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Border Security: Wall vs. Principles


Border Security: Wall vs. Principles

Robert C. Koehler

Consider the limited thinking that produces a concept such as “border security.” The essential assumption here is that the United States of America is primarily a physical container – three and a half million square miles of freedom and prosperity, whoopee, but the supply is limited. Sorry, have-nots, we don’t have room for you.

The border agents, presumably, are protecting all the exclusive goodies that constitute America.


We don’t need no fucking wall.

We need a Revolution of ideas and actions that criminalize the Status Quo and opens all doors to the 99%.


Build that Mall: Imagine folks, a 1,954-mile long strip mall. It would keep me away, but absolutely nobody would ever need to cross. We could keep “economists” busy for years determining the optimum number of McDonald’s, Gaps, TCBYs, etc. Oh, I forgot Taco Bells…


Walls can keep people out, but they also keep people stuck inside----and real life is always beyond the walls. In the ancient world, when a town lost its war, the people became slaves of the conquerors ------but then, nobody wins in the long run with walls. Look at how much more disgusting Israel has become with its wall. Actually, when you think about, and if you are thinking as a human being------whatever nation bombs and destroys another nation—HAS to take in the refugees that the warring nation creates. After all the nations America has destroyed, how can we deny those people from Central and South America----how can we deny them a chance to a have life without war?


“What makes America great”? What a joke! America hasn’t been great for at least 70 years.


I agree with some of Koehler’s points, eg., that most of the last presidents of both parties have failed us; or that we must be compassionate toward the families that have come here over the border illegally (after all they have come based on the history of others making it for decades).
However I find his worldview quite incoherent. Specifically that nations should not have borders at all. Naievete rules this mindset. No country on Earth has such ‘open borders’. Try getting off the train in Germany or France, and staying for years. It won’t happen.
Controlled borders are necessary: consider how your town would fare if 100,000 illegal visitors turned permanent squatters showed up on your personal backyard (we have 3 acres in a town of 10,000). Life would be unmanageable obviously. Legal and considered immigration is the norm in any sane society. Of course, large corporations have encouraged our government to look the other way because it means a pool of cheap and exploitable labor for Big Agribusiness and factory farms. Both political parties are culpable.
Koehler makes the point contra his own point when he states that uncontrolled immigration, illegally, by Europeans in the 1600’s through 1800’s destroyed the American Indian culture. Case closed.


actually, daniel, that’s exactly what happened when settlers from france, spain, briton and portugal arrived on the shores of this continent. like mr. koehler said, “(What goes around comes around. Most people have at least a subconscious awareness of this.)” surely, deep down you know that we live on lands stolen from first nations peoples. {me? i have both europen and cherokee blood} so, what should we do to make amends for this nation’s egregious sins of the past? are you aware of the genocide? do you know about “manifest destiny” and the indian removal act?

now, i’m not going to suggest that you be removed and shipped back to your ancestral home–norway?–because we cannot change the past. however, we can chose to initiate a more compassionate and humane trajectory from this day forward.

national borders do not keep us safe! we all are one species, one family. borders are but a man-made construct which serve to keep the world in a constant state of war. our undeclared wars for profit and our lavish life-style consuming vital resources in search of meaningless instant gratification are destroying earth’s living biosphere. isn’t it time we got down from our imperial high horse and learn to be productive members of Mother Earth’s living tapestry?

It’s time we stopped maintaining a false, reckless “security” in vast and utter ignorance of our connection to the rest of Planet Earth.


I note with great interest that while capital can freely cross national borders with the click of a mouse, labor may not—pretty convenient for the capitalists.


so? you’re saying, if i read this correctly, that because arrogant europeans destroyed the “indian” culture we have a moral imperative to protect our ill–gotten booty, right? actually the cultural wars continue to this present day. the native culture still thrives albeit many living as captured nations on reservations. do you remember the water protectors at standing rock?

no, daniel, the case is not closed! not by a long shot. many sanctuary seekers are of first nations heritage. in fact dna studies prove most “hispanic” people have indigenous not spanish blood. makes sense when you think about it. the spanish are blond haired, blue eyed people.


you nailed it! capitalism!!!

when non-living contractual corporations are viewed as “people,” living people are relegated to the role of “labor” to be exploited in order to enrich the already wealthy.


The separation of children from parents at the border is the equivalent of torture uncovered in Iraq and Guantanamo. Once again we’re shown just how ruthlessly cruel and racist republican leaders can be. It probably dates all the way back to slavery in the unreformed confederate states before and after the Civil War. Today its equivalent is wage-slavery practiced here and abroad. To some degree, the peril people face in Mexico and Central America is due to military training acquired in the US and to drug trafficking to serve the US demand for escapist drug abuse. We have ‘animals’ in the USA including that misogynist pig Trump.


You mean the spelling isn’t grate, Archie?


I think you missed the point I was making. First of all, two Wrongs do not make a Right. Making the people (us) who now live in North America suffer to ‘atone’ for our ancestors imperial take-over doesn’t help anyone. Should we all become slaves for a few years and suffer what we did to the Africans in the 1600’s around the world at that time? Of course we all learned in high school of the genocide, the doctrine of ‘manifest destiny’ that drove European hubris. But what is the good thing to do about that today?
Most of us cannot relate to saying ‘we’ did all these things in the 17th-19th centuries, simply because we are not hundreds of years old. And of course not all people today would do horrible things even if given the opportunity. So punishing people is never a good idea, especially for something they didn’t do. Having lots of illegal immigrants show up on your town’s doorstep would strain that small society in many ways.
What about real foreign aid to the impoverished countries struggling with drug gangs, famine, etc? (instead of exporting bombs and invasion for corporate profits? think Iraq, Libya–world banking, Fed Reserve, CIA color revolutions, etc, or 1800’s Panama, Nicaragua, ie., the Banana Republics and United Fruit Company sending in the Marines? or Hawaii and the same imperialist motives.)
America does not have a totally pretty history, but we do not want to make it worse by hurting the innocent by bad policies, and ‘open borders’ are definitely one of those. We need security to grow emotionally. Children need this. All children.


Well, not maybe a concrete wall, that would also hurt the ecology of the border as pointed out by a comment below. But an electronic wall, noticing what people are doing (altho distastefully Orwellian, but Pandora’s box is already open unfortunately) would not cause physical harm.
But your comment wanting open doors for the 99% to flood into our homes is a bit weird. Do you really believe that would do anybody any good? Is your back yard big enough? Got enough food and jobs to share around?


Well, whatever turns your crank!


I don’t see this as about ‘race’ at all, but common sense. Again, ‘we’ do not exist in the sense you are using it. My wife and several good friends have American Indian blood, in fact I still have the blanket that the mother of one hand made for me when I visited her in Cherokee, NC years ago. She is full blood Cherokee.
The point is about people, anyone, living here and now, in this or that particular place. Everyone needs the security of waking up each day knowing the Roman army, the Philistines, the Nazi’s or any other army of people, well intentioned or not are not in their back-yard, town or even country radically altering daily life against the present inhabitants’ will or plans. That is what government and laws are for. We are creatures of habit the same as squirrels and bears and deer…they need to know that their stash of nuts is safe for the winter. After all, they worked hard for those nuts (acorns) and would starve if hordes of other squirrels showed up just after gathering them. Again, sort of common sense. Not that our humanitarian and heart-felt desire to help and right wrongs is bad, but moderation and rationality need to govern our thoughts and actions.
America is rapidly losing the latter.