of your argument-- we should ignore American law, as the President suggests, and do what feels right.

You aren't objecting to the proposition that those most likely to suffer immediate consequences of persecution (in this case death) should be offered asylum first, or are you? Not a person who prides herself on her cruel neutrality-- or is that what the phrase means.

I saw a poll the other day, taken by some news organization, of muslim attitudes toward various social conditons. Basically their attitude toward adherance to islamic law. While the survey didn't include Syrians, in general, it showed that the closer you got to the ME, the more likely the muslim favored strict adherence to shariah law.

As a law professor you're no doubt aware of the conflict with American law and Shariah law. Is it in our interests to allow immigrants into this country that won't embrace our legal system?

MayBee said...

#itsTheLaw

Carol said...

What these leaders really want is for us to consider the issue in a complete vacuum, when there is so much info available on refugee resettlement to date.

https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ooh, wait, I haven't checked my calendar, is it still racist to say or imply that someone's values don't line up with traditionally-understood Amercian values? Or is that over?

but the culture here in America is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values

Well, from what I remember that's a pretty one-sided affair as far as what the Media considers acceptable rhetoric. Saying you thought candidate Obama had an unusually understanding of American values, that his views were outside the mainstream, that sort of thing--that was "othering," that was evidence of racism. Questioning someone's patriotism was despicable, and challenging whether someone's policy ideas or political objectives were "good for America" was racist, regressive, and dangerous.

Brando said...

There's nothing wrong with giving priority to refugees based on race, gender or religion if those factors are what are making them refugees. If Germany is slaughtering Jews for being Jews, and leaving non-Jews alone (not exactly the case, but assume) then of course it makes sense to let more Jews in than non-Jews.

This issue here is the security concern, which wasn't really the case with WW2 refugees (I don't recall Jewish refugees getting into the U.S. with plans to blow us up) and particularly how you can differentiate Christian from Moslem. Refugees fleeing terror due to religion in that area include both Christians and Muslims, and while we have virtually no reason to fear Christian refugees plan to blow us up (and assume most of the Muslim refugees don't either) then it comes down to how we can vet them, and what we do with them until they're vetted. A background check is nice, of course, but surely many terrorists don't have records.

And then, how do we ensure a refugee is Christian vs. Muslim? It's not like we can test whether they can recite the Nicene Creed (otherwise, most Christians are out of luck) and the bacon sandwich and beer test won't work on a determined terrorist (they seem to lack scruples) so of course if we're letting Christians in with a wave, a terrorist is going to just pretend he's Christian. If we're letting children, women and old men in with a wave, those will be prime recruits for ISIS to get by our profiling. These don't even have to be witting accomplices--ISIS could infect them with something temporarily untraceable, so they can get into the U.S. and spread it unknowingly. Do we have a plan for that?

The best bet may be to find a safe and humane holding area for these people until these questions are answered.

Writ Small said...

Does McCarthy, with his rhetorical question — "How can something American law requires be 'not American'?" — really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values?

Would you not agree that an American law on the books for a very long time that has not in its history been controversial is "American" in the broadest sense?

If in WWII there were Jews and Christians fleeing Germany (and we knew then what we know now), would it be problematic to move Jews to the head of the line?

cubanbob said...

Laslo Spatula said...
“Give me your terrorists, your suicide bombers, your huddled murderers yearning to bomb free.”

I am Laslo.

11/19/15, 9:43 AM"

Good stuff. Really good stuff. I'm glad to see that you can do more than anal. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

"$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...
" to religion-fueled violence,"

Neat trick.

It's a Muslim civil war and we can't take every single noncombatant. We can't take every claimant who says he is exposed to violence, as McCarthy says.

So how do we sort? Just the ones who make it to our borders? To safe camps in Turkey? They're not in danger, right? And, Think about incentives.

McCarthy proposes that we take those most likely to be enslaved or killed, which happen to be religious minorities. Makes more concrete sense then vague religious-blind aspirations.

11/19/15, 9:34 AM"

Like everything Arab and Muslim the complexities are enormous which is why those countries are almost always a mess. Let the Muslims in this case a complex civil war among Muslim sects and Arabs versus Arabs versus Persians deal with each other and take in those who aren't Arabs or who aren't any flavor of Muslim. It's beyond our pay-grade to figure out who are the good guys here. In the meantime the other Arab and Muslim countries can pitch in and take in their brothers and sisters and fellow coreligionists.

Unknown said...

Point of order:

"Obama has articulated his position in terms of what it means to be an American:

When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted … that’s shameful…. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion."

Obama has articulated what it means to be an American in terms of his position. And he doesn't get to do that; he can try to explain or sell his position, but not define it as American.

Unknown said...

And, as noted, he is wrong.

JHapp said...

The reason Obama doesn't want there to be a religious test is because the UN is avoiding Christian refugees like they have the plague and processing only Muslims. And Obama doesn't want to be faced with explaining why there are no Christian refugees. The UN and Obama are a Christian genocide tag team.

Unknown said...

"...it’s almost certain that the President’s program will result in settling people in the United States who could not be certified to fight for the United States in Syria" 5 certified to fight.

Unknown said...

"For no one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama. No one has committed more sins of omission, no one has so ruthlessly sacrificed the well-being of Syria’s people for his own ends, as the man in the White House."

wholelottasplainin' said...

When we were at war with Germany and Japan, did we admit German and Japanese refugees, even German Jews fleeing the Holocaust?

No. Why? Because we were afraid they would include spies and saboteurs.

