The Iran Deal: A Neoconservative Perspective – OP-ED

American foreign policy within the Middle East shouldn’t just be focused on peace, but rather the spread of liberal western values, both of which the Obama Administration abandoned while penning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program, or, known colloquially as the “Iran Deal”. The Iran Deal had success in reducing Iranian nuclear capabilities, as it reduced stockpiles of enriched uranium and cut the number of centrifuges, and established transparency outlines where United Nations inspectors could investigate possible breaches of the deal. In the event of violations, sanctions that were lifted due to compliance with the deal would be put back on.

 

Sounds great, given the nuclear weaponry is the most destructive artillery the world has to offer, but the framework offers the U.S. with minimal benefits, while damaging any progress that could be made in the Middle East. The Middle East is such a violent region due to two actors: Iran and Saudi Arabia, both of whom have been engaging in proxy warfare in order to achieve dominance in the region. Both have used their money to exacerbate existing domestic conflicts in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, bolstering the violence that has ingrained itself in the region for years. The sanction relief traded to Iran for its cooperation would free up $100 billion for its own use, which, even a fraction of would greatly help their allies in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and, most damaging, Lebanon.

 

This deal is good for reducing Iranian nuclear capability, but this deal runs the risk of augmenting the violence already present. I, personally, believe that the United States should play an active role in foreign affairs in promoting peace and liberty around the world, and this Iran deal would only make it harder to do that.

 

The only place in the Middle East that is a liberal, Western region is Israel, which, while not peaceful, has desired peace since its inception. Through the relief of sanctions, money can be spent on sponsoring the activities of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization resolved on the destruction of Israel and a dedicated Iranian ally. This not only clearly poses a threat to Israel, but could damage American-Israeli relations. Israel is the only country in all of the Islamic world, ranging from Iran to Morocco to uphold the values of liberalism, equality, and freedom, and damaging these relations would threaten any possible peace in the region.

 

If Trump truly wants to open the door to peace in the region, he must cripple Iran, and assert a joint Israeli-American dominance over the region, leaving Saudi Arabia out of the equation. Liberalism must be promoted through the support of the Arab Spring, and authoritarian dictators like Basahr al-Assad must fall, but the only way to do this is to ensure that Iran doesn’t have the resources to support them.

 

by Louis Gleason, Editor-in-Chief

 

Harvey Weinstein: Actions Speak Louder than Words (Weekly Op-Ed)

If, like me, you are a pop culture fan, then you have most likely been closely following the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal that has erupted in the aftermath of a New York Times profile that detailed the three decades worth of sexual harassment claims against the movie mogul. Weinstein, often referred to as the most powerful man in Hollywood, has won a plethora of Academy Awards for films like Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare In Love. And, he has been accused of harassing, harming, and hurting women for the vast majority of his career. I can’t say I’m surprised.

The Hollywood reaction has been swift since the article broke, resulting in Weinstein being fired by his own company, The Weinstein Company. While I do find it satisfying to see a powerful man facing the consequences of his horrid actions, I am still furious. It is 2017. The first of the multitude of accusations was made three decades ago. People knew Weinstein was a predator. And they did nothing.

Hollywood is a liberal place. Or, it likes to see itself as one at least. The Hollywood elite has been quick to criticize right-wing male abusers like Donald Trump and Roger Ailes. Yet, it has been far less quick to address problems within the filmmaking community itself. Roman Polanski is revered as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Woody Allen won the Cecil B. Demille lifetime achievement award at the  2014 Golden Globes. Mel Gibson was nominated for best director at this year’s Oscars. Casey Affleck won best actor at this year’s Oscars. All of these men have been accused by multiple women of abuse. And all of these men have received virtually no consequences.

As I think about Weinstein and his fellow Hollywood abusers I am reminded of a quote from our president: “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”

While Trump may have been referring to women with his vague use of the word “they”, in the larger context of misogyny within American culture, “they” becomes a more incriminating term. “They” are the countless people who have seen abuse and injustice and have stood by silently. “They” are the men, like Russell Crowe and Matt Damon, who have worked actively to hide the Weinstein abuse accusations. “They” are men like Ben Affleck who was swift to call out Weinstein just earlier today but remained silent on the accusations against his own brother. If I agree with Donald Trump on anything, it is that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”

Harvey Weinstein hosted fundraisers for Hillary Clinton. He marched in Park City Utah’s Women’s March. He was supposed to be a champion for women within the film industry.

