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The Problem with Walls

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posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 08:53 PM
By the most astounding of circumstances, the leaders of three neighboring countries became stranded on a desert island. It is here that they found a tree granted, by yet even greater coincidence, three wishes. As civilized men do, they divided the wishes equally, one per person. The tree, impressed with their peaceful settling of differences, granted them each the bonus wish of being set down safely within their own native country.

Leader X, being of a rather nationalistic bias, wished that his country surrounded by a wall such that none could pass through. The wish was granted; earth and stone erupted to form an impassable mountain range that encircled his country. None would pass through it. Leader X contentedly returned to his country.

Leader Y, being not nearly as creative as Leader X, but being just as opportunistic, and twice as nationalistic, declared his own wish for an even stronger, taller wall, such that none could go around, over, or below it. The ground around the city reshaped as all the metal expanded and formed a solid sphere around the city. Ecstatic that his people would never again fear any invasion, Leader Y returned to his country.

Leader Z, whom had been suggesting the previous wishes, was then asked what he wished for. To which, he wished that their countries be flooded to the tops of their walls. Leader Z contently returned to his country only to find that the half that hadn’t been flooded had just been crushed under a giant rolling metal sphere.

Soon America decides whether or not to build a wall around our border.

The problem with walls is that, in addition to keeping people out, they also keep people in. If you surround your country with walls you have, first and foremost, created a cage the size of a country. Even though a wall may grant you absolute authority over who passes through your side of the wall, you grant the same authority to your neighbor on the opposite side of it.

Now I’m sure in a place like this I don’t have to even begin to explain what sort of potential political problems and global tension it creates. If you have taken the time to read this, then I will wager that you are at least vaguely familiar with the Berlin Wall and the Cold War it symbolized.

The Soviet Union and the United States were not enemies when the Berlin Wall went up. In fact, they were allies not on the best of terms during the signing of Germany’s surrender at the end of World War II.

Early in the morning of Sunday, August 13, 1961, the GDR [ed. East Germany] began under the leadership of Erich Honecker to block off East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means of barbed wire and antitank obstacles. Streets were torn up, and barricades of paving stones were erected. Tanks gathered at crucial places. The subway and local railway services between East and West Berlin were interrupted. Inhabitants of East Berlin and the GDR were no longer allowed to enter West Berlin, amongst them 60,000 commuters who had worked in West Berlin so far. In the following days, construction brigades began replacing the provisional barriers by a solid wall.
The reaction of the western allies was moderate, since the three essentials of the American policy regarding Berlin were not affected: presence of allied troops, free access to Berlin and the right of self-determination of the West Berliners.

After 1961-08-23, citizens of West Berlin were no longer allowed to enter East Berlin. On 1961-09-20, the forced evacuation of houses situated immediately at the border to West Berlin began. On 1962-08-17, Peter Fechter, an eighteen years old citizen of East Berlin, bled to death after he was shot down by East Berlin border patrol in an attempt to escape over the wall.

On 1963-06-21, the Minister of National Defense of the GDR gave orders concerning the installation of a border area at the frontier between the GDR and West Berlin. Afterwards inhabitants of East Berlin living within a distance of 100 m to the border had to register.

The GDR propaganda called the wall an "Anti-fascist protection wall".

Perhaps the history of a walled off America will not be so terrible. Perhaps we are more enlightened than our predecessors. We will have still built for ourselves a cage through which we may only pass if both governments on either side decide to allow it. One loses the physical capability of leaving or re-entering one’s own country without the express consent of both your own and a foreign government.

Forget for a moment the idea of keeping undesirables out of your country, and instead remember the amount of power that the citizens of both countries will have just given up.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 08:59 PM
Walls work it has been proven. Walls go up because one side engages in behaviour that the other side cannot abide and for which they cannot control. Simple really. Sometimes it is fair and sometimes it is not. The Berlin wall was not fair for example.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 09:01 PM

I find it curious (and very sad and concerning) that a country founded and built by immigrants, and who so abhorred the Berlin Wall, would decide that they needed one of their own. :shk:

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 09:05 PM

Originally posted by Gools

I find it curious (and very sad and concerning) that a country founded and built by immigrants, and who so abhorred the Berlin Wall, would decide that they needed one of their own. :shk:

Depends on who is asking for a wall. Since you live in Canada, you wonder why our border with your country is the longest undefended border in the whole entire freaking world. Also remember that America back then welcome immigrants because it need immigrants because America was undeveloped at the time, many natural resources but not many people. Now that we have about 300 million, we don't need so many immigrants these days. Its plain simple.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 09:54 PM
It's easy for you guys living in other countries, such as Canada, to criticize those Americans seeking the protection of a wall. You are not faced with the illegal immigration problems on such an extreme level as we are. Obviously, America is a melting pot. We welcome immigrants. We need immigrants. But there must be a fair, organized and legal process to immigration. It is not fair to those who have waited on lists for years to come to America, to be passed by those who pay a few hundred dollars to be escorted illegally into America by the "Coyotes."

It is not you guys in Canada and other countries who are faced with the problems associated with having over 11 million illegal and undocumented immigrants in your country. Do you realize the costs associated with this? The costs that are the responsibility of us, the LEGAL American citizens, through raised taxes and raised prices. We have to pay for the children of those 11 million illegals to go to school. We have to pay for those illegals when they show up in our emergency rooms injured or ill, and with no health insurance. We have an obligation to treat them, and we do it. We have to pay for all of the illegal encarcerated immigrants, who make up a majority of inmates in the California prison system. We're not even talking about millions of dollars here. Heck, if it was just millions of dollars, then I'd say "no problem."

What we are talking about here is BILLIONS of dollars, every single year, that we the American citizens must pay for because of those who illegally come to our country. And what about our national security? It is not you in Canada and many other countries who are threatened on a daily basis by radical Islamic terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. A wall on our porous border with Mexico would certainly help us defend against WMD, as well as terrorists themselves, being smuggled into our country from the south. And let us not forget the gangs and criminals, namely MS13 (I believe thats what they're called, I apologize if I'm wrong) who are murdering, raping and pillaging our citizens and our country at an unprecedented level.

And believe me... I have just barely scatched the surface here. We do need immigrants in America. They are an invaluable assett to our nation. But they should come here LEGALLY, just as our ancestors did. They should be DOCUMENTED and pay taxes, just like we do. They shouldn't be driving around uninsured and unlicensed, costing us incredible amounts of money.

Look, I understand the plight of some of these people. If my family was starving and I couldn't find work in my country, I'm sure I'd try to come to America illegally. But that doesn't make it right. Just as it doesn't make it right to steal bread when you're hungry, or rob a store when you need diapers for your child. I understand that desperate people do desperate things. But its not fair to us, the American people, and its not fair to those who have, and are trying to, come to this country legally and do THE RIGHT THING.

So please, for the love of God, don't sit in the safety and comfort of your own country and try preaching to us about an immigration problem and a proposed "wall" which you have no clue about. If you don't want us putting a wall up or doing something about illegal immigrants, then please come and pay my taxes for me. I'll be glad to shut up at that point.

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