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Western Europe: Bastion of Terrorism?

If you haven’t yet been reminded by the mainstream media, the State Department has issued a travel advisory for western Europe. In an official statement, the State Department alerted all Americans about a potential for terrorist attacks, saying,”Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.  European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.”… Just like any announcement in this country involving terrorism, a bandwagon has been built and people are jumping on the fright train to staycation-ville.

Armed Military Police under the Eiffel Tower (Photo: Commonorgarden via Flickr)

Reporters have started digging up every worry wort in the travel industry to give them a few lines about the grave dangers faced by overweight, fanny-packed, white New Balance wearing Americans snapping photos of the Eiffel Tour.

Perhaps the biggest fear mongerer of them all is Bob Diener, president of GetARoom.com, an online travel agency which specializes in auctioning off discounted hotel rooms. This “travel expert”, who has no background in national security or terrorism, warned a Washington DC radio station that Americans should be avoiding embassies, glamorous hotels and public transportation during rush hours.

“Most people don’t realize this, but most Europeans wear shoes as they’re walking around Europe,” he added,”[Europeans] usually only wear sneakers to ballgames.”… I guess he also thinks we don’t realize that Americans never leave the house without a Dallas Cowboys hat and a belt buckle. You can see the entire moronic interview on WTOP’s website. I’m sure Mr. Deiner would rather us make the safe decision and purchase a discount hotel room in Witchita from his website.

French Military outside the Louvre in Paris (Photo: Jean Francois Gornet via Flickr)

In the 3rd paragraph, I ripped on Mr. Deiner for having no experience in national security or terrorism… well I don’t have a background in it either, but I’ll go ahead and make a statement as a travel writer, pilot and big city hotelier; “Go to Europe.” The media is making this warning out to be just as grave as the DoS’s urge for Americans to stay away from the Mexican border, which it isn’t (but still stay away from the border).

Don’t sneak around Paris dressed in a striped shirt, black jeans and baguette under your arm – just stay alert like you would in any city around the world.


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