FDR even locked up American citizens of Japanese descent, for the same reasons. The Supremes held that action to be constitutional in Korematsu v. U.S.

"The opinion, written by Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Fred Korematsu's individual rights, and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent." - Wikipedia.

Yes, the government has apologized for that decision. But it's never been overturned.

ISIS has said it is at war with us, and has openly bragged that it is using refugees to sneak its adherents into the West in order to engage in terror attacks.

If fear of espionage was enough to allow FDR to intern certain American citizens, is fear of terrorism enough to allow the US to refuse ALL refugees from ISIS-held territories?

Is that "un-American"?

Unknown said...

" Things can and will get worse as long as American policy continues to flounder; instead of arguing about how to shelter a few thousand refugees we need to look hard at how we are failing to address the disaster that has created millions, and that continues to grow."

SMGalbraith said...

American law - FDR EO - required that Japanese American be interned.

Lots of US laws over the years were shameful and un-American. Jim Crow anyone?

So, I think McCarthy's argument falls when faced with history.

Sebastian said...

"We are — perhaps you've noticed — always in the middle of a debate about what America means"

To O it means nothing beyond what he happens to want.

The man who started his political career in Bill Ayers' living room does not give a damn about "America."

To give any credit to his rhetoric as anything more than a string of cynical ploys is itself a deeply cynical exercise.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

First one to cite Dred Scott wins.

Derp said...

So, I think McCarthy's argument falls when faced with history

Sure,, case closed. No further consideration of the evidence required! We got to the conclusion that makes us smug with a minimum of intellectual effort? SMGalbraith for the win!

buster said...

We've come a long way since George W was insisting that Islam is a religion of peace. The first time I heard it I thought it went without saying. No more.

Michael said...

SMGalbreath:

It is not McCarthy's "argument", it is the law. Your comparisons are inapt unless you are up for having ghe law changed.

Derp said...

since George W was insisting that Islam is a religion of peace.

It is, it means "surrender." That's peace, right? The problem is who do we surrender to?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse:

"It's quite another to propose that when thousands of people are fleeing from one place and all are exposed to religion-fueled violence, that we will, at the outset, crudely sort them into 2 groups, depending on which religion they espouse."


It must feel really good to sit their and preen like that. You live in a bubble and best case you are completely ignorant.

This bubble you live in is possible because people like me go out and fight those people you want to let in. You go beyond moral equivalency and put yourself and these poor huddled masses above those you disagree with. You put them above the people that protect you.

"Is that who we are?"

When they are putting a Burkha on you and picking out the stick to beat you with, you better hope it is who we are. We might just decide to let you people live on your own.

You are such an ingrate. We are all asking a question too right now looking at people like you. "Is that who we are?" If we don't like the answer you might want to go get fitted for some new clothes that cover your face. We might not stick around to protect your little bubble.

Rusty said...

Sebastian said...
"We are — perhaps you've noticed — always in the middle of a debate about what America means"


I like that debate.
I don't want the debate where we're in the middle of determining what America meant.

It isn't a suicide pact.
Sort em out before they set foot here.

SMGalbraith said...

"Sure,, case closed. No further consideration of the evidence required! We got to the conclusion that makes us smug with a minimum of intellectual effort? SMGalbraith for the win!"

No, history and facts for the win. History and facts that you didn't refute.

It is a fact that American law - Jim Crow? - was un-American.

Just because a law exists doesn't mean by itself it's American.

What a silly claim.

I Callahan said...

So, I think McCarthy's argument falls when faced with history.

No it doesn't. What if there were Japanese-Americans who were loyal to Japan, and were feeding them intel?

History proves that not only was McCarthy right, but that conservatives are right about this.

I Callahan said...

It is a fact that American law - Jim Crow? - was un-American.

Why do you bring Jim Crow into the discussion? In the late 1800's til the 1950's black people didn't have people hiding amongst them who were terrorists. There is no comparison there.

Michael said...

We do have people who might as well say: "I don't care what America supposedly means or what American values theoretically are, I only care about"(advancing the Progressive agenda.)

Also, there are billions of miserable people in the world. We can't take them all. Does it not make sense to privilege those who are statistically less likely to be violent terrorists and more likely to support the Liberal Order and our way of life*? In this case, Christianity is simply a (reasonably reliable) proxy for distinguishing the latter from the former.

*Unless, of course, you are a faculty-lounge liberal who believes these things are inherently wicked. I'm not looking at you, Ann.

Derp said...

No, history and facts for the win. History and facts that you didn't refute

See. It is extremely hard to overcome somebody's grip on their own sense of superiority and smugness.

He presented one fact that is largely irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then uses it as some kind of overarching argument that outweighs all other considerations. And he doesn't even seem to be aware that he is doing it.

Smugness is the fuel of liberalism. It is a system of projection and transference that makes liberals feel superior and safe. Scared or Muslims? Transfer your fear to American Christians whom you know are harmless!

exhelodrvr1 said...

I think the internet has spoken on this issue.

Peter said...

The one thing that's sure is, if we admit enough immigrants from cultures that are hostile toward "who we are" then "who we are" will become quite different from "who we were." Call it the paradox of whether one must be tolerant of intolerance, if you will.

Unless one accepts the inane "all cultures are equal" dogma (which all too often mutates into "but our culture is worse" self-flagellation) then culture matters. Is it really necessary to point out the all-too-real probability that France (that most secular of nations) will become an Islamic Republic by 2050? And if it does, where shall displaced French look for asylum?

