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Travel Advisory Note

The secret weapon the West uses against Asia

Nury Vittachi,  Oct 05, 2008

Today, boys and girls, we will learn about an extremely dangerous weapon of mass destruction which is frequently used by Western governments to cause massive damage to Asian countries. It is small, portable, and cannot be detected by any security scanner. It is called The Travel Advisory Note.

These deadly items are carefully prepared in secret labs by unnamed officials known as "risk assessment experts", or, more accurately, "scum of the earth".

Take the time a couple of years ago when I had a work trip which involved spending a week at a luxury hotel in Bali. (Yeah, life's a bitch.)

The day before catching my flight to Jakarta, an Australian friend said: "You can't go to Indonesia. A travel advisory note has been issued against it."

I decided to investigate. It turned out that American intelligence agents had checked out the 235 million people in Indonesia and found a suspected Muslim.

This got them very excited. I could picture the scene. They probably overhead this guy saying to his wife, "I think I'll wipe out Western civilization tonight" or it might have been, "I think I'll try the Western-style crustacean tonight."

The U.S. government issued a travel advisory note ordering Americans to avoid the country. It was adopted in every American state, including Alaska, Hawaii, Britain and Australia. The Indonesian tourist industry died.

Two weeks later, a person in Vietnam was heard saying, "I think I have bird flu" or it may have been, "I think I'll have a burger too." The U.S. government promptly issued a travel advisory notice. The Vietnamese tourism industry died.

By the end of that summer, a wall of travel advisory notes had cut off almost the whole of Asia from the West.

Now I know you think I am exaggerating. Well, I am. But only a little.

Yet the tales above are not the most outrageous part of the story. That's the next bit-and it's not exaggerated at all.

In 2006, I had several speaking invitations to visit major cities in the West.

So I decided to check out the risk situation. The American government had issued a notice saying that the entire United States was on Orange Alert -- which was just one step away from "confirmed all-out terrorist attack".

And the UK? That was even worse. The chance of a terrorist attack on Britain was "highly likely", according to Home Secretary John Reid. He said: "The threat in this country is very high indeed," and could only be categorized as "severe".

Then I flipped to the various records of travel advisory documents and "risk assessment" ratings.

Yes, much of Asia was still listed as a dangerous, no-go area.

And yes, the U.S. and the UK were still listed as completely safe.

Is more proof needed that travel advisory notices exist only to stop people coming to Asia?

It reminded me of the good old days of the summer of 2003, when the SARS virus was found in Toronto and my home base, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was promptly isolated from the planet. The World Health Organization instructed everyone to shun Hong Kongers as if we were lepers or former Big Brother contestants.

And my friends in Toronto?

For them, the self-same WHO diagnosed a program of tea, sympathy, and lots of hugs.

The secret weapon the West uses against Asia

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