Mur de Trump: Les bonnes clôtures font les bons voisins (Why can’t the misguided left see that building a wall makes Donald Trump the rule, not the exception, among world leaders ?)

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Divided : Why We're Living in an Age of Walls, Hardback Book
Les bonnes clôtures font les bons voisins. Proverbe anglais
Chacun chez soi et les moutons seront bien gardés. proverbe français
Aimez votre voisin mais n’abattez pas la haie. Autre proverbe français
Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
Il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme; car tous vous êtes un en Jésus Christ. Paul (Galates 3: 28)
Où est Dieu? cria-t-il, je vais vous le dire! Nous l’avons tué – vous et moi! Nous tous sommes ses meurtriers! Mais comment avons-nous fait cela? Comment avons-nous pu vider la mer? Qui nous a donné l’éponge pour effacer l’horizon tout entier? Dieu est mort! (…) Et c’est nous qui l’avons tué ! (…) Ce que le monde avait possédé jusqu’alors de plus sacré et de plus puissant a perdu son sang sous nos couteaux (…) Quelles solennités expiatoires, quels jeux sacrés nous faudra-t-il inventer? Nietzsche
« Dionysos contre le « crucifié » : la voici bien l’opposition. Ce n’est pas une différence quant au martyr – mais celui-ci a un sens différent. La vie même, son éternelle fécondité, son éternel retour, détermine le tourment, la destruction, la volonté d’anéantir pour Dionysos. Dans l’autre cas, la souffrance, le « crucifié » en tant qu’il est « innocent », sert d’argument contre cette vie, de formulation de sa condamnation. (…) L’individu a été si bien pris au sérieux, si bien posé comme un absolu par le christianisme, qu’on ne pouvait plus le sacrifier : mais l’espèce ne survit que grâce aux sacrifices humains… La véritable philanthropie exige le sacrifice pour le bien de l’espèce – elle est dure, elle oblige à se dominer soi-même, parce qu’elle a besoin du sacrifice humain. Et cette pseudo-humanité qui s’institue christianisme, veut précisément imposer que personne ne soit sacrifié. Nietzsche
Je condamne le christia­nisme, j’élève contre l’Église chrétienne la plus terrible de toutes les accusa­tions, que jamais accusateur ait prononcée. Elle est la plus grande corruption que l’on puisse imaginer, elle a eu la volonté de la dernière corruption possible. L’Église chrétienne n’épargna sur rien sa corruption, elle a fait de toute valeur une non-valeur, de chaque vérité un mensonge, de chaque intégrité une bassesse d’âme (…) L’ « égalité des âmes devant Dieu », cette fausseté, ce prétexte aux rancunes les plus basses, cet explosif de l’idée, qui finit par devenir Révo­lution, idée moderne, principe de dégénérescence de tout l’ordre social — c’est la dynamite chrétienne… (…) Le christianisme a pris parti pour tout ce qui est faible, bas, manqué (…) La pitié entrave en somme la loi de l’évolution qui est celle de la sélection. Elle comprend ce qui est mûr pour la disparition, elle se défend en faveur des déshérités et des condamnés de la vie. Par le nombre et la variété des choses manquées qu’elle retient dans la vie, elle donne à la vie elle-même un aspect sombre et douteux. On a eu le courage d’appeler la pitié une vertu (— dans toute morale noble elle passe pour une faiblesse —) ; on est allé plus loin, on a fait d’elle la vertu, le terrain et l’origine de toutes les vertus. Nietzsche
A l’origine, la guerre n’était qu’une lutte pour les pâturages. Aujourd’hui la guerre n’est qu’une lutte pour les richesses de la nature. En vertu d’une loi inhérente, ces richesses appartiennent à celui qui les conquiert. Les grandes migrations sont parties de l’Est. Avec nous commence le reflux, d’Ouest en Est. C’est en conformité avec les lois de la nature. Par le biais de la lutte, les élites sont constamment renouvelées. La loi de la sélection naturelle justifie cette lutte incessante en permettant la survie des plus aptes. Le christianisme est une rébellion contre la loi naturelle, une protestation contre la nature. Poussé à sa logique extrême, le christianisme signifierait la culture systématique de l’échec humain. Hitler
Jésus a tout fichu par terre. Le Désaxé (Les braves gens ne courent pas les rues, Flannery O’Connor)
Depuis que l’ordre religieux est ébranlé – comme le christianisme le fut sous la Réforme – les vices ne sont pas seuls à se trouver libérés. Certes les vices sont libérés et ils errent à l’aventure et ils font des ravages. Mais les vertus aussi sont libérées et elles errent, plus farouches encore, et elles font des ravages plus terribles encore. Le monde moderne est envahi des veilles vertus chrétiennes devenues folles. Les vertus sont devenues folles pour avoir été isolées les unes des autres, contraintes à errer chacune en sa solitude.  G.K. Chesterton
La même force culturelle et spirituelle qui a joué un rôle si décisif dans la disparition du sacrifice humain est aujourd’hui en train de provoquer la disparition des rituels de sacrifice humain qui l’ont jadis remplacé. Tout cela semble être une bonne nouvelle, mais à condition que ceux qui comptaient sur ces ressources rituelles soient en mesure de les remplacer par des ressources religieuses durables d’un autre genre. Priver une société des ressources sacrificielles rudimentaires dont elle dépend sans lui proposer d’alternatives, c’est la plonger dans une crise qui la conduira presque certainement à la violence. Gil Bailie
The gospel revelation gradually destroys the ability to sacralize and valorize violence of any kind, even for Americans in pursuit of the good. (…) At the heart of the cultural world in which we live, and into whose orbit the whole world is being gradually drawn, is a surreal confusion. The impossible Mother Teresa-John Wayne antinomy Times correspondent (Lance) Morrow discerned in America’s humanitarian 1992 Somali operation is simply a contemporary manifestation of the tension that for centuries has hounded those cultures under biblical influence. Gil Bailie
La Raison sera remplacée par la Révélation. À la place de la Loi rationnelle et des vérités objectives perceptibles par quiconque prendra les mesures nécessaires de discipline intellectuelle, et la même pour tous, la Connaissance dégénérera en une pagaille de visions subjectives (…) Des cosmogonies complètes seront créées à partir d’un quelconque ressentiment personnel refoulé, des épopées entières écrites dans des langues privées, les barbouillages d’écoliers placés plus haut que les plus grands chefs-d’œuvre. L’Idéalisme sera remplacé par Matérialisme. La vie après la mort sera un repas de fête éternelle où tous les invités auront 20 ans … La Justice sera remplacée par la Pitié comme vertu cardinale humaine, et toute crainte de représailles disparaîtra … La Nouvelle Aristocratie sera composée exclusivement d’ermites, clochards et invalides permanents. Le Diamant brut, la Prostituée Phtisique, le bandit qui est bon pour sa mère, la jeune fille épileptique qui a le chic avec les animaux seront les héros et héroïnes du Nouvel Age, quand le général, l’homme d’État, et le philosophe seront devenus la cible de chaque farce et satire. Hérode (Pour le temps présent, oratorio de Noël, W. H. Auden, 1944)
Just over 50 years ago, the poet W.H. Auden achieved what all writers envy: making a prophecy that would come true. It is embedded in a long work called For the Time Being, where Herod muses about the distasteful task of massacring the Innocents. He doesn’t want to, because he is at heart a liberal. But still, he predicts, if that Child is allowed to get away, « Reason will be replaced by Revelation. Instead of Rational Law, objective truths perceptible to any who will undergo the necessary intellectual discipline, Knowledge will degenerate into a riot of subjective visions . . . Whole cosmogonies will be created out of some forgotten personal resentment, complete epics written in private languages, the daubs of schoolchildren ranked above the greatest masterpieces. Idealism will be replaced by Materialism. Life after death will be an eternal dinner party where all the guests are 20 years old . . . Justice will be replaced by Pity as the cardinal human virtue, and all fear of retribution will vanish . . . The New Aristocracy will consist exclusively of hermits, bums and permanent invalids. The Rough Diamond, the Consumptive Whore, the bandit who is good to his mother, the epileptic girl who has a way with animals will be the heroes and heroines of the New Age, when the general, the statesman, and the philosopher have become the butt of every farce and satire. »What Herod saw was America in the late 1980s and early ’90s, right down to that dire phrase « New Age. » (…) Americans are obsessed with the recognition, praise and, when necessary, the manufacture of victims, whose one common feature is that they have been denied parity with that Blond Beast of the sentimental imagination, the heterosexual, middle-class white male. The range of victims available 10 years ago — blacks, Chicanos, Indians, women, homosexuals — has now expanded to include every permutation of the halt, the blind and the short, or, to put it correctly, the vertically challenged. (…) Since our newfound sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero, the white American male starts bawling for victim status too. (…) European man, once the hero of the conquest of the Americas, now becomes its demon; and the victims, who cannot be brought back to life, are sanctified. On either side of the divide between Euro and native, historians stand ready with tarbrush and gold leaf, and instead of the wicked old stereotypes, we have a whole outfit of equally misleading new ones. Our predecessors made a hero of Christopher Columbus. To Europeans and white Americans in 1892, he was Manifest Destiny in tights, whereas a current PC book like Kirkpatrick Sale’s The Conquest of Paradise makes him more like Hitler in a caravel, landing like a virus among the innocent people of the New World. Robert Hughes (24.06.2001)
La vérité biblique sur le penchant universel à la violence a été tenue à l’écart par un puissant processus de refoulement. (…) La vérité fut reportée sur les juifs, sur Adam et la génération de la fin du monde. (…) La représentation théologique de l’adoucissement de la colère de Dieu par l’acte d’expiation du Fils constituait un compromis entre les assertions du Nouveau Testament sur l’amour divin sans limites et celles sur les fantasmes présents en chacun. (…) Même si la vérité biblique a été de nouveau  obscurcie sur de nombreux points, (…) dénaturée en partie, elle n’a jamais été totalement falsifiée par les Églises. Elle a traversé l’histoire et agit comme un levain. Même l’Aufklärung critique contre le christianisme qui a pris ses armes et les prend toujours en grande partie dans le sombre arsenal de l’histoire de l’Eglise, n’a jamais pu se détacher entièrement de l’inspiration chrétienne véritable, et par des détours embrouillés et compliqués, elle a porté la critique originelle des prophètes dans les domaines sans cesse nouveaux de l’existence humaine. Les critiques d’un Kant, d’un Feuerbach, d’un Marx, d’un Nietzsche et d’un Freud – pour ne prendre que quelques uns parmi les plus importants – se situent dans une dépendance non dite par rapport à l’impulsion prophétique. Raymund Schwager
L’acte surréaliste le plus simple consiste, revolvers au poing, à descendre dans la rue et à tirer, au hasard, tant qu’on peut dans la foule. André Breton
Il faut avoir le courage de vouloir le mal et pour cela il faut commencer par rompre avec le comportement grossièrement humanitaire qui fait partie de l’héritage chrétien. (..) Nous sommes avec ceux qui tuent. Breton
Bien avant qu’un intellectuel nazi ait annoncé ‘quand j’entends le mot culture je sors mon revolver’, les poètes avaient proclamé leur dégoût pour cette saleté de culture et politiquement invité Barbares, Scythes, Nègres, Indiens, ô vous tous, à la piétiner. Hannah Arendt (1949)
L’Occident s’achève en bermuda […] Craignez le courroux de l’homme en bermuda. Craignez la colère du consommateur, du voyageur, du touriste, du vacancier descendant de son camping-car ! Vous nous imaginez vautrés dans des plaisirs et des loisirs qui nous ont ramollis. Eh bien,nous lutterons comme des lions pour protéger notre ramollissement.  Chers djihadistes, chevauchant vos éléphants de fer et de feu, vous êtes entrés avec fureur dans notre magasin de porcelaine. Mais c’est un magasin de porcelaine dont les propriétaires de longue date ont entrepris de réduire en miettes tout ce qui s’y trouvait entassé. […] Vous êtes les premiers démolisseurs à s’attaquer à des destructeurs. Les premiers incendiaires en concurrence avec des pyromanes. […] À la différence des nôtres, vos démolitions s’effectuent en toute illégalité et s’attirent un blâme quasi unanime. Tandis que c’est dans l’enthousiasme général que nous mettons au point nos tortueuses innovations et que nous nous débarrassons des derniers fondements de notre ancienne civilisation.  Chers djihadistes, nous triompherons de vous. Nous vaincrons parce que nous sommes les plus morts. Philippe Muray
