National Security and Letting Foreigners In

From the blog of the New Yorker’s George Packer (read his “The Assassins’ Gate”:

August 16, 2007
Persian Nights

The other night, my wife and I took a young Iranian couple, political exiles awaiting a decision on their application for asylum, to their first baseball game. The Mets lost a close one to the Marlins at what we had renamed for the evening �??Shia�?? Stadium�??appropriate for a team that, despite its underdog reputation and history of heartbreaking defeats, has recently been getting stronger.

I had given the couple a baseball primer a few nights earlier and rediscovered that it�??s the most complicated game in the world: it takes five minutes just to explain tagging up (which I forgot to do, and which turned out to be the key play of the game).

They picked things up fast, admiring baseball�??s tactical subtlety without fully understanding it, and were riveted by every pitch. But what struck them most was the behavior of the crowd: so pleasant, so good-natured, even after a loss. (I told them that things would have been a little different in the Bronx).

In the parking lot, the husband pointed to a row of buses: after the Tabriz-Tehran football match, he said, every one of them would be burned to a shell, and the windshields of most of the cars shattered.

Spring training and most of a season have passed since the couple applied for asylum. All foreigners who brush up against our immigration system these days�??especially ones from Muslim countries�??know that September 11th and the bureaucratic black hole known as the Department of Homeland Security have created a process that seems designed to thwart them.

An Iraqi friend who is about to start his second year here as a Fulbright scholar left the country for the summer and is now stuck outside: the government insists on repeating the background check that�??s already been done once and takes months. Visa applications can take half a year to process; the number of foreign students admitted has dropped; tens of thousands of slots set aside for refugees go unfilled.

No one wants a terrorist to slip into the U.S., and no official wants to be held responsible. The first consideration is critical; the second is what seems to create much of the red tape. The national security benefit of keeping foreigners out has to be weighed against the very real national security benefit of letting them in. Most foreigners find that they like America a good deal better than its foreign policy. A trip to Shea Stadium is worth all the Presidential speeches on human freedom put together.

Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer. [/quote]

So you’re saying we need to keep more British soccer fans out?

[quote]Ren wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer.

So you’re saying we need to keep more British soccer fans out?[/quote]

Well, soccer is not really a sport so the British rioting may not count. Fact is, the Brits might have been rioting because they wanted to actually SEE a sport, like Rugby.

I have found that Middle Easterners, when alone or a small group, tend to act rationally. Fill a stadium with 'em and you’re lucky to get out alive. Hitler, with just his ability to control crowds, could have conquered the ME with just words. Didn’t need the Afrika Korps at all.

[quote]Ren wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer.

So you’re saying we need to keep more British soccer fans out?[/quote]

Them too!

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Ren wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer.

So you’re saying we need to keep more British soccer fans out?

Well, soccer is not really a sport so the British rioting may not count. Fact is, the Brits might have been rioting because they wanted to actually SEE a sport, like Rugby.

I have found that Middle Easterners, when alone or a small group, tend to act rationally. Fill a stadium with 'em and you’re lucky to get out alive. Hitler, with just his ability to control crowds, could have conquered the ME with just words. Didn’t need the Afrika Korps at all.

[/quote]

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche

[quote]orion wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Ren wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Perhaps we should be even more vigilant in keeping people out.

Do we really want to fill our country with people who come from a land that cannot enjoy a simple sporting event without rioting?

We must be extra careful to make sure they are the best their countries have to offer.

So you’re saying we need to keep more British soccer fans out?

Well, soccer is not really a sport so the British rioting may not count. Fact is, the Brits might have been rioting because they wanted to actually SEE a sport, like Rugby.

I have found that Middle Easterners, when alone or a small group, tend to act rationally. Fill a stadium with 'em and you’re lucky to get out alive. Hitler, with just his ability to control crowds, could have conquered the ME with just words. Didn’t need the Afrika Korps at all.

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche[/quote]

Insanity is rare in individuals? Give me a break! People are crazy!

[quote]orion wrote:
Friedrich Nietzsche[/quote]

Oddly enough, this is like a page from the “Islam’s Problems with Democracy” Thread.

Irish, if you’re reading this, I knew someone would get to him eventually… lol.