The “Shock & Awe" Strategy

The Trump White House just can't seem make up its mind about the Muslim ban.

Even though Donald Trump himself has called the ban a "ban" on Twitter - both Homeland Security chief John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back against that idea today in comments to reporters in Washington.

Spicer was especially adamant - refusing to even say call the ban a "ban" - insisting that it was instead just a "vetting system" to keep Americans safe.

MR. SPICER: "It can't be a ban if you're letting a million people in. If 325,000 people from another country can't come in, that is by nature not a ban -- it is extreme vetting."

Q I understand your point. But the President himself called it a ban.

MR. SPICER: I understand that.

Q Is he confused or are you confused?

MR. SPICER: No, I'm not confused. I think that the words that are being used to describe it are derived from what the media is calling this. He has been very clear that it is extreme vetting.

This back and forth about what exactly to call the ban comes as the Trump administration is facing widespread opposition to its policies both in the streets and at the highest levels of the federal government.

On Monday night - Acting Attorney General Sally Yates took the borderline unprecedented step of announcing that she would not defend the Muslim ban in court.

Trump fired her soon afterwards - and replaced her with Dana Boente - the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Meanwhile - over at the State Department - more than 1,000 diplomats have signed a dissent cable condemning Trump's actions - and many more are expected to add their signatures in the coming days.

Just 11 days into his first - and hopefully only - term in office - Donald Trump has already provoked the most serious constitutional crisis we've seen maybe since the Nixon days.

But all politics aside - what does the Muslim ban mean for the people who are actually affected by it?

And where are we in terms of getting more clarity about how this ban will work going forward?


dianhow 7 years 20 weeks ago

Trumps runs on chaos & EGO> Unfit, Erratic, thin skinned, immature, spoiled , a very dangerous man . I shudder to think whats he will do in next 4 yrs. He must be some point. Dems must grow a pair and fight this man tooth and nail. US SUpreme Court is lost for decades... Our grand children will pay the price for that folly. I'm terrified of this ' man' and the ill informed, gullible, illogical , Fox fans / Voters who gave Trump the power to bring great harm to our country & the planet . The Poorly educated Fox Hannity Rush Drudge GOP loyal fans have 'spoken ..

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 20 weeks ago

They are poorly educated by choice. Another way of putting it is they are "willfully ignorant." "Just plain stupid" describes a lot of them. Since they don't like being politically correct, bigoted white supremacist scum, f--king idiots, and greedy, selfish assholes is even more appropriate. They are the ones who should be rounded up, deported, and banned. Of course, no one else in the world wants them either.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 20 weeks ago

dianhow, deepspace: Fox News viewers are clinical victims of brainwashing. They view democracy like it's a football game. The important issues and truth don't matter as long as their team wins. Climate change is a hoax , Obama is coming to take my guns, there is a war on christianity, government is the enemy, etc. The Fascists/billionaires have them distracted with sht like helped make the coup a bloodless far anyway.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 20 weeks ago

What do I think about "Shock & Awe strategy" As I posted months ago....the Fascists want a war with Iran, and It will be the last war we ever enter as the United States. They need to whip up the terrorists for another 911. That's what all the Muslim ban crap is about......then Bannon will have "Merica" on his side as we descend into a surreal hell of global conflict.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 20 weeks ago

A worldwide terrorist backlash does seem inevitable. The Trump "team" of slack-jawed mouth breathers just put every nation at greater risk, along with our troops on foreign soil, any American citizens traveling abroad, and especially guests and workers at soft targets like Trump hotels. Further terrorism, however, will give fascist plutocrats the excuse to ratchet up military expenditures (at the expense of social spending), which will make defense contractors and Wall Street even richer and marshal law more likely. That will complete the last steps to a totalitarian, fascistic state.

Trump will be the tin-pot dictator to which he has always aspired, and all the good Christian soldiers -- our own "religious" radical extremists -- will have the ultimate Armageddon battle between good and evil of which that they have always dreamed. It all plays right into the hands of the extremist crazies on the other ''side" who want the same exact thing.

Patriotism, religion, and greed are the most toxic products of the human mind. Our amoral idiocy will lead directly to the demise of not only our own species but most other life on Earth. We're running out of time to evolve a more harmonious mentality conducive to life rather than to death.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 20 weeks ago

A rose by any other name ...

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 20 weeks ago

I suspect many of those temporarily prevented from travel to the US or the 109 individuals caught mid-air in the temporary restriction felt a whole lot better than the 120,000-150,000 men, women, and children that were rounded up and put in internment camps right here in the US.

For those who like to live in the wayback machine world.

Jan. 14, 1942

"On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality. A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month."

Let us all note that in 1944, the US Supreme Court backed up FDR's decision to imprison these select individuals.

Kinda blows the hate Trump meme of the day doesn't it?

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 7 years 20 weeks ago

DianeReynolds: It was wrong then and it is wrong now. Relativism does not apply here. Does Trump honestly believe that these people are a threat, or is the ban a cynical political ploy?

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 20 weeks ago

It is very relevant especially when the left pretends actions like this have never been taken before and horror or horrors, by a revered democrat President of the United States.

As for the "temporary ban" let us all review those words "temporary ban" and remember these seven countries were listed by the two previous administrations. It was put in place until proper vetting procedures are reviewed and renewed.

Is it a political ploy? You bet. Obviously President Trump is spending his first few days doing what he promised the people who put him in office so don't act surprised when more actions supporting his campaign promises are enacted. I understand he will never be able to meet all the expectations of his supporters but I am pretty sure he will far surpass Obamas unfulfilled rhetoric that disappointed so many on the left.

Legend 7 years 20 weeks ago

All that he had to do was have the State Department issue instructions to the U S Embassies to only issue visas, for the 7 affected countries, to Grandmothers that want to visit Grand children or similar instructions. End of problem. Could have been quite and just as effective. But he wants to pound his chest and look tough. Yet people are hearing a ban on Muslims.

A homegrown French, British or German Muslim terrorist can still fly to the USA with no visa required and attack our country.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 20 weeks ago

ikeberltersen's (#8) has a moral compass that points true.

The false direction that fascist leaders and their naive followers point toward is not worthy of serious consideration in these perilous times.

Despicable lies, like claiming "the left pretends actions like this have never been taken before," are the tripping hazards on the wrong path. No one on "the left" (which is actually right smack in the middle) "pretends" any such nonsense at all, nor does anyone excuse Roosevelt's internment camps -- foolishly enacted during the widespread paranoia of the worst war in human history, the blind fear of a shocked nation that went way beyond any crass political calculations. To excuse Trump's vindictive pettiness, ethnic hatred, and arrogant bigotry by shamelessly citing such a dark and haunting period in our past is beyond the pale, even for Trump trolls.

The people who put this disgusting bigot in office are disgusting bigots themselves, making up less than 25 percent of eligible voters. The campaign promise Predator Trump made against an entire religion of 1.7 billion people is the red meat to satisfy the voracious appetite for hate of the lunatic fringe of morally bankrupt Christianists, who hold an intolerant worldview shared by white supremacists and terrorists everywhere, a miniscule fraction of the world's population.

Notwithstanding three non-lethal attacks of naturalized U.S. citizens who came from Iran or Somalia as children, "It's certainly the case that none of the major, deadly attacks carried out in the United States were carried out by people from these countries [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen]," -- Erin Miller, who manages the Global Terrorism Database for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

"Far from being foreign infiltrators, the large majority of jihadist terrorists in the United States have been American citizens or legal residents. Moreover, while a range of citizenship statuses are represented, every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident," -- a New America study.

"Since 9/11, no one has been killed in this country in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from any of the seven countries," -- William C. Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law.

Virtually all experts and all studies from all think tanks and all universities concur that "...the bottom line is that adopting extremist views and committing horrendous acts of violence in the name of some "righteous" cause, be it religion or politics or just plain old hatred, isn't something that only Muslims, or Arabs, or immigrants do; between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists. Banning people from a few Muslim-majority nations won’t reduce the terror threat. And it definitely won’t eliminate it." -- updated by Jennifer Williams:

Pervert Trump and his army of brainless ogres who are lost in a right-wing nightmare, along with all other fundamental "radical 'religious' extremists," are the ones who should be banished from civilized society forever (not just temporarily) -- preferably to outer space where they can no longer damage the planet.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 20 weeks ago

#7 - Doesn't make it justifiable or right does it?

!942 was a little different than 2017

Don't you think?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 20 weeks ago

#9 - Do you think that might have been somethng to do with racism in america since obama was a black man?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 20 weeks ago

#10 - where do you get the idea no visa is required to visit the us?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 20 weeks ago

Sadly! Americans always assasinate the best of their leaders

Those that remain always cause havoc and pain

The real issue in there is this -

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 20 weeks ago

#11 - astute indeed and worthy comment

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.