To some expert eyes, it does not even look like it was drafted or reviewed by 'competent counsel.'
The Order provoked astonishing scenes at JFK airport over the weekend, which filled to breaking point with protestors venting their anger at the ban on all entries to the US from people from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days, including valid visa-holders, legal residents and green-card holders. This includes individuals born in those countries - including Olympic legend Sir Mo Farah, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi (who also won't be able to visit his two sons at Princeton) and a former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Force - because he was born in Iran.
The aim of the policy, said President Trump on Friday, was to keep out terrorists. “We don’t want them here", he said.
As many have pointed out, none of the 9/11 terrorists came from the seven countries banned. In fact, as Lindsey Hilsum noted, no nationals of countries named by Trump have killed Americans in terror attacks for forty years. Or, as Jemima Goldsmith observed, ten times as many Americans are killed by armed toddlers each year that by Islamic jihadist immigrants (from any country)
In 1492, Jews (and Muslims) were expelled from the Iberian peninsula during a time of rising intolerance and strident views of self-identity that demanded the exclusion of those who were different - had different faiths, customs and habits. The treatment was disgraceful, as the primary sources of the time attest.
It was also spectacularly stupid. Many fled to Ottoman Constantinople, where they were welcomed by the city’s new Muslim rulers. Only a fool would think the ruler of Spain was wise, Bāyezīd II purportedly exclaimed, greeting the arrival of Jews in the city in 1492.
Why would anyone reach this conclusion about someone who 'impoverishes his own country to enrich mine' ?
Brains, talent and skill surged to Constantinople, which flourished and blossomed in the 16th century. As did the Ottoman economy, its ambitions, its military, political and cultural achievements.
The impact on Spain was disguised by the discovery of sea routes across the Atlantic and by the astonishing riches brought back from Central and South America that was stacked up on quaysides in Seville 'like wheat.' The wealth of what was called the 'New World' was a one-off jackpot.
And like most lottery wins, it was squandered and frittered away. Spain became a serial defaulter in the 16th century, failing to meet its obligations no fewer than four times.
I wrote about all this in my book, The Silk Roads, where one of main themes is that decisions to put up walls, pick fights and choose exclusion over inclusion seldom have positive consequences.
Amidst the protests against Trump, one leader has made the running. Those banned by the US will be welcomed by Canada, says Justin Trudeau. That would have included the father of Steve Jobs, son of a Syrian father (and found of Apple). Or Sergei Brin of Google - who showed up at San Francisco airport to show his solidarity, pointing out that he was a refugee.
In a week where we were reminded that Anne Frank and her family were denied entry to the US, it might be worth learning from the lessons of history.
This isn't just nasty politics. Or even stupid politics. It is shooting oneself in the foot.
134,000,000 people banned from the United States, ran the headline on CNN last night.
If you have no friends, everyone is an enemy.
Theresa May might be happy to talk about friendship; but few others are. These are dangerous times for the US. And they are dangerous times for all of us - regardless of nationality, faith, colour, gender, sexuality or persuasion.