A former U.S. Marine who works as a private security contractor took to Facebook to warn of the dangers Americans still face in Iraq.
Steven Gern’s video, which was posted from Iraq and has been viewed more than 44 million times, came just a few days after President Trump’s executive order triggered massive protests at U.S. airports.
The order temporarily banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Gern relayed a short message about conversations he had about the controversial order with Iraqis. He said he asked them what would happen if he, an American, “went out in town.”
“[I asked] would I be welcome? And they instantly said, ‘Absolutely not. You would not be welcome,'” Gern recalled.
“And I said, ‘OK. What would happen if I went out in town?’ And they said the locals would snatch me up and kill me within an hour,” said Gern, adding that he what their answer would be.
Gern said he wanted to let Americans back home know what’s going on in one of the countries covered by the order, which has now been struck down by the courts.
“This is the local populace that would do this. This isn’t ISIS, this isn’t al Qaeda,” he added.
He said he then asked, “if you would do this to me in your country, why would I let you in my country?”
Gern said many Americans are “naive” about how people in Iraq and other countries actually feel about Americans.
Trump has argued that the ban is necessary for national security in order to make sure “extreme vetting” procedures are enacted.
After the post went viral, the Dallas native was informed by his private security contractor that he would need to return to the United States because his life was in danger, FOX Dallas reported.
On “Hannity” tonight, Gern said that he saw firsthand that our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan are “very good at manipulation,” so “extreme vetting” is absolutely necessary.
“They can tell you what they want you to hear and they can keep that up for many, many years,” Gern said. “And then, eventually when it’s time, they’ll do what they believe is right.”
“If that is to hurt an American – or hurt many of us at one time – they’re going to do it.”