L’erreur est toujours de raisonner dans les catégories de la « différence », alors que la racine de tous les conflits, c’est plutôt la « concurrence », la rivalité mimétique entre des êtres, des pays, des cultures. La concurrence, c’est-à-dire le désir d’imiter l’autre pour obtenir la même chose que lui, au besoin par la violence. Sans doute le terrorisme est-il lié à un monde « différent » du nôtre, mais ce qui suscite le terrorisme n’est pas dans cette « différence » qui l’éloigne le plus de nous et nous le rend inconcevable. Il est au contraire dans un désir exacerbé de convergence et de ressemblance. (…) Ce qui se vit aujourd’hui est une forme de rivalité mimétique à l’échelle planétaire. Lorsque j’ai lu les premiers documents de Ben Laden, constaté ses allusions aux bombes américaines tombées sur le Japon, je me suis senti d’emblée à un niveau qui est au-delà de l’islam, celui de la planète entière. Sous l’étiquette de l’islam, on trouve une volonté de rallier et de mobiliser tout un tiers-monde de frustrés et de victimes dans leurs rapports de rivalité mimétique avec l’Occident. Mais les tours détruites occupaient autant d’étrangers que d’Américains. Et par leur efficacité, par la sophistication des moyens employés, par la connaissance qu’ils avaient des Etats-Unis, par leurs conditions d’entraînement, les auteurs des attentats n’étaient-ils pas un peu américains ? On est en plein mimétisme.Ce sentiment n’est pas vrai des masses, mais des dirigeants. Sur le plan de la fortune personnelle, on sait qu’un homme comme Ben Laden n’a rien à envier à personne. Et combien de chefs de parti ou de faction sont dans cette situation intermédiaire, identique à la sienne. Regardez un Mirabeau au début de la Révolution française : il a un pied dans un camp et un pied dans l’autre, et il n’en vit que de manière plus aiguë son ressentiment. Aux Etats-Unis, des immigrés s’intègrent avec facilité, alors que d’autres, même si leur réussite est éclatante, vivent aussi dans un déchirement et un ressentiment permanents. Parce qu’ils sont ramenés à leur enfance, à des frustrations et des humiliations héritées du passé. Cette dimension est essentielle, en particulier chez des musulmans qui ont des traditions de fierté et un style de rapports individuels encore proche de la féodalité. (…) Cette concurrence mimétique, quand elle est malheureuse, ressort toujours, à un moment donné, sous une forme violente. A cet égard, c’est l’islam qui fournit aujourd’hui le ciment qu’on trouvait autrefois dans le marxismeRené Girard
Nous sommes encore proches de cette période des grandes expositions internationales qui regardait de façon utopique la mondialisation comme l’Exposition de Londres – la « Fameuse » dont parle Dostoievski, les expositions de Paris… Plus on s’approche de la vraie mondialisation plus on s’aperçoit que la non-différence ce n’est pas du tout la paix parmi les hommes mais ce peut être la rivalité mimétique la plus extravagante. On était encore dans cette idée selon laquelle on vivait dans le même monde: on n’est plus séparé par rien de ce qui séparait les hommes auparavant donc c’est forcément le paradis. Ce que voulait la Révolution française. Après la nuit du 4 août, plus de problème ! René Girard
Ce concept de « droitisation » est le plus sûr indice de la confusion mentale qui s’est emparée de certains esprits. Si la « droitisation » consiste à prendre en compte la souffrance sociale des Français les plus exposés et les plus vulnérables, c’est que les anciennes catégories politiques n’ont plus guère de sens… et que le PS est devenu – ce qui me paraît une évidence – l’expression des nouvelles classes dominantes. (…) Est-ce Nicolas Sarkozy qui se « droitise » en plaçant la maîtrise des flux migratoires au cœur de la question sociale ou la gauche qui se renie en substituant à la question sociale le combat sociétal en faveur d’un communautarisme multiculturel ? L’impensé du candidat socialiste sur l’immigration est tout sauf accidentel : il témoigne d’une contradiction à ce jour non résolue. L’idéologie du « transfrontiérisme » n’est pas celle des Français. Près de deux Français sur trois et près d’un sympathisant de gauche sur deux approuvent la proposition de Nicolas Sarkozy de réduire de moitié l’immigration légale. Le projet que porte Nicolas Sarkozy s’adresse à tout l’électorat populaire. Il est clairement le candidat d’une Europe des frontières. C’est en cela qu’il est le candidat du peuple qui souffre de l’absence de frontières et de ses conséquences en chaîne : libre-échangisme sans limites, concurrence déloyale, dumping social, délocalisation de l’emploi, déferlante migratoire. Les frontières, c’est la préoccupation des Français les plus vulnérables. Les frontières, c’est ce qui protège les plus pauvres. Les privilégiés, eux, ne comptent pas sur l’Etat pour construire des frontières. Ils n’ont eu besoin de personne pour se les acheter. Frontières spatiales et sécuritaires : ils habitent les beaux quartiers. Frontières scolaires : leurs enfants fréquentent les meilleurs établissements. Frontières sociales : leur position les met à l’abri de tous les désordres de la mondialisation et en situation d’en recueillir tous les bénéfices. Patrick Buisson
Le mépris dans lequel les tient la classe dirigeante a quelque chose de sidérant. Nos élites sont mues par une invraisemblable prolophobie dont elles n’ont parfois même pas conscience. (…) Les impensés de la gauche sur la sécurité et l’immigration témoignent d’un déni persévérant de celle-ci face à l’expression de certaines souffrances sociales. (…) Avant d’être une posture politique, le front républicain est d’abord un réflexe de classe et de caste. Patrick Buisson
The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico. (…) At the time the act was being considered, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer were all members of the Senate. (…) Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19. (…) Currently, 702 miles of fencing separates the United States from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Trump plans for the wall are vague, but here’s what we know. He said the wall doesn’t need to run the nearly 2,000 miles of the border, but about 1,000 miles because of natural barriers. He said it could cost between $8 billion and $12 billion, be made of precast concrete, and rise 35 to 40 feet, or 50 feet, or higher. Experts have repeatedly told PolitiFact that the differences in semantics between a wall and a fence are not too significant because both block people. (…) A 2016 Associated Press report from the border described « rust-colored thick bars » that form « teeth-like slats » 18 feet high. « There are miles of gaps between segments and openings in the fence itself, » the report said. Trump criticized the 2006 fence as too modest during the 2016 campaign. (…) It’s also worth noting that the political context surrounding the 2006 vote was different, too. Democrats normally in favor of looser immigration laws saw the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the lesser of two evils, according to a Boston Globe report that detailed the legislative process. Around that same time, the House passed legislation that would make any undocumented immigrant a felon. « It didn’t have anywhere near the gravity of harm, » Angela Kelley, who in 2006 was the legislative director for the National Immigration Forum, told the Boston Globe. « It was hard to vote against it because who is going to vote against a secure fence? And it was benign compared with what was out there. » Politifact
No country can exist without borders. Hillary and Obama have all but destroyed them; Trump must remind us how he will restore them. Walls throughout history have been part of the solution, from Hadrian’s Wall to Israel’s fence with the Palestinians. “Making Mexico pay for the wall” is not empty rhetoric, when $26 billion in remittances go back to Mexico without taxes or fees, largely sent from those here illegally, and it could serve as a source of funding revenue.Trump can supersede “comprehensive immigration” with a simple program: Secure and fortify the borders first; begin deporting those with a criminal record, and without a work history. Fine employers who hire illegal aliens. Any illegal aliens who choose to stay, must be working, crime-free, and have two years of residence. They can pay a fine for having entered the U.S. illegally, learn English, and stay while applying for a green card — that effort, like all individual applications, may or may not be approved. He should point out that illegal immigrants have cut in line in front of legal applicants, delaying for years any consideration of entry. That is not an act of love. Sanctuary cities are a neo-Confederate idea, and should have their federal funds cut off for undermining U.S. law. The time-tried melting pot of assimilation and integration, not the bankrupt salad bowl of identity politics, hyphenated nomenclature, and newly accented names should be our model of teaching new legal immigrants how to become citizens. Victor Davis Hanson
Securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution. Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive. Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged. Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be. Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected. (…) Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice. (…) Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda. In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution. Victor Davis Hanson
There was likely never going to be “comprehensive immigration reform” or any deal amnestying the DACA recipients in exchange for building the wall. Democrats in the present political landscape will not consent to a wall. For them, a successful border wall is now considered bad politics in almost every manner imaginable. Yet 12 years ago, Congress, with broad bipartisan support, passed the Secure Fence of Act of 2006. The bill was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush to overwhelming public applause. The stopgap legislation led to some 650 miles of a mostly inexpensive steel fence while still leaving about two-thirds of the 1,950-mile border unfenced. In those days there were not, as now, nearly 50 million foreign-born immigrants living in the United States, perhaps nearly 15 million of them illegally. Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office. The solidly blue states of the American Southwest, including Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red as recently as 2004 for George W. Bush. Progressives understandably conclude that de facto open borders are good long-term politics. Once upon a time, Democrats such as Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked tough about illegal immigration. They even ruled out amnesty while talking up a new border wall. In those days, progressives saw illegal immigration as illiberal — or at least not as a winning proposition among union households and the working poor. Democratic constituencies opposed importing inexpensive foreign labor for corporate bosses. Welfare rights groups believed that massive illegal immigration would swamp social services and curtail government help to American poor of the barrios and the inner city. So, what happened? Again, numbers. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have flocked into the United States over the last decade. In addition, the Obama administration discouraged the melting-pot assimilationist model of integrating only legal immigrants. Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run. In contrast, a wall would likely reduce illegal immigration dramatically and with it future Democratic constituents. Legal, meritocratic, measured and diverse immigration in its place would likely end up being politically neutral. And without fresh waves of undocumented immigrants from south of the border, identity politics would wane. A wall also would radically change the optics of illegal immigration. Currently, in unsecured border areas, armed border patrol guards sometimes stand behind barbed wire. Without a wall, they are forced to rely on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers. They are easy targets for stone-throwers on the Mexican side of the border. A high wall would end that. Border guards would be mostly invisible from the Mexican side of the wall. Barbed wire, dogs and tear gas astride the border — the ingredients for media sensationalism — would be unnecessary. Instead, footage of would-be border crossers trying to climb 30-foot walls would emphasize the degree to which some are callously breaking the law. Such imagery would remind the world that undocumented immigrants are not always noble victims but often selfish young adult males who have little regard for the millions of aspiring immigrants who wait patiently in line and follow the rules to enter the United State lawfully. More importantly, thousands of undocumented immigrants cross miles of dangerous, unguarded borderlands each year to walk for days in the desert. Often, they fall prey to dangers ranging from cartel gangs to dehydration. Usually, the United States is somehow blamed for their plight, even though a few years ago the Mexican government issued a comic book with instructions on how citizens could most effectively break U.S. law and cross the border. The wall would make illegal crossings almost impossible, saving lives. Latin American governments and Democratic operatives assume that lax border enforcement facilitates the outflow of billions of dollars in remittances sent south of the border and helps flip red states blue. All prior efforts to ensure border security — sanctions against employers, threats to cut off foreign aid to Mexico and Central America, and talk of tamper-proof identity cards — have failed. Instead, amnesties, expanded entitlements and hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions offer incentives for waves of undocumented immigrants. The reason a secure border wall has not been — and may not be — built is not apprehension that it would not work, but rather real fear that it would work only too well. Victor Davis Hanson