Liberals often act like sexism is a political issue. “How can I be a misogynist,” they’ll say, “I voted for Hillary.” (This also works for racism and Obama but that is a conversation for another time)

Yet, misogyny has no political allegiance. Leftists/Liberals/Democrats need to be honest that rampant sexism is just as much a problem on our side of the aisle as the other. Misogyny is not a political issue. It is an American one.

I am tired of stories like Weinstein’s. I am tired of reading stories of women hurt and abused.  I am tired of these accusations having to take decades to come out. I want to live in a world where men who identify as feminists are feminists. Words are one thing. Actions are another.

Kate Dario, Editor-In-Chief

The Underpinning of Neo-Nationalism (Weekly Op-Ed)

The last country to declare independence, and have its sovereignty universally recognized by the members states of the United Nations was Montenegro over eleven years ago on June 3rd, 2006. Since then, both Kosovo and South Sudan have declared their independence from Serbia and Sudan respectively. Joining the ranks of South Sudan and Kosovo, as well as a handful of other countries in a similar situation, is the Catalan Republic.

 

Catalonia is an autonomous community located in northeast Spain which, for years, has been increasingly agitating for greater and greater independence from the Spanish monarchy. By 2014, however, Catalan citizens have become unsatisfied with simple autonomy, they wish to seek full independence from Spain, and held a referendum, today, October 1st, despite warnings from the Spanish government not to. Following an overwhelming victory in the referendum for independence, with nearly 92% voting in favor, Catalan officials have begun to suggest that Catalonia will soon become its independent state.

 

This is the latest installation in a larger phenomenon that has bestrewed the western world over the past few years: neo-nationalism. The examples are everywhere: The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, the election of President Donald Trump in the United States, and the election of President Shinzö Abe in Japan, and the election of ninety-four members of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party in the most recent German federal elections.

 

Globalization became the norm during the Reagan and Clinton years, but the United States, as well as the rest of the world, appears to be regressing into a nationalist state, in which tariffs are beginning to be reinstituted, border security is beginning to be tightened, and a renewed opposition to globalism has emerged. But what is fueling this rise of 21st century neo-nationalism? In a word: culture.

 

For better or for worse, when masses of people share the same space, a culture develops, in which people share the same values, partake in similar activities, and speak a common dialect. Many mistake culture as being divided along racial peripheries, but culture transcends these boundaries. Most of America, whether they be black or white, or are from Texas or New York, value economic security, freedom, and rule of law. However, as the United States expanded, given regions have developed different cultures, while still adhering to the core tenets of liberty. The Northeast has been generally concerned with ensuring all people have equal opportunity, with less emphasis on religion, while the Southeast has, while still maintaining values of equality and individualism, put a greater emphasis on family and religion. Neither of these are inferior to one another, but this highlights how geography can influence culture.

 

Once a culture is developed, a sort of tribalism has the potential to follow, with every country believing their culture is the best. In many east Asian countries, it is seen as socially unacceptable to be loud, abrasive, and assertive, where those are seen as virtues in the United States. Neither of these are inferior to each other, but this further highlights how geographical disparities influence the development of culture. This idea of absolute cultural superiority by some has engendered a feeling of isolation from other cultures, which has, in turn, generated a feeling of hostility to those who are different. Wishing to preserve one’s culture is not an issue, nor a major component of nationalism. Instead, it is the refusal to entertain the notion of other cultures.

 

This is apparent in the election of Donald Trump, who made promises to secure American borders against Middle Eastern and Central African refugees for their alleged refusal to abide by American laws. Nigel Farage, the Brexit crusader, also wished to refrain from admitting many Middle Easterners into the United Kingdom, as well as the admittance of Turkey to the European Union, due to fears that it would degrade Western, European culture. Kurdistan wished to hold a referendum so their populace may enjoy their own state where they may practice their own culture. This also explains the crisis within the European Union, as each individual state wishes to govern themselves in accordance to their own values, rather than take directions from international leaders who are out of touch with national values.

