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Friday, April 16, 2010

What's To Do????

At the urging of ultra[blue], a frequent and welcome commenter on my blog,  I am going to attempt to explain my thoughts on the state of security and the policies of the United States as they apply in the post 9/11 world. I fear my thoughts on this will run contrary to many of my countrymen as the US has strayed far from its founding principals.

In the beginning, the US was a colony of Great Britain. The thirteen original colonies were populated by misfits, criminals and other undesirables who left (or were deported from) England for those very reasons. Well, the English being who they were back then, started to abuse the American colonists and the rabble decided enough was enough!

There was the Boston Tea Party protest and the Declaration of Independence from our British oppressors. Wealthy American colonists such as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and others decided to plan a new country. A country where every citizen has unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Founding Fathers had balls because they risked everything they owned and even their own lives to cross the powerful British Empire.

Such was the hatred of the yoke of British colonialism around America's neck, the Revolutionary War began. A bunch of rag-tag colonists hung on to defeat one of the most advanced military entities in the world at that time. British General Cornwallis surrendered and the world had a new country. Many folks forget that the USA was born of the blood of patriots. Please forgive us our zeal and pride, but we pulled off a Big One there!

Since then, Americans have had open arms to oppressed peoples from other countries because we kind of sympathized with their plight. We were there once. We wanted others to experience the Land of Opportunity. The Melting Pot.

Lately though, the dream fades. Immigrants have an entitlement mentality. Its no more what I can do for America, it is what can America do for me. I live in the UAE at present and I try to follow the rules here but I will never forget the time I flew to Hartford, Connecticut and none of the Muslim taxi drivers would stop by a 7/11 so I could get a six-pack of beer, that pissed me off!. If I was an Emirati and a taxi driver did that to me here in the UAE, he would be on the next flight back to Katmandu! I had no such recourse as a citizen in my own country.

That being said and to get back to the point, freedom has its risks and I am willing to take those chances, just like  the founding fathers of my country. Personally, I would rather have free access to my flight without being frisked as a criminal. I am willing to accept some losses rather than the endure the "everyone is suspect" mentality. It is just damn un-American.

As a side note, I have to commend the UAE for managing the expats here. We are all on our best behavior for fear of jail and/or deportation. I think somewhere in between the lax USA policy and the firm UAE policy is the way to go. The UAE does do a lot of things right! I am still here!!!

The US has to live with the past liberal immigration policies, the camel's nose is under the tent and there is not much that can be done now. I no longer think that it is a good idea to target those of Arabic origins as the bad guys will use grannies and babies as a workaround. I spoke out of anger earlier. I really have no solution. We just have to accept the risks as free people and trust each other.

Don't forget that anyone who does something "funny" on a US domestic flight is now subject to an extreme ass whuppin from fellow passengers or a bullet from a Federal Air Marshall, so it is somewhat of a self-correcting situation. Not to mention a USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon escort to the destination, weapons hot.

Peace, Bro!


Anonymous said...

Ah the founding fathers. lol. I agree with you 100% on them having balls. It is the way it is in the beginning of anything. My own culture included, 1400 years ago, they had balls. Now I feel a general disgust for what we have become.

I often cite your country's WE THE PEOPLE when arguing for more citizen's involvement (not democracy, but more involvement) in my own country's affairs. I unlike you, cant just leave when things get too bad. it's my duty to work for this country as you and your people have and do work for yours. Sure, maybe some politics in the US are way out of wack... But I watched alot of C-Span once upon a time. even a false perception of citizen control is a good thing... till those citizens decide otherwise.

The case you brought up about the Taxi cab drivers. I would have been pissed in your shoes. But does this mean that you would prefer the US amending it's immigration laws? As I stated once before, so many people, including Arabs, take advantage of your country's laws for citizenship just to turn around and kill their fellow American citizens, or bad mouth Americans. I can understand a citizen bad mouthing his/her own govt. i do it often. Too often. I have a feeling that one day I will "vanish" for my dissent towards the UAE.

I think being critical of your govt is a good thing when needed. But for someone who was so willing to become an American bad mouth FELLOW AMERICANS. Oh they are this and that. Well... You are what you are cursing.

I dont see how a born and raised American can accept that. For a Palestinian American to curse you as a white american because you "Feed Israel" even though THEY also pay the same taxes you do.

Just my 2 cents. In my case personally I was born in the US and again, was, as is your country's policy, given citizenship. I gave it back. It isnt mine. It isnt right to take it, I dont think anyways. I'm still called INSANE for that. But I dont think that, as you put it, a sense of entitlement is good. And come now, the UAE has that going on as I type, do you really want me being your fellow American?

As I have stated a few times. I lived a wonderful few years in Arizona where Americans are very mixed in terms of race. Because of my education that is partly from your country I know that I will always keep my family fed. BUT having lived in a state where so many illegal immigration issues were front page news... I understand fully those Americans who call for closing your borders.

As for your angry rant about profiling being ok. I actually dont see anything wrong with it. We do it at banks here as a matter of policy. Not because we're racist, but because statistically, as you said, this or that ethnicity is on average more likely to set off a bomb (or in a bank's case default)

I often use the if you dont like it leave thing here in the UAE. And I believe thats what I did in the US. I followed your laws to the T and left. And the US, or UAE, or China, or Pakistan... Have every right to set in motion policies to protect it's self as it sees fit.

if that involves every male aged 34 named Omar Abdulla from Dubai on every other monday in June being searched, so be it. It is your right.

I will just stay away from that place, like I said, if i dont like that law, I, being the foreigner there, can kiss your ass and leave. And I know most Arabs and Muslims will whine about it. But it is a country's right.

Ace said...