New House majority leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly spent the holidays at the Fairmont Orchid on Kona, contemplating future climate-change legislation and still adamant in opposing the supposed vanity border wall. But in a very different real world from the Fairmont Orchid or Pacific Heights, other people each day deal with the results of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions. The results are often nihilistic and horrific. (…)These incidents, and less violent ones like them, are not all that rare in rural California. The narratives are tragically similar and hinge on our society’s assumptions of tolerance and its belief that entering and residing illegally in the United States are not really crimes. Fraudulent identification and fake names are not really felonious behaviors. Driving under the influence is no reason for deportation — all crimes that can ruin careers and have expensive consequences for citizens. Statisticians argue that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born, but never quite calibrate illegal immigrants into the equation (in part because no one has any idea who, where, or how many they are, as estimates range from 11 to 20 million) or note that second-generation native-born children of immigrants have much higher violent-crime rates than do their immigrant parents, and in circular fashion add to the general pool of violent Americans who then are used to contrast immigrants as less violent. Immorality is undermining, in Confederate fashion, federal law, and normalizing exemptions that allow felons such as Garcia and Arriaga to wreak havoc on the innocent and defenseless. Too often the architects of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions are not on the front lines where the vulnerable suffer the all-too-real consequences of distant others, who can rely on their own far greater safety nets when their grand abstractions become all too concrete. And, finally, we forget that so often the victims of illegal aliens are (in California where one in four residents was not born in the U.S.) legal immigrants like officer Singh, and members of the Hispanic community like the late Mr. Soto. Polls show that support for open borders is not popular and most Americans want an end to illegal immigration and catch and release, as well as stricter enforcement of current federal immigration laws. Victor Davis Hanson
Donald Trump n’en finit plus de s’agacer à propos de la construction de son mur à la frontière mexicaine. Ce vendredi, il a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur. (…) Un sujet qui a déjà provoqué un « shutdown » depuis une semaine, soit la paralysie partielle des administrations fédérales et qui a mis des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires au chômage forcé. Tant que républicains et démocrates ne trouveront pas d’accord au Congrès, les financements de 25% des ministères et administrations fédérales resteront suspendus. Jeudi, les négociations ont encore échoué. Le président républicain exige cinq milliards de dollars pour construire le mur tandis que les démocrates refusent de le financer, mais ont proposé une enveloppe de plus d’un milliard pour d’autres mesures de sécurité à la frontière. Les républicains sont majoritaires au Congrès, mais avec 51 sièges au Sénat, ils ont besoin de soutiens démocrates pour atteindre les 60 voix sur 100 nécessaires afin d’approuver le Budget. Mais si la question cristallise autant, c’est que la mesure est symbolique de la présidence de Donald Trump. Lors la campagne, le milliardaire a construit sa popularité à coup de propositions chocs et fait de la lutte contre l’immigration l’une de ses priorités. « Je vais construire un grand mur sur notre frontière sud, et le Mexique paiera pour le construire. Prenez-en bien note », avait-il alors promis. Une promesse déjà bien entamée par le refus mexicain de financer la construction du mur. Le président américain a été contraint d’admettre que les Etats-Unis allaient lancer le projet avant même d’avoir l’assurance du financement mexicain. Selon un sondage de Politico, la base électorale du président américain est, en effet, très attachée à cette proposition. 78% des électeurs de Trump en 2016 considèrent qu’il s’agit d’un projet important (25%) voire prioritaire (53%) au cours de son mandat. (…) Mais en attendant, Donald Trump doit trouver des financements. En totalité, l’ouvrage devrait coûter entre 22 à 25 milliards de dollars. Faute d’accord de compromis et dans un hémicycle quasi désert, le Sénat a décidé jeudi à l’unanimité d’ajourner la séance jusqu’à lundi 10h et de ne reprendre l’examen d’une loi budgétaire que mercredi 2 janvier, à partir de 16h. Or, à chaque jour qui passe, la position des démocrates se renforce. Ils prendront le contrôle de la Chambre des représentants dès le 3 janvier, tandis que les républicains auront une majorité renforcée au Sénat (53). Il est donc fort probable que Donald Trump soit obligé de faire des concessions, ce que le président américain ne semble pour l’instant pas prêt à faire. Le gouvernement restera paralysé jusqu’à « ce que nous ayons un mur, une barrière, peu importe comment ils veulent l’appeler », avait ainsi déclaré Donald Trump le 25 décembre. JDD
Why is our age of walls also the most open age in humanity’s history? Why is the march of globalisation now being kept company by re-activated nationalisms? Samanth Subramanian
I learnt early on in Bosnia, to understand the terrain in order to understand the story. There’s two things often, even in conflict zones, that some journalists don’t do. One is understanding religion, I mean really understand it. When all this started [the Arab uprisings] there was a whole generation of journalists who because they come from a secular society, thought religion was not a major factor. I think they found it hard to believe that these people actually do believe what they say, whereas I always knew to take them at their word. They believe this stuff, which is their right. I think some people just couldn’t bring themselves to believe people believe this in the 21st century. The other one is terrain. I was also influenced (and I acknowledge it) by Robert Kaplan’s Revenge of Geography. So I took all these ideas that have been swirling around for so long and packed in work to write. Then we start talking about identity, about national symbols and the emotional buttons they press [see Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, 2016]. In all my travels, I would always ask, “Who is that statue of? Why is your flag the colour it is?”. You would learn the emotional buttons that are pushed in populations. I do see my latest three books as a trilogy because it all comes together. This last one I wanted to call Us and Them, but that’s been done, so Divided is the title. It’s realistic but depressing stuff, but I do think it’s a fair reflection of where we are, and I think slowly dawning on the Western peoples is the realisation that advancement is not a given. Progression is not a given. (…) It is somewhat deterministic in that yes, these things do, partially determine what happens, but that’s the key word, partially. I’ve had a great response to it, half a million sales, and some very nice reviews. Where it has been criticised, is that it is “too deterministic”. I think that ignores the six or seven times I say in the book, ‘this is a determining factor, not the determining factor’. There is obviously ideas, technology, politics, great leaders. All this stuff goes into make up [international politics], but the one that is overlooked is [physical] geography. That is precisely because intellectuals have a problem with anything deterministic because it is something beyond their control. The new book features a lot on borders. The ‘Open Borders’ theory is right in its idea of oneness, which I happen to agree with, we are one. However, for a whole bunch of reasons, including geography, we are divided from each other. That includes rivers, oceans and mountains, which have divided us from each other and made us different from each other, to the extent I would argue that I cannot see, in the foreseeable future us actually being one. Nor do I think dropping borders would make us one people; I think it would make us kill even more of each other than we already do. I’m reasonably utilitarian on this – the fewest people get killed, that’s good with me. I think their way [‘open border’ scholars] would get a lot more people killed than there already are, and there’s a lot. It’s a utopian idea that I like the idea of, but I’m not convinced it works. These divisions appear to be endemic. This might be a bit trite -and an academic would find it trite- but go up to someone you know and like, and who knows and likes you, and put your nose closer and closer [to their face]. At a certain point, that person is uncomfortable with it, with you in their space. That to me is a starting point, extrapolate from that. We need space, and self-identifying groups require space. Religions have tried to make us one, but it hasn’t quite worked, maybe it’s impossible precisely because we’re human. I suppose I am [pro-borders]. I dislike borders, however I think the way humanity is, and always has been structured, they are inevitable. If you try to get rid of that you’re going to open up a horrible can of worms. This is very unfashionable: I think the nation-state is probably the best unit for organising peoples. Without nation-states, of course there wouldn’t be interstate wars, but we’d be back to fiefdoms before you know it. (…) Divided is (…) about walls and divisions and fences going up all over the place. There’s a chapter on the Indian subcontinent, the walls, barriers and internal divisions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Then a chapter on the USA, starting on walls and moving to racial divisions. Chapters on Europe, Israel, the Middle East, the UK – Brexit is part of it. That little strip of water called the Channel I think has a huge physical and psychological effect on the British. Without it, we wouldn’t have voted for Brexit, for two reasons. One, psychologically, we would feel less distinct, and secondly because of that our history would be very different: we might well have suffered the shock and trauma of the Second World War to the extent that continental Europe did. I read something just yesterday which struck a chord; the British experience of Hitler was such that we could make him a figure of fun, but the Russian experience was such that they don’t do that, it’s too traumatic. I’m interested in something that I completely disagree with: the open borders movement, which in academia is a ‘thing’. I’ve got a problem with ‘no borders’. There’s a very nice guy who helped me on the book called Professor Reece Jones from the University of Hawaii (author of Violent Borders, 2016). He gave me a few quotes for the book and I really like him, but some of his colleagues in this spectrum argue completely to bring borders down, almost overnight. They don’t factor in what will happen to the politics of the countries. We’ve seen with the movement we’ve had already, what’s happening to the politics of Europe, Austria as an example, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Magnify that several times if you have no borders – it’s a utopian view. Tim Marshall
This is a mammoth subject and not just because Donald Trump based much of his success in the US electoral college (if not the US popular vote) by claiming at every opportunity that he would “build that wall”. So Marshall explores how different societies have responded to the changes wrought by our globalised world and how they rise to the challenge of maintaining national identity. Trump’s America, he argues, is “the only major power that can absorb the potential losses of withdrawing from globalisation without seriously endangering itself in the short term”. But Trump’s border wall is a rhetorical device that plays on a fear of other peoples. It is unlikely ever to be built, not least because about two-thirds of southern borderland property and land is in private ownership, but it reassures his core voters. Next Marshall turns his attentions to China, home of the Great Wall, where the state has responded to global upheaval by restricting its citizens’ access to the internet. This is his cue to explore cyber security and “the Great Firewall of China”. As Marshall argues, “internet censorship does restrict China’s economic potential” but that is a price that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to pay to maintain both its power and national unity. Subsequent chapters examine Israel and Palestine where walls are a necessity but they are “containing the violence – for now”. In the wider Middle East, Marshall argues that “ironically, another wall is needed… between religion and politics” if the region is to escape its troubled past. The Indian subcontinent contains the longest border fence in the world which runs for 2,500 miles between India and Bangladesh. But the area is still struggling to cope with mass migration as well as climate change. Seven out of 10 of the world’s most unequal countries are to be found in Africa. Marshall focuses on the legacy of colonialism and influences of globalisation which, he argues, “has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty” while widening the gap “between the rich and not rich”. The final two chapters focus on Europe and the UK with Marshall exploring “the new realities of mass immigration and the moral necessities to take in refugees”. He shows how population pressures have led to the rise of nationalism and the Far-Right. Nonetheless he argues that we still need our nation states because “communities need to be bound together in shared experience”. Walls, Marshall concedes, have their place and we need not necessarily “decry the trend of wall-building… they can also provide temporary and partial alleviation of problems, even as countries work towards more lasting solutions, especially in areas of conflict”. Huston Gilmore
