David Pryce-Jones describes the hardships of getting a Visa in the UK:
"We took a cab as parking a car is out of the question in central London. Another $25 (and the same again leaving.) Approach roads to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square have been narrowed, and fortified with bollards, concrete barriers and wire fences reminiscent of Baghdad’s Green Zone. British policemen were cradling sub-machine guns — not long ago the British were specially proud that their police were unarmed. We queued for almost an hour until reaching the metal detector. Car keys with locking devices were not permitted, but had to be deposited in a pharmacy some hundreds of yards away (and for a fee.)
"Eventually we reached the embassy itself, received a number and sat in a vast room with the other visa applicants — they do seven hundred a day, every day. Around me were people speaking Russian, Greek and French, also people from India and Africa speaking languages I couldn’t identify, the old and the young and babies in arms. Several hours later, our number was called, and we received a visa valid for ten years, plus the information — gently delivered — that it was unnecessary."
So what does he conclude? That our governments are huge, stupid, wasteful bureaucratic nightmares? Nope:
"That terrorists have contrived to add a new level of ugliness to the surroundings, and much bureaucratic inconvenience, which is a success of sorts for them."
Oh, the terrorists made me stick electrodes on prisoners' testicles! They made me kill a million Iraqis! And when I drank too much last night -- the terrorists made me do that, too.
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