Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: Self Inflicted Wounds

Friday, April 9, 2010

Self Inflicted Wounds

There was another scare in U.S. airspace today when a Qatari man with diplomatic status caused a disturbance aboard United 663 en-route from Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. to Denver International. Apparently the man spent a long time in the lavatory which aroused the attentions of an onboard incognito Federal Air Marshal. He was suspected of sneaking a cigarette in the lav.

It is reported that the diplomat then made some comments out loud when he returned to his seat that he was having trouble getting his Bally loafers to detonate. That was all it took, he was restrained, law enforcement officers were requested upon arrival in Denver and last, but definitely not least, two F-16 Fighting Falcons were scrambled to escort the United flight the rest of the way to Denver, air-to-air weapons systems "hot", no doubt. Thumbs on the buttons.

The perp, Mohammed Al-Madadi

Now this photo shows what appears to be a normal, bright, well adjusted young man. What caused him to go off the deep end is a matter of speculation. Maybe it is a combination of tequila shots at the Reagan International Airport bars, his "untouchable" status back in Qatar and the diplomatic immunity he enjoyed in the U.S. that created his mischievous mental mix. 

International concourse, KJFK, can't we all just get along?

So here we have another person of Arab origin threatening a U.S. airline flight. What people from this region of the world I now reside in have to learn is that since that horrible day when my country sustained a coordinated attack against New York City, the Pentagon and a failed attempt on the Capitol building that ended up in a remote field in Pennsylvania, that the United States is VERY, VERY, VERY concerned about not letting the same thing happen again. 

Verrazano Bridge, South of Manhattan

What that means to me personally is extra scrutiny and hassle when I travel. I don't like that as I have been a straight-up Patriot all my life and a U.S. Navy Officer to boot. The U.S. bends over backwards to be fair and not "racially profile" but I cringe when I see 80 year old grandmothers in wheelchars and 6 year old children get patted-down as if they are close relatives of OBL, who is probably deceased anyway..


The point is that I work with some really good people from this part of the world who just happen to be Muslims. They are ordinary folks just like the people I worked with back in the U.S.with the same hopes, dreams and trials of life that anyone has. I consider them my friends, they are not the radicals the American government and media portray then as. They don't hate the U.S. and in fact most of them have family in the USA working and contributing to the economy. They love to visit the US. and have very positive things to say about Americans. Some would like to live there.

On Approach

The Ass-Clowns like our Qatari diplomatic friend, the the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber make it so much more difficult not only for us regular United States citizens to travel freely, the honest, hardworking people from the Middle East are going to be scrutinized even more because of their nationality. All the recent incidents involved people with Arabic origins and/or names. Give me a good reason why the TSA shouldn't racially or nationally profile given the facts!
I hear it is tough enough to get even a visitor's visa to the United States as it is for legitimate people from certain countries. Well, do you you blame us? There is a track record here that is hard to deny. 

I am angry about this as it negatively effects me and my Muslim friends and co-workers. Where is the peer pressure? The American people are going to demand racial/national/religious screening and I think it is justified for now, and I can't disagree considering the history and circumstances of late

 It's going to be more difficult for the good citizens of some countries to visit or live in the USA for now..The radicals and in this most recent event, the arrogance of a diplomat with legal immunity from an Arabian Gulf country sealed that fate.

He was let go, but the stench remains. I could never get away with what he did as a foreigner over here. Jail and deportation would be certain for such actions.

As  US citizen, I think we have been too kind up to now and with apologies to my friends over here, I now think that a few bad apples ruined the barrel and there is plenty of justification for profiling. Just too much crap happening from a certain part of the world lately!

I would prefer to see the US as a welcoming country to all peoples of the world, that is the strength of our heritage, but some want to undermine that. A shame!



Chuck said...

Profiling for extra screening might well be justified...denying visa applications based on one's religion or country of origin would not seem to be justified. If they need to do extra background checks, I can understand that, but not denying the opportunity to travel.

Anonymous said...

I agree with profiling. been telling the UAE to round up all the Americans who live here for years and kill them in a mass game that can be televised by Al Jazeera sports channel.

For some reason it hasnt happened yet... Though Dubai LOVE flashy events, and we could get sponsors for the event, I'm sure.

I do however implement the "if you dont like it leave" rule on myself. I havent been to the US in forever, and never intend to go back.

