U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a news conference following a working session at the G20 leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Kaan Soyturk
Despite what he termed the “setback” of last Friday’s jihad massacre in Paris, Barack Obama announced Monday that he was pressing forward with his scheme to flood the U.S. with at least 10,000 refugees from Syria, termingopposition to his plan “shameful.” Obama seems intent on recreating in the U.S. the circumstances that led to the jihad attacks in Paris – which were perpetrated by at least two “refugees” who had just recently arrived in Europe.
“We have to, each of us, do our part, and the United States has to step up and do its part,” Obama said. He didn’t explain why Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar don’t have to do their part, and have taken no refugees at all, citing the risk of terrorism. Repeat that concern in the U.S., as have the Governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Texas, and you’ll be charged with “racism,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”
Obama was ready with his own charges: “When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims. When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted. When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution — That’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”
Indeed. But there were other issues that did not involve “religious tests to our compassion.” President’s statement neatly ignored the uncomfortable fact that Christians are not waging jihad around the world. It was not a Christian terrorist group, but a Muslim one, that boasted last February that it would soon inundate Europe with 500,000 refugees. The Lebanese Education Minister recently warned that there were 20,000 Islamic jihadi terrorists, not Christian “extremists,” among the refugees in camps in his country. It was not a “right-wing” Christian, but an Islamic State operative who boasted in September, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 terrorists had already entered Europe.
Obama has never acknowledged any of those facts. Robert Bentley, the Governor of Alabama, was more realistic, explaining that he did not want any of the refugees in Alabama because “I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.” The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, noted that “a Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger.” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson stated that taking Syrian refugees at this time “is not the right strategy.” Even the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, came out against Obama’s plan: “No, I’m not interested in accepting refugees from Syria,” he said. “My view on this is the safety and security of the people of the Commonwealth of Mass. is my highest priority. So I would set the bar very high on this.”
Obama brushed all such concerns aside: “The people who are fleeing Syria,” he asserted, “are the most harmed by terrorism…It is very important...that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” He didn’t address the possibility that jihadis might be among the refugees, but deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes attempted to reassure the American people by claimingthat the Obama Administration had “very extensive screening procedures” to weed out jihadis from among the refugees. Former NATO supreme commanded James Stavridisalso claimedthat U.S. officials would be able to vet the refugees “safely and appropriately.” He added: “We should continue to take a substantial number of Syrian refugees because it is the right thing to do for the international community and because over time they will prove to be citizens of real capability and true grit, like many who immigrated before them in troubled times. The key is serious vetting using all the tools at our disposal.”
Yet FBI director James Comey was not so sanguine about the possibility of vetting the refugees: “If we have no information on someone, they’ve never crossed our radar screen...it will be challenging,” he said – and most jihadis from Syria have not crossed the U.S. radar screen, as the U.S. has not had a military presence there comparable to that in Iraq.
What’s more, the Obama Administration’s ability to distinguish “moderates” from “extremists” has already been tested and found wanting. Former Defense Intelligence Agency director Michael Flynn recently confirmed that while it was claiming to be supporting “vetted moderates” in Syria, the Administration was actually supporting al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and directly enabled the rise of the Islamic State. This is also the Administration that spent $500 million to find and train “moderates” in Syria, and could only come up with fifty trainees – all of whom immediately melted away after being let loose in Syria.
Now the same Administration is going to vet the refugees? To entrust Obama’s team with such a task is to invite a Paris-style jihad attack in an American city, courtesy of one or more of his “vetted” refugees. It’s only a matter of time.