Blink and Mayorkas give terrorists a waiver


PPerhaps the Departments of Foreign and Homeland Security were anticipating the entry smuggled into the letter federal register go unnoticed.

However, in that entry, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas changed the rules to allow entry into the United States for those with membership in terrorist groups or moderate involvement in such groups.

Her move comes after Rep. Jim Banks questioned why the State Department granted a visa to Iranian actor Parviz Parastui, a staunch supporter of the late Iranian terror master Qassem Soleimani. Parastuu afterwards
an Iranian dissident. Instead of explaining the inexplicable, two of Biden’s top security officials are instead sticking the middle finger at Congress. The proposed changes go beyond one man. It is disingenuous to distinguish between those who plant a bomb and those who fund or merely cheer the bombing. Two decades after 9/11, Blinken has effectively signaled that terrorism is not a black and white issue, but rather tinged with shades of gray. In such circumstances, some terrorism becomes more acceptable than another.

The problem here is multifaceted.

The United States has good reason to classify Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. Although the Quds Force previously led by Soleimani was the spearhead, the IRGC and its corporate network provided a financial engine that allowed the force to operate with plausible denial independent of the Iranian parliament’s budget process.

While diplomats may accept the fiction that the IRGC is recruiting innocent Iranians, this is incorrect. Iranian men are conscripted, but some volunteer for the more elite IRGC, whether for ideological reasons or because they seek better pay or opportunities within the bureaucracy of the Islamic Republic’s theocracy. Acquitting them of their actions cannot be compared to the murder of hundreds of Americans.

The same applies to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Like the IRGC, Hezbollah has killed hundreds of Americans over the decades. However, many who join the movement do not intend to engage directly in operations against Americans or Israelis. When I visited Nabatiyeh in Hezbollah’s heartland in southern Lebanon in December 2020, residents described how Hezbollah members bled as their funding dried up amid Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “maximum pressure” campaign. While it is good that members have left the terror group, these defectors made a conscious choice to allow killings for their own wallets and should not have the right to visit the US

Too often, Europeans excuse Hezbollah by arguing that it is not just a terrorist group, but a broader political and social movement that runs hospitals, clinics and schools. That should be irrelevant: if Greenpeace planted bombs on buses, would it really matter what they did to spotted owls? The Blinken policy, however, appears to embrace the European idea, effectively letting Hezbollah off the hook.

Such actions play into the hands of terrorist groups like the IRGC, Hezbollah or, for that matter, groups like Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which set up NGOs to launder their activities.

Terrorism is a conscious choice, a tactic used to achieve ends unattainable at the ballot box or in the diplomatic salon. Legitimizing them empowers them. To think that terrorism is only committed by those with guns is particularly naïve. Equally dangerous are those who would provide material support or encourage them. There shouldn’t be any shades of gray when confronting the Scourge. Unfortunately, people will suffer as Blinken and Mayorkas believe the opposite.

Michael Ruby (
) is a contributor to the
Washington examiner Beltway Confidential. He is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


About Author

Comments are closed.