Donald J. Trump swears up and down, left and right — puts his hand on a stack of Bibles and says “Scout’s honor” for all I know — that his ban against refugees is not an “anti-Muslim” initiative.
The president, though, has delivered to our enemies a prime-time, gold-and-silver-plated recruitment tool.
He calls our enemies “radical Islamic terrorists.” Yes, they are.
They also are experts at distorting people’s intentions, even their very words, twisting them into propaganda fodder.
What the president has done is create a climate for terrorists such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda to target American Muslims to join their fight against the “infidels.” He also has delivered to a much wider audience the very message that his two immediate predecessors — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack H. Obama — fought like hell to avoid delivering. Presidents Bush and Obama said clearly: We are not at war with Islam! The enemies are the monstrous murderers who have perverted a great religion.
Now we have the potential for the precise opposite message being delivered to those who might be inclined to join a radical militant movement, to take up arms and to join the fight against the rest of the civilized world.
The president of the United States is expected to speak with absolute clarity and precision. When we’re dealing with the complexities of the current world geopolitical climate, any misstep or clumsy language can produce dire consequences.
The president’s refugee ban has roiled members of the president’s own party, created a firestorm within the legal community over its very constitutionality, and it has possibly enraged Muslims around the world — and in the United States — to the point of causing grievous harm.