 

But what about Catalonia? The Catalan independence referendum was also influenced by culture, but rather than values, their culture resides in their history. Catalans are bound together by their rich history, and don’t wish to be apart of another country that doesn’t share it, due to the disunity it has fostered.

 

Some have proudly professed themselves to be “Western supremacists”, while others wish to create an international community of world citizens. Whatever side you may align with, or whatever point you find yourself on the spectrum, it is deniable that strong and homogenous cultures have played an important role in the rise of neo-nationalism.

By Louis Gleason, Editor-in-Chief

Weekly Op-Ed: An Intro to Intersectionality

Hello readers of the world! I am thrilled to begin of my column here on the Patriot that will examine current events and politics from the feminist perspective. These past few years have seen a reemergence of feminist energy that has not been seen since the early 1970s, the end of the so-called “second wave feminist” era. This new epoch of feminism follows a path laid out by our first and second wave feminist foremothers but differs from these earlier movements in a few key ways. The best way to sum up how modern day feminism differs from early feminism is by using one word: intersectionality.

What is intersectionality, you may ask. Well, intersectionality, as defined by google, is “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” Wow! That’s a lot of words! Let me break it down it down for y’all.

The basic idea behind intersectionality is that everyone inhabits a multitude of identities. This means that someone is not just their gender or just their race or just their sexual identity or just their class but all of those identities at once. Intersectionality is a cornerstone of modern day feminism because you have to understand that women with various combinations of these identities will experience misogyny very different than women with other combinations of these identities.

Feminist movements of yore focused were far too centered on upper to middle class white women. Take for example the incredibly influential feminist text, The Feminine Mystique. The main idea behind the book was that women in the 1950s who were relegated to the home were lacking the stimulation and fulfillment their husbands were able to experience because of their careers. This book sparked the second-wave feminist movement and helped break down traditional gender roles.

Sounds great right! Well, yes and no. The book did highlight the issues faced by some women but not all women. It completely ignores the struggles of poor women and black women who often were forced to work to support their families.

This same need for an intersectional perspective is still needed today when discussing huge feminist issues like the pay gap. Saying “women earn 82 cents to every man’s dollar” is an incomplete statement. A more three dimensional statement would say “white women earn 82 cents to every white man’s dollar, black men earn 73 cents to every white man’s dollar, black women earn 65 cents to every white man’s dollar, Latino men earn 69 cents to every white man’s dollar, and Latina women earn 58 cents to every white man’s dollar.”

Intersectionality means that every social justice movement is a “feminist issue.” Police brutality is a feminist issue. Trans rights are a feminist issue. The end of DACA is a feminist issue. Indigenous sovereignty is a feminist issue. Islamophobia is a feminist issue. Discrimination of any kind is a feminist issue.

It is important for feminists (especially white upper-class ones like myself) to acknowledge women with less privilege and elevate their voices. Women of color have long been at the vanguard of the feminist movement but have never received the recognition they deserve. Let’s change that.

 

So, in conclusion, when I say I will tackle the news from a feminist perspective, I will really be tackling it from an intersectional feminist perspective. I’ll close with a quote from the famous aboriginal feminist Lilla Watson: “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

By Editor-In-Chief Kate Dario

NBA Preview: The East

Eastern Conference:

  1. Boston Celtics- 55-27

The Celtics appeared to be a team on the upswing following a loss to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, rather than run back the same team that was humiliated by the Cavaliers, they completely revamped their roster, only returning 4 players. Over the course of the offseason they most notably signed Gordon Hayward, traded for Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris, and drafted Jayson Tatum. There is little doubt that the Celtics will be a more talented team than last season, but with so many new players, it may take the roster time to gel. A projected starting five would likely include Irving, Morris, and Hayward, as well as either Jaylen Brown, who figures to improve after a limited though promising rookie year, or defensive specialist Marcus Smart, as well as veteran big man Al Horford, who shined in last year’s playoffs. The Celtics figure to roll to the top of the Eastern Conference for the second straight season, but fans of the green know best that the regular season is not what counts.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers- 53-29

The Cavs look to get back to the promised land of a championship after being dominated by the Golden State Warriors in last year’s finals. Their season will likely hinge on whether new addition Isaiah Thomas can recover from his hip injury in time to contribute; luckily for Cleveland it will face little pressure to succeed in the regular season in a weak Eastern Conference. He will have large shoes to fill in Finals hero Kyrie Irving, but he isn’t Cleveland’s only addition: Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder both figure to contribute, while veterans like Jose Calderon will add to the bench’s depth. Cleveland faces two tough tasks in the coming season: beating the Warriors, and convincing Lebron James to stay past the end of his contract. Both seem unlikely at the moment, but then again, so did beating the winningest team in NBA history.

