If the president, his chief strategist Steve Bannon and others believe we are in a war with Muslims because the Judeo-Christian West is supposedly being invaded and that Muslims are the "enemy," then the new administration's intent in pausing refugee processing is a shameful betrayal of bipartisan commitments we have all made internationally for decades.
When we worry and wonder about authoritarian regimes that inflict cruelty on civilians, we often imagine tyrannical despots unilaterally advancing their sinister agendas. But no would-be autocrat can act alone. As a practical matter, he needs subordinates willing to carry out orders. Of course, neither Donald Trump nor Steve Bannon personally detained any of the more than 100 people held at airports over the weekend pursuant to the administration's executive order on immigration, visitation and