Unfortunately, my country is no longer what it used to be and I fear, will never be again. I do not wish to return anytime soon. I am happy here.

The founding principles no longer apply and I consider it a dangerous and boring place.

I will return someday because I have family there but will probably end up living in Central America.

Neil Roberts said...

Yeah, sorry about our dumbass colonialists from history. Greedy bastards. There's not many places in the world that didn't suffer from our plundering, including the Gulf as the Trucial States. Not that there was anything much to plunder here, but we sure as hell needed the Arabian Gulf to move our gains from elsewhere!

There again, I have to balance this with some of the good stuff we did too to improve the lives of people around the world, bringing innovation through the industrial revolution, education etc etc....

Like the US though the UK has become a poor shadow of it's former self. We have exactly the same immigration issues and have lost any idea of what it is to be British.

There are many "leftie" local governments in the UK now that ban Christmas references or lights etc "because it might upset the Muslims". What a load of dodgy LuLu meat products! If it actually was upsetting to Muslims, I might have some sympathy, but it makes me laugh when you look at Christmas here, where the Muslims are very respectful of this Christian celebration and have no problem wiht it at all!

As you say for the US too, it's too late to reverse now. So what can be done? No idea.

The UAE has many issues to deal with, but they also have many things right. One of them is very definitely putting their own indigenous population first. If you don't like that , leave. Quite right too, I wish it were not too late to implement in my home country.

Ace said...

Neil, yes our respective countries had a spat a few hundred years ago, but for better or for worse, I cannot think of two countries that have a better relationship today than the US and the UK.

We share a common culture and language. Our Government is modeled after yours and our legal system follows the principles of the Magna Carta. My own ancestors as well of many of my fellow countrymen hail from England.

We will give you the shirt off our back if need be and I think the feeling is mutual

I guess the Canadians weren't as uppity as us Yanks, the King back then pissed us off!

I agree with the positive effects of colonization. Hong Kong is just one example of indigenous people prospering under British rule. India, too. The US helped Japan get back on its feet after WWII. They later dominated our domestic auto industry.

But as Great Britain found out and the US has yet to learn, being a colonizer inevitably has a net negative result. With a few exceptions, I am for the isolationalism the US practised up to the 1930's.

I am also dismayed how I have to toe the line here AND do the same thing in my own country. I know my place here and understand the rules but I agree I should not have to do so in my own homeland.

Our respective governments bend over backwards to accommodate immigrants and aliens to the detriment of natives (political correctness). This is wrong on many levels. Sometimes I feel I have second-class status as a native born citizen of the US.

You are right re: the UAE putting its citizens first. That's the way it should be. It makes for a polite immigrant community. It is heavy-handed in some ways but it works. It may be too late for our countries, but maybe a happy medium could be found.

Chuck said...

I think the US has greatly tightened its immigration requirements that existed in the early 1900's, although I know there are many who think too many H1B visas are now issued because it's cheaper to hire programmers and engineers from India than to hire US citizens. I do think that the effort required to become a naturalized US citizen does give an indication that the person who takes an oath of citizenship is patriotic towards the US, though. Now, illegal immigration is another subject entirely, but I won't begin a rant on that issue here.

Jordan said...

Great post. I enjoy reading this blog, keep'em coming... Greets from Macedonia :)

Anonymous said...

I do think that the effort required to become a naturalized US citizen does give an indication that the person who takes an oath of citizenship is patriotic towards the US, though.

Is that why so many Arabs are given that nationality just to turn around in front of their Arab counterparts and curse the day the US was created?

You know this happens, not 2 minutes after gaining the nationality. It's sickening. And I'm not sure why the US allows that. You want to be able to naturalize people fine, but at least make sure they actually value your values instead of valuing your political power only.

Rootless said...

"In the beginning, the US was a colony of Great Britain"
Actually that was long after the beginning and followed millennia of inhabitation by indigenous nomadic and pastoral peoples. Indeed the British colonies form only a minor part of the landmass that has become the US, which came into being through the application of a number of other important though not so comforting forces. Invariably Americans seem to forget (or ignore) that their country was founded on the twin pillars of genocide and slavery, two of the very principles practised by those founding fathers. It was by these two mechanisms that the vast continent was tamed, it's indigenes suppressed, its great natural resources harnessed and US economic supremacy and military hegemony secured. Pointing out that fact does not mean I am anti-American but alas it is how I would be viewed and characterised by most.

Is this the America that you seek to recover? As a former American immigrant (green card holder) I have also given up on your country. Nonetheless I resent very much your assertion that US immigrants are looking for hand-outs - none that of the many that I know are looking for anything other than the chance to work hard and make a new life. I am bewildered by the inanity of most public discourse (Sarah Palin is a serious figure for goodness sake) and the silly factionalism, especially from the right. Frankly your taxi/7-11 story fits exactly that narrative. That story demonstrates what exactly? Perhaps that taxi drivers don't like you or 7-11 or wasting their time with a possible runaway fare... It is just as silly as people who arrived in the UAE but one or two generations ago berating the swamping of "their" country by the immigrants they cannot function without (any more than the US economy could survive without cheap immigrant labour).

Yet the USA is the most benign superpower the world has yet known. It has the capacity to elect such a transformative figure as Obama (who will definitely go down as a major historical figure). I just don't really want to go there anymore. It's simply no longer interesting enough to put up with the silly theatrics of pointless security and endure the constant meaningless declarations of "patriotism". And I don't even need a visa.

Ace said...

@Jordan: Thanks for the compliment! How is Macedonia this time of year?

@Rootless: I just spent hours writing a reply and I found out there was a "character limit" so it will have to wait for a real post. Dammit!