Let’s make one thing abundantly clear right from the outset, particularly because I haven’t personally seen many people in larger media circles make this point too loudly yet: The dead children in the Syrian gas attack would be denied entry into this country under Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
Let me say that again, in a different way.
All the women, children, and innocents killed by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces by Sarin nerve gas would have been forced to stay in Syria anyway, under Trump’s “travel” ban. It’s being fought in the courts now, and in no way am I suggesting that Trump’s Muslim ban is at the heart of the bombing that’s left dozens dead, including at least twenty children. The situation in Syria is so messy and so complicated that laying the blame all at one party’s feet is disingenuous at best.
But again, to reiterate: If you’re horrified by seeing dead Syrian children, then you should be horrified by a policy that would have condemned them to die, even if they had been vetted into the refugee program. That’s what the nuts and bolts of Trump’s Muslim ban are — the wholesale stoppage of inbound Muslim refugees and immigrants.
Never mind that refugees go through a process that literally takes them years to be approved for relocation. Never mind that the people most impacted by the ban would be the very same children the whole world is collectively, and completely righteously, shedding rivers of tears over. All that matters to Trump and his sycophantic, alt-right douchebag acolytes, is that we stop “radical Islamic terrorism,” no matter how many innocent people we turn our backs on, allowing them to be slaughtered as they sleep.
Look, I’m a fucking a comedian, and one that spends most of his creative juices making up what I hope are funny “fake” news stories. But I watched the videos of the toddlers being hosed, literally hosed off of sheet metal because the gas fused their poor bodies to it. I can’t really joke about this shit, can I? And I have to say, as much as a pacifist as I am, if it turns out that we can pin this attack on Assad, then I can’t say, not with any honesty anyway, that I’m not at least a little bit okay with that sadistic fuck meeting the business end of a Seal Team 6 bullet.
One group who I think have lost their seat at the adult table discussing this situation, though, are Pro-Life Pro-Trumpers. The ones who tell us we have to defund Planned Parenthood because they murder “innocent babies” as their business model? Fuck them. Because I can promise you that loads and loads of them will cling to their pro-life, anti-feminist views in the face of evidence that their trust fund autocrat’s Muslim ban would simply condemn scores more Syrian children to death in Assad’s regime.
I don’t want to hear about how terrible America is and has been right now either. I’m not denying that. And I even was skeptical of getting involved in Syria when President Barack Obama pleaded with the American people to let him bomb that country and remove Assad. I still am, a little skeptical anyway, of the regime change, nation building exercises we’ve made the mistake of pushing to the fore of our foreign policy endeavors. But again, that’s not germane right now. What is relevant, though, is that we have a piss-haired tyrant in the Oval Office who wants to treat people like those who were killed by Assad this week with even more disdain and inhumane apathy.
As a nation, we’ve done some fucked-up,misguided shit. And while the civilian casualty count from drones is horrific, civilian casualties are never the actual intent of the bombings. Our cold indifference to “collateral damage” aside, we don’t, and haven’t up to this point, put people in charge who would seek to make it easier for murderous regimes to kill their own people. Trump’s Muslim ban does exactly that.
I don’t like either policy, but what happened in Syria yesterday is a clarion call and a warning. They will keep doing this. They will commit ethnic cleansing not by biting the entire steak down in one gulp, but by chewing bit by bit through the country, gassing dozens in each run.
And that is why the next pro-lifer I hear complaining about abortion better be anti-Trump. Or at the very least they better be anti-Muslim ban. Because Muslim bans are how you wind up looking back five years from now and asking yourself, “How the fuck could I have stood by and watched thousands of people die?” Muslim bans aren’t pro-life. Being compassionate, being welcoming, and giving frightened victims of war crimes a soft place to land, and a shoulder to lean on?
Those are policies that promote life, in case any Trumpers out there were curious as to what reality looks like to those who live in it.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.