It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

US paranoia causes cultural chilling effects due to travel restrictions

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 02:54 PM
link   
The reason this is in the War on Terror thread is that since TWOT (how I love that acronym) began, travelling to the US has become quite painful.

My source for this article - which I shall have to type out myself (an edited version, at least) - is the print version of the UK magazine Private Eye. Unfortunately, there is no online source to cite. But it gives a flavour of how the US is viewed these days. And fyi, PE is an anti-establishment magazine but it has no political bias, it just reports on corruption on all sides of the political continuum. This is from a regular column, Music and Musicians:

Travelling musicians have finally had enough of the Gestapo-like treatment the Americans mete out to anyone who wants to visit their country. Be you never so grand - the finest pianist in the world or the most venerable conductor - to apply for a visa you still have to turn up at dawn, queue in the street for several hours and then shuffle through barbed wire and security booths manned by gun-waving goons, only to find yourself queuing again in a large hall where other goons bark instructions and reduce people to tears because their papers aren't in the right order or have been stapled in the wrong place or their chin is 2 millimetres too close to the bottom of the photo.
Designed to intimidate and cause problems for people who spend their lives on the road, it can't be done by post or through intermediaries. Defiantly, the Halle Orchestra has now cancelled what would have been a major US tour on the grounds that the visa application process is now absurd. It would have meant bringing every player down from Manchester to London for the dawn queue, incurring overnight stays, travel costs and fees totalling £15,000 - just for the privilege of being processed....

Concert promoters in Europe are beginning to think the same way... and their stand is being backed by the London-based International Artists Management Association, which has issued a statement that "the US authorities need to wake up to reality".
And the reality is that America now faces the possibility of cultural boycott... Dismayed... and alarmed by stories of the Americans arresting innocent travellers for trifling irregularities in their documentation and sending them home (it happened a few years ago to David James, the countertenor from the Hilliard Ensemble, who was frogmarched onto a jumbo jet in handcuffs), musicians are deciding that the US isn't worth the trouble. And they're right.

As someone who's suffered through US immigration a few years back when I went out to do a gig there, I can only agree. I think that Orwell and Kafka are going to be the new 'must-read' authors in the 'Land of the Free'.

No doubt there are going to be posters saying, who cares? Well, you may not care what other nationals think of you, but many of your compatriots do. And they're right. Your country is increasingly being compared to Nazi Germany, and I for one can see the parallels. Except the Nazis didn't have nukes. Or bases in over a hundred countries.

But they did invade a lot of countries on trumped-up excuses.

[edit on 26-4-2006 by rich23]




posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 04:00 PM
link   
Why didn't they just fly to mexico instead, then walk across the border...?
so much easier than dealing with that whole visa thing...

Seriously though... I see your point.
I hope our countries government does... I think the tide is turning as we speak.

The elites on high, cannot ignore the shouts from below. If they do, the shouts will come up to be heard.

Travesty... but it is also a lesson...
we can never get complacent in our liberty.



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:51 PM
link   
I've been reading for quite some time about the difficulties foreigners have had, especially musicians, in getting into America. I understand why they have started cancelling bookings, who wants to go through all that?
What I don't get is why our govt is doing it? Who benefits from it? Or is it just more lunacy from our government?

To the person who said the US is looking like Nazi Germany:
Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. As a native-born American, it breaks my heart at what we have becomem. I don't like the absolute cruelty and disrespect for rights that our govt shows. It is terrifying. Protests have no effect on these people.
I want my country back, I want our rights back and I want the U.S. to quit invading other countries.



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 09:24 PM
link   
Good post - heard this on the radio a few weeks ago.

The attitude of the US embassy was ridiculous, they wouldn't send two of their staff up to Manchester (expenses paid) so the Halle Orchestra cancelled their trip (BTW Australia has an embassy and 2 consulates but the mighty US has just an embassy in London)

Personally I won't visit the states now because of their crappy, unwelcoming attitude and draconian data requirements when one arrives, I suspect many other Europeans feel the same. If someone from your staunchest ally is treated this way god knows what it's like for a French person (for example)

Self-imposed exile from culture and tourism which impacts negatively on US citizens' lives - it's not in the population's interests but perhaps it is in those loony elements of the US Government's.



posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 02:02 AM
link   
I suspect that filtering out unwanted opinions ("hey, you're country's turning fascist, watch out!") might be a benefit for those in power. They do a pretty good job with the media, and excluding people with a different perspective can't do any harm as far as they're concerned.

