Why Non-Americans Often Hate America

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I am so angry I can barely find words to express what I want to say here.

Tomorrow my Brazilian wife has to go to the American Embassy in Tokyo to be subjected to an “interview” (substitute that with “interrogation”) to determine whether or not she will be eligible to transit in Houston, on her way to her home country of Brazil. She has to get a visa for transit! Not to stop and spend any time in the States, just to transit! And get this, she has to pay a non-returnable “fee” (read “extortion”) of Â¥18,000 (about $180.00) for the privilege. On top of that, she has to be fingerprinted while in transit. And furthermore, she has to do the interview in English, even though she doesn’t speak English very well.

There is no other country which does this. Transit for God’s sake! I wish the world would hit back and force only Americans to be subjected to such “interviews” every single time they cross a border, to be fingerprinted with indelible ink on every finger at every port of call, to be forced to undergo the “interview” in every language but English, and to pay $200.00 every time they even fly over another country not their own.

What makes me hopping mad is that this is being done to my wife, one of the gentlest, kindest, most unassuming people I’ve ever met. The whole New York tragedy and Iraq war insanity was something that made so little sense to her that just watching it on TV was like watching a conversation between lunatics. She’s so scared tonight that she can’t sleep. And since she’s alone in Tokyo, I can’t even comfort her. I cannot forgive people who scare those whom I care about. There is no reason whatsoever that my wife should have to feel any kind of fear about going home. And since several of her Brazilian friends have been plucked out of lines in the American airports and strip searched, she’s worried about being subjected to indignities.

God damn it! How I wish that Americans would get their come-uppance for how they’ve treated the rest of the world for the past five years!

12 Responses

  1. Oh, good grief!! How awful. I’ve never seen you so angry and I don’t blame you.
    All I can say is to hope your wife survives this ordeal and is able to visit her family.
    I suppose there was no other route to fly to Brazil to avoid the US?

  2. I’m absolutely with you on this issue!

    I once waited for hours on the american border before they would let us in. They even had to see proof of my boyfriends latest pay, to make sure he wasn’t planning on finding a job in the states, imagine that! We didn’t want to, cause these things are private, aren’t they? But we didn’t have a choice … it was either that, or “leave and don’t come back”.

    I wonder if americans would take that from another country, since they are all so protective about their own personal information.

    Oh, and don’t make jokes to people working for the governement, cause that’ll almost make them consider you a criminal …

    I wish your wife all the luck!
    She has the right, just like everyone else, to go wherever she wants to.

  3. Insanity! But it might do if only George Bush and all his rotten crew (plus border guards) had to be finger-printed, photographed, and strip-searched every place they went for about a month. I’m not a seer but I predict the law would get amended pretty quick.

    Unfortunately there’ re different rules for them and us. In my opinion that’s not democracy.

    Japan is jumping on the same mad bandwagon. Even making residents be photographed and fingerprinted on every return to Japan. They’ve exempted themselves (Japanese citizens) and diplomats and “special people”, whoever they are.

    I want Mr. Abe fingerprinted, photographed, and maybe strip-searched every time he comes back to Japan. For good measure, he should have to pay 4000 or 8000 yen out of his own pocket for the privilege of leaving and returning to Japan. Then we’d see.

    But America started it.

    Sorry about your wife.

  4. It is madness. Even though we know nobody is more fearful than a bully, it does not make it easier. I take some comfort in knowing that nothing lasts forever, even the US. However, on a stinking depressing note, human nature may just replace the US with some other fear-full bully entity.

  5. Well, it looks like the embassy people were pretty nice… at least the guy that my wife got. I was really relieved when she called and told me that it had gone smoothly and quickly and not at all as rude and bullying as twelve years ago. They even gave her a one year visa allowing her to actually go and visit the States whenever she wanted, so at least the Â¥18,000 was not for nothing. She’s leaving for Brazil in a week. I’m going to miss her.

    Vegetablej, it is true about Japan, isn’t it. Always the lapdog. And the nationalism is beginning to stink here. Just hope it doesn’t turn ugly. Too much of this kind of stuff arises out of kneejerk emotions. And recently the Japanese have been feeling the need to reain their “Japaneseness”. A wonderful sentiment if it didn’t involve so much zenophobia.

  6. butuki

    Think peace. Even when your neighbour is a mindless jerk, think peace. Your art will last. A poem may be eternal.

    The slavering, bootstamping, flag-saluting will become – as it always does – a memory of shame. Who had the greatest political power in Germany between 1685 and 1750? I have no idea – and (probably) neither do you, unless you look it up. But many of us recognize those years as the life of J.S.Bach whom we DO remember, and who will continue to be remembered long after this particular batch of fingerprint-taking, $180-grabbing bullys subside back into another embarrassment for which we apologise.

    Think peace, my friend. See a fresh haiku, hear a bright painting, smell a new melody, smile one crystal tear of culture. You know – you do know – that only love will last.

    Blessings to you and your wife.

    With love, Ian

  7. Rhonda Wiltse

    99.9% of the people that hate Americans,do so for one reason and one reason only… THEY’RE JEALOUS!

  8. For the whatever % of the Americans who did not vote for GW Bush, IT NOT our fault!!!
    We were robbed! outsited, and overthrown and live in exile in our own country!
    It not our lault!!!

  9. Ian, that was a beautiful and reassuring comment… and one of the best proofs of how valuable the experience of the world is in and of itself, beyond the practical and economic price that so many so called “realists” call for when demanding reasons for protecting something, that I have read in a long time. Very well put!

    Rhonda, I had myself a hearty and satisfying laugh at your words… but not for the reasons you would think. Pray tell, what are 99.9% of the people jealous of? Do share.

  10. Zen, wow, that first video was powerful. Is the outrage being expressed by a lot of people right now in the US? Or is it just a few people who won’t make much difference? As a non-American I can’t vote, of course, but the Bush administration has made so many decisions over the rest of us outside the States that it is infuriating not being able to have a say in its continued existence. Even Keith Olberman made no reference to people outside the US (probably because he was addressing Americans and had to be careful how he worded his persuasion, but that in itself shows just how indifferent so many Americans are to the rest of the world, almost as if we don’t all live in the same world and the rights and voices of people outside the States are irrelevant), only bringing up the disaster of Iraq as an American issue.

    All I can offer is my deepest condolences; I know how hard it must be to be lumped in with all those Americans who have made a mockery of those things that you believe in. But perhaps Ian’s words are the way to approach all this without losing your mind… In the meantime all the rest of us out here pray that Bush makes some kind of irrevocable mistake that will bring him down.

  11. Butuki-san what is most frightening about all this is the news is quiet about all this.
    All polls say how he is at a all time low in ratings, but anything/everything else is silent.
    Including how is now gave himself power to cancel the election if he think it is a national security issue. Western New Rome is decaying.

    “only love will last”

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