Security is a sensitive topic for Americans. In the post 911/War on Terror/Iraq era, it's easy to see why. Men are in harms way, and the country remains on a war footing.
At what price?
American airports are starkly reminiscent of George Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. People bustle to and fro, under the watchful eyes of security officers, and accompanied by the droning of propaganda. "The threat level is orange", blare the loudspeakers. Television monitors tell the stories boys and families damaged by combat. Even the very name of the border patrol — homeland defence — conjures images of threats and war.
This photograph, taken on the F Concourse at Philadelphia International Airport, shows no fewer than 9 visible surveillance cameras, and as you walk further you will discover more — a dozen in total. Some of them are less than two yards apart.
My friends in America, as you head to your elections, ask yourselves whether the fear fomented by the current administration is justified. Is it rational, or paranoid? Ask yourselves what the right thing is for Iraq, too.
I am not discounting how hard these problems are, nor would it be appropriate for me to suggest that another could have done a better job than Mr. Bush. He's your President, you elected him, and presumably he's what the majority of your electorate wanted. Besides, I don't have the right to vote in your country.
The situation deserves a real debate, that's all. After all, the price of security is liberty.