Friday, August 05, 2005

American Pizza


The I-94 is familiar to travelers to the USA - it asks some brilliant questions such as "Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage, sabotage or in terrorist activities or genocide, or between 1939 and 45 were you involved in any way in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?"

Now, given we are over 60 years from the end of WW2, so most of these guys are probably long dead and buried. Also, very many governments, agencies and individuals have devoted a huge amount of effort to chasing down Nazi war criminals. So, all in all the chances of catching out a Evil Nazi mastermind by the trick of slipping a straight question half way down a customs entry form that needs filling in after a 8 hour flight (with a 6 hour time difference) from the Motherland is, lets face it, pretty damn unlikely.

However the space exists on the form, and there are newer, more serious threats and new, nastier, younger, fitter bad guys out there to try and catch.

Take for example, Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, who has recently been tried in the UK for "conspiring to kidnap and torture" whilst back in his homeland of Afghanistan before moving to Britain according to the BBC.

Lord Goldsmith (for the prosecution) told the court Mr Zardad, 41, was a war lord in charge of the Sarobi area outside the Afghan capital Kabul, at a time of much internal fighting.
"He wanted a fearsome reputation of being cruel and merciless at his military checkpoints, so that people passing through would obey them absolutely and give them money and goods"

Apparently his soldiers used "indiscriminate and unwarranted violence". "They would beat, wound and even shoot and kill civilians. They would detain and imprison them and hold them for ransom," and that a "human dog" was kept in a hole and set on passers-by to bite and attack them.

Mr Sarwar - also known as Zardad Khan - had moved to Britain in 1998 and was running a pizza restaurant in south London when he was arrested in July 2003.

Given the way Mr Sarwar slipped unnoticed into this country, and bearing in mind the exchange of intelligence, and close military ties and joint policy on Afghanistan currently being operated by the UK and the USA, maybe visitors to the USA can soon expect to see some of the more useless and obvious sections of the I-95 visa document replaced with:

"Have you ever been or are you now involved in the preparation of doughballs, garlic bread or side salads, or were you between 1997 and 2004 involved , in any way, in the activities of the following organizations - Domino's, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express or KFC?"

1 comment:

Professor Maurice Trigg said...

I read your comments with interest as I have studied this field for many years.

You may wish to read my book 'Pepperoni and the World of Islam' which explores this very issue.