Don’t base foreign policy on fear

To the Editor:

I have been ambushed by Muslim’s on Airport Road in Baghdad, I have survived so many rocket and mortar attacks launched by Muslims that I lost count. South of Baghdad three of the men regularly charged with our security on Intelligence collecting missions were killed by an IED in an ambush almost certainly set for me and my team. If anyone has reason to fear Muslim’s it is me.

I also shared a tent with two Muslims for three months. I trusted them with my life every single day. That trust was well placed. Their knowledge of the language and culture saved the lives of American Soldiers. I was impressed by the morality and courage they drew from their faith. I will never forget their dedication to stamping out Al Qaeda. For them it was a perversion of their religion, their Jihad was with Al Qaeda and its allies not the West. They were not unique among Muslims. Tens of thousands of devout Iraqi and Afghan Muslims have given their lives in the fight against the extremists.

I offer you no easy solutions to our war with violent Islamic fundamentalism. There remains much killing to be done and many more sacrifices to be made. I am certain of one thing though. If the irrational fear of Islam replaces the rational analysis of the threats we face as the foundation for our national security policy as it did in President Trump’s Refugee Ban last Friday, we will fail. We will fail to identify the true threats before they materialize. We will fail to cultivate the alliances and sources we need inside the Islamic world to be successful. We will fail to stop the self-radicalization of our own citizens and the terror that follows. We will fail to secure our homeland. We will fail our allies and we will fail the memory of everyone that has already sacrificed so much in our effort.

McKinlay Bailey,

Alburn, Alabama

formerly of Webster City