Making the U.S. Like the Rest, by Randy Neumann
Making the U.S. Like the Rest
By Randy Neumann
The Bush administration appears to be molding the United States into a country more like the rest of the world. At least, more like some countries on the U.S. State Dept. Travel Warning list. While perhaps not an intentional policy, Bush administration rules and policies, particularly on immigration, have placed the U.S. in some interesting company.
The U.S. State department Travel Warnings lists precautions for Albania, Bolivia, Iran, The Dominican Republic, Syria and Egypt among others. Travelers to these countries are warned about political unrest, gangs of criminals, civil disturbances, pervasive corruption, strikes and demonstrations.
Now Canada is warning citizens about travel to its neighbor to the south. Canada has warned its citizens that Canadians born in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia should "think carefully" before entering the U.S. It seems new policies, enacted by the U.S. immigration department, require photographs and fingerprinting of travelers born in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia, no matter what their citizenship. People of middle-eastern descent have also been imprisoned without charges in the U.S. since September 11, 2001.
For years the U.S. has sent elections monitors around the world as observers. These observers are sent to provide what might be considered a stabilizing effect on countries whose elections might not be considered fair.
Now for the first time, an international delegation of poll monitors will observe our elections.
Representatives from Russia and Albania will be among the monitors who will be in Florida to oversee the 2002 mid-term elections. They will be looking to see if Florida has been able to correct a malfunctioning voting system brought to light in the 2000 election debacle and problems noted in the September Democratic primary election for governor.
News organizations such as CNN and ABC routinely broadcast foreign footage showing crowds of protesters often faced by ranks of helmeted riot police. Just as routinely, footage and commentary are shown of more repressive countries, noting the lack of protesters and demonstrators. We hear and see countries such as China, Qatar, Iraq and others where demonstrations are simply not allowed.
Now, thanks to "Free-Speech" zones, America can begin to join countries such as these. On campuses throughout the country, wherever the WTO meets and particularly where the President is speaking one can find "Free Speech" zones. Citizens supporting the issues, organization or President are not confined to these zones and can display their placards and signs wherever they wish. Protesters and demonstrators however, are confined by fences, busses or buildings often a half-mile or more away from the scene.
So, while our administration withdraws from treaties, ignores international law and generally refuses to go along with the rest of the world, it is heartening to note that in some ways the U.S. is becoming more like other countries. Perhaps this is not intentional and just an unforeseen side effect.
Another, perhaps unintended, side effect could be less terrorism in the U.S. Our leader said, ""they hate us because we are a democracy, they hate our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." As we become more like some other countries, terrorists may have fewer reasons to hate us.
CLICK BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL ARTICLES Written by Randy Neumann--Posted 10/31/2002