Americans Need to Tear Down This Wall

The “star” of the Olympics may not be multiple medalists but the Great Wall of China. Every TV network covering the Olympics took the world to see the Wall. It seemed as if almost every newspaper and magazine reporter also visited the Great Wall.

But, the Great Wall, which was built and rebuilt many times over its 22 century history, eventually was a failure. Although formidable, and one of the world’s greatest engineering feats, the wall by the 16th century could no longer protect China from neighboring armies.

The Maginot Line, which France thought could protect it from Germany and Italy in the decade leading up to World War II, was largely a failure.

The Berlin Wall, at first barbed wire and then concrete, was built not to keep others out but East Germans in. But, there were more than 5,000 escapes during its 28 year history before the wall finally came down in 1989.

As we now know, poorly-constructed levees in New Orleans didn’t keep the flood waters of Katrina from destroying the city.

And now the U.S. is building its own wall. The Bush Administration is putting up about 700 miles of fencing and other barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year. The cost just to build that barrier is about $2–$3 million per mile. But, in certain places, the cost far exceeds that. This week, the government began excavating an area near San Diego. When the three and one-half mile fence is finished, the cost will be about $57 million. That’s about $16 million a mile.

Most illegal immigrants pose no problems. They don’t receive American benefits, contrary to a lot of Internet gossip. Most try to avoid getting into trouble, since their purpose of being in America isn’t to get noticed by the police. And, for those who think putting up a wall will keep terrorists out of the country, reflect upon this: The 9/11 hijackers had American-issued visas to be in the U.S.

Like the great Wall, the Maginot Line, the Berlin Wall, and the levees, this wall will also fail, as persons desperate to enter the U.S. will find many other ways to cross the border. But, Americans will have spent more than $2 billion for that lesson.

Walter Brasch, during a 40-year work career in mass communications, has been a member of several unions, in both the private and public sectors. He is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of 16 books, including With Just Cause: Unionization of the American Journalist, Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution, and his latest Fracking Pennsylvania. He can be contacted at: walterbrasch@gmail.com. Read other articles by Walter, or visit Walter's website.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar balkas said on August 26th, 2008 at 8:55am #

    it wasn’t the dubrovnik wall that saved it from ottoman empire- it was diplomacy that kept ottoman armies from besieging it.
    wall that israel has built stands will not protect nor save israel. it’s admiration/respect of the world for israel- now close to a zilch- that’ll save israel.
    thank u

  2. Joseph Danison said on August 26th, 2008 at 3:43pm #

    Very true. Aside from the dollar cost, there is the cost to civil society in the outrage done to citizens’ property rights, and the greater psychological cost involved in building fortress America.

    Anti-Constitutional legislation is accompanied by restrictions on freedom of movement. The fence is also there limit American access to Mexico. Fences are being built in airports, as well, and soon there will be fences on the internet.

    “Don’t fence me in!” is an archetypal American refrain that is being silenced by a relentless descent into fascist tyranny.

  3. cg said on August 27th, 2008 at 9:44am #

    Replaced by “don’t tase me, bro.”

  4. Harold Macek said on August 27th, 2008 at 9:51am #

    WELL–THIS WALL BETWEEN THE AMERICAS AMD THE MEXICOS IS NOT BECAUSE OF THE PEO[PLE–BUT THE PO;LITICIANS…THE CROOKED –CORRUPT POLITICNANS FROM BOTH COUNTRYS..
    IN AMERICA WE HELP OUR NEEDY, WE PUT MONEY FROM OUR LAND TAXES ASSIDE TO HELP OUR PEOPLE—-MEXICO DOES NOT–
    THE POOR MEXICAN ILLEGAL ALIEN SCAB LABORERS US IT UP ON US…SO WE HAVE NONE FOR OUR IWN PEOPLE–PEOPLE IT WAS MEANT FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE…
    ARREST EACH, AND EVERY ILLEGAL—RETURN THEM TO MEXXICO, AND CHARGE THE COST TO THE COMPANYS WHO HIRED THEM…
    IF THE ILLEGALS ASKED FOR NONE OF OUR MONEY–WE WOULD NOT CARE IF THEY WERE HERE OR NOT…THERE HAVE BEEN ILLEGAL ALIENS COMING IN HERE FOR FORTY YEARS…BUT–WHEN THE AMERICAN CORRUPT POLITICIANS WANT TO GIVE OUR TAX MONEY WE SAVE FOR OUR NEEDY–WE PROTEST—IF MEXICO HAS NEEDY PEOPLE–LET MEXICAN POLITICIANS PAY FOR IT…WE REBEL AGAINST OUR POLITICNAS–NOT THE MEXICAN PEOPLE..IF THE MEXICAN POLITICIANS WERE NOT SO GREEDY, AND CORRUJPT–MEXICO WOULD BE A NICE PLACE..AND PEOLE WOULD SYAY , AND WORK THERE…
    AMERICA IS FAST APPROACHING A REVOLUTION…THERE WILL BE A LOT OF KILLING..NOT UNLIKE WHAT GOES ON IN MEXICO RIGHT NOW..
    ALL CAUSED BY GREEDY – CORRUPT –AND EVIL IMMORAL POLITICIANS…