According to Tim Marshall, the fall of the Berlin Wall was the exception rather than the rule. ‘We are seeing walls being built along borders everywhere,’ he writes. The numbers support his argument. Fortified borders have increased from almost zero at the end of WWII to around 70 today, with the vast majority having been built since 2000. The divides continue to steer geopolitics and national identities, and countries appear to be goading each other into more wall building. ‘These are the fault lines that will shape our world for years to come,’ says Marshall. In that sense, President Trump’s campaign border wall seems less a shocking new policy than a repeating pattern. As one of the most high-profile border issues, Marshall devotes an early chapter to the Mexico/US divide and uses it to lay the foundations for what makes hard borders persuasive in popular politics – even if they are ineffective at preventing illegal immigration. Marshall puts it bluntly: ‘they make people who want something to be done feel that something is being done… Ultimately, very few barriers are impenetrable. People are resourceful, and those desperate enough will find a way around.’ Marshall takes us on a tour of some of the most relevant border divides in the world: India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Israel and Palestine border in the West Bank, the new borders across the Middle East and those running across Europe. (…) Where Divided is in its most revelatory, however, is where it looks at borders on an internal level, such as gated communities in South Africa and the US. Here Marshall shows how levels of exclusivity can spiral inward from the international to the regional to the local. ‘The new model of urban and suburban living is designed to be exclusionary: you can only get to the town square if you can get through the security surrounding the town. This lack of interaction may shrink the sense of civic engagement, encourage group-think among those on the inside and lead to a psychological division, with poorer people left feeling like “outsiders”, as though they have been walled off.’ In China, he argues, it is the entire population who are excluded. The ‘Great Firewall’ of China keeps the country’s 700 million users (roughly one-quarter of the world’s online population) excluded from the foreign media, meanwhile, internal firewalls and censorship keep the users from connecting too much with each other. ‘The party particularly fears social media being used to organise like-minded groups who might then gather in public places to demonstrate, which in turn could lead to rioting,’ he writes. Laura Cole
There is now a loose consortium of influential academics, pundits and businesspeople known as “New Optimists” dedicated to promoting the proposition that we are living in the best of times. If they are all correct, how do we explain what looks and feels like the world’s collective descent into chaos over the past decade-and-a-half? The optimists overlook the experience of a substantial mass of humanity for whom the world – even after being purged of the ills of the past centuries and endowed with modern technology – remains a forbidding place. The optimists’ exaltation of modernity is accompanied by the myth that modernity has created benefits for all. (…) The majority are “more divided than ever”, as Tim Marshall, who is a contributor to The National, notes in his new book. (…) Everywhere there is evidence of people retreating into narrow identities. Marshall, unlike the western commentators who rushed to pronounce this the Chinese century, is not sed­uced by the glitz of Shanghai’s skyscrapers. His eye is trained on the human cost of China’s progress: the disparities generated by it, the exodus from village to city, the loss of individual dignity. Beijing is altering the demographics of Buddhist Tibet, which it violently subsumed in the 1950s, and Muslim Xinjiang by flooding them with Han Chinese. It is in Beijing’s ethnic engineering that Marshall espies “the greatest threat to the prospects of long-term prosperity and unity in China”. Looking at India, Marshall contends that the subcontinent has not fully recovered from the invasions of the past millennium. The people on the peripheries continue to be haunted by the division of India to create Pakistan and the subsequent partition of Pakistan to birth Bangladesh. Bengalis in India resent the influx of migrants from Bangladesh because they are mostly Muslim. India has erected state-of-the-art fences on its eastern border. But as vast swathes of Bangladesh are poised to sink into the waters as sea levels rise, where will the climate refugees of the future go? Marshall’s chapter on the European Union is the most powerful. Ever since Britain voted to leave Europe, extraordinary claims have been made for the EU. But if the EU is the nec plus ultra of political co-operation, why did so many people choose to turn away from it? “The EU,” Marshall writes, “has never really succeeded in replacing the nation state in the hearts of most Europeans.” The EU hierarchs’ revulsion for nationalism doesn’t negate the importance many attach to national identity. As Marshall warns in his chapter on Britain, to “dismiss people who enjoyed their relatively homogeneous cultures and who are now unsure of their place in the world merely drives them into the arms of those who would exploit their anxieties – the real bigots”. By magnifying religion and culture as the causes of division, Marshall exposes himself to the charge of advancing a deterministic view of the world. Yet this is where Divided draws its strength from. As Raymond Aron said in response to French intellectuals who sought to blunt Algerian demands for independence with talk of progress under French rule, “it is a denial of the experience of our century to suppose that men will sacrifice their passions to their interests”. Marshall can’t be faulted for identifying the sources of those passions. He has written frankly about the world. We deny this at our own peril. Kapil Komireddi
What kind of a president would build a wall to keep out families dreaming of a better life? It’s a question that has been asked world over, especially after the outrage last week over migrant children at the American border. Donald Trump’s argument, one which his supporters agree with, is that the need to split parents from children at the border strengthens his case for a hardline immigration policy. Failure to patrol the border, he says, encourages tens of thousands to cross it illegally — with heartbreaking results. His opponents think he is guilty, and that his wall is a symbol of America closing in on itself… In fact, building a wall would make Trump the norm, not the exception. Those who denounced as crazy Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall did not appreciate how popular such a policy would be, nor how common. Nation states have started to matter again, and people care about borders — not just on the Texan side of the Rio Grande. Today more than 65 countries now wall or fence themselves off from their neighbours — a third of all nation states. And this is no historical legacy. Of all the border walls and fences constructed since the second world war, more than half have been built this century. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Thirty years ago a wall came down, ushering in what looked like a new era of openness. In 1987 Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and called out to his opposite number in the Soviet Union, ‘Mr. Gorbachev — tear down this wall!’ Two years later it fell. In those heady times some intellectuals predicted an end of history. History had other ideas. (…) At the turn of the century migration sped up and that began to tear down hopes of a borderless world. We’ve grown used to the new barriers that European nations have erected — between Greece and Turkey, for instance, or Serbia and Hungary, or Slovenia and Croatia — but many more are being built. To the east, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working on defensive fortifications on their borders with Russia. These measures are more to do with a perceived Russian military threat than with mass migration, but they are part of the overall trend — reinforcing the physical boundaries of the nation state — and contribute to the hard border which runs from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Saudi Arabia has fenced off its border with Iraq. Turkey has constructed a 700-mile concrete wall to separate it from Syria. The Iranian/Pakistan border, all 435 miles of it, is now fenced. In Central Asia, Uzbekistan, despite being landlocked, has closed itself off from its five neighbours. On the story goes, through the barriers separating Brunei and Malaysia, Pakistan and India, India and Bangladesh and so on around the world. The India/Bangladesh fence is instructive in showing us how the era of wall-building is not just about people in the developing world moving to the industrialised nations. The barrier runs the entire length of the 2,500-mile frontier and is New Delhi’s response to 15 million Bangladeshis moving into the Indian border states this century. This has led to ethnic clashes and many deaths. Wherever this mass movement of peoples happens at pace it seems to assist a retreat into identity. Almost all recent election results in Europe bear this out. Concurrent is the rise of extremes. Following the Dutch and French elections in 2016, there was an assumption in the media that Europe had halted the rise of the right. This was a complacent attitude at odds with the evidence. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders increased both vote share and parliamentary seats. The French election in particular was used to show that President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘open society’ model was triumphing against the ‘closed society’ model of his opponent Marine Le Pen. However, what Le Pen achieved as to almost double the far-right vote to 34 per cent, compared with when her father (Jean-Marie) stood against President Jacques Chirac in 2002. He won 5.25 million votes; last year 10.6 million voters supported the Front National. Austria’s choice of president, the entry of the AfD into the Bundestag, Hungary’s right-wing landslide and Italy’s new government all point to a rightward direction of travel in European politics. In all cases, concern about mass migration is among the driving forces. Voters are worried and tend to support parties which voice their concerns. This is true of Trump’s presidential victory and public support for his wall. To an extent we are dealing with psychology here. It is not true to say that ‘walls don’t work’ — some do, some don’t — but they do give the psychological impression, via their physicality, that ‘something is being done’. They address concerns about migrant invasions in a way that rhetoric about ‘getting tough’ on immigration does not. (…) The headlines afforded Trump’s ‘anti-immigrant’ stance detract from the bigger picture. It is easier to have the big bad wolf to huff and puff against than it is to see him as part of a global phenomenon. Concentrating on the Donald’s evils allows the Mexican government to quietly get on with deporting far more Central Americans from its country each year than does the United States. Granted, the US assists Mexico in this, but last year Mexico deported 165,000 central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000. The tales of hardship crossings, exploitation and human rights violations on the almost ignored Mexican/Guatemala border are, if anything, more harrowing than those on the border 900 miles to the north. (…) The new wall-building is driven by recent events. The cry ‘tear down this wall’ is losing the argument against ‘fortress mentality’. It is struggling to be heard, unable to compete with the frightening heights of mass migration, the backlash against globalisation, the resurgence of nationalism, the collapse of communism and the 2008 financial crash. On the other hand, our ability to cooperate, to think, and to build, also gives us the capacity to fill the spaces between the walls with hope and to build bridges. However, first must come an acceptance of the situation, and a very open and honest discussion of how we got here. Key to that is the debate on migration and identity and that requires a reaching out across the divides on all sides. Tim Marshall

