Friday, July 21, 2017

See the world!

If you want to go to North Korea, better hurry. The nasty guy’s team is close to announcing a ban on travel to NK. The NK dictator Kim Jong Un is probably delighted Americans won’t be snooping around anymore.

It is for our safety, right? NK is a dangerous place. An American tourist, Otto Warmbier, was arrested and jailed. He was sent back to America because he was in a coma. He died soon after. Sure. But why not just issue a travel caution? Why invalidate passports of those who go?

That really worries Melissa McEwan of Shakesville. Is this the first instance of disallowing travel for average citizens? Is that Mexican border wall for keeping people out or is it for keeping people in?
This strikes me as the exploitation of a tragic situation in order to have an excuse to set a precedent for banning U.S. citizens' travel to other places.

I have long suspected that the Trump administration would eventually disallow foreign travel for average citizens. That is, that we simply won't be allowed to leave.

This brings to mind such things as the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain. Why do authoritarian regimes block the exits? First, too many people would just leave. Second, those that came back would know life can be better when not under a dictator.

Commenter rtavi responds to McEwan, wondering if it is only alarmism:
Do you really think that is the end game?
McEwan replies in another comment:
I do. I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it, and I wouldn't believe it without reason. I've been paying very close attention to Trump and the people with whom he surrounds himself and the precise language that he and they use for two years. Yes, I believe that this is the end game.

I'm not in the habit of alarming my readership, about whom I care very much, unless I genuinely believe there is something to be alarmed about.

I think the difference between what I fear will happen in the U.S. and the Iron Curtain is that travel restrictions in the U.S. may be enforced only on certain parts of the population, with exemptions for the wealthy, without the requirement of clear loyalty to the government/regime, thus offering some illusion of continued normalcy.

You're absolutely right about the United States' fixation on "freedom," and I will note that conservative Americans (and not a few liberals) have been consistently willing to trade their actual freedoms in exchange for promises of protecting their "freedom." See, for example, the PATRIOT Act.

That's why this is so scary: It's being billed as an act of protection of American citizens. Which almost certainly means it is categorically not.

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