The recent US law requiring Europeans that have dual nationality with countries that are home to jihadist movements or even Europeans who have visited those countries is playing politics with American interests by imperiling the ability of US citizens to move about the world with ease and to conduct business with ease. At first glance, it would appear that the visa law is just a good common sense attempt to prevent would be jihadists brought up in Europe’s notoriously segregated and impoverished Muslim inner cities and many having gone to fight for ISIS, from easily coming into America. And for some of the countries on the list that mandate a European get a visa before coming to America, it makes a certain amount of sense. Iraq, Syria and Sudan, for example. However, the reality is that most European Muslims are not from Syria, Iraq, or Sudan. They are heavily from North Africa, the Maghreb, countries like Morocco and Algeria. Those countries do not appear on the list.
And this is where the law’s best interests begin to break down. Also not included on the list, is the chief funding and supplying arm of much of the world’s radical jihadists: Saudi Arabia. (No one is saying that Saudi Arabia funds and supplies jihadists as a state policy to attack America. It is instead to fight Shiite rivals, notably Iran, but the end result should be unacceptable to America.) Pakistan, which does have a history of radicalized citizens in Europe, and even state involvement with jihadist groups, is also not on the list.
Notably, Iran is included on the list, even though Iran clearly does not have jihadists who are attacking American civilians. Yes, Iran has been involved in insurgent warfare with America over the years, but it has kept its fighting to political and military targets. It is not nearly the same situation as the radical Wahhabi inspired jihadists. Iran’s situation is far closer to Russia’s situation. America can count on Iran to occasionally be a thorn in its side, but it absolutely not plotting to kill American civilians.
No, Congress made very sure that Iran was included on the list so as to make it difficult for Europeans who want to do business with Iran, to do so. They did it to make life difficult for any European – Iranian dual national. Congress included Iran on the list in furtherance of their strategy of doing anything and everything to break apart the Iran deal and ultimately decimate the Iranian regime, which is not in the interest of America or its citizens, but it is what the Israeli right and its various US lobbies have decided is in their interest. (Although, there is a good argument to be made that it is absolutely not in Israel’s interest either – but then again, Likhud and the neoconservatives never were known for the realism.)
There is a good argument to be made that the visa law should not even exist in the first place. The ramifications have the potential to be serious. The European Union is currently discussing whether or not US citizens will be required to obtain visas to travel to Europe, which in turn would cause the US to demand visas of all European citizens traveling to America. Such a deterioration of relations between the EU and America would cost both regions billions of dollars in lost trade and increased bureaucratic headaches. Once again, Congress was so concerned with pleasing their donors and special interests that they forgot the primary interest they were elected to serve in the first place: the citizens of the United States. However, if this law it is going to exist, it should be applied with a bit more education regarding who’s who in the world of terrorism that is actually a threat to America, instead of being partially wielded as a political club to satisfy various special interests.