Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Washington's Wailing Wall

Michael Chertoff's legacy is to build for America the 8th Wonder of the World, the Great Wall of Mexico. This monumental madness will certainly make people of the world wonder: "What insanity drove them to build that monstrosity?" China's more than 2,000 year old wall is now a tourist attraction, after it has outlived its usefulness as a deterrent for unwanted invaders. Chertoff's wall is a tourist and environmental repulsion, using 21st century technology for a 1st century concept that history has repeatedly proven to be incapable of stemming the tide of human intent.

Like his counterparts in China more than 2,000 years ago who erected a wall to fend off invaders, Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff's wall intends to substantially minimize, if not totally flatten out the illegal entry of Mexicans into US territory. Authorities say that the sea of illegal immigrants provide an ideal cover and venue by which terrorists can hide, which also offers a reliable means of entry. However, of the 735,000 illegals caught in 2004 and the 1.2 million intercepted in 2005, none were terrorists; just poor folks looking for a way to make a living by taking menial jobs Americans detest, where the pay cannot fill their belly with beer while watching their favorite weekend sport on TV.

Walls were never a deterrent for the intention to enter, legally or otherwise. Jericho's walls collapsed on the trumpets of Joshua; China's walls were penetrated time and again through bribery, fear, siege, threats, among others; the Berlin Wall could not prevent escapes and entries until its final collapse; the Gaza strip wall likewise collapsed. What makes Chertoff believe this wall will be different might be the fact that it's state-of-the-art. In truth, it only shows the state of America's inhospitable attitude and its dreadful art of expressing vulgar conceit.

Surveys show that the wall is supported by the populations affected at 56% against those who oppose at 31%. The surveys have naturally injected the word terrorist as a fear factor for voting in favor of the wall. This unsightly structure ignores the effects on the environment where numerous species endemic to area could be adversely affected, the water systems and resources that would be trashed by steel and concrete, the damage that the bulldozers and graders would generate, the partitioning of the lands of three nations of Native Americans - lands that were given for them to settle out of the goodness of the white man's heart - even if these were not arable and worthless, and the properties of ranchers that would be forcefully partitioned just so the wall is erected.

In financial terms, the initial cost of building the barrier was stated at around $2.5 billion, but the infrastructure alone can easily exceed that amount. Add to this the cost of maintaining and manning the walls, with all state-of-the art equipment and vehicles, the cost is expected to go up to $60 billion. On top of this, Homeland Security is locked in legal battles with landowners which could tie up completion and further escalate costs. All these for a disgraceful and senseless wall that illegals can overcome by going around, going over, or going under. Already, 40 tunnels have been discovered and the Mexicans can build a hundred more along the 2,000 kilometer stretch. Money that could have been used for productive purposes, or finding real solutions to the immigration problem will be wasted on a wall that will be scaled one way or the other by the determination of those who seek to improve their lives.

Americans who favor the wall must be feeling like the Native Americans felt when the white population came in droves into their lands seeking a better life, just like the Mexicans today. Perhaps there is fear that the Mexicans will retake Texas. Sitting Bull. Geronimo, and Crazy Horse must be chuckling in their graves. The costs of health care and crimes committed by illegals are also being bandied as a reason for the barring of illegals. These are peanuts compared to health costs to consumers of food and medicines with toxic substances and deadly chemical components sold by big US corporations. The crimes of many favored companies like Enron certainly dwarfs the cost of the crimes of the illegals. The fact is, if the surveys are accurate, 56% don't like poor Mexicans polluting the bloodline of the supreme white race, it will wipe out their purity and diminish their attractiveness to the world at large.

And Chertoff's obsession with erecting the wall may be due to a failure to erect something else. Compared to the wall, viagra would be a lot less cheaper.


Source: New York Times, Washington Post, Google Photos


upyours said...

To paraphrase the Filipino sociologist Randy David, "It's better to have a community (or a country) divided by a moral debate than one united by unexamined impulses".
There is a small noisy minority that has been dominating the debate on this issue, personified by high profile mouthpieces like Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly and the racist hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). They claim to speak for the majority of Americans when survey after survey shows that the American public wants the issue of illegal immigration resolved as humanely as possible. It is a hot-button issue but not politically expedient to resolve at this time.
America must do two things. First, get a reliable approximation of the problem's magnitude. Declare a moratorium on deportation and grant temporary protected status to entice these people to come out so authorities will know how many and where they are and do criminal background checks. If you have a criminal record, sorry, out you go. This will be the only reason for immediate deportation. Anyone who does not register within the prescribed period will be presumed to have a criminal record and be subject to deportation.
Second, come to terms with and admit to the racist underpinnings of this issue. Come on, the real reason these illegal immigrants are not welcome is because they are poor, uneducated and brown (or at least non-Caucasian). At least have the moral courage to admit to this. The world will hate Americans more but at least the world will give you their grudging respect. "Hey, these racist assholes are honest".

