Columnist Hilal Kaplan wrote in a Turkish-language commentary that “the American president who is responsible for destabilizing the seven banned Muslim nations was none other than former President Barack Obama. It was of course bad that American Muslims were in trouble, but what really mattered were ‘Muslims in our region.’”
The governments who have to deal with the consequences of American fecklessness, by contrast, want the United States to be strong and assertive. They are engaged in an existential war against jihadist elements who threaten to reduce them to chaos, and look to the United States to show determination. That is why Trump is suddenly so popular in the Middle East.
Critics of President Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven Muslim nations should remember the Chinese proverb, “Kill the chicken and let the monkey watch.”
The much-criticized measure was a warning to the governments of the Gulf States, Turkey and Pakistan, who walk a fine line between support for Western counter-terrorism efforts and concessions to jihadists. It has had precisely the result that the White House intended, as a Dubai security official indicated on January 29. As Reuters’ Zawya.com reported:
Dubai’s deputy chief of police and public security, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, has praised US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to temporarily ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority states, saying in a series of tweets it was a ‘preventive measure’ to safeguard the country.
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