  1. Washington Wizards- 53-29

The Wizards have locked up their core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter after Wall signed the $201 million “supermax” extension. The question remains, though, of whether that core will ever be good enough to contend for a championship. Washington made few changes to their roster, but they finally managed to pick up a passable backup point guard in Tim Frazier, a place where they were exposed in last season’s playoffs. Overall, the Wizards figure to improve if only because of a weakened Eastern Conference, and they seek to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1979.

  1. Toronto Raptors- 47-35

The Raptors managed to return their two star free agents in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. However, they lost much of their depth, as Patrick Patterson and P.J. Tucker walked during the offseason. They figure to keep declining from their peak in the 15-16 season, as Demar Derozan’s inefficiency becomes an increasingly large problem. Their starting lineup projects to be Lowry, Derozan, Ibaka, Jonas Valencuinas, and new addition CJ Miles. Last year showed that the Raptors pose little threat to the top teams in the conference in the playoffs, and this year will not likely show much of a difference.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks- 46-36

Giannis Antetokounmpo is already one of the best players in the NBA at only 22 years old, giving the Bucks plenty of hope both now and in the future. They start several more talented players, including Rookie of the Year point guard Malcolm Brogdon, shooting guard Khris Middleton and power forward Jabari Parker. However, they still are very young, and don’t have a whole lot of depth off the bench. Last year showed that the Bucks’ defensive prowess makes them dangerous against contenders in the playoffs, and Giannis gives them the star power to compete with the best. Even if they don’t advance past the first round of the playoffs this year, their future is bright for Milwaukee.

  1. Miami Heat- 45-37

After an 11-30 start seemed to predict that the Heat would be at the top of the lottery last season, a combination of health, luck, and exceptional play propelled Miami to a 41-41 finish, barely missing the playoffs. It may seem that the newfound success will continue with the health and emergence of Dion Waiters, but the success also coincided with many of the rest days that plagued games throughout the second half of the season. The Heat plan to start Waiters, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Justise WInslow, and James Johnson, with additions Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo coming off the bench. They should be more consistent next season, but the Heat figure to not be more than a mid-tier playoff team in the coming year.

  1. Charlotte Hornets- 42-40

After disappointing season last year, Charlotte figures to return in the coming year. They notably return borderline all-star point guard Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, a solid, though overpaid shooting guard Nicolas Batum, and defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist . They acquired Dwight Howard before the draft; another solid albeit overpaid player. They also managed to draft Malik Monk with the 11th pick, which many considered to be a steal. With this core, Charlotte should be able to easily make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but most likely caps out at that.

  1. Detroit Pistons- 38-44

The Pistons had a multitude of unfortunate circumstances last season, Reggie Jackson’s injury and Andre Drummond’s struggles chief among them. They acquired one of the best on-ball defenders in the league in Avery Bradley, and draft pick Luke Kennard gives them a strong young shooter for the coming years. Combined, these factors should allow them to squeeze them into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers- 37-45

The Philadelphia 76ers have one of the brightest young cores in the league, with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz all being drafted as a result of “The Process.” However, none of them are older than 23 years old, and they have played 32 combined professional games. They are supplemented by J.J. Redick, on a 1-year $23 million deal, and several other young players, including Dario Saric. However, the Sixers’ young players will likely have a hard time playing against seasoned veterans across the league. Additionally, their core has not shown that it can stay healthy, or even that it is effective at an NBA level at all. They figure to be decent this season, but their true potential will figure to be tested in future ones.

