Refugee Crisis’ Religious Ban: Deplorable Diplomacy…?

"Backstreet Djeli"

“Backstreet Djeli”

by William “Duke” Smither


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  U. S. Constitution – 1st Amendment (Adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the “Bill of Rights”)


“Enough Said…!”    But, as a Viet Nam Era and Cuban Missile Crisis veteran (who once assisted rescuing Cuban refugees while we were at sea) when this nation was, perhaps, on the brink of yet another World War, I proudly served with some exemplary Muslim-American Sailors and Marines, while operating in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, as well as various North American Treaty Organization (NATO) task force units in the Atlantic. It’s offensive to see the broad brushes of suspicion now being painted on the canvas of their proven patriotism, no matter how complex the refugee/ immigration policy constraints happen to be.  

In fact, Muslim-Americans have been serving in, or along side of, dangerous U. S. military operations all over the world, since volunteering to serve under General George Washington –Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American War for Independence (1775–1783)– the 1st president of the United States and one of the “Founding Fathers” of this nation. And, I’m reminded of these “NON-Alternative Facts” every time I visit the various military cemeteries where family members and friends are honorably interred.

The nation’s once-prevalent examples of intelligent statesmanship now seems a tad lacking in Washington politics; however, I’m confident it can still be found among the significant number of military-veteran, congressional politicians still serving there. Please, for the sake of this nation, scrap the deplorable diplomacy and knee-jerk politic, as well as any considerations suggested within recent scuttlebutt, of walking back sanctions on ‘FSB’, the Russian ‘spy agency’!


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About William "Duke" Smither (formerly, pen name: "Backstreet Djeli")

William "Duke" Smither, author of “BACKROADS TO 'BETHLEHEM': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior, in the Shadows of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade,” is a Frankfort Kentucky native; Richmond Virginia resident. Retired Public Utility Sr. Investigator and nuclear site worker, Married w/ 3 children and 6 grandchildren; U.S. Navy Viet Nam Era & Cuban Missile Crisis Veteran; Member of "Cuban Blockade Survivors" & The American Legion; B.S. Degree (Business Mgmt) w/ independent studies in Ancient African History and African-American History. Post-graduate studies in Criminal Justice Administration. Former Sports & Feature writer for the weekly Richmond Afro-American Newspaper, during Freshman year of college. Retirement activities include: Freelance writer, playwright, actor and director of faith-based community theater productions; founder of "Backstreet's Blog" ("Talking Drum Dialogues") at and contributing writer for "BlackPast.Org," the international, on-line reference center for African American History. His debut novel, “BACKROADS TO 'BETHLEHEM': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior…,” is the first installment of a possible historical-fiction trilogy.