As for your country being "Attacked" It got what it had coming to it, and though I dont agree with targeting random civilian filled buildings, I was very happy that the US finally go it's due as it lived as the high and mighty detached bastard for way too long.

Nor has it done much to keep it's self safe. Not really. Much like the WAR on drugs or the WAR on piracy or the WAR on fat asses who love taco bell... when you piss people off, they tend to find ways around whatever you come up with.

So, 9 years after those attacks... The US is STILL pissing people off, 2 wars, one on completely false pretenses, and then you wonder why so many people dislike the US.

How many people dislike Canada? Not many. THey dont piss people off.

As for the Qatari guy, lock him up and throw away the key. OR lock him up in that resort your "fair" country has in Cuba... The one where people are held indefinitely without charge or recourse...

I think that diplomatic immunity should be limited to the level of "un-stupidity" that one exhibits. And I think anyone would agree that he exhibited a huge ass amount of stupidity.

And before you start with the oh, you're Arab, you hate Americans... I'm half American. I know you guys are "shifty" because I have that shifty blood in me, sadly. And I spent a part of my life there, and to this day I have friends there. Decent friends. Hell, I ever signed a few marriage certs as a witness on their behalf. I know the average American is too busy living his/her life to hate or care for that matter.

And dont ask me to describe shifty... Its my all encompassing word when it comes to negative attributes. Satan without the Oooh! factor.

You are correct though, not all Americans are bad, nor do all Arabs or Muslims think so... But unlike in the UAE, where I dont have a direct influence over my govt, if someone hates the UAE as a country or govt, I have nothing to do with it.

With the US, supposedly being a democracy (Because the choices are so clear) and with your constitution beginning with WE THE PEOPLE... I can directly hold YOU and your fellow American citizens responsible for your govt's actions. And most Muslims do. You flaunt the fact that YOU are in control. So we hold YOU responsible for your govt's actions.

And the fact is all the BS your govt has endured is because of their own actions, and by the proxy of democracy, YOUR actions.

Nice post. No, I'm not being sarcastic.

Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical...................................................

Anonymous said...

ultra, are you actually as ignorant ayou seem?

Ace said...

@Chuck: I am not advocating denying visas but the process is already agonizing for citizens of certain countries as it is and will probably get worse. It is un-American but our hand is being forced.

@u[b]: In theory, you are correct that in a Representative Republic as the US, the actions of the government are, by proxy, those of the people.

In reality, it has not worked that way for decades. Maybe some of the dissatisfaction of the citizens we have seen lately will result in a more responsive congress. I don't believe that body has had the average citizen's interest in mind for a long time.

That being said, you know I am an advocate for isolationism the US practiced before it was dragged into international affairs during WWII. Since then, all the interference and meddling in other's affairs has seemed to yield a net negative result.

I was against the recent adventures in Iraq, but the quest to punish those responsible for 9/11 is justified.

The recent stunt by the Qatari punk is just the latest in a long string of disturbances by people with Muslim/Arab connections. Not just airlines, but bombings in the UK, Spain, Bali and Indonesia.

I have been here for awhile living and working with Muslim/Arabs so I know these are acts by a miniscule, radical faction. I feel much safer living here in Abu Dhabi than I would in Atlanta.

The point is that these guys do a disservice to all the good and decent Muslims/Arabs like yourself. Fair or not, each event like this increases the "guilt by association" factor. This has led to increased scrutiny as you travel.

I am kind of in the same boat. There are places in this region that it would be inadvisable for me to be known as a citizen of "The Great Satan". I can sing "Oh Canada" quite well!

In my post I called for more profiling. This is purely for efficiency due to statistical probability from past events. I am tired of seeing grannies and toddlers (and myself) felt-up by the TSA under the guise of political correctness.

@Ming....Glad you enjoyed it!

Seabee said...

This is just one of a string of cases of people in airports or on aircraft making what they think is a funny comment about bombs. This one happens to be an Arab, there've been several recent cases involving Brits en route to Dubai.

Dave said...

Interesting article Ace. Nationality is obviously paramount to the USA Govt these days.

Interestingly, I am entering the USA for the first time next month and applied online for my wife's visa under the "visa waiver program" and it was approved within seconds..... mine took several hours to come through and I actually felt as though someone had taken the time to look at the application and access my suitability to travel to the USA.

