Monday, December 29, 2003

Getting the point straight

In his December 21 column in the New York Times (now archived), Thomas Friedman discusses the increasing self-imposed isolation of the US. He cites as an example the new requirement that to get a visa to the US, you will fist have to go to a US Embassy or Consulate and be fingerprinted.
Serhat Guvenc, a lecturer at Bilgi University in Istanbul, was actually flying to the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, and was diverted to Canada. He's been avoiding the U.S. since because of all the already intrusive visa requirements. "All the new measures the U.S. introduced intimidated me," he said. "In Turkey, unless you are a criminal or a potential criminal, you would never be asked to leave your fingerprints. It is kind of humiliating. It's uncomfortable."
Mr. Guvenc, you don't get it. In the new US view, you're a foreigner - so you are a potential criminal.

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