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Thread: With friends like these, who needs enemies? America apparently

  1. #1
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    With friends like these, who needs enemies? America apparently

    To, err, "celebrate" the new US security measures requiring all visitors entering the country to be fingerprinted and photographed, I bring you these articles:

    Extracs from 'Britons reminded of fingerprint plan at US airports'
    By Francis Harris in Washington
    (Filed: 19/08/2004)

    " America warned Britons yesterday that they will be fingerprinted and photographed at US ports of entry from next month as part of stringent new security requirements.

    The four million Britons entering America annually will be subject to the new rules from Sept 30."


    "From Oct 26, everyone entering must have a machine-readable passport - that is, one with two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons on the personal details page.

    Although nearly all British passports meet the requirement, 400,000 children still travel on their parents' travel documents, which will not be permitted from Oct 26. Even babies will be expected to have their own passports."


    "The Americans are also demanding the introduction of a new system, called Advanced Passenger Information, which would require all travellers to provide further information, including the addresses of places they intend to stay before they are allowed to board an aircraft.

    The system's introduction date has not been announced.

    But airlines have given warning that the requirement would add three to four hours to the checking-in process and would almost certainly result in flight cancellations as aircraft missed their take-off slots. Five hour check-in requirements might have to be introduced."

    At last, the United States of America, treating us like the common criminals we are!

    Why is the US doing its best to alienate all of its allies?
    By Stephen Robinson
    (Filed: 19/08/2004)

    It must have been around the fifth hour of internment during my visa ordeal on Tuesday when the quiet, controlled anger of my little gang of fellow visa seekers hardened into rebellious contempt. It was hot, there was no water to drink, and the US embassy vending machine was not working.

    Then, a young US Marine in fatigues and flashy desert combat boots, kitted out as though he was just back from patrol in Najaf, sauntered through the waiting room, with a military baton swinging from his belt.

    We despondent huddled masses, who had been queueing in Grosvenor Square since just after dawn for a stamp in our passports to allow us to go to America, looked in utter bewilderment at this preposterous show of force.

    I declare an interest here. Normally, I am absurdly, unquestioningly pro-American. I lived in Washington for seven happy years. I have many American friends, and a 10-year-old American god-daughter who is as delightful as she is precociously intelligent.

    When my Leftie friends refer to George W Bush as a grinning monkey, I rebuke them and tell them to show more respect to the leader of the free world. I take the "War on Terror" seriously, even if I think the term is daft. I reached for the sick bag when, at the end of a showing of Michael Moore's tendentious Fahrenheit 9/11 at our local cinema, the audience rose as one to give it a burst of sanctimonious applause.

    Yet even I find I am enraged by the current attitude of America in its disproportionate approach to defending the homeland. Too many friends and colleagues report horror stories of being held in rooms, separated from their children, for trivial, easily explicable visa violations.

    This week, The Daily Telegraph reported that the American authorities will no longer shackle foreigners whose visas have expired. I suppose we should be grateful for this concession, but I have come to loathe the voice of post-September 11 American officialdom, the bogus politeness you hear in visa and immigration lines: "Sir, please don't put your foot on that line, Sir." Go to hell!

    The treatment of captives held without charge in Guantanamo Bay may well be a disgrace in terms of civil liberties. But at least you can mount a defence of the practice on practical, if not moral, grounds.

    What is baffling is why America is doing its best to alienate those who are its natural allies around the world - those who want to go there to study, or work, like the Home Counties businessman sitting next to me on Tuesday who suddenly wondered if he really did want to take his young family out to America for a year.

    Anyone who wishes to go to the US to work or study is required to set up an interview by dialing a 1.30-a-minute premium telephone line, as though you are seeking hot lesbian sex.

    Then you join a queue outside the embassy at 7.30am. As it happens, the information I and my fellow queuers had got from the premium telephone line turned out to be incorrect, so we had to leave the queue to find a bank, wait for an hour for it to open, pay in 60 for our visa fee, then rejoin the back of the queue.

    "Sorry about that," said the affable young man doing the crowd control in Grosvenor Square, "they're an outsourced private company in Scotland who give out the wrong information to everyone."

    Seven hours after I joined the queue outside the embassy, I was summoned without apology or explanation to be fingerprinted like a common criminal. No doubt my dabs will be stored in perpetuity on some gigantic computer in Washington, and passed on to David Blunkett in due course to be incorporated in his exciting new ID card.

    "I'm glad to say, your application has been successful," the woman told me after inspecting my application form for 30 seconds, in a voice suggesting I had won the lottery. But, of course, I could not take my passport home with me. That cost me another 10 for the courier service, the only way you can get your passport back.

    Why are we forced to jump through these ridiculous hoops? My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that shortly before the September 11 atrocities, the Bush administration relaxed the rules for Saudi nationals so that they no longer had to appear in person to pick up their American visas.

    This turned out to be embarrassing when 15 of the 19 hijackers were later identified as Saudis. So now everyone has to suffer, whether it be a Daily Telegraph journalist going to cover the Republican convention, a post-graduate student wanting to study at Princeton, or the Home Counties businessman rethinking his decision to take his family to the Midwest.

    The thinking behind America's understandable concern about homeland security seems to be that the next terrorist attack will be exactly like the last. Thus, nail clippers cannot be taken on aeroplanes because on September 11 the hijackers slit the pilots' throats.

    I wish I believed that al-Qa'eda terrorists were stupid enough to try to repeat the playbook, but I very much doubt it.

    A friend just back from touring the US-Mexico border reports that he was singled out for intense immigration attention while Mexicans - and anyone else who might or might not be Mexicans - continued to stream through the porous border without any scrutiny or papers.

    In the meantime, a large part of Mayfair is cordoned off like a military camp. William Farish, the last American ambassador, went home in June, even though no successor will be appointed until after the November presidential election. As he left, Mr Farish made all the right noises about the special relationship between Britain and America.

    Let us hope his successor realises it is best to try to defeat terrorist foes without first making enemies among your natural allies.
    Thanks for all the fish

  2. #2
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    First of all what is that about, you want to go there and study so you have to do an interview over the phone, :confised: is that with the college / Uni that you are wanting to go to or not?

    Anyone who wishes to go to the US to work or study is required to set up an interview by dialing a 1.30-a-minute premium telephone line, as though you are seeking hot lesbian sex.
    i think that is completely wrong what they are doing especially making children and even babies carry pasports (well not carry them but have them) what do they think - oh the baby might have a set of anti tank launchers and a nuke in his bag - that the baby is actually going t commit a terrorist offence ?

    anyay ill post more on the matter later i have to go out now got a rally meeting
    Cedric - I sound like a chipmunk on there. Some friends of mine were like, "were you going through puberty?" I was like, no I was already 20, I just sound like a girl.

  3. #3
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    Three year olds didn't blow up the World Trade Center...
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  4. #4
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    Dam I know now that we are not liked by the world. The question is will we do anything about it?

  5. #5
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    ^^Nope!! And damn proud of it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esperante
    ^^Nope!! And damn proud of it
    LOL!!!


    but one thing occured to me: how much does the us economy rely on tourism? coz this is fer sure not gona help the tourist industry in any positive way...
    wat the hell do i put as a siggy?!?!?!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang
    First of all what is that about, you want to go there and study so you have to do an interview over the phone, is that with the college / Uni that you are wanting to go to or not?
    I think you have to phone the embassey to get a student visa or something.
    Just don't mention that your intended course of study is "Practical International Terrorism".

    Certainly, before all of this madness was announced, I would have seriously considered visiting the US for a placement, or if the right opportunity arose, employment.

    Now I think I'll be staying in Europe, were I will merely be treated with the distain an Englishman deserves, rather than as a common criminal.
    Thanks for all the fish

  8. #8
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    My GF had to renovate her visa and then get a brand new passport to be able to come.... She couldn't just renovate the old one.. no, they wanted a brand new picture on the front page. Then she also needed a letter from her university confirming that she is a student in Venezuela and that she will come back to finish her career (Meaning that she won't stay in the US as an illegal alien).

    Trust me, it was a pain in the butt to go through all this...And it takes a lot of time to get a new passport in a crappy third world country.

    These new regulations WILL reduce tourism.

    PS: They also needed her fingerprints.

    While the US applies these regulations to decent ppl who can afford a freaking plane ticket, visa, passport (Oh yes, you better pay for your passport in Vzla or you'll never get it), hundreds of illegals cross through Mexico and others through the caribbean..... Better reinforce your borders and let the tourism flow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tuner
    LOL!!!


    but one thing occured to me: how much does the us economy rely on tourism? coz this is fer sure not gona help the tourist industry in any positive way...

    just the fact that people are becoming scared to fly has seriously hurt out tourism industry, as well as the american dollar weakening its not that attractive to have a holiday over here anymore
    I am the Stig

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fpv_gtho
    just the fact that people are becoming scared to fly has seriously hurt out tourism industry, as well as the american dollar weakening its not that attractive to have a holiday over here anymore
    Look on the bright side;
    Many British people are fed up with the state of affairs that they want to emmigrate to Aus!

    Lots of Poms coming for you to poke fun at when you beat us at cricket and rugby!

    Probably a case of the 'grass being greener'* etc, as most Brits knowledge of Australia comes from Neighbours.

    * - Or not, in this instance.
    Thanks for all the fish

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko_Fx
    hundreds of illegals cross through Mexico and others through the caribbean..... Better reinforce your borders and let the tourism flow.
    dont worry about that, most of the illegals die before they get to the US

    its a desert between us and them and they still aren't smart enough to bring some extra water
    UCP's NO. 1 Source for Enzo & 69 Camaro pic's

  12. #12
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    This guy has missed the point. I dont really think anyone who is not an American and in particular from the Washington or New York can apprecaite what happened. The last ime the US was bombed they responded using the big one. Twice. The threat now is so more insidious. The enemy is too cowardly to show its face and will hide behind anything, babies included. The Japanese were fighting for their country, terrorists are murderous psycos. The US is not treating its allies as enemies. Its just that it is hard to be sure who your freinds are.
    "A string is approximately nine long."
    Egg Nogg 02-04-2005, 05:07 AM

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisis
    This guy has missed the point. I dont really think anyone who is not an American and in particular from the Washington or New York can apprecaite what happened. The last ime the US was bombed they responded using the big one. Twice. The threat now is so more insidious. The enemy is too cowardly to show its face and will hide behind anything, babies included. The Japanese were fighting for their country, terrorists are murderous psycos. The US is not treating its allies as enemies. Its just that it is hard to be sure who your freinds are.
    I think , crisis, you forget the threats the UK mainland was in for the last 40 years of concerted effort by the IRA to 'terrorise' the nation.
    YES, the 9/11 was a much higher toll in a single day. But the threat to EACH individual after was arguably MUCH higher in the UK until 5 years ago.
    Yes, it was fearful, but ( ttypical British stociism ) you jsut had to get on and be a little more attentive to packages left lying etc. No need to criminalise the nation or all its visitors, which is the biggest ingress into liberty EVER
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  14. #14
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    Is this everyone who enters the country ?
    Forgive me i couldn't read it all there was alot of writing there mate
    "Just a matter of time i suppose"

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper007
    Dam I know now that we are not liked by the world. The question is will we do anything about it?

    Randy Newman thought of this solution 35 years ago.

    http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/b...tical_science/
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

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