Sovereign nations have a right (and arguably a duty) to manage immigration for the benefit of the host country, even when that may not be best for would-be immigrants. The responsible question to ask here is, "What's the risk/reward ratio?" It's certainly not all risk, but it's not all reward, either. What might this cost us, and is it worth it?

robother said...

So, in Obama (and Althouse's) view, the Lautenberg Amendment, the Jackson-Vanik Agreement and the other regulations granting refugee status only to Soviet Jews (i.e., not every person seeking to escape the collapsing Soviet empire) were contrary to American values? Interesting.

Derp said...

Seriously, 9-11 scared the shit out of liberals, but soon enough they had transferred that fear to Bush. It was something to behold. Brilliant piece of politics, I have to say.

Big Mike said...

@Achilles, point of information. In Saudi Arabia the mutaween use automobile antennas to whip women who are deemed insufficiently chaste in their apparel.

I think Write-Off's point is worth contemplating. If there is a civil war going on between Sunnis and Shiites, with both sides killing Christians for being Christian, and we allow anyone into the US regardless of their religion, doesn't this suggest that they'll just continue killing each other once they're here? Not everybody, of course, but it only takes a couple.

Derp said...

If Republicans were smart enough to create a Manchurian Candidate type Democrat whose mandate it was to destroy the Democrat Party from within, could he have been any more effective than Obama? He continues to lay waste to the Democrats with this kind of contrary crapola.

Derp said...

He knows it's not working and that he needs to import a new electorate that can live up to his lofty standards.

Hagar said...

I think what is happening is that people are very tired of and angry about being lied to all the time, and they suspect that this is just another program that will turn out to be quite something other than advertised if adopted, so whatever it is, they are going to vote against it, if given a chance to vote on it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hmm, democracy is a core American value, yeah? I mean, we balance democratic decisions against individual citizens' rights, but in this case we're not really talking about citizens, so a vote should suffice to decide the issue, right? Wouldn't that be the American thing to do? We act through our elected officials, sure--maybe have a vote, what do you say? The President isn't afraid of a vote, is he? He'd respect the will of American citizens as expressed through a vote, wouldn't he? That's, you know, pretty American.

David said...

We don't hear any serious politicians saying: I don't care what America supposedly means or what American values theoretically are, I only care about protecting the lives of American people. They might think that, but they don't speak in those terms. We wouldn't accept that.

Fred Korematsu might have disagreed. So does Scalia.

It depends on how urgent and destructive the threat seems. There was serious discussion of preemptive nuclear strikes during the cold war. That view did not prevail but the debate was a "serious."

The French have been rather quick to adopt emergency powers permitting detention, arrest and surveillance that (probably?) would be unconstitutional in the USA. They seem to get information from prisoners rather quickly. Just how do they do that?

Values change based on the stresses of the moment. We took very few prisoners in the fight against Japan, and it wasn't just because surrender was against the Japanese ethic. The Japanese too could change values under stress, and there were plenty of offered surrenders that were not accepted. Take no prisoners was not just a metaphor.

Self preservation is still a mighty human value, often the most powerful of all.

Big Mike said...

@Hagar, that too.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I think the internet has spoken on this issue.

exhelodrvr1 wins the thread!

David said...

Yesterday I wondered if a statute stripping citizenship from any person who engaged in a terroristic act under cooperation with or direction from non-citizens would be constitutional. American citizenship may be a birthright to the native born, but can the law remove that citizenship for sufficient reason? I have no idea what the answer is, but don't bet against consideration of the idea.

If we can deprive convicted felons of indicia of citizenship (voting), why not this?

Virgil Hilts said...

From what I have read Christians are being ethnically (religiously) cleansed from the area in a manner quite different than what is happening to Muslims. The same Christians are only a disproportionately tiny percent of the immigrants being allowed into the U.S.

Obama - sets up a straw man and shrugs (predictable).

Ann, please don't fall for Obama's straw man. A lot of us want to give preference to Christians because they are going to be systematically wiped out.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/magazine/is-this-the-end-of-christianity-in-the-middle-east.html
There is online a recent 30 minute video of ISIS conducting a mass execution of Christians. I can't watch it, but it might change some people's minds.

Nichevo said...

We don't hear any serious politicians saying: I don't care what America supposedly means or what American values theoretically are, I only care about protecting the lives of American people. They might think that, but they don't speak in those terms. We wouldn't accept that.

"The Constitution is not a suicide pact"

Now stop trying to think, I know it makes your pretty head hurt, and do something valuable with your time. Like go home and blow your husband.

Meade, you're welcome.

Danny K said...

It's not discrimination against a religion, it's discrimination against people who will commit violent acts against our society. Until we have a way to distinguish the radical Muslims from the non-radical Muslims, we should not be required to accept the risk that someone shoots up a plaza full of American citizens on a regular basis. The onus of helping us find a way to make that distinction is on the non-radical Muslims. Unfortunately, all we get out of non-radical Muslims is a weak variation of the "no true Scotsman" argument which does not appear to indicate a genuine desire to root out the problem at its source. Once we feel that non-radical Muslims are truly our allies in the war against radical Islam, I think it will be easier for us to distinguish between them. At that point we will no longer have to paint with a broad brush.

Nobody cares how Muslims pray or what they eat or what their theology is. But when religious expression takes the form of violent aggression, we have to defend our "safe space" where everyone (including Muslims) is free to worship as they choose. We simply have no way of knowing whether a given Syrian refugee was an aggressor or not back home in the Middle East, especially since the bulk of refugees are young able-bodied men.