Pourquoi la gauche irénique ne voit-elle pas que la construction d’un mur fait de Donald Trump la règle plutôt que l’exception parmi les dirigeants du monde ?

A l’heure où de l’électoralisme bien compris des Démocrates américains à l’irénisme intéressé des belles âmes des beaux quartiers du reste du monde …

L’hystérie anti-Trump concernant sa volonté d’un autre âge de terminer, sur la frontière sud de son pays, un mur voté à une large majorité démocrates compris il y a douze ans …
Prend des proportions proprement hystériques …
Refusant de voir à la fois l’origine de l’ouverture effectivement inouïe de notre monde dans l’histoire humaine (le travail de sape d’une révélation biblique nous privant progressivement de nos béquilles sacrificielles)…
Et les conséquences, potentiellement apocalyptiques, d’une telle dissolution des barrières et des interdits (que des traditions millénaires avaient savamment bâtis pour empêcher les humains que nous sommes de s’entretuer) …
Autrement dit, comme nous l’avait enseigné René Girard, que ce ne sont pas les différences mais leur disparition qui génère la pire violence …
D’où la fonction fondamentalement protectrice et l’actuelle demande populaire d’un certain retour, physique ou dentitaire, à certaines formes de barrières …
Petit retour à la réalité avec Tim Marshall …
Qui dans son dernier livre montre en fait …
Que loin d’être la bizarre exception que ses opposants nous présentent …
Le président américain est en réalité la règle parmi les dirigeants mondiaux !

