How We Got Here
In 1930 Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden formed the Saudi Binladin Group. He quickly grew to one of the most powerful people in the country with close ties to the Saudi government. The Saudi Government is led by a government following the philosophies of Wahabbism.
In 1942 the United States government seized the assets of Prescott Sheldon Bush under the terms of the Trading with the Enemy Act. Mr. Bush was trading with the Nazi government and his family was under pressure by two former slaves from Auschwitz for damages in 2004. He never served a single day in prison for profiting from his trade with the Nazis.
In 1952 Prescott Bush was elected to be the Senator of Connecticut as a member of the Republican Party.
In 1967 his son, George H.W. Bush was elected to the US House of Representatives from Texas’s 7th district.
In 1971 George H.W. Bush became the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
On 20 January 1981 George H.W. Bush became the Vice President of the United States. As Vice President and President the Reagan/Bush administration supported far right militias such as the Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen (a paramilitary group) and Contras in Nicaragua against communists. One member of the Mujahideen was al Qaeda, led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden.
On 17 January 1995 George W. Bush became the Governor of Texas.
On 20 January 2001 George W. Bush became the President of the United States.
On 11 September 2001 al Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and attempted to bomb the United States Capital.
On 21 August 2004 the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States released its recommendations in response to the September 11th Attacks. This included recommendations for travel visas for foreign nationals from every country except Canada, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands in what has become known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Chapter 12), and one thing which was missing were any significant reactions to the Saudi Government’s continual funding of terrorist activities by an ongoing refusal to prosecute their citizens who fund terrorism abroad. Their refusal to enforce their laws about financing terrorism is hard to distinguish from being a State Sponsor of Terrorism when measured by impact.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if you punish Peter because Paul committed a crime, with my degree in political science I call this a GROSS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE. That is exactly what the ESTA is in my opinion. Member States of the European Union have all proven time and time again that they are willing to prosecute violent extremists of every ideology. They have strong social safety nets, excellent education systems, and there has never once been an attack on American soil by a citizen of a member state of the European Union. Perhaps the most egregious section of this document is this claim:
Since the international struggle against Islamist terrorism is not internal, those provisions do not formally apply,but they are commonly accepted as basic standards for humane treatment.
The 9/11 Commission report is poorly researched and doesn’t serve the purpose of reducing terrorism around the world. It fully served as an agenda to validate the far right values of the Bush Family which they have held since at least the 1930s.
In short, if the goal of the ESTA is to prevent terrorist attacks, the 9/11 Commission Report does not provide any evidence about how German tourists are at all connected with the additional requirements they have put on these tourists.
The ESTA was implemented on January 12, 2009, 8 days until George W. Bush left office.
New Travel Visas between Free Countries are Bigger than America
Several other countries have built their own security apparatuses. Australia was the first to implement such a system in 1996. Canada announced their intention to build a similar system on 10 November 2016 under extreme pressure from the government of the United States. New Zealand has implemented a similar policy last year, which is expected to have a negative impact on their economy. The European Union implemented a similar system in 2018. Japan is starting a rollout of a similar system, I expect it will be expanded to include all countries in the near future. South Korea is also planning the implementation of their own ETA in 2021.
The only countries which are wealthy (at least $20,000 GDP per capita) and have a high level of press freedom (Press Freedom Index under 40) and a low corruption score (Corruption Perceptions Index above 60) which have true visa free travel today and plan on keeping it are Ireland, Israel, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
The reason for this in most cases is the election of right wing governments. With the exception of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, all of the other countries which have rolled out these policies have done so after their right wing parties have gained power.
Here is a map of countries which are rated as low corruption and high incomes (including all European Union member states):
If we shade the countries which have true visa free travel, thee are only 4 countries in the world today which fit this description.
So what’s the point
According to the CBC,
It’s supposed to help catch people who might pose a security risk or who might stay in Canada longer than is legal, since these travellers don’t go through the formal vetting process required by those who need to get a visa.
This is pretty much the same reason in every country (with the exception in the Canadian case where the main reason was American bullying). In reality, I cannot find a single case where somebody from one of these free and developed countries has committed a serious crime in one of the other countries implementing these schemes. The reality is that most terrorist attacks (which the 9/11 commission report is claiming these will protect us from) are committed by people close to where they live, and hold citizenship in the country they commit the attack in.
If we are trying to stop terrorist attacks, which are mostly done by people close to where they live, implementing visas on our allies will not make us safer.
The governments of the world which have implemented these visas over the last 30 years need to do a thorough study into the impact of such policies. If they cannot prove that these visas are increasing safety, the policies need to be scrapped because they are expensive, ineffective, and bad for the world.