We do not want to import the Syrian civil war onto American territory. Things could be a lot more violent here than they are today -- Ann, as you have often said on this blog, doing nothing is a high standard. As much as I cringe at the crybabies of Yale getting upset over Halloween costumes, I'm grateful that our country has been so peaceful and prosperous for so long, that children growing up here have seen so little real suffering, that all they worry about is microaggressions and ill-considered drunken coitus. I don't want to lose that.

Nichevo said...

Fall for it Virgil? She jumped. Willful.

Lyle Smith said...

How are we to discriminate Muslims from Islamists without discriminating against Muslims?

Anglelyne said...

Obama calls us to what he portrays as a higher standard of compassion and nondiscrimination.

"Calls us". "Higher." These words in a sentence in which "Obama" is the subject. How can an honest person write a sentence like that without vomiting all over her keyboard?

We don't have to answer immigration questions by deciding which approach is most American, but the culture here in America is to be endlessly immersed in a process of defining American values.

Being "endlessly immersed in a process of defining values" is what babbling academics and politicians do in a culture that is immersed in the process of being fractured out of existence. They do this either as useful idiots, or deliberately, because they want to replace the existing values (and often, the people who hold them).

And there's nothing particularly American about this, regardless of the creaking mail-merge localisms ("unAmerican") inserted into the cookie-cutter propaganda. Brits, Swedes, other European nations, Canadians, Australians (see a pattern here?) are being babbled into oblivion with exactly the same "process of defining values".

Oddly, dozens of distinct nations, with distinct histories and national cultures, find themselves "immersed" in exactly the same "process", premised on exactly the same abstraction: non-discrimination. And woe betide any of them who presume to begin with a different premise that leads to a conclusion about "values" any different from what Americans must think in order not to be unAmerican. Funny, that.

Crazy Jane said...

Six days ago we were outraged at undifferentiated "terrorists" for attacking our French amis.

Now we're back to being just a bunch of ignorant Islamophobic racists.

That was fast.

Lem said...

Obama's "that's not who we are" is an obfuscation and distraction from a much less complicated question.

Who is president Obama?

For now, Obama is the president keeping ISIS alive "body and soul", keeping them as a viable political tool to hit the Bush-Iraq-failure pinata over and over.

ISIS is the cooler that keeps GOP=Iraq-failure brew easy go-to for consumption.

Real American said...

Obama has spent his entire presidency seeking to divide Americans by religion, race, sex, class, or who you fuck. The idea that we shouldn't distinguish refugees based on the roots of their persecution is fucking stupid, especially coming from this man. He's a fucking fake as hack. Moreover, he is the most un-American president this country has ever had. He fucking hates this country and has not been shy about it.

Anonymous said...

Must be menopause causing a US law professor to offer up this thin gruel of an analysis/position.
Maybe she would feel differently if we selected refugees based on their view of gay marriage?

And one suspects shifting hormones are also behind her advocating for the admission of thousands of people who would love to see her and her gay son dead.

Ms. Althouse's thought processes are quite disappointing at times.

SMGalbraith said...

Althouse asked the right question: "Does McCarthy [and his defenders here], with his rhetorical question — "How can something American law requires be 'not American'?" — really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values?"

So, is every American law consistent with American values? Anyone who says "Yes" is ignoring American history.

In fact, some are saying that the the law allowing Syrian Muslim refugees into the US without sufficient vetting is not American.

This is silly.

Lem said...

ISIS is a political Mexican border.

As long as he doesn't close it, he keeps reaping the political benefits.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Diversity is our strength. Syrian Christians are a minority of Syrians seeking refuge, and it's American to protect minorities. Syrian Muslims are the majority of Syrians seeking refuge, and it's American to ensure that the majority's will doesn't harm minority rights.

We must immediately move members of the oppressed minority of Syrians seeking refuge in our nation to the front of the line. That minority happens to be Syrian Christians.

You don't hate religious minorities, do you?! UnAmerican & Ugly.

Michael said...

Anglelyne:

Nice. And on top of all the nonsensical furrowed-brow words we are forced to read or listen to, we are compelled to have a "conversation" we do not want to have regarding "refugees" who have already made their way to the paradise of the EU but prefer to make it here.

And our President has the gall to mock those who aren't keen to do his bidding as cowards who fear widows and orphans. OK, asshole President, we call. We will take all the widows and orphans but none of the males.

Derp said...

really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values?"

No, no law is immune to such criticism if the criticism is well founded. In this case such criticism is not. The facts on the ground are that Muslims are pushing Christians off of life boats. I don't see how any understanding of "American values" can ignore this and similar atrocities.

Derp said...

"Diversity is strength!" That's what Stalin was thinking when he moved so many Russian nationals into the Ukraine after the genocide of ethnic Ukrainians.

It is a great strategy! Here it just paid off last year for Russia.

Michael said...

SM Galbraith

You cannot be so stupid as you appear. It can't be possible that you can't distinguish between laws that exit and laws that once existed and were changed or to think that because you believe there is a disconnect between what you believe to be the right thing and the actual law that the law should be disregarded. Clearly you are pulling our legs.

You can't be like our moronic president who continues to lecture us on the fact that all Muslims aren't terrorists, as though this was some ivy league breakthrough inspiration. We get it, Mr. P.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

SMGalbraith said...So, is every American law consistent with American values? Anyone who says "Yes" is ignoring American history.

You didn't specifically say "Dred Scott" but you implied it, so I'm awarding you full points.