Mass immigration has destroyed hopes of a borderless society

Building a wall makes Donald Trump the rule, not the exception, among world leaders

Tim Marshall
The Spectator
30 June 2018
What kind of a president would build a wall to keep out families dreaming of a better life? It’s a question that has been asked world over, especially after the outrage last week over migrant children at the American border. Donald Trump’s argument, one which his supporters agree with, is that the need to split parents from children at the border strengthens his case for a hardline immigration policy. Failure to patrol the border, he says, encourages tens of thousands to cross it illegally — with heartbreaking results. His opponents think he is guilty, and that his wall is a symbol of America closing in on itself…

In fact, building a wall would make Trump the norm, not the exception. Those who denounced as crazy Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall did not appreciate how popular such a policy would be, nor how common. Nation states have started to matter again, and people care about borders — not just on the Texan side of the Rio Grande. Today more than 65 countries now wall or fence themselves off from their neighbours — a third of all nation states. And this is no historical legacy. Of all the border walls and fences constructed since the second world war, more than half have been built this century.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Thirty years ago a wall came down, ushering in what looked like a new era of openness. In 1987 Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and called out to his opposite number in the Soviet Union, ‘Mr. Gorbachev — tear down this wall!’ Two years later it fell. In those heady times some intellectuals predicted an end of history. History had other ideas.

This does not mean Hillary Clinton was wrong when in 2012 she predicted that in the 21st century ‘nations will be divided not between east and west, or along religious lines, but between open and closed societies’. Still, so far she is not right either.

At the turn of the century migration sped up and that began to tear down hopes of a borderless world. We’ve grown used to the new barriers that European nations have erected — between Greece and Turkey, for instance, or Serbia and Hungary, or Slovenia and Croatia — but many more are being built. To the east, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working on defensive fortifications on their borders with Russia. These measures are more to do with a perceived Russian military threat than with mass migration, but they are part of the overall trend — reinforcing the physical boundaries of the nation state — and contribute to the hard border which runs from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Saudi Arabia has fenced off its border with Iraq. Turkey has constructed a 700-mile concrete wall to separate it from Syria. The Iranian/Pakistan border, all 435 miles of it, is now fenced. In Central Asia, Uzbekistan, despite being landlocked, has closed itself off from its five neighbours.

On the story goes, through the barriers separating Brunei and Malaysia, Pakistan and India, India and Bangladesh and so on around the world. The India/Bangladesh fence is instructive in showing us how the era of wall-building is not just about people in the developing world moving to the industrialised nations. The barrier runs the entire length of the 2,500-mile frontier and is New Delhi’s response to 15 million Bangladeshis moving into the Indian border states this century. This has led to ethnic clashes and many deaths.

Wherever this mass movement of peoples happens at pace it seems to assist a retreat into identity. Almost all recent election results in Europe bear this out. Concurrent is the rise of extremes.

Following the Dutch and French elections in 2016, there was an assumption in the media that Europe had halted the rise of the right. This was a complacent attitude at odds with the evidence. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders increased both vote share and parliamentary seats. The French election in particular was used to show that President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘open society’ model was triumphing against the ‘closed society’ model of his opponent Marine Le Pen. However, what Le Pen achieved as to almost double the far-right vote to 34 per cent, compared with when her father (Jean-Marie) stood against President Jacques Chirac in 2002. He won 5.25 million votes; last year 10.6 million voters supported the Front National. Austria’s choice of president, the entry of the AfD into the Bundestag, Hungary’s right-wing landslide and Italy’s new government all point to a rightward direction of travel in European politics. In all cases, concern about mass migration is among the driving forces. Voters are worried and tend to support parties which voice their concerns.

This is true of Trump’s presidential victory and public support for his wall. To an extent we are dealing with psychology here. It is not true to say that ‘walls don’t work’ — some do, some don’t — but they do give the psychological impression, via their physicality, that ‘something is being done’. They address concerns about migrant invasions in a way that rhetoric about ‘getting tough’ on immigration does not. Hence, despite the evidence, many Americans appear to believe still that the wall with Mexico will be built and that it will work. This belief ignores the fact that there is a treaty between the two countries in which both agree they will not build on the Rio Grande flood plain, and that despite (somewhat half-hearted) efforts by the President, Congress has not agreed to fund his plan.

The headlines afforded Trump’s ‘anti-immigrant’ stance detract from the bigger picture. It is easier to have the big bad wolf to huff and puff against than it is to see him as part of a global phenomenon. Concentrating on the Donald’s evils allows the Mexican government to quietly get on with deporting far more Central Americans from its country each year than does the United States. Granted, the US assists Mexico in this, but last year Mexico deported 165,000 central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000. The tales of hardship crossings, exploitation and human rights violations on the almost ignored Mexican/Guatemala border are, if anything, more harrowing than those on the border 900 miles to the north.

The walls and fences built this century mirror the divides which have also grown in political discourse and especially on social media. A decade ago Mark Zuckerberg believed social media would unite us all. He now says ‘the world is today more divided than I would have expected for the level of openness and connection that we have’. In some ways he was right — we are more connected and there are many positive aspects to this, but what surprised him is how many of us use that connectedness to abuse the ‘other’. The internet has allowed us to divide into social media tribes howling into a void, an echo chamber or across the divides at each other. This level of abuse has crawled out of the worldwide web and into worldwide politics — Mr Trump being the best-known beneficiary.

The Chinese led the way in great wall- building and are becoming world leaders in using the internet as a wall. We all know of the ‘great firewall of China’, which they call the ‘golden shield’. This is intended to block the outside world from infecting the Middle Kingdom with harmful ideas such as democracy. Less well known are the internal firewalls within China.

Beijing likes to ensure that people in the restless province of Xinjiang, a Turkic-speaking Muslim state, cannot easily converse with those in Tibet. Both have independence movements, and allowing them to form cybernetworks might be detrimental to the unity of the People’s Republic, so they have extra firewalls around them. China is probably the world’s leader in using new technology to build virtual walls. The Russians are the leaders in working inside other countries’ social media to sow division and use disinformation to muddy debate. It used to be argued that the internet would undermine the nation state as citizens of the world simply bypassed governments in a free-flow exchange of ideas and information. Again, this may come true, but it might also be that as the years pass more legislation will be enacted allowing the state to control the net.

We seem to have always divided ourselves one way or another. From the moment we stopped being hunter-gathers about 12,000 years ago, we began to build walls. We ploughed the fields and didn’t scatter. Instead we waited around for the results. More and more of us needed to build barriers: walls and roofs to house ourselves and our livestock, fences to mark our territory, fortresses to retreat to if the territory was overrun. The age of walls was upon us and has gripped our imagination ever since. We still tell stories of the walls of Troy, Constantinople, the Inca in Peru and many others.

The new wall-building is driven by recent events. The cry ‘tear down this wall’ is losing the argument against ‘fortress mentality’. It is struggling to be heard, unable to compete with the frightening heights of mass migration, the backlash against globalisation, the resurgence of nationalism, the collapse of communism and the 2008 financial crash.

On the other hand, our ability to cooperate, to think, and to build, also gives us the capacity to fill the spaces between the walls with hope and to build bridges.

However, first must come an acceptance of the situation, and a very open and honest discussion of how we got here. Key to that is the debate on migration and identity and that requires a reaching out across the divides on all sides.

Tim Marshall is the author of Divided: Why We’re Living In An Age Of Walls, Elliott and Thompson £16.99.

Voir aussi:

Review: ‘Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls’ by Tim Marshall

While Barack Obama once claimed that we are living in ‘the best of times’, many across the world would beg to differ. A perceptive new book unravels the consequences of this pessimistic mood

Kapil Komireddi

The National

March 25, 2018

“If you had to choose a moment in history to be born,” Barack Obama told an audi­ence in Athens during his final overseas visits as president of the United States in November 2016, “you’d choose now”. Obama’s optimism was out of step with his surroundings. Riot police were busy restraining thousands of Greek protesters as Obama proclaimed confidently that the world had never “been wealthier, better educated, healthier, less violent than it is today”.

It is a message amplified by the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker in his books The Better Angels of Our Nature (2015) and Enlightenment Now (2018), and there is now a loose consortium of influential academics, pundits and businesspeople known as “New Optimists” dedicated to promoting the proposition that we are living in the best of times. If they are all correct, how do we explain what looks and feels like the world’s collective descent into chaos over the past decade-and-a-half?