  1. Indiana Pacers- 34-48

The Pacers continued their decline to a fringe playoff team last year, and traded Paul George for a very disappointing return of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. They will likely struggle in the coming year, as so much of their core is very young and admittedly not as promising as that of many other similar teams like Philadelphia. Myles Turner appears to be turning into a franchise cornerstone, but Oladipo hasn’t made the leap that his contract would indicate, and he faces another situation where he probably won’t be the primary option- as of now, that appears to be Lance Stephenson- and at some point his situation is less of a problem than he is. Altogether, the Pacers will be a playoff sleeper for next season, but also risk picking in the top ten of the draft for the first time since 1989.

  1. Atlanta Hawks- 32-50

Atlanta looks to finally miss the playoffs this season, for the first time since 2007. They have several strong players, including Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore, but after losing Dwight Howard in a draft day trade, do not have the depth nor the talent to contend for a playoff spot. After the mismanagement of several free agents, including Paul Millsap, who they reportedly didn’t even make an offer to, their descent from a magical 60 win season just a few years ago has been swift and brutal. They figure to start Schroder, Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Eryan Ilyasova, and Dewayne Dedmon, nowhere near a good enough lineup to contend for a playoff spot.

  1. Brooklyn Nets- 29-53

The Nets will finish the final season of their nightmare trade with the Boston Celtics this year. They finally have hope for the future, acquiring former 2nd overall pick D’Angelo Russell and receiving multiple draft picks to take on DeMarre Carroll’s contract. This year they start a group of reasonably talented, though overpaid, players (Carroll, Timofey Mozgov, and Allen Crabbe), which will be enough to propel them out of the bottom of the conference (much to the chagrin of the Cavaliers), and their future has a direction, much more than could be said of their last few years.

  1. Orlando Magic- 27-55

The Magic completed another terrible season in 2017, and figure to do the same in the coming year. However, first round draft pick Jonathan Isaac gives them hope as a future superstar player, while Jonathan Simmons gives them an elite wing defender. Other than those, they have very few talented players, but a multitude of failed draft picks, including Mario Hezonja and Elfrid Payton, and even in a very weak Eastern Conference, they will struggle in the coming year.

  1. New York Knicks- 27-55

The Knicks finally seem like they are set up well for the future, after drafting Frank Ntilikina and retaining Kristaps Porzingis (despite Phil Jackson’s wishes). They will likely trade Carmelo Anthony, even if it isn’t for quite the return they are hoping for, which will set them up to acquire another young player in the draft to supplement Ntilikina, Porzingis, and Willy Hernangomez. They did make another blunder in the offseason, vastly overpaying Tim Hardaway Jr., but like the Nets, the Knicks seem to have found a direction, and unlike the Nets, they have the young talent to capitalize on it.

  1. Chicago Bulls- 23-59

Chicago has gone into full-on tank mode following a .500 season, trading away star Jimmy Butler for a seemingly tiny return of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. None of them appear to be promising prospects at this point. A buyout of Dwayne Wade will drop the Bulls even further down the standings, and they will play a variety of mediocre players, including Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez, Dunn, and new acquisition Quincy Pondexter among others. These factors will push the Bulls into last place in a weak Eastern Conference, priming them for a top draft pick.

by Will Henshon

Do policies like the travel ban and increased surveillance on Muslims communities help to protect people from terrorism?

 

No:

Policies like the travel ban and increased surveillance do very little to fight terrorism. The ban itself, for starters, hardly even does anything to prevent deaths by terrorism in the United States. Out of the 3.25 million refugees let in by the country in the past 40 years, only 20 have been arrested on terrorism charges or .0006%. Only three Americans have actually been killed by these terrorists. Therefore, no notable danger is presented to the U.S. by these refugees more than any demographic in fact those who immigrate to the U.S. in search of opportunity and betterment have been shown to have lower crime rates than naturalized American citizens time and time again. The U.S. already utilizes the most exhaustive and thorough vetting process in the world it is identified in its entirety here.

Most of the actual terrorists that kill Americans are natives of the United States, also most of them are white supremacists and not Muslims. Policies like the travel ban will not prevent these people from committing these despicable acts, as they are already in the country. New America says that “[E]very jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident.” The way to understand how to protect American people from terrorism is to understand what motivates these American natives, not to block refugees from entering the country.

