Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Editorial: Don't use a host country to launch your war on your former country

Arrest is not guilt. Trials determine guilt. But Nihad al-Jaberi was arrested and today appeared in a US District Court in Savannah Georgia. The US Justice Dept issued the following:

Nihad Al Jaberi, 41, a Clarkston, Ga., resident, is charged with Smuggling, Failure to Notify a Common Carrier, and Submitting False or Misleading Export Information, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The smuggling charge carries upon conviction a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and substantial financial penalties. There is no parole in the federal system.

Al Jaberi, an Iraqi citizen and legal permanent resident of the United States, was arraigned Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher L. Ray. Al Jaberi previously was ordered detained after a hearing in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia.

“The Port of Savannah is exceptionally valuable to the coastal region, and the high volume of traffic presents an ongoing challenge to law enforcement agencies enforcing import-export laws,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Customs and Border Protection officers perform outstanding work in interdicting illegal shipments and maintaining border security.”

As described in court documents and testimony, Al Jaberi is charged with attempting in August 2020 to export three handguns and six .308-caliber long-range rifles in a shipment in which the contents were listed as “71 Pieces of Spare Auto Parts with No License Required.” The firearms, which were discovered disassembled along with used auto parts in a container at the Port of Savannah, had been obtained through straw purchases at various Atlanta-area sporting goods stores.

“This weapons seizure clearly illustrates how closely Customs and Border Protection inspects export manifests and identifies anomalies that could potentially harm others,” said Henry DeBlock, Area Port Director for CBP Savannah.

“Special Agents of The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement will aggressively investigate and disrupt the illicit smuggling of controlled commodities in violation of U.S. export laws,” said Ariel Joshua Leinwand, acting Special Agent in Charge Miami Field Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement (OEE). “Working cooperatively with our law enforcement partners, OEE Special Agents are committed to preventing firearms, firearms parts, and ammunition from potentially falling into the wrong hands overseas.”

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security and by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and prosecuted for the United States by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer G. Solari and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard, and by Northern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore S. Hertzberg.

 Firearms on a table

 A photo introduced as evidence in the detention hearing for Nihad Al Jaberi includes nine firearms from a shipment interdicted in the Port of Savannah and reassembled, along with other firearms removed during a search of the defendant’s residence.


We think everyone should be welcome to the US but we do have a caveat. US soil is not to be used to launch your attacks on your former country. We have especially felt that way regarding those who choose to leave Cuba for the US and then spend their days in the US plotting the overthrow of Cuba. Yes, it must be hard to leave your own country. But once you do, you need to work within your own country, your new country. If that means you lobby your Congress members to, for example, go to war on Cuba, we're not pleased but you have that right. But if you're arming your former country or plotting to overthrow it, we really don't think you should be on US soil.

Unless Nihad al-Jaberi is convicted, he's innocent. Right now, he's innocent and we hope he remains innocent. But we really do think this issue needs to be addressed.

We think the oath for citizenship makes it clear:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

But it might need to be made clearer and it doesn't cover residents.

As Pope Francis observed while leaving Iraq last week:

But the response to war is not another war; the response to weapons is not other weapons. And I asked myself: Who was selling the weapons to the terrorists? Who sells weapons today to the terrorists – which are causing massacres in other areas, let’s think of Africa, for example? It is a question that I would like someone to answer. The response is not war, but the response is fraternity. This is the challenge not only for Iraq. It is the challenge for many regions in conflict and, ultimately, the challenge for the entire world is fraternity. Will we be capable of creating fraternity among us? Of building a culture of brothers and sisters? Or will we continue the logic Cain began: war. Brothers and sisters. Fraternity.





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