The optimists overlook the experience of a substantial mass of humanity for whom the world – even after being purged of the ills of the past centuries and endowed with modern technology – remains a forbidding place. The optimists’ exaltation of modernity is accompanied by the myth that modernity has created benefits for all. Consider, for instance, the frequently repeated claim by the optimists that we live in the most open age in human history: it presupposes that all humans have access to this open world, when only a relatively small portion do.

The majority are “more divided than ever”, as Tim Marshall, who is a contributor to The National, notes in his new book. The pessimism that leaps from the pages of Divided shouldn’t be mistaken for the author’s attitude. It is, rather, the mood of the world as it stands. In eight chapters on China, the United States, Israel and Palestine, West Asia, India, Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom, Marshall examines the walls – physical, religious, ethnic, psychological – that fence people off or, at times, pen them in.

Everywhere there is evidence of people retreating into narrow identities. Marshall, unlike the western commentators who rushed to pronounce this the Chinese century, is not sed­uced by the glitz of Shanghai’s skyscrapers. His eye is trained on the human cost of China’s progress: the disparities generated by it, the exodus from village to city, the loss of individual dignity. Beijing is altering the demographics of Buddhist Tibet, which it violently subsumed in the 1950s, and Muslim Xinjiang by flooding them with Han Chinese. It is in Beijing’s ethnic engineering that Marshall espies “the greatest threat to the prospects of long-term prosperity and unity in China”.

Looking at India, Marshall contends that the subcontinent has not fully recovered from the invasions of the past millennium. The people on the peripheries continue to be haunted by the division of India to create Pakistan and the subsequent partition of Pakistan to birth Bangladesh. Bengalis in India resent the influx of migrants from Bangladesh because they are mostly Muslim. India has erected state-of-the-art fences on its eastern border. But as vast swathes of Bangladesh are poised to sink into the waters as sea levels rise, where will the climate refugees of the future go?

Marshall’s chapter on the European Union is the most powerful. Ever since Britain voted to leave Europe, extraordinary claims have been made for the EU. But if the EU is the ne plus ultra of political co-operation, why did so many people choose to turn away from it? “The EU,” Marshall writes, “has never really succeeded in replacing the nation state in the hearts of most Europeans.”

The EU hierarchs’ revulsion for nationalism doesn’t negate the importance many attach to national identity. As Marshall warns in his chapter on Britain, to “dismiss people who enjoyed their relatively homogeneous cultures and who are now unsure of their place in the world merely drives them into the arms of those who would exploit their anxieties – the real bigots”.

By magnifying religion and culture as the causes of division, Marshall exposes himself to the charge of advancing a deterministic view of the world. Yet this is where Divided draws its strength from. As Raymond Aron said in response to French intellectuals who sought to blunt Algerian demands for independence with talk of progress under French rule, “it is a denial of the experience of our century to suppose that men will sacrifice their passions to their interests”. Marshall can’t be faulted for identifying the sources of those passions. He has written frankly about the world. We deny this at our own peril.

Voir également:

  • Laura Cole
  • Geographical
16 May 2018
by Tim Marshall • Elliott & Thompson • £16.99 (hardback)

According to Tim Marshall, the fall of the Berlin Wall was the exception rather than the rule. ‘We are seeing walls being built along borders everywhere,’ he writes.

The numbers support his argument. Fortified borders have increased from almost zero at the end of WWII to around 70 today, with the vast majority having been built since 2000. The divides continue to steer geopolitics and national identities, and countries appear to be goading each other into more wall building. ‘These are the fault lines that will shape our world for years to come,’ says Marshall.

In that sense, President Trump’s campaign border wall seems less a shocking new policy than a repeating pattern. As one of the most high-profile border issues, Marshall devotes an early chapter to the Mexico/US divide and uses it to lay the foundations for what makes hard borders persuasive in popular politics – even if they are ineffective at preventing illegal immigration. Marshall puts it bluntly: ‘they make people who want something to be done feel that something is being done… Ultimately, very few barriers are impenetrable. People are resourceful, and those desperate enough will find a way around.’

Marshall takes us on a tour of some of the most relevant border divides in the world: India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Israel and Palestine border in the West Bank, the new borders across the Middle East and those running across Europe. The effectiveness of barriers are explored but more important to the author is the desire for divide – ‘us and them thinking’ – and where it gets us in the 21st century.

Readers of Prisoners of Geography, Marshall’s previous work, will be familiar with his global sweep explained through history and geography. Occasionally, his strokes are too broad. For example, only a single chapter is given to the whole continent of Africa, which suffers for it.

Where Divided is in its most revelatory, however, is where it looks at borders on an internal level, such as gated communities in South Africa and the US. Here Marshall shows how levels of exclusivity can spiral inward from the international to the regional to the local. ‘The new model of urban and suburban living is designed to be exclusionary: you can only get to the town square if you can get through the security surrounding the town. This lack of interaction may shrink the sense of civic engagement, encourage group-think among those on the inside and lead to a psychological division, with poorer people left feeling like “outsiders”, as though they have been walled off.’

In China, he argues, it is the entire population who are excluded. The ‘Great Firewall’ of China keeps the country’s 700 million users (roughly one-quarter of the world’s online population) excluded from the foreign media, meanwhile, internal firewalls and censorship keep the users from connecting too much with each other. ‘The party particularly fears social media being used to organise like-minded groups who might then gather in public places to demonstrate, which in turn could lead to rioting,’ he writes.

Divided also shines a light on the future of borders. ‘The technology becomes more sophisticated each year,’ Marshall warns. ‘The barriers along the majority of the thousands of miles of frontiers are now being built higher and wider and are becoming more technologically sophisticated… such barriers don’t stop people from attempting to cross anyway – many don’t have any other choice but to try – and increasingly violent policing of borders can lead to terrible human consequences.’ With border deaths at the highest numbers in history, it begs the question, what will more efficient borders – utilising drones, motion sensors and higher walls – mean to the people near to them?

Answers are where Divided leaves us hanging. Perhaps this is because of the global scope of the book – there is probably no one-size-fits-all solution to the wall-building spree – but also because of the tricky nature of barriers themselves. Walls can prevent violence, but they can cause it too. Having heard, however, about some of the most entrenched borders in the world, the reader has a natural appetite for solutions to remove them, or at least to stem the rate of barriers rising elsewhere. Something Marshall is surprisingly on the fence about.

Voir de même:

Divided by Tim Marshall — to the barricades

Samanth Subramanian

The Financial Times

March 16, 2018

We live in a time of openness, globalisation — and walls. A study of the world’s fraught borderlands seeks to explain why

Of all the walls ever raised, my favourite remains the Indian Salt Hedge, built not of stone — or indeed of salt — but of the thorniest vegetation India could provide. The British, always avid about their gardening, tended to the hedge from the 1840s to 1879, using it to cramp the smuggling of untaxed salt. At its most prosperous, the hedge was 12 feet high and 14 feet thick, jagging for 2,500 miles from India’s left hipbone to right shoulder. It was, like all such barriers, a geopolitical form of Freudian repression. The salt tax was both unfair and unwise, and the British had little moral right to impose it, but they ignored these troublesome truths by walling them away.

Time sheared down the Indian Salt Hedge. Most of the walls we’ve built have crumbled, yet we keep putting up new ones, as if panicked that the planet will run out. By early February, the Berlin Wall had been down longer than it was up, and Europe might have commended itself if so many of its countries hadn’t been busily fencing each other off. We inhabit an age of walls, the journalist Tim Marshall observes in Divided. Half of all border barriers erected around the world since 1945 have appeared in this century. “Within a few years, the European nations could have more miles of walls, fences and barriers on their borders than there were at the height of the Cold War.” We seem to loathe each other more than at any point in living memory — a rebuke both to the evangelists for unfettered globalisation and to the techno-optimists who find so much to cheer in our time.

Any reader of Prisoners of Geography, Marshall’s 2015 bestseller, will recognise his approach here. He first lights upon an indisputable thesis: that the destiny of nations is hewn by their geography, or that humans are dividing themselves from each other. Then he tours the map with that thesis, describing how it applies in as many countries as possible. The tour in Divided is, unfortunately, figurative. Marshall has reported from dozens of countries, often when they were passing through moments of howling drama, but few of those tales filter in. Instead, the case studies seem to draw more on dry policy journals and faraway newspapers than his own first-hand observation.

Marshall opens each of his eight geographically demarcated chapters by discussing a barrier: the Great Wall of China; the Moroccan Wall, a berm of sand slaloming though Western Sahara; the double-layered fence separating India from Bangladesh; the slices of concrete between Israel and the West Bank. These barriers are only physical manifestations of deeper disunities, though, and our world is rife with these.