The fact that something is part of our law doesn't automatically prove it's "American" by our current common definition of that term (pretending for the moment there is one). IF that was McCarthy's only point you'd win, and I understand you think you have. The fact that something is current American law, hasn't been subject to ANY opposition (as far as I can tell) until now, hasn't been subject to court challenges, protests, legislative votes to change, etc, is of recent vintage, and is supported by a large number of current American citizens, though, sure does lend a TON of support to the argument that it's not unAmerican.

That something is current law doesn't prove it's American. The fact that it's a current law (and until now uncontroversial, unchallenged, widely supported, etc) is strong evidence that it's not considered unAmerican by most people. McCarthy points this out to demonstrate that the President apparently isn't aware of the actual law, which, you know, is probably something the head of the Executive branch should be before he shoots his mouth off and insults Americans. President Obama nowhere referenced the law. If he'd said "the law's test is wrong, the current law itself is unAmerican and should be changed" then you'd have a point. He doesn't, and you don't.

The fact that a law exists isn't proof (in the deductive logic sense) that it is "American." The fact that the law exists and there's no effort underway to change the law is good prima facie evidence that most Americans consider that law to be American. It's pretty obvious that the second case is McCarthy's actual argument, and you haven't refuted it.

Richard Dolan said...

The statute McCarthy cites doesn't prefer one religion over another, or discriminate among religions per se. Instead, it makes persecution a ground on which to grant preferential treatment, and recognized that religious intolerance can be (always has been) a major generator of persecutions. In Syria and elsewhere in the mid-east, Christians are undoubtedly a persecuted minority (Jews would have been at the head of the list, but they've already been cleaned out). But in places like Myanmar, Muslims are the object of persecution by militant Buddhists, and would get the benefit of the same preference. In still other places, militant state-sponsored atheism has made any religious believer an object of persecution. In some respects China today fits that description, and the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany fit it even better.

It also makes sense, in terms of the preference for persecuted populations, to take into account the degree of persecution between and among different religions or religious subgroups. That situation, which may well be the story in parts of the middle east today, not only permits but probably requires a ranking among the religious groups subject to persecution. It's sensible, moral and completely in accord with American values in such a situation to grant first preference to, say, Jews, followed by Christians, then deviant sects of Muslims, etc., if that's what the situation on the ground, in terms of severity of persecution and danger to the targeted populations, dictates.

Quite apart from those considerations, it can also make sense to prefer potential immigrants who will assimilate better into the host country's society. Some populations will just work out better than others. For example, in the current immigration debates, there seems to be broad support for preferring high-skilled immigrants on the ground that they will offer a greater net benefit to the United States. Populations that might offer a net negative (those with no skills, or unable to support themselves, or unlikely to assimilate into American society) would be effectively rejected.

That's a long way from "give me your poor and tired ..." but I suspect it's where the country is today.

Brando said...

If Obama were actually a good politician he would acknowledge the reasonable concerns his opponents have about letting in refugees that might pose a security threat, and then he'd argue why his policies should alleviate those fears. Instead, we get him trolling about his opponents "being scared of women and children" (as if terrorists haven't used women and children in the past???) and violating what "America stands for" (last I checked, we have a long history of doing ugly things if we believed it was out of self preservation--or is Obama going to denounce FDR who did far worse than anyone's talking about here?). He is more DNC chief than President, and determined to exit his shrinking presidency devoid of accomplishment.

R. Chatt said...

Who picks the Syrian refugees that resettle in the U.S.?

The UNHCR (The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees) is working "hand in hand" with an international Islamist group of 57 Muslim nations — the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — whose founding charter seeks to propagate "legitimate jihad" and "the norms of Islamic Shari'ah." Saudi-based OIC, in fact, is tied to the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
"We are delighted to work ... with the OIC," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
So it's really the U.N. and radical Islamists who are choosing your new Muslim neighbors.
While the U.N. calls its project "refugee resettlement," the Islamists call it "hijra," or immigration jihad.
( Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/111715-781305-why-is-un-using-islamist-group-to-resettle-syrian-refugees-in-the-us-.htm#ixzz3rxaAnRtX )

It's no surprise that Christians are not applying to this agency for asylum and that is why the percentage of Christian refugees is so low. Americans must be too stupid to realize this. We are known for our ignorance and stupidity as well. It's sad and also infuriating to hear our President claim that we are being fair to everyone.

Rick said...

It's strange to see the President argue we have such a responsibility to take refugees we're un-American if we don't take everyone indiscriminately. Yet he also said preventing genocide was not a sufficient reason to leave 10k troops in Iraq.

Surely it's a coincidence each half of this complete reversal happened to support a left wing initiative at the point the comment was made.

n.n said...

In the worst case, there is the unplanned and planned American. The former is permitted to live, while the latter is aborted and cannibalized for profit. That too is a quasi-religious state for a minority of Americans who are members of the pro-choice cult. Obama and the other "decent" folks don't seem to mind applying their quasi-religious/moral test to determine the fate of the wholly innocent.

Then there are the class diversity policies which are racist, sexist, etc.

The congruences to justify selective exclusion.

The superior rights where there is a priority of dignity.

Displacement and replacement with excessive and illegal immigration.

Treating symptoms (e.g. refugees) for political (e.g. democratic), social, and financial profit in order to avoid accepting responsibility for the progressive social justice-fostered humanitarian disaster in Africa, Middle East, Europe, and now America.

