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June 15, 2004



I thought posting this under the Ashcroft heading would be most appropriate. This is a translated email that my Icelandic girlfriends' friend wrote to everyone in her addressbook. Unfortunately, I have heard similar complaints from Brits, Irish, Germans, Japanese and Mexicans.

"It seems the US is doing everything in its power to keep foreign travellers from entering the country. They are making it as difficult for them as they legally can. Various stories have been going around the icelandic society about immigration officers in the US "harrassing" Icelandic tourists in all forms, from trying to confiscate their fur coats to interrogating them and strip-searching. It seems the land of diversity, the free and brave is no longer so ameable towards their own multicultural heritage. The US was originally built by immigrants from all over the world. They have so far prided themselves of being the most diverse society in the world, and rightly so. Things have changed. To an outsider, like myself, it seems as if foreigners are being targeted by overzealous security measures and their privacy being invaded as much as is legally allowed. In my mind, the US is no longer the open, welcoming country it once was. It's very unfortunate that the political policy of a handful of extremists can affect the overall perception of a country as large as the US. But thankfully, most of the residents maintain their welcoming and open-minded spirit towards anyone who wants to experience their multifarious country. Let's hope the general public will speak their mind in the coming elections and boot the tyrant named Bush :)"

By the sound of many Americans, I would say that there is little chance of that happening.


I should add that my second cousin is Swiss and told me that visiting the States recently was about as difficult as visiting Russia last year. That is not exactly the kind of comparison I am very fond of. I have been to Russia myself and know first hand the difficulties the authorities give to tourists.

Ragga, the person who sent the email above, was actually very forgiving in her message and managed to put in some kind words about us, for which I am very thankful. However, most of the other people who complain about this matter are not so positive and even one story is enough to scare off so many others.

How many here have heard of the German woman with her baby who was visiting her AMERICAN husband? She was arrested at JFK airport because of a technicality, interrogated repeatedly, kept locked up 36 hours, then sent back to Germany. Or have you heard of the British journalist who wanted to write a tourist article on Los Angeles, only to find the exact same treatment at LAX? Instead of an free tourism advertisment for us, her column instead posted the entire ordeal, which, I assure you, did not put us in a positive light. (The State Department did offer a subsequent apology to her, but the damage had been done.)

Such stories spread like wildfire and is a large part of the reason why that one article which someone on here posted cited a 34% drop in tourism over the past year in the US.


It is sad that that is happening but, how about also placing the blame on the terrorists who, ultimately, created the situation in the first place.


I think we're doing a pretty good job of putting blame on not only terrorists, but Iraqis and Palestinians as well. No worries on that end. But are terrorists truly the ultimate cause by themselves or did we help create the terrorists?



It has been shown that terrorists were created by the mullahs and clerics who have been actively engaged in inciting their followers to hatred and violence. It has also been shown that those mullahs and clerics have been doing so with permission and, quite possibly, at the encouragement of the various governments of those countries they reside in. Why? Because many of those governments have failed their people and rather than have the populace rise up against them they point the finger at the US or the European countries and make the case that their problems are our fault. We are the Satan, we are against the believers, we are out to destroy the faithful. Follwed by a declaration of Jihad against the West.

The acts of violence, the suicide murders, the mindless murders, the beheadings that those terrorist groups have committed and, in all probability, will continue to commit has no justification nor excuse.

That's like excusing or placing "the ultimate cause" of the murders that occurred several years ago in a McDonalds restaurant here in So. California on Hostess Twinkies. Yes, that happened. Some idiot went on a killing spree in a McDonalds restaurant and the lawyer tried to lay the blame on Twinkies the guy had eaten a few hours before he went on his killing spree.

I do not blame the Iraqis, the Palestinians, the Iranians, the Egyptians, nor any other Muslim country for the terrorists and their acts of violence. I blame, hold accountable, and responsible the terrorists themselves. Not the Europeans, not the US, not Bush, not Clinton, not Kerry, not the Republicans, not the Democrats, not the Liberals, not the Conservatives. I hold solely responsible the terrorists.

I do not adhere to the concept of moral relativism but, moral absolutism. It's like this,
when God discovered that Adam & Eve had eaten of the fruit of knowledge and confronted them with this fact what was their response? Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent. Neither of them were willing to accept the responsibility nor be
accountable for their own actions. Their own actions!

It is the same here, it is not the US's fault, not the Europeans fault, not Bush's fault, not the Republican's fault, not the Democrat's fault.
It is the terrorists who are at fault. They have absolutely no justification, no excuse, no moral grounds for their actions.

That's the same as those morally challenged individuals who were attempting to say that the
tragedy of 9/11 was our fault, we deserved that attack, and those people deserved to die.


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