In China, invisible fissures set apart rural people from urban, the Han from other ethnicities, and older generations from younger. These are new tears in the fabric, wrought by the way China has changed over the past half-century. Elsewhere, Marshall subscribes to the much-derided notion of ancient hatreds, animosities that have boiled forever. The theory suggests that people — usually in the developing world — cleave to a one-dimensional identity, defending it with atavistic violence. Marshall decides that in Africa, the faultlines are tribal, and in the Middle East, they’re religious. He will yield only a minor role for poverty and poor education: “Neither factor can be ignored; however, too much importance is attached to them.” He limits the pernicious effects of colonialism merely to thoughtlessly drawn borders, a final act of haste before the European powers vacated the premises.

The most-deliberated wall over the past year is one that doesn’t yet exist. Donald Trump’s proposed blockade of the US-Mexico border is a ruse, a kneading of white anxieties about the economic and demographic transitions eddying around the country. The older rupture of racism has yet to be sealed. “In this febrile atmosphere Trump’s rhetoric about the wall plays on historical and new divisions within the nation, speaking of a narrow definition of ‘American’,” Marshall writes.

A giant paradox undergirds Marshall’s book, but he never quite looks it in the eye. Why is our age of walls also the most open age in humanity’s history? Why is the march of globalisation now being kept company by re-activated nationalisms? Divided exhibits a deterministic streak that feels wearying and shallow in the face of such questions. The world being what it is, states have no choice but to act in certain ways. To draw borders and defend them is simply “human nature”, he writes in his conclusion. That must mean that every age — and not just this one — is an age of walls. It must also mean, unhappily, that as long as we’re human, this is what we will be: wall-builders, fence-erectors, architects of schisms between ourselves and the rest of our species.

Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, by Tim Marshall, Elliott & Thompson, RRP£16.99, 272 pages Samanth Subramanian is author of ‘This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War’ (Atlantic)

Voir de plus:

Divided review: A readable primer on the world’s biggest problems
The world is divided by more physical walls than at any time since the Second World War. And, according to this informative and timely account of division in the 21st century, written by the author of the bestselling Prisoners Of Geography, these “physical divisions are mirrored by those in the mind”.
Huston Gilmore
The Express
Mar 9, 2018This is a mammoth subject and not just because Donald Trump based much of his success in the US electoral college (if not the US popular vote) by claiming at every opportunity that he would “build that wall”.So Marshall explores how different societies have responded to the changes wrought by our globalised world and how they rise to the challenge of maintaining national identity.Trump’s America, he argues, is “the only major power that can absorb the potential losses of withdrawing from globalisation without seriously endangering itself in the short term”.But Trump’s border wall is a rhetorical device that plays on a fear of other peoples. It is unlikely ever to be built, not least because about two-thirds of southern borderland property and land is in private ownership, but it reassures his core voters.Next Marshall turns his attentions to China, home of the Great Wall, where the state has responded to global upheaval by restricting its citizens’ access to the internet.This is his cue to explore cyber security and “the Great Firewall of China”. As Marshall argues, “internet censorship does restrict China’s economic potential” but that is a price that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to pay to maintain both its power and national unity.Subsequent chapters examine Israel and Palestine where walls are a necessity but they are “containing the violence – for now”.In the wider Middle East, Marshall argues that “ironically, another wall is needed… between religion and politics” if the region is to escape its troubled past.The Indian subcontinent contains the longest border fence in the world which runs for 2,500 miles between India and Bangladesh.

But the area is still struggling to cope with mass migration as well as climate change.

Seven out of 10 of the world’s most unequal countries are to be found in Africa. Marshall focuses on the legacy of colonialism and influences of globalisation which, he argues, “has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty” while widening the gap “between the rich and not rich”.

The final two chapters focus on Europe and the UK with Marshall exploring “the new realities of mass immigration and the moral necessities to take in refugees”.

He shows how population pressures have led to the rise of nationalism and the Far-Right. Nonetheless he argues that we still need our nation states because “communities need to be bound together in shared experience”.

Walls, Marshall concedes, have their place and we need not necessarily “decry the trend of wall-building… they can also provide temporary and partial alleviation of problems, even as countries work towards more lasting solutions, especially in areas of conflict”.

The book closes with suggested solutions to the world’s problems, including “a 21st-century Marshall Plan for the developing world to harness the riches of the G20 group of nations in a global redistribution of wealth”.

Some of these ideas are intriguing but Marshall barely gives them room to breathe and his conclusion feels rushed.

However he has delivered a readable primer to many of the biggest problems facing the world.

Voir encore:

INTERVIEW: Tim Marshall

Geopolitics, territory and security

19th December 2017

Tim Marshall is the author of Prisoners of Geography (2015), a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Originally from Yorkshire, Marshall started his career in journalism in London at LBC and the BBC, and then spent three years as IRN’s correspondent in Paris. Marshall then joined Sky News, as a Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem and later as Diplomatic Editor, covering twelve wars and three US presidential elections. He has written for several national newspapers, including the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times, and frequently appears as a guest commentator on global events for the BBC and Sky News. In 2016, Marshall published Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags. The next title in Marshall’s geographical trilogy, Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, is due to be released in March 2018.

As you mentioned in a recent talk organised by the Diplomacy Society at King’s College London, you left school at 16 and went straight into the world of work. How did you start your career as a journalist?

Tim Marshall: “I’d wanted to be a journalist since I was about 11, but it just wasn’t on the radar. I left school at 16, I was a painter and decorator. I always read a lot, and had always been interested in history, [but] it just wasn’t on the cards. So I joined up and when I was in the Forces, I went to night school and got myself a couple of O-levels. On the strength of two O-levels, I then got into a college of higher education and did a degree in American Politics and History. And then I was unemployed in London, and took a French conversation course at night school in the Ken Livingstone era  -when things were free- and I met the newsdesk assistant at IRN and LBC. I gave her a very badly typed CV, probably full of mistakes, which would have gone in the bin if I’d sent it in the post. But because it was by hand, to the woman in charge of the research department at LBC, she gave me a chance. She got me in for an interview and gave me three days’ work which turned into 30 years.”

Did your military experience affect how you reported from the war zone? What is it like to report on conflicts at the frontline?

TM: “I was a telegraphist in the RAF, a radio operator. I thought, ‘I’ve seen that in the films, I’ll do that’. And I did for four years, at Strike Command and later in what was then West Germany. It got me out of my environment. It definitely gave me a discipline I didn’t have – if you want to get something done, do it. It gave me an understanding of military life, which became very useful down the line when I had to work a lot in military situations in Northern Ireland, Gaza/West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Libya, Tunisia, Syria…

I don’t really tell war stories because I would go for a couple of weeks and then go home. But people there would live it. However, there were several extremely close situations, one of which, following the death of a colleague, persuaded me I was going to pack it in and not do it any more. I thought, ‘I’m running out of luck here’. I know about twelve colleagues that have been killed over the years, and the last one was a friend, Micky Deane, and shortly after that (he was killed in Cairo), I had a narrow escape in Syria, and I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this’.”

What inspired you to write Prisoners of Geography, and to produce a trilogy of ‘popular geography’ books?

TM: “I learnt early on in Bosnia, to understand the terrain in order to understand the story. There’s two things often, even in conflict zones, that some journalists don’t do. One is understanding religion, I mean really understand it. When all this started [the Arab uprisings] there was a whole generation of journalists who because they come from a secular society, thought religion was not a major factor. I think they found it hard to believe that these people actually do believe what they say, whereas I always knew to take them at their word. They believe this stuff, which is their right. I think some people just couldn’t bring themselves to believe people believe this in the 21st century. The other one is terrain. I was also influenced (and I acknowledge it) by Robert Kaplan’s Revenge of Geography. So I took all these ideas that have been swirling around for so long and packed in work to write.

Then we start talking about identity, about national symbols and the emotional buttons they press [see Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, 2016]. In all my travels, I would always ask, “Who is that statue of? Why is your flag the colour it is?”. You would learn the emotional buttons that are pushed in populations. I do see my latest three books as a trilogy because it all comes together. This last one I wanted to call Us and Them, but that’s been done, so Divided is the title. It’s realistic but depressing stuff, but I do think it’s a fair reflection of where we are, and I think slowly dawning on the Western peoples is the realisation that advancement is not a given. Progression is not a given.”

The theory behind Prisoners of Geography is deterministic, would you agree?

TM: “It is somewhat deterministic in that yes, these things do, partially determine what happens, but that’s the key word, partially. I’ve had a great response to it, half a million sales, and some very nice reviews. Where it has been criticised, is that it is “too deterministic”. I think that ignores the six or seven times I say in the book, ‘this is a determining factor, not the determining factor’. There is obviously ideas, technology, politics, great leaders. All this stuff goes into make up [international politics], but the one that is overlooked is [physical] geography. That is precisely because intellectuals have a problem with anything deterministic because it is something beyond their control.

The new book features a lot on borders. The ‘Open Borders’ theory is right in its idea of oneness, which I happen to agree with, we are one. However, for a whole bunch of reasons, including geography, we are divided from each other. That includes rivers, oceans and mountains, which have divided us from each other and made us different from each other, to the extent I would argue that I cannot see, in the foreseeable future us actually being one. Nor do I think dropping borders would make us one people; I think it would make us kill even more of