The way that policies like the travel ban and increased surveillance interact with American people, especially Muslims in this case, are the reason why they are counterproductive. The travel ban would do very little to protect Americans from terrorism. Increased surveillance, although impossible to predict exactly, would also not do very much, as there is no way to circumvent every possible shortfall, like Omar Mateen (the Orlando shooter) who was already under surveillance before he carried out his attack. While these policies don’t effectively quell terrorism, they do inexorably create a political climate that is antagonistic and inhospitable to Muslims. The travel ban specifically creates a feeling that Muslims are not welcome in the United States, that the American people are scared of Muslims coming in despite the infinitesimal amount of actual danger they present. Allowing for increased surveillance conveys the message that the American government does not trust Muslims not to carry out terrorist attacks, despite the fact that there will almost assuredly be exceptions. If American Muslims feel like they don’t belong here, if they feel like their only way to be heard is through violence and intimidation, that is when terrorism will occur. That, not refugees from Muslim-majority countries, is the real danger that America must address.

While the travel ban and increased surveillance clearly do not benefit the U.S. or the battle against terror there is one group of people it clearly does benefit: terrorists. WhenTrump became president elect and the travel ban was introduced both Islamophobic hate crimes like the attack in Portland and ISIS recruitment has increased, showing that terrorism, even of completely opposing views, flourished as a result of the ban rather than quelling it. Put simply, this travel ban makes this country more susceptible to terrorist attacks of all kinds.  

The failure of the ban is visible in the loopholes that can be exploited in cities like Boston and Los Angeles, which are able to declare themselves sanctuary cities and accept travelers, immigrants, and refugees from all nations. Additionally, these cities can not be compelled to enforce federal law under the Tenth Amendment. While some federal courts bemoan the practice and others support it, it is still very viable and many immigrants can circumvent the travel ban by choosing to travel to one of these cities as opposed to their original destination. This is all to say that the travel ban doesn’t even actually ban travel.

In summary, the travel ban and increased surveillance on Muslim communities does nothing to effectively protect American citizens from terrorism, but instead bolsters the recruiting and incidence of many types of terror, alienates and targets Muslim Americans, distracts from the actual source of American terrorism and doesn’t work.

 

Yes

 

Today Americans face a terrifying and dangerous threat, particularly in the form of radical Islamic terrorism. With this ongoing threat that has already taken the lives of countless American civilians, it’s not the time to be politically correct and jeopardize our safety. Our response to this threat should include increased surveillance and President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which is an essential policy to ensure the safety of Americans.

The “travel ban” implemented by President Trump is a temporary halt on the issuing of visas from 6 (originally 7) nations that the Attorney General, Homeland Security Secretary, alongside the President and others claim is “a risk to our national security”, those nations being Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The Council on Foreign Relations classifies the conflicts in Libya and Syria involving ISIS, Ansar Al-Sharia, and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations as having critical impacts on the United States and its interests. Furthermore, Somalia’s conflict also poses a great threat to our security as the Somalian militant group, Al-Shabaab, a branch of the radical Islamic terror group, Al-Qaeda, continues to commit acts of transnational terror. Additionally, Al-Qaeda has a stronghold in Yemen as their civil war wages on. The activity going on in Yemen regarding Al-Qaeda has been categorized by CFR as having a significant threat to the U.S. and its interests. With these areas of extreme conflict involving actors that pose a critical threat to our national security, it’s only logical to put a temporary halt on issuing visas to individuals from these nations in order to prevent a potential act of terror on our soil. As Attorney General Sessions and former Homeland Security Secretary Kelly wrote that “At present, more than 300 persons who came to the United States as refugees are under FBI investigation for potential terrorism-related activities” when discussing the travel ban. Many critics of this ban argue that homegrown terror accounts for more terror attacks today than attacks by individuals originating from foreign nations, however, preventing and responding to terrorism at home encompasses thousands of national security personnel across the federal government, law enforcement resources are inefficiently diverted to investigating individuals that enter the nation with risk for terrorism and could be spent on efforts to stop homegrown terror by simply halting immigration from areas with a high national security and terror risk.

