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U.S. state department travel alert to Europe

U.S. state department travel alert to Europe

Old May 2, 17, 4:46 pm
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U.S. state department travel alert to Europe

Has anyone heard about this recent alert? I find it so ridiculous

Look at all the dangers that an American will have to face: not everyone is armed to the teeth, they might walk more than the 50 feet from the living room to the garage, eat real food, drink beer that doesn't taste like rhino piss, and (gasp) talk to someone in a different language!

https://travel.state.gov/content/pas...gs/Europe.html

Jokes aside, anyone else think that this is yet another irrational post-9/11 response? Sure, terrorist attacks are flashy enough to make global headlines, but they're really just statistical noise compared to other homicides and deaths overall...
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Old May 2, 17, 5:14 pm
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I don't know that I'd call it ridiculous, but it is certainly broad and vague.

I took it as general recognition that there have been a number of terrorist attacks in Europe over the last year or so. What I found odd was the Sept 1 expiration. I suppose that means we'll get a new alert on 9/1.

It certainly wouldn't stop me from traveling to Europe.
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Old May 2, 17, 5:32 pm
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Its an alert. It isn't telling you not to go. It's like a tornado watch. Its not telling you to hide, or cancel your plans, just that a potential exists and to be aware of your surroundings and have an emergency plan. Something everyone should do when they travel or at home anyway. I think there was an identical alert last year. A recognition that it is high season for Americans (especially novice travelers) who travel to Europe. Doesn't seem irrational or ridiculous at all.
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Old May 2, 17, 5:40 pm
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Pre-emptive move a day before EU Commission was to make a decision about revoking visa-free travel for Americans. EU today decided not to suspend visa-free travel. It all makes sense now.
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Old May 3, 17, 3:32 am
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Perhaps the US should put out an alert saying Americans should go to Europe to be safer than they are in the US?

Perhaps Europe should put out an alert for the US over drunk driving and gun violence? I'm pretty sure that in the US I'm more at risk of death due to vehicular accident and/or criminal violence than I am of that in Sweden or Switzerland or France.
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Old May 3, 17, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Perhaps the US should put out an alert saying Americans should go to Europe to be safer than they are in the US?

Perhaps Europe should put out an alert for the US over drunk driving and gun violence? I'm pretty sure that in the US I'm more at risk of death due to vehicular accident and/or criminal violence than I am of that in Sweden or Switzerland or France.
I don't see why it's a bad thing warning your citizens to be vigilant in areas that have seen a rise in terror attacks.

As an American, I would warn Europeans visiting the US to be vigilant for terror attacks in the US too. Or as a Chicagoan, warning them not to visit certain neighborhoods on the west side of the city at night.
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Old May 4, 17, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I don't see why it's a bad thing warning your citizens to be vigilant in areas that have seen a rise in terror attacks.

As an American, I would warn Europeans visiting the US to be vigilant for terror attacks in the US too. Or as a Chicagoan, warning them not to visit certain neighborhoods on the west side of the city at night.
For a population with a limited attention span, such a warning is a waste of attention and counterproductive given the various worse risks out there in the US already for US persons/citizens. That is why it's a "bad thing".

This kind of alert does nothing but serve as a governmental "we told you so"/"don't blame us" move, heighten paranoia and undermine international commerce for no good reason (and on that basis). What does "be vigilant for terror attacks" really mean for most people? Nothing useful.

The risk of being subjected to -- or at the scene of -- a violent crime (at the time of the crime) resulting in serious bodily harm on the street while in the worst neighborhoods in the US is far higher than the risk of the same with regard to a multi-target terrorist attack or other violent crime while in the EU (even if in the worst neighborhoods in the EU). The risk of a US person being subjected to a violent crime in the EU is far higher than the risk of being subjected to a multi-target terrorist attack in the EU -- especially if the US person is of non-European ethnic background in part or whole. Where is a new US State Department alert about rising racism and racist attacks in Europe?

