US Customs an inherent part of the Imperialist project!

Today I experienced the most ridiculous exercise I had ever come across. It is probably the only thing I can say was a complete waste of the time of all involved. And this has nothing to do with my outright objections to what it was… it all unfolded on a transit stop at Honolulu on my way to Vancouver, Canada.

The purpose of the transit stop was for the plane to re-fuel for the second leg of the flight. My thoughts were – based on past experiences – that we would alight and wait in a transit lounge for the 90-minutes stipulated in the itinerary. This was not the case. We were told we would need to pass through US customs – even though we were not leaving the airport. And guess what that entails: an exercise in nothing more than imperialist attempts to monitor everyone in the world! Being ‘filmed’ (i.e. face recognition scanning) was the least controversial part on the scale of things. Scan’s of index fingers on both hands was also required! If I (and all the other passengers) were not even ‘entering’ the USA why was this necessary – perhaps more importantly how could this be justified?

Those who have read any of my other rants may conclude that why I think many of the reasons why is based on my having significant issues with such an intrusion on my personal liberty framed under a guise of border protection and safety. And responses I have seen of US citizen’s do little to change the generalised stereotype many from the lesser world (i.e. the insignificant other that exists outside the centre of the earth – read: USA) hold. Whilst many may agree that those entering your country have to obey by your ‘laws’ – and I am open in admitting that I do not – do you not think this has gone too far. Oh but protecting freedoms you say! If this is not the most ironic and hypocritical response I have ever heard…

Without rambling further and indicating how outrageous and imperialist I consider the imposition and the explicit assumptions attributed to such a ‘policy’ is, I think the redicularity of this is clear in what followed. After passing through US customs we ended up following a path through deserted sections of the airport, up a fire escape and back to US Customs so we could got to the departure gate. Not only did we have to go through another bag search – by this time the fifth, shoes had to be removed and my belt (a canvas one!)… after passing through even more ‘checks’, before we even arrived at the departure lounge the call for boarding was made. So all we did was walk off the plane, have numerous searches and intrusions of privacy based on some constructed notion of protecting freedoms, and walk back onto the plane without stopping once – except in the queue for these ‘checks’!

I think it says it all. Needless to say I will not fly Air Canada again and will make it clear to them that their tacit (at best) support for such draconian, ridiculous and imperialist policies is a significant problem. That these are imposed on those not even entering the US – and not made clear at the time of ticket purchase…

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