And so many more quasi-religious "legal" doctrines that are not American.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The "We are all French now" wasn't supposed to mean that we are also blissfully unaware of the evil lurking in our midst.

damikesc said...

If Obama were actually a good politician he would acknowledge the reasonable concerns his opponents have about letting in refugees that might pose a security threat, and then he'd argue why his policies should alleviate those fears. Instead, we get him trolling about his opponents "being scared of women and children" (as if terrorists haven't used women and children in the past???) and violating what "America stands for" (last I checked, we have a long history of doing ugly things if we believed it was out of self preservation--or is Obama going to denounce FDR who did far worse than anyone's talking about here?). He is more DNC chief than President, and determined to exit his shrinking presidency devoid of accomplishment.

I feel it's worse because it make genuine dialogue IMPOSSIBLE. Who will spend a moment trying to inform Obama of their opinion when he has already dismissed all concerns as "racist" or "un-American"? You cannot have an honest discussion there. He just simply hardens opposition to him because he seems thoroughly incapable of compromise. His re-election unleashed his real self. He is a petty little fascist who views dissent as the worst of all possible sins.

As has been pointed out, the only enemy who seems to anger him are Americans.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Does McCarthy [and his defenders here], with his rhetorical question — "How can something American law requires be 'not American'?" — really mean to suggest that once something happens to make it into the United States Code it is immune from arguments that it is inconsistent with American values?"

No, he doesn't, one must think deeply about the point he's making, understanding the nuance of his argument, and empathize with his POV when judging his rhetorical choices. To simply conclude from an initial read of his statement that his main point rested on categorical logical statement he obviously doesn't believe to be true one would have to think very shallowly indeed.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Calling political opponents unamerican is about as American as American politicians get in 2015, and the Media loves it. Noted.

DavidD said...

Well, he did promise to fundamentally transform this country....

Quaestor said...

The problem with this "religious test" bullshit is categorical. Islam is much more than a religion, it is a ideology devoted to conquest. Its adherents are enjoined to wage ceaseless, merciless war against all who are not yet subjugated. To conclude that the war currently being waged against us derives from recent events -- the Iraq War, the Gulf War, the Iran-Irag War, The Six-Day War, WWII, WWI, take your pick -- is to misconstrue history. Our brief national history started well into a period of quiescence in the unending war of Muslims vs Everybody Else brought about by a series of strategic military reversals, Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683) most notably, which rocked the aggressive and ascendant Ottoman caliphate onto it heels, forcing it onto the defensive, and encouraging other, non-Turkish Muslims to seek a new, more vigorous commander of the faithful willing and able to renew the march to world domination.

The Ottoman caliphate finally collapsed in the wake of the Great War, its corpse carved into British and French protectorates, thus creating the political phenomenon known as Arab nationalism. From the time of Mohammad Muslims had not thought of themselves in those terms, it was an introduced alien notion encouraged by the British as a means to attack the caliphate from within. This introduced nationalism is dissolving for our eyes; every war in the Middle East since 1945 has been a symptom of the breakdown of nationalism and the resurgence of Islamic polity.

That we find ourselves in existential conflict with Islam is confusing to people with a mindset framed in the popular culture that grew out of the Cold War. Peace, love, understanding... yaddah, yaddah... the whole gamut of shibboleths that define the Boomers cannot comprehend what's happening. Even now in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence there are people,many of them academics, who are intellectually incapable of appreciating the current state of affairs. We, America and Western Civilization generally, are in a fight for our very existence which has nothing to do with racism or capitalism or colonialism or any bête noire dear to the hearts of Utne Reader readers. It's burkas or combat boots, folks. Flowers will have no effect, sorry.

Anglelyne said...

Crazy Jane: Six days ago we were outraged at undifferentiated "terrorists" for attacking our French amis.

Now we're back to being just a bunch of ignorant Islamophobic racists.

That was fast.


They do get faster and more feverish with every cycle, don't they?

All the cadres were really in line and on point lickety-split. Used to be the herd was a bit stunned and sluggish after a blood-bath, but no longer!

Clyde said...

If they espouse a religion whose holy writings tell them to kill or enslave infidels, then I don't fucking want them coming here. Period. Full stop.

Jeff Hall said...

> Is that who we are?

It may or may not be who were are, but it isn't what we used to be, at least during the Roosevelt years. We turned away thousands of Jewish refugees, because it would have been "Unamerican" to give them preferential treatment, just because of their race and religion. Christians and Yazdis are being killed and enslaved because of their faith, in a far more brutal and overt manner than even the Jews of German and Austria were before the outbreak of hostilities.

I had thought that our asylum laws --which were, after all, written in the Holocaust's immediate aftermath-- would have made this sort of mealy-mouthed cowardice impossible in the future. But Congress could not have anticipated that we would elect a President who was both unwilling to resist blatant genocide and uninterested in obeying American laws.

abby said...

When the Christians start shooting, beheading, and raping, then we will be concerned. Right now it's the Muslim men doing this. And its the Muslim men who are threatening the USA, not the Christians or Jews, or Buddhist or Amish. Leave them in the ME, let them fight to get their country back. But we do not want them here.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, it's not just religion. Obviously gay people are a targeted group. And Christians are way better off than Jews or other "pagans". Pagans, like the Yasidi, are just flesh to these disgusting people who have only two possible fates - death or enslavement.

Of course we should sort people into groups! Look at what has happened in Iraq!

The Christians, gays, any Jews left, and the non-Abrahamic religious minorities are all unlikely to be able to return with any safety. Of course we should take them and not the standard Muslim from the area.

