Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Homeland Security scares away tourists.

George Bush’s America tops the list of the most unfriendly places in the world to visit. And that comes from a group that tries to promote American tourism.

Discover American Partnership was formed by major US businesses to promote tourism. So they surveyed tourists. Their survey asked over 2,000 international travelers in 16 nations what they thought about travel to the United States. Apparently not much.

Reuters reported: “More than half of the travelers surveyed said U.S. immigration officials were rude and two-thirds said they feared they would be detained on arriving in the United States for a simple mistake in their paper work or for saying the wrong thing to an immigration official.”

Twice as many travelers listed the US as the worst place to try to visit as those who mentioned the second worst place -- the Middle East. Hey, George, congratulations. You actually managed to make the US less inviting than the Islamic regimes you condemn.

Geoff Freeman, of D.A.P, says: “”The entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is keeping foreign visitors away. The survey shows there is more fear of our immigration officials than of terrorism or crime.” Visits to the US have declined by 17 percent in the last few years.

Got that. More visitors to the US worry about the threats posed by government officials than worry about the other terrorists and criminals.

And if you want to see the evils of state propaganda agencies look at how Voice of America reported the story. You won’t find any remarks of tourists saying their feared the power-mad bureaucrats. Instead the complaints are about them being “rude” and “unfriendly”. There is no reference to the travelers saying that bureaucrats were more of a worry than private terrorists or criminals. All that is missing.

But they do have a reply from Propagandaministerium Hërr Jarrod Agen of the Glorious People’s Department of Homeland Security. He attacks the survey as “flawed and self-serving”. And if there are experts on what it means to be “self-serving” surely the brownshirts at Homeland Security are them.

Argen said that the brownshirts “reach out to foreign governments and foreign travelers to make sure that their travel to the U.S. is a welcoming process.” I suspect they have a secret survey of their own based on phone conversations that they listened in on sans search warrants.

The Washington Post reported: “One-third of the travelers said they would not visit here again because of rude treatment at airports by security officials toward non-U.S. passport holders. Also cited was a fear of detention for simple mistakes or misstatements.”

In the hope of fostering some international understanding here is my open letter to foreign visitors to the United States.

Dear Visitor:

I would like to welcome you to the United States, the grandest and freest country in the world. I would like to but those days are gone. George Bush has put an end to that dream.

I understand that many of you are unhappy with the way you have been treated by the bureaucrats that the US government has installed at the airports. Please don’t feel picked on. You say they are rude and scare you. But it is not just you they pick on. They are nasty and rude to everyone.

Certainly American airports are the closest thing the world has today to Checkpoint Charlie -- the main gate into the old East Berlin. Getting through is not easy for anyone. Please understand that these people are extremely rude and nasty to Americans as well.

So what do I suggest you do? Please don’t come to America. Just don’t visit. I don’t mean this in the “Love it of leave it” sort of brain dead sense. I mean it in the “please don’t reward the bastards” sense.

For decades conservatives advocate travel boycotts of nations that don’t respect human liberty and freedom. In the spirit of those former appeals I ask you not to visit America. Let the travel numbers to the US continue to decline and send a message to brainless bureaucrats and petty thugs in Washington, and the not so petty thugs in Homeland Security, that they have made America a place that is not worth visiting. Tell them you want respect and won’t visit until they stop treating everyone like common criminals.

Do it for yourself. But do it for the poor Americans. They get the same sort of shitty treatment from these people. The American people themselves are relatively friendly people. Not so for the brownshirts in Homeland Security or the Travel Nazis who man the airports.

The world is a wonderful place. There are places to go well worth seeing. You don’t need to go to Disneyland, New York or San Diego. Try Brazil, visit New Zealand, enjoy the islands of Greece or the beauty of Prague. Just take your map and white out the US. Take off the travel agenda.

Now one more suggestion. Don’t assume that a flight to anywhere via the People Republic of America will be any easier. It used to be that if you were just changing flights that you didn’t have to deal with the brownshirts. That is no longer the case. Now anyone changing flights must pass through passport control where you will be fingerprinted like all criminals.

So if you must go to another country and are only planning to change flights in the US check with your travel agent and see if you can get to your destination by another route. Don’t even change planes in America.

Please help Americans defend their rights. Boycott US airports entirely.

Thank you.