The government is peddling this narrative of "be vigilant for terrorist attacks" for reasons that have the risk of terrorism as but an afterthought. For a population with limited attention span and far greater risks at home than that of being subjected to a serious violent crime in Europe, the US State Department would be better protecting US persons if it told US persons to get a passport and leave the US for Europe. Then we'd be safer. And EU persons would be safer if they didn't visit the US, but the State Department isn't saying that either to potential and actual visitors.
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Old May 4, 17, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
And EU persons would be safer if they didn't visit the US, but the State Department isn't saying that either to potential and actual visitors.
The concern of the US State Dept. is US citizens.

I don't disagree that it's a silly warning, and that harm could happen to anyone anywhere. I just don't feel the need for such a strong reaction!
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Old May 4, 17, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
The concern of the US State Dept. is US citizens.

I don't disagree that it's a silly warning, and that harm could happen to anyone anywhere. I just don't feel the need for such a strong reaction!
If the concern of the US State Deprtment is US citizens, lowering the cost of passports and encouraging US citizens to go to Europe would be good for the lot of us since the risks of being subjected to criminal violence and being seriously harmed or killed as a result is lower in the EU than in the US.

Perhaps I've been around State long enough to know that the concern isn't first and foremost that about US citizens.
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Old May 4, 17, 12:25 pm
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I don't think it's a strong reaction at all. The State Dept should know better than to create more bogeymen to scare more U.S. citizens.

"Oh noes! Foreigners! Foreign lands! Scary!" There's that 0.00001% chance you get killed by brown guy!
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Old May 4, 17, 6:20 pm
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The bogeymen don't need to be created. They're certainly out there. They may not go for you specifically at the specific time you're there, but if you travel to Paris or a number of other cities in Europe, you can bet your a** that you're within a few miles of a not entirely insignificant number of people who want your head on a platter. This of course doesn't just apply to a visiting American but to locals as well and they have to live with the risk every day.

Whether there is a practical benefit to this type of warning is a different question. I think it's a CYA exercise so no-one can later on tell their local news channel excitedly that no-one had warned them of the risk.

A general reminder to be vigilant and look out for things that look suspicious is as valid at home as it is on travels though. At least in D.C. these reminders are indeed frequently communicated to people on public transport for example.
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Old May 5, 17, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by leungy18 View Post
Has anyone heard about this recent alert? I find it so ridiculous

Look at all the dangers that an American will have to face: not everyone is armed to the teeth, they might walk more than the 50 feet from the living room to the garage, eat real food, drink beer that doesn't taste like rhino piss, and (gasp) talk to someone in a different language!

https://travel.state.gov/content/pas...gs/Europe.html

Jokes aside, anyone else think that this is yet another irrational post-9/11 response? Sure, terrorist attacks are flashy enough to make global headlines, but they're really just statistical noise compared to other homicides and deaths overall...

Given the premise of your post, which I don't disagree with, I do think this post really belongs in the USA section - rather than the Europe section.
(As we are all agreed there is nothing particularly relevant or news worthy here.) It is more a post about US govt policy and USA perceptions than ROW.

In all seriousness, it is proably OMNI-PR.
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Old May 6, 17, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Its an alert. It isn't telling you not to go. It's like a tornado watch. Its not telling you to hide, or cancel your plans, just that a potential exists and to be aware of your surroundings and have an emergency plan. Something everyone should do when they travel or at home anyway. I think there was an identical alert last year.
I agree.
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Old May 9, 17, 9:01 am
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The State Department didn't issue an alert to Americans about the dangers of being by or in water abroad even as there was this travel alert about going to/being in Europe. In the meantime, two American women were killed in Denmark on Saturday while in or around Copenhagen's water bodies. Jet ski driver placed into custody for the Saturday killing of the two American women in Denmark. When can we expect the government to issue an international travel alert about the dangers of being around bodies of water?
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Old May 9, 17, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The State Department didn't issue an alert to Americans about the dangers of being by or in water abroad even as there was this travel alert about going to/being in Europe. In the meantime, two American women were killed in Denmark on Saturday while in or around Copenhagen's water bodies. Jet ski driver placed into custody for the Saturday killing of the two American women in Denmark. When can we expect the government to issue an international travel alert about the dangers of being around bodies of water?
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