We have no obligation to take the dislocated. We should try to help the persecuted.

We don't want the Muslims. We don't need them. They don't need us, for the most part. They need and want to go home and live in a Muslim land under some sort of stable regime. That can be arranged.

The only exceptions might be Muslims who need specialized medical treatment.

Many of the "refugees" have belief systems that are very little different from the beliefs of ISIS. Quite a few of them have been fighting for Islamic causes. We would literally be insane to take them. Insane. The reason the Saudis and so forth don't want them is that they don't want these troublemakers. Why should we step up?

Muslim states have special rules about minorities that mean that the groups I have named can't find refuge in the area. Therefore we should help them.

We should absolutely try to avoid taking Muslims from that area at all unless they fall into a specially persecuted group. Especially Syrians. Assad had to be a bloody repressive dictator to prevent the minority groups from being crushed. That should tell you something. The persecuted people cannot go home again.

It is not that we do not want Muslims from the area because of their religion. We do not want them because of their culture and their beliefs about what is right and wrong. There is nothing wrong or un-American about distinguishing among groups of people who tend toward doing evil and groups of people who are their victims.

Why did we ever abandon all reason and logic when we encounter viciousness, advocacy of violence, bloody repression and denial of human rights if they are embossed with a "Muslim" stamp? It is bizarre and the antithesis of constitutional legal system.

Quaestor said...

I was at a dinner party recently where the topic of conversation turned to war and the Middle East generally (this was in the wake of the MetroJet bombing but before 11/13) Someone commented that he was tired of useless wars. I replied that the Muslims were evidently not tired.

"We have no business there," he said.

Nevertheless, they believe they have business here.

You can't pick your wars, but you can pick your battlefields.

Anglelyne said...

R. Chatt: It's no surprise that Christians are not applying to this agency for asylum and that is why the percentage of Christian refugees is so low. Americans must be too stupid to realize this.

I don't think most Americans have a clue about the entrenched "refugee industrial complex" in general, not just this aspect.

Not the first source I've come across reporting that Christians are systematically excluded from "official" camps from which refugees are selected. (Or systematically terrorized out of them by the Tiny, Tiny Minority.)

IntellectuallyCurious said...

The comments about not letting Muslim refugees from Syria into the U.S. don't make any logical sense. Does this apply only to Syrian Muslim refugees or to all Muslim refugees from around the world? What about Muslims who are not refugees who want to visit the U.S.? Students, tourists, business people, those visiting their relatives? Are you proposing that we stop giving visas to Muslims? By all accounts, refugees go through more stringent background checks than visa applicants.

Is the ultimate policy goal not to let any Muslims into the U.S.?

Drago said...

IntellectuallyCurious: "The comments about not letting Muslim refugees from Syria into the U.S. don't make any logical sense."

I'm sorry, I was not able to focus on what you were writing, what with all the noise from the muslim conducting beheadings, mass murder, child/woman sex enslavement, shouting about reestablishing the caliphate, making everyone live under sharia, etc going on.

You were saying?

Drago said...

IntellectuallyCurious: "Is the ultimate policy goal not to let any Muslims into the U.S.?"

There are many ideas being bandied about regarding how to handle muslim immigration into the US. Of course there is no one policy the Obama opponents have coalesced around as there are many ideas about how to proceed.

If you are ignorant of these proposals, which are all over the place and are being reported daily by major media basically everywhere, I would humbly suggest that you would appear to be less than "intellectually" curious.

One is forced to ask how it is you've missed all of that?

Derp said...

Is the ultimate policy goal not to let any Muslims into the U.S.?

This particular batch cannot be distinguished from terrorist who could easily infiltrate them. ISIS has already claimed they have. ISIS has declared war on the US. Sure they could be lying, but do you think they really haven't? I don't see how that is possible.

Derp said...

Is the ultimate policy goal not to let any Muslims into the U.S.?

I don't think we should encourage immigration from people who do not believe in democracy, women's rights, gay rights, general tolerance. No. There are lots of Muslims who are not religious hard liners, let them follow the usual routes, not come through some "emergency" where normal safeguards are not in place.

Peter said...

I'd assume many Islamic supremacists fully believe in democracy- so long as they're the majority. As Erdogan supposedly remarked, sometimes democracy is just a train you ride until you reach your destination and then you get off.

The necessary commitment is not so much to democracy as to the U.S. Constitution and especially its Bill of Rights, not as something to be used "until you reach your destination" but as a social contract.

Although even if you could apply such a test to would-be immigrants, you'd have a tough time separating out liars.

Finally, there is the real-world experience of France, where many of the original immigrants were indeed moderate yet their children became radical, and their children's children even more so. France's predicament should be a caution for all who are convinced they can manage immigration in ways that will not be harmful or even existentially dangerous to the host.

At some point the governments of sovereign states simply have a duty to weigh risks against potential benefits.

n.n said...

Liberal societies apply racial tests. Ethnic tests. Gender tests. Orientation tests. Capital tests. Viability tests. Ideology tests. Quasi-religious (i.e. pro-choice) tests.

Since when has the American left been concerned about agnostic treatment of individuals as opposed to class diversity schemes?

The Separation of Church and State is a simple lie propagated by people who demand establishment of their Church. The State-established pro-choice cult is known to exist in order to reduce the viability of native populations, suppress competing interests, and to promote establishment of monopolies under left-wing ideology.

Mark said...

Professor Althouse, you phrased you question extremely well. Would that our politicians could do so.

n.n said...