Several hours later I received an email authorising multiple travel to/from the USA. But I respect and understand the current restrictions and I am certainly blessed being an Aussie passport holder.

PS, ultra(blue) is slowly being recognised as not being an Emirati (although he masquerades as one). I have had people that know look at his writing style and blog site. His language, writing style and phrasing are not consistent with a local of this country, but actually that of an expat. Quite frankly he is a f**kwit)

Anonymous said...

PS, ultra(blue) is slowly being recognised as not being an Emirati (although he masquerades as one). I have had people that know look at his writing style and blog site. His language, writing style and phrasing are not consistent with a local of this country, but actually that of an expat. Quite frankly he is a f**kwit)

LOL. Your comments are beyond funny. My writing was analyzed? Then please let these analysts throw me a book deal for my poetry!

Ace, I agree with you, perhaps your favor (Isolation) which was what gave the US it's golden ages was for the best. As the opposite has garnered on average poor results.

I agree with you that profiling of foreigners is the RIGHT of any country when a clear string of events that supports a trend. And truthfully, the US is faced with that.

But the US has made a few big mistakes that profiling will not help. Mainly allowing Arabs/Muslims to become CITIZENS of the US.

You can profile me, you can profile a Libyan, an Egyptian, and God knows you should profile Saudis and Iranians.

But in the past 2 or 3 months your country has had CITIZENS who are Muslim attack "their" own country. Lets not forget the Army Major who shot and killed his fellow soldiers. He was Muslim and of Arab decent. (for the record that pissed me off as you do not wear a country's flag on your shoulder, benefit from it's citizenship and freedoms (even if they arent real) and then do what he did)

So while you are profiling foriegners, your own fellow citizens are also plotting against you.

How do you tend to that? That is one of the main reasons the UAE doesnt offer naturalization. The ability to seperate from your roots is almost impossible.

I know people who are American citizens of Arab decent, and CURSE the US and praise the taliban on a daily basis!

At least I'd agree that the Taliban are a bunch of maniacs.

So you can, and SHOULD, protect your country from me, or Ahmed, or Khalid if that is what you see best.

But how do you protect against your own kind? I will choose not to visit the US, but those people who are your equals based on your own laws, they are already there.

I'd like to read a post about this from your perspective. Because I see only bad things for the US in the next 50 years if the doors are left open, the cracks are already showing.

Mind you, I am in no way painting you as a racist or anti immigrant Arizonian (lol) as if you were, you'd not live and work 10K miles away from home for even 2 months let alone what... A year and a half now?

But from my view, as a non-American, I'd like to hear your views on that subject.

Chuck said...

Ace said...

U[b}, I will explain myself further (now that I have calmed down) and will do a proper post to answer the issues you brought up. I have had a lot of thoughts since then.

I started to do a response to your comment here, but quickly realized a stand-alone post would be more appropriate in this case.

Stay tuned.

Can I quote parts of your comment in my post? You do bring up some good points that I need to address. With full credit, of course.

Ace said...

@ Seabee...That was kind of a weak response. Yes, inebriated Brits and Yanks are guilty of joking around and they actually got punished for it. This guy was a diplomat and got off easy.

I can't remember the last time explosives were actually found in the footwear or undergarments of those drunken Brit or Yank a-holes.

Nor do I remember when prominent parts of Dubai's skyline collapsed in flames at the hands of Christian religious radicals on the yoke of a fully-fueled hijacked Emirates Airlines A380.

When a person of Arab descent displays the same black humor on a US airliner in US skies, it takes on a whole new dimension. You have to admit there is a "reputation" from past events and things will be taken a bit more seriously seeing how just last Christmas the city of Detroit narrowly escaped an "aluminum shower" by a Muslim radical hell-bent om murder.

Your "boys will be boys" attitude and your thinly veiled attempt to paint my comments as racist is insulting.

Anonymous said...

Of course. It is a subject that interests me a great deal. And it does need it's own post.

I look forward to that post.

Anonymous said...

Your "boys will be boys" attitude and your thinly veiled attempt to paint my comments as racist is insulting.

Forget him. Like I said, if you were a racist you wouldn't NOT be here living and working. Fact. No matter what you were being paid. And your country has every right to create, amend, and implement laws that it sees fit to protect it's self.

Though all of that doesnt FIX the ISSUE, just one of the products of the issue. And even that isnt guaranteed.