‘Horrendous’, ‘cowardly’, ‘amateurish’ – US newspapers respond to the Muslim ban

Leading publications slam Trump's actions


As the United States starts a second full week with Donald Trump at the White House, they will be reading papers dominated by his cruel and inhumane executive orders on immigration and accepting refugees.

While his spin machine was out in force yesterday across all the Sunday morning talk shows, it is clear that across the US, the press is not allowing threats from the White House to get in the way of the truth.

In that vein, turning to the editorials across many of the US’s major newspaper titles provides an analysis that undermines the actions of President Trump from every conceivable angle.

The Washington Post looks at how deeply Un-America the Order is, dubbing it ‘an affront to values upon which the nation was founded and that have made it a beacon of hope around the world.’ It goes on to note:

“George Washington declared in 1783 that the ‘bosom of America is open’ not only to the ‘opulent and respectable stranger’ but also ‘the oppressed and persecuted.’ Now Mr. Trump has slammed the door on the oppressed and persecuted in a fit of irrational xenophobia.

“Mr. Trump’s actions pander to rage and fear of outsiders. Yet our long history shows these fears are unfounded. The diversity, experience and striving of immigrants and refugees have immeasurably strengthened the United States; outbursts of anti-alien sentiment have only weakened it.”

In declaring that the order ‘lacks any logic’, the New York Times demolishes the idea peddled by those close to Trump that the actions taken will somehow make the US safer.

Noting that the order ‘invokes the attacks of Sept. 11 as a rationale’ for the measure, the paper’s editor notes that it exempts ‘the countries of origin of all the hijackers who carried out that plot and also, perhaps not coincidentally, several countries where the Trump family does business.’

He goes on to note:

“American allies in the Middle East will reasonably question why they should cooperate with, and defer to, the United States while its top officials vilify their faith.

Afghans and Iraqis supporting American military operations would be justified in reassessing the merits of taking enormous risks for a government that is bold enough to drop bombs on their homelands but too frightened to provide a haven to their most vulnerable compatriots, and perhaps to them as well.

Republicans in Congress who remain quiet or tacitly supportive of the ban should recognize that history will remember them as cowards.”

The Chicago Tribune has followed a similar line of questioning, observing soberly:

“In terms of recent attacks on U.S. soil, the order offered no helpful protections. An American citizen committed the Orlando shooting. A U.S. citizen and a Pakistani committed the San Bernardino attack; Pakistan also isn’t on the list.”

“For the U.S. government to even tacitly discriminate against anyone — citizen, visitor or refugee — on the basis of religion is an affront to our heritage and arguably unconstitutional. We hope Trump amends his order. The U.S. must stay vigilant against threats of terrorism. But not with rash overreach.”

The Los Angeles Times attacks Trump for the botched nature in which the policy was formulated,  raising questions about the President’s style of policy making.

Declaring the policy’s execution a ‘disaster’ the paper notes that it plunged US airports ‘into chaos and displaying a shocking lack of forethought and planning and a deeply troubling failure of basic communication and coordination among and between federal and local authorities.’

It continues:

“The horrendous episode smacks not just of a disregard for basic rights and decency, but of a level of amateurism not usually associated with the federal government.

The president appeared to believe he could spring his order on the world the same way he might suddenly switch plumbing contractors on one of his buildings.

He displayed a blind spot — or a callous contempt — for the impact of his action. If there was planning or consultation with career officials or homeland security experts, it was not apparent.”

Looking to the long term however, the paper warns:

“The inescapable question is whether this is the manner in which we can expect other new presidential programs to be rolled out. We can hope the answer is ‘no’ — that the president will now have learned something of how government bureaucracy works, and of the impact of his decisions on real people in real time — but we fear the answer will be ‘yes.’”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

See: Donald Trump has crossed the Rubicon – none of us can afford to stand by

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