Friday, March 16, 2007

Saudi Visa Lunacy

According to President Bush, American soldiers are bleeding in the sands of Iraq because, if we leave, the terrorists will follow us back home. Yet, none of the 19 hijackers who murdered almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11 were Iraqis. Fifteen of them, however, were Saudis. And while the administration continues to squander American lives and treasure in Iraq (to prevent the terrorists from coming back to the US), he has opened the door for Saudi students to come to America by the thousand:

RIYADH, 15 March 2007 — The number of student visas for Saudis pursuing higher studies in the US shot up to over 11,000 last year, nearly three times more than the pre-9/11 figure of 4,359 in 2001, according to US Undersecretary for International Trade Franklin L. Lavin.

The number of visas issued for all categories last year stood at 25,000, down from the pre-9/11 figure of over 60,000, he said.

Lavin also announced at a press conference here yesterday that the US has proposed to the Saudi government that the duration of business visas be extended for up to three years. This would make it easier for the business community from both sides to have multiple-entry facilities instead of visas with three- to six-month duration.

“The Saudi side feels the same way as this will reduce the nuisance factor,” he said at the press conference attended by Nasir Abbasi, commercial counselor, and Charles J. Skuba, director of public affairs, and Melissa G. Ford, press attache.

The undersecretary, who arrived here on Monday, met with Minister of Commerce and Industry Hashim Yamani and other senior officials. He said his visit was mainly for consultations with Saudis and to try to address some concerns facing American firms here.

“It was also to reach out to the Saudi side and the American business community in order to promote bilateral trade,” he said.

Referring to the increase in the issuance of student visas, he said: “Someone at the embassy is doing things right, as the turnaround time has improved.”

This is the "security" that the Bush administration offers America. Invade and make a mess of countries that did not attack the US (as vile as they may otherwise be), leave America's borders open to millions of invaders, and then permit a special program to permit exactly the sort of people (young, educated, Saudi men) who attacked the US on 9/11 to have easy entry into the US. It is almost as if the administration is working overtime to make sure another major attack on US soil happens before Bush leaves office.

If nothing else, the Bush administration excels at consistently making a mockery of its own security rhetoric.

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