Artbeat said...

Sometimes the sheer stupidity of American politics just astounds me. America lead the protests against the comunist block with the Berlin wall and rejoiced at its destruction.

Can they even contemplate such folly that raised the ire of the civilised world.

On another note, during a time of conscription in the South African Defence force "Conciencous Objectors" who refused to serve in a fighting capacity in the military were forced to plant miles of sisal plants between the Namibian and Angolan border to keep out infiltrators.

I can only imagine 30 years on, the impenatratable jungle of sharp prickly thorns today that would stop man and machine from crossing that border.

Sadly those who refused to serve were branded cowards and incarcerated in military prisons.

The illegal immigrant problem is not unique to America, our country has no idea how many illegals there are in this country, estimates are, its around 10 million or more but the government will not acknowledge the figure.

Added to this, a huge unemployment figure estimated at 40 to 50% highlites the serious problem of illegal immegrants.

Building a wall along our borders with numerous other countries will not solve the problem though.

Instead of turning a blind eye to our neighbour "Zimbabwe" and pretending Robert Mugabe is the black messiah, our government could get actively involved in other ways with the Zimbabwean problem and so stem the tide of poor helpless people who risk life and limb to enter South Africa in search of o better life.

Sadly this only agravates the lot of the local labour force as the illegals are prepared to work for slaves wages in order to survive, yet in so doing they deprive the locals of jobs and drive up the unemployment rate.

But yes a humane solution is needed not a wall.

Kim said...

hmmmm Durano ....
very interesting post and I imagine there will always be many on both sides of the fence ...so to speak...
I remember visiting the wailing wall in Jerusalem and was quite appalled to find that only men were permitted entry to the inner sanctums.....the poor women had to be content to watch the antics of the men from a distance....

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Upyours,

I agree with your number one pre-qualifier and suggestion. But for them to admit that they are racist? That would be very difficult. The term has very bad connotations and is a cuss word. Besides, they would rather be seen as benevolent than racist. It would alienate them from the rest of the world. After they campaigned in South Africa on apartheid and now on Tibet. Perhaps the closest they would admit to, which could be acceptable to the rest of the world is that they have hypocritical issues to get over with. :-)

The fact is, we know that a significant number are racists and others try not to be so obvious. Those that are really trying are tolerant. Then there are those who really are not racist. How much that number is we will never know.

But definitely, a wall is one of the most insane solutions ever thought of in this day and age. Maybe they'll put a fence across Florida too to stop the Cubans.:-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Artbeat,

As I mentioned to you, you have a natural inclination for subjects of this sort. But I read your reply to my comment and I have to agree with you. This subject will ruin and may permanently damage the idyllic creations that find expression in your art - something that would add beauty to this disintegrating world that's so small and so connected, that politicians and world leaders fail to recognize. Makes you wonder why they are the leaders - they only lead the world to its doom.

Yes, a humane solution is needed, not an inhuman one. This wall is the epitome of the outstanding stupidity of the Bush Administration. That is about the only outstanding thing about American Politics in the last 7 years.

By the way, Kim Barker, the commenter below you is one of Australia's foremost artists and it's Number One blogger. I recommend you visit her site at Laketrees.com. She has inspired artists and non-artists alike, is a wonderful and very generous person, and a genius with canvass and paint. :-)--Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

Spending about $60 billion on a wall is too much. The fund could have been used to ease the misery and find real solutions that are more attuned to concerns for humanitarian issues.

This wall will only add more misery, and at an exorbitant price. It's like America wants to isolate itself to selfishly remove the poor away from whatever bounty they may have. Yet their economy is largely dependent on the poor all over the globe whom they cheat out of resources and rightful remuneration.

But I guess not all of them feel this way. Only 56%, the 31% objected while the rest abstained(?).I see a time when they will come to request poorer nations for help, of course after making threatening demands that no longer work. That's why it is important that genuine change takes place in the coming elections, otherwise, they could be doomed. The problem is, the change that may win could be cut short by assassination. This is how I sense the events.

I hope I'm wrong. :-) --Durano, done!