For someone who's not American, living over there, you can really see the propaganda machine crank up. In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, as soon as the French refused to play ball, all these negative stories started appearing in the media as if by magic. A month later, an obedient public had fully taken the message on board - "we hate the French". AND there was that ludicrous 'freedom fries' thing. Worrying.

Btw, has anyone seen the new recommended behaviour guide for US citizens travelling abroad? Hilarious. I particularly like

Research studies show that, for a number of reasons, "favorability" ratings for America have declined around the world.

Not really a surprise. And nor is

Check the atlas. You may not believe anyone could confuse Austria with Australia, but it happens

Oh, we believe that. We do, we do.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 06:48 AM
link   
My Uncle and Aunt, nearing their 60's, went to the US not long after September 11th 2001.

They were treated like terrorists upon disembarking from the plane, searched, shouted at, abused, impoliteness.

"We're British, we're your friends!" My uncle said in surprise.

It did not do them any good, and it gave them quite a shock.


They've never been back since. Not that my Uncle can now. He died last year.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 07:03 AM
link   

Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Why didn't they just fly to mexico instead, then walk across the border...?
so much easier than dealing with that whole visa thing...


That made my day!
Thanks for the laugh.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 07:45 AM
link   
I have some distant cousins who reside in Wales, and they have vacationed in the US twice since 9/11. Both times they cleared customs without any issues, and they told me that other than a slightly longer wait, they did not experience anything which could be described a rude or rough treatment. They did mention that security seemed to have increased.

In fact, my cousin has a British private pilot's liscence, and both times he visited he rented a small aircraft and had a blast flying all over the place. This is something that is apparently much harder to do in the UK.

As far as standing in line at an embassy waiting to get a visa goes, I highly doubt that the embassy staff and marine detachment would act in such a fashion, especially in a country considered to be a trusted friend. I don't place much creedence in a single source, nor the remarks of the original poster. Especially after I consider the flavor of the throw-away remarks in the last 2-3 sentances of the post......

Because security is my profession, and I must continually deal with those with dislike the fact that they must occasionally submit to security, it gives me great plasure to refer them to a large poster hanging in my office, over my desk. It is a quote from the Unix System Administrator's Handbook......"Convenience is inversely proportional to security".



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 10:43 AM
link   
Vacationing is one thing. It's way different if you want to work there. I myself have sat in a dismal, scary back office in Houston waiting for contemptuous jobsworths to clear my visa and talk to my employers. I have also seen how they treated people who didn't comply with their exacting standards and it wasn't pleasant.

[edit on 28-4-2006 by rich23]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:11 AM
link   
Im going to re-name this post to convey the true nature of this thread:

"Hey, if you hate America Post Here!"


First up:

Most Americans are smart enough to have their own opinions, just like the rest of the world. We are no more (or less) susceptible to the media than any other. For you to think that you're not influenced by your news sources means you are a dummy.

Secondly:

We WANT it to be hard to get here. Not impossible mind you, just not easy. Well as mentioned, unless you come from Mexico, then its easy!

And lastly:

Who cares?






[edit on 28-4-2006 by skippytjc]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:00 PM
link   

Originally posted by Pyros

As far as standing in line at an embassy waiting to get a visa goes, I highly doubt that the embassy staff and marine detachment would act in such a fashion, especially in a country considered to be a trusted friend. I don't place much creedence in a single source, nor the remarks of the original poster. Especially after I consider the flavor of the throw-away remarks in the last 2-3 sentances of the post......

Because security is my profession, and I must continually deal with those with dislike the fact that they must occasionally submit to security, it gives me great plasure to refer them to a large poster hanging in my office, over my desk. It is a quote from the Unix System Administrator's Handbook......"Convenience is inversely proportional to security".


Believe it - we live here and know what it's like, plus the guy from the Halle was interviewed on BBC R4 (as I said) so it's not a 'single source'

Re US border controls - I've visited many, many countries and the US immgration are the most rude, obnoxious, paranoid bunch of little Hitlers I've encountered - and that was before 9/11

My money, your loss - off to Jolly Canadia in June!!!!



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:49 PM
link   
From the original source:


to apply for a visa you still have to turn up at dawn, queue in the street for several hours and then shuffle through barbed wire and security booths manned by gun-waving goons


FYI, The gun waiving goons at the booth that you shuffle through are locals...not Americans.

I can understand non-Ameircan frustration directed towards the US's visa requirements. But the stiff requirements are a must, imo. And like Pyros said, I also highly doubt that the embassy staff would treat anyone in a disrespectful manner...unless you brought upon yourself.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 07:12 PM
link   

Originally posted by SportyMB
FYI, The gun waiving goons at the booth that you shuffle through are locals...not Americans.