Temporarily ceasing immigration from areas with a high risk of terror is an effective solution to protect people from terrorism, which is why President Trump’s travel ban had some minimal drawbacks. Although the nations of Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen were effective selections to put on the list, other nations such as Sudan and Iran were inappropriate selections. The conflict in Sudan is a civil war that involves zero affiliation with or presence of any radical Islamic terrorism; the conflict is instead a complex series of political disputes involving the nation of South Sudan, the U.S. has minimal interests there and the CFR confirms that the Sudanese conflict has minimal impacts on the United States. Iran was another, and bigger mistake to put on the travel ban list. Iran is currently combatting ISIS forces in Iraq, has never had any citizen commit an act of terror in the U.S., nor is there any presence of any terror or terror affiliated groups as there aren’t conflicts in the region. If the travel ban is to protect people from terrorism, it should exercise its policy on nations that have a history of its citizens committing acts of terror, such as Saudi Arabia, who has had 19 terrorists responsible for 2,369 deaths according to the Cato Institute.

It is absolutely necessary to continue the battle against terrorism at home. In order to prevent homegrown terror, surveillance is a necessary tool to use in order to keep a watch over suspicious individuals. Homegrown terrorists almost always show evidence of their ideas through their use of social media and other electronic device activity. If surveillance is able to raise a red flag, the individual can be further investigated and scrutinized by federal law enforcement. A huge part of preventing homegrown terror is to stop the act before it occurs, and the law enforcement has been fairly effective at that. If surveillance continues and develops in a manner that does not invade privacy, homegrown terror can and will be stopped. Public social media access will play a significant role in this, and I believe it’s absolutely essential. If individuals have nothing to hide, they should welcome such policies for their own safety instead of making wild allegations of such policies being discriminatory. radical Islamic terrorism is discriminatory as it targets anyone who is not a Sunni or Wahhabist Muslim extremist that assiduously practices Sharia Law. These terrorists want to strike fear into our minds through death, destruction, and overall chaos. We need to disregard political correctness keep surveillance on suspicious individuals for the sake of our own safety. Because quite frankly, the freedom for Americans to live in a country free from the fear of terrorism is not something we can compromise.

By Will Henshon (No) and Arya Amuzgar (Yes)

A Glimpse into a Genuinely Free Society

written by Kieran Brown
 
NOTE: JSA is a nonpartisan organization. This is just one opinion from one of our writers. We will be covering a wide range of topics that will illustrate various political beliefs, and neither JSA nor The Patriot is promoting specific political parties.
 
A free society is one that allows its citizens to live their lives without governmental interference, as long as they do not disrupt societal order. A free society is not a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or Green society, but a society that allows its citizens to make choices for themselves. I believe in George Washington’s assertion that political parties allow corrupt powers to insert themselves as tyrannous rulers. A free society is pragmatic; it does not conform to one ideology or party platform.

Morally, a free society strives to protect all; after all, life is the most precious thing on Earth. As a result, rehabilitation for convicted criminals should always be an option. When one does wrong, they must learn what is right and be given a chance to better themselves. As the nonpartisan Hoover Institute contends, a morally free society is one where justice and mercy are equal. I believe that when this occurs, people are given a chance to make the most out of their lives, and society has served its purpose. Another pillar of free society is the right to life. While an incredibly controversial topic, I stand firmly in my beliefs that life must be protected at all times. All life is precious, and any time a life is terminated should be considered a travesty. I believe that it is the responsibility of a morally free society to serve all of its citizens, even those who cannot fully serve themselves.

Economically, a free society must be a capitalistic society. Systems such as socialism and communism have innumerably proven themselves to be both ineffective and dangerous. The nature of absolute state power over an economy is incredibly ill-advised, and is menacing to a free society. As Lord Acton once famously argued, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” As evidenced by the actions of dictators such as Stalin and Mao, this is certainly the case. A free society must also avoid crony capitalism, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A free society does not tolerate market manipulation ever.

Politically, a free society must serve every single citizen, and try its hardest to be inclusive. A free society must study every society, to learn the faults of corrupted ones and the successes of moral ones. A free society does not vote according to party lines, nor does it form caucuses to divide communities and interests. In addition, a free society must not form legislative gridlock, as it only serves as a way to harm the constituency that its sole existence is derived from. Instead, the people’s representatives must come together to find common ground, much like how groups come together to work towards a common goal. Lastly, a politically free society should make government a source of togetherness, not a competition. In such a society, all ideas would be respected, not only those of the majority.