As for the the social justice-fostered tri-continental humanitarian disaster. First, Obama and the social institutions (e.g. human and civil rights groups) need to admit fault for destabilizing those nations and disenfranchising their citizens. Second, they should follow the lead of the Russian coalition to restore a safe space in Africa, Middle East, and Eurasia for the native inhabitants in their homelands, not merely profiting from their misfortune through shifting the people and conflict somewhere else.

Also, reject the pro-choice cult. It's clear that Obama et al have ulterior motives, and do not have the interests of the native people in Syria, Iraq, Libya, France, Germany, America, etc. at heart.

jimbino said...

We may as well let the Syrians in, as long as we insist on sending their kids to public schools, where they are guaranteed to be scrubbed of all principles and learn to become proper Amerikans enjoying god on their coins, god in their oaths and pledges, and god in their anthems.

Derp said...

Is that where you leaned to spell, jimbino?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'm noting that the Left now says having "tests" for religious, ethnic, or racial identity when determining who should qualify for some benefit is unamerican. I seem to recall the Left insisting on doing just that on any number of other issues (even applying a "one drop" rule), but I guess that's all changed now.

Dividing by religion, race, or sex is wrong! All lives matter! All religions matter! All genders matter! Hooray!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

jimbino: God is an American

Matt said...

The Syrian refugee hysteria is really disheartening. I didn't realize how much fear and hatred Americans had in them. It's crazy. Right after 9/11 I don't recall an anti-refugee hysteria but thanks in part to Trump and Cruz it is fashionable to hate refugees. [Some want to put them in camps!]
BTW here's something from the Cato Institute:

Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States and none was successfully carried out. That is one terrorism-planning conviction for a refugee for every 286,543 of them who have been admitted. To put that in perspective, about 1 in every 22,541 Americans committed murder in 2014. The terrorist threat from Syrian refugees in the United States is hyperbolically over-exaggerated and we have very little to fear from them because the refugee vetting system is so thorough.

Static Ping said...

Matt: I didn't realize how much fear and hatred Americans had in them.

Project much?

I would think that when an actual major terrorist attack has been performed and one of the terrorists is one of the refugees of which you speak, that would put a damper on the enthusiasm. Most human beings are not suicidal.

When your very enemy insists that they are going to use the refugees to smuggle in terrorists and then succeed, that would also tend to put a damper on things. One tends to take them at their word.

When our very government insists that they can vet the refugees after only admitting that they could not a couple of months ago, that does not breed confidence. The fact that the current administration seems reluctant to enforce immigration law does not help.

There is a big difference between refugees in general and these refugees in particular. That should be obvious.

Static Ping said...

Ann, to discuss your question (and not having read the thread since the topic is getting stale), the American thing to do is, at its most basic, not to do anything stupid. Accepting a mass of refugees that cannot be properly vetted and will, absolutely, include terrorists if they think they can get through the screening process is stupid. The Syrian Christians, assuming you can properly vet them as Christians, are low risk. They are also targets of genocide which would make them high priority. The Syrian Muslims are significantly higher risk as events in Paris attest. It would seem sensible to be wary of admitting the latter and setting them as a much lower priority. At minimum they would need to be screened much more thoroughly.

To put American citizens at risk for the sake of foreigners, especially foreigners who however benign reject our culture in favor of sharia, hardly seems like a smart thing to do. I wish the world was as one and we all loved and tolerated each other and everyone was above average and had a pony if they so desired. We do not live in that world.

Anglelyne said...

Matt: The Syrian refugee hysteria is really disheartening. I didn't realize how much fear and hatred Americans had in them.

Lol. Were you weeping onto your keyboard when you wrote that?

Static Ping said...

Finally, I really don't care what Obama declares to be "American." He went to a racist, anti-American church. He sees the Constitution and the Rule of Law to be things to be circumvented and, if necessary, ignored. He treats the Iranian leadership, which overtly hates us, better than he does Americans who disagree with him on anything. I could go on. His argument is in bad faith. I am willing to debate this topic with people of good will, Ann included, but our President sees the word merely as debating trick, something he defines to his own convenience to slaughter strawmen everywhere. Sadly, the President of the United States is not worth my time.

Anglelyne said...

Static Ping: To put American citizens at risk for the sake of foreigners...

As someone said elsewhere today:

Whenever a politician puts the interests of Americans over foreigners it is described as being “un-American”. Whenever a politician puts foreign interests over American interests it is described as being “American”.

Anonymous said...

We tend to throw around the word discrimination as if it was always something intrinsically bad, but it really only has that quality if the discrimination is based on an irrational parameter irrelevant to the matter at hand - i.e. using race when deciding whether to hire someone when race has nothing to do with the job description.

Taking gender into account would however be perfectly reasonable and expected when determining whom to screen for breast cancer - gender makes a difference there, and we'd be idiotic if we insisted that breast cancer screening guidelines not take gender into account. Failure to discriminate at all in any circumstance, the refusal to see the differences that matter - that's not virtuous, that's head-in-the-sand ignorance and abandonment of reason.

To get back to the question of whether we want to sort the refugees into different buckets by religion - YES! Setting aside all irrelevant arguments by armchair theologians over what is or is not true Islam, the point remains that modern day terrorists killing civilians in the name of their deity happen to be Islamic - not any other religion. If we as a society choose to ignore that out of some slavish worship of anti-discrimination, keep in mind that people like last week's French terrorists have no qualms over using our compassion and open arms as a weapon against us.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Does ISIS want us to accept the refugees?