Made our way back to D.C. yesterday, arriving about 30 minutes early at Dulles International Airport at 2:30 PM after a five hour flight from Kochi to Doha and a 14 hour flight from Doha to D.C.    Frankly both flights were okay – the fist leg a bit “noisy” from the under 5-year-old set but the second leg was peachy.  Now, if you haven’t been inconvenienced by Your President’s Muslim Travel Ban, you might not know that it is indeed causing “stuff” around the world.   We were subjected to an additional body search after we had checked into gate C-11 at cavernous Hamad International Airport.  Normally, you have the security check before you enter the airport proper, the second one after you’ve checked your bags and then a final one as you enter the waiting area at the gate.  In Kochi there is an additional check after you’ve entered the airport building itself and the area where all the ticket counters are for some reason that escapes me.  But then, that’s India.   

I have been through airports in the past where very thorough body searched take place but so far those have been in areas that were classified as Active War Zones like Baghdad or Kabul.  There was that time in Damascus where I got pulled out of line and subjected to a very rigorous body search (I won’t accuse the guy of molesting my junk but it sure felt like it!) but that was due to my having packed a “chain” into my carryon which turned out to be a 100 foot metal measuring tape.  But I digress.)

As a result of Your President’s Muslim Ban Executive Order, in Doha a special body search security check was added after our check-in at the gate and the final one  in the areaway that typically involves a random check of carry-ons.   This occurred after the one where you transition from the public hallways (miles long in Hamad International Airport, as it turns out) into the general “before you’ve shown your boarding pass to the gate personnel” gate C-11 waiting area into the fenced off area where you are supposed to sit in seats designated by your Group Number. 

I don’t recall this security check in Doha before having been though this airport maybe five times in the past.  Now, I could be mistaken.  After all, we are usually dead tired from the five hour flight we caught from Kochi to Doha at 3:30 AM at Kochi International Airport so I can’t say with 100% accuracy that this was an additional search or one of the many that just slipped my mind.  What I can say is except for a flight from Paris to D.C. just a couple of months after 9-11 I have never been subjected to such a thorough search.  Even, I’m thinking, in Baghdad or Kabul.  I do not remember a security guard running his fingers under my shirt collar or running his fingers all around my waist between my belt and me.   He also spent a overly lengthy time with his hands between my legs, you know, up around my crotch and stuff.  Of course, the guy was a young, reasonably good-looking Arab so maybe he was exploring some other line of inquiry at the time.  But I really wasn’t in the mood.

If you know me at all, you will know that I was very unhappy over this turn of events.  Why? you might ask?  Well, in the first place I not all that sanguine about all these security checks keeping real or potential terrorists from getting onto airliners.  Why, I ask, are we no longer required to put all of our liquid toiletries in a small plastic bag so the x-ray machine can determine if some mixture of your mouthwash, shampoo, body lotion and hand sanitizer might be explosive or why we have to remove our belts and shoes at some airports and not at others?   Trump’s Muslim ban, as I’ve noted here, is totally ineffective, a complete waste of time and effort and is only some sort of reality show spectacle that won’t make us any safer but will probably make us less safe since ISIS and Al Qaeda now have a fresh supply of “proof” that the West is really engaged in a religious war against Islam. 

Extremely unhappy and irritated that I was being subjected to increased security inspection measures as a result of Trump’s stupid Muslim Travel Ban, as you might imagine I took it upon myself to let a few people – including the good looking Arab guy who was feeling me up – know my feelings on the matter.   Yes, I was aware of the downside of making a fuss but I was tired.  Passing one ground attendant on my way through to the more secure inner waiting area after having my junk fondled, she said: “This is because of new security measures of the U.S. Government.”   Yes, of course, I was well and maddeningly aware of it.  My reply:  “Yes, I know, because of that stupid Trump.”

Remember.  We had just disembarked from a five hour long flight for which we started out from the Beach Road in Kochi at 11:00 PM.  So we had gotten no sleep before we left and now it was eleven hours later and we were dead tired.  And cranky.  So as I was searching around for a seat among the Washington passengers in the inner waiting area, CNN International was broadcasting on the TV screens overhead.  And what were they discussing?  Of course.  Trump’s travel ban which was being reviewed at a Federal District Court out in San Francisco.  “Fucking Trump!” suddenly issued unbidden from my lips.  Somewhat chagrined, I looked around at the waiting passengers.  Included in the group were several middle-aged men who looked as if they might have been Trump voters.  “What the fuck?” I thought to myself.  Let’s see if any of these cretans wanna “discuss” the merits of the Muslim Travel Ban.

“Fucking idiot Trump,” I mumbled loud enough to be overheard by folks within maybe a twelve or fifteen foot radius.  Two guys – both older, one with a bushy beard, the other with a substantial beer belly glanced in my direction.  I was so pissed that I said to myself, “I don’t give a shit.  Let these asshole say a word to me and I’m happy to create a ruckus, engage in fisticuffs, even get myself arrested over this unmitigated foolish Trump stupidity.

There were no takers.   I was able to calm myself down for the 14 hour flight to D.C. But as luck would have it, I got an opportunity to pop off one more time at Dulles International Airport Immigration.  After wrestling with the new automated entry system with instructions that me, with a masters degree, failed to decipher in three attempts, then having to go through the same shit with an ICE guy at the same old counter we always have to stop at, got separated from my partner.   I waited behind the long row of counters trying to spot him to no avail.   After about five minutes of wandering around some immigration bozoo yelled to me from his perch:  “Sir would you wait behind the glass?” He was referring to the glass wall that separates the ICE officers from the baggage claim area.     “Well,” I responded, “I’m waiting for a friend of mine and I don’t see them.”  To which he replied:

“For the safety of the officers you must wait on the other side of the glass wall.”

I almost burst out laughing.  If after eight security checks someone had managed to slip a gun, or a knife or some lethal combo of liquid potions into the ICE area at one of the most secure airports in the country, they deserved to suffer the consequences.  Really.  “For the safety of the officers.”  What a hoot the guy was!!

But we are back.  And despite Trump’s “"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" extreme vetting that un-American, treasonous judges are stalling the implementation of, thereby putting the entire country at risk of invading hoards of Islamic Terrorists who will come from seven Muslim nations and from no other country on the face of the earth, so far not a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil yet.  Of course, when we do have the next inevitable attack, Your President Trump will blame the “biased, politicized, and dumber than a bad high school student”  judges and our entire court system for it and not his own stupidity. 

And you know what the real problem is?  His supporters will believe him.

 Have a good day folks!  Yesterday when we landed in D.C. the folks here were in their second day of record high temperatures.  Today we’ve had some snow already!


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