U.S. executive order banning travel to U.S. by Iraqis gets angry reaction. Says one MP, "Iraq as a sovereign country will be forced to
reciprocate, and that would affect negatively cooperation, including
military cooperation in the war."
Muqtada al-Sadr says Iraq should expel Americans. Not that that's anything new for him but now he has a stronger argument.
Order separates families, strands refugees.
Further coverage from al Jazeera on anger and sense of betrayal in Iraq.
Two Iraqis with links to the U.S. military are detained at JFK airport, ACLU sues for their release.
In Yemen, a U.S. commando is killed and four are injured in a raid on a group said to be linked to al Qaeda. A U.S. helicopter is also destroyed in the action. U.S. says 14 militants killed and 2 captured in the action.
Bob Hennely in Salon has a grim view of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
May Jeong in Harpers has a long historical look at the Afghanistan war and the current state of affairs.
Benjamin Wittes, who believe me is no bleeding heart liberal, excoriates the executive order as "malevolence tempered by incompetence." Excerpt:
There is, in fact, simply no rational relationship between cutting off visits from the particular countries that Trump targets (Muslim countries that don’t happen to be close U.S. allies) and any expected counterterrorism goods. The 9/11 hijackers, after all, didn’t come from Somalia or Syria or Iran; they came from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a few other countries not affected by the order. Of the San Bernardino attackers (both of Pakistani origin, one a U.S. citizen and the other a lawful permanent resident), the Orlando shooter (a U.S. citizen whose parents were born in Afghanistan), and the Boston marathon bombers (one a naturalized U.S. citizen, one a green card holder who arrived in Massachusetts from Kyrgyzstan), none came from countries listed in the order. . . .
[T]he document also takes steps that strike me as utterly orthogonal to any relevant security interest. If the purpose of the order is the one it describes, for example, I can think of no good reason to burden the lives of students individually suspected of nothing who are here lawfully and just happen to be temporarily overseas, or to detain tourists and refugees who were mid-flight when the order came down. I have trouble imagining any reason to raise questions about whether green card holders who have lived here for years can leave the country and then return. . . .
[I]n the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives.
When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do.