Trump signed the revised travel ban order barring entry to nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries:

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday, barring travelers from six countries to the United States for three months, and all refugees for four months, after federal appeals judges blocked a similar order from implementation last month.

“This executive order is a vital measure for strengthening our national security,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at press conference announcing the new ban. “It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people.”

Since America’s security wasn’t at risk from visitors coming from these countries, it is laughable to claim that barring them from the U.S. is “vital” to national security. The travel ban is an excessive and arbitrary measure designed to counter a non-existent threat. Americans are already very unlikely to be the targets of terrorist attacks, and they are even less likely to be attacked by people from the targeted countries. The “vital measure” is a panicked overreaction to the grossly exaggerated threat of terrorism, and it targets the nationals of other countries because their governments are either too weak to protest or have insufficient influence with Washington to gain exemption from the list.

Several of the countries included in the new ban are suffering from war and upheaval, but in all those cases the U.S. bears at least some responsibility for creating the chaotic conditions that the administration now cites as an excuse for the ban. Our government has directly or indirectly destabilized these countries by toppling their governments or taking sides in their civil wars, and then uses the instability we have helped to create to justify keeping people from seeking refuge here. Having helped turn their countries into war zones, our government bars the people fleeing those wars because of an overblown fear of an extremely unlikely future event. It pairs our destructive policies in the region with total disregard for the people displaced by the conflicts that our government has helped to fuel.

As an anti-terrorism measure, the ban is worse than useless. It is a piece of demagogic security theater and nothing more.

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