And you know this how, exactly?



I can understand non-Ameircan frustration directed towards the US's visa requirements. But the stiff requirements are a must, imo. And like Pyros said, I also highly doubt that the embassy staff would treat anyone in a disrespectful manner...unless you brought upon yourself.


In my experience, disrespect is the norm. I had to struggle to keep my temper knowing that any outburst would simply condemn me to even more waiting at the very least, and possibly worse.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 07:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by skippytjc
Im going to re-name this post to convey the true nature of this thread:

"Hey, if you hate America Post Here!"


I come from a cosmopolitan city that is enriched by its constantly-changing influx of people from all over the world. I sought to point out that the US government is doing itself no good by treating people who want to come there for cultural and economic reasons like dirt. It's not good for the image.



Most Americans are smart enough to have their own opinions, just like the rest of the world. We are no more (or less) susceptible to the media than any other. For you to think that you're not influenced by your news sources means you are a dummy.


Personally, I woke up to the propagandistic, slanted nature of UK news coverage in the early eighties during Thatcher's heyday. More recent egregious examples have been the treatment of the state murder of Dr. David Kelly (which the BBC would routinely refer to as 'the suicide of...' while other countries' media would refer to 'the alleged suicide of'... Have you woken up to the lies your media routinely spin? The nostrums you take as fact but are merely repetitions of a corrupt catechism? Are you falling for the nonsense about Iran being a threat right now, for example?

While many Americans, many of whom post here, are imo intelligent and perceptive people, there are many who are unable to see past their own 'patriotism' and, rather than treat people as equals, puff out their chests and strut around proclaiming their country to be the best in the world. This is only true if the criterion is 'he who has the most guns, wins'.


Secondly:
We WANT it to be hard to get here. Not impossible mind you, just not easy. Well as mentioned, unless you come from Mexico, then its easy!

And lastly:

Who cares?



Only those people in your country with any semblance of decency and culture. That a few classical musicians who anywhere else in the globe are treated with respect sometimes bordering on awe think it no longer worth the considerable effort to come to your country to perform is probably not a great loss to you.

I kind of liked it though when Brazil made it just as difficult for US citizens to get into their country though. THAT caused quite a fuss.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 07:35 PM
link   
Btw, Strangerous - enjoy Canada. I absolutely adore it. Vancouver is one of my favourite cities in the world. Full of lovely, lovely people.

Don't know if you ever watch 'Have I Got News For You' but they were discussing the 'US world citizens' report I referenced earlier in the thread, and when asked what advice it gave US citizens venturing abroad who wanted to be more favourably received, Paul Merton said, "Pretend to be Canadian?"

He has a point.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:15 PM
link   
It's not an attitude, it's a social disease.

It's pretty much "I don't care what you actually say, because I with my personal opinion "doubt" that what you say is true, regardless of the facts are and all that other stuff like logic etc, because everything is a matter of public/popular opinion, aka media spin."

Typical home grown all American ignorance.

Guys, don't be hard of the "sceptics" here, they most likely never traveled outside of their county, and a trip to Disney Land for them is like a trip to the moon.

I've traveled quite a bit and I'm fully familiar with such lunacy.

Instead of Nazi comparison, it would simply be more accurate to compare it with the good old Soviet iron curtain. Exactly the same patterns of distrust, suspicion and rudeness.


rich23 I hear you.

Unfortunately life in "modern" America brought me to the following formulation - "In the Grand Canyon of ignorance a voice of reason has no echo".

A damn shame I tell you, and I'm tired of having to state that I'm not "that" kind of American when communicating with sane people.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:58 PM
link   
Kudo's Skippy, nail right on the head!

The jealousy is thick on this thread! The AWEsome musician's can stay home for all I care, we've got plenty right here.


I just love it when people try and convince you how much you need them and their money, who really need's who in this scenario?



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 07:18 PM
link   

Originally posted by HimWhoHathAnEar

I just love it when people try and convince you how much you need them and their money, who really need's who in this scenario?


If China decides to call in their US debt you may want to reconsider that statement.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 07:25 PM
link   
HimWhoHathAnEar are you sober at the moment or the game is on?



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 07:39 PM
link   


If China decides to call in their US debt you may want to reconsider that statement.


See! That's what I'm talking about. I could care less if China call's in their note. We're the nation that charged it, we'll have to deal with it, right? My ancestor's didn't build this nation on some other nation's dime. So if rebuilding is the name of the game, let's knuckle under and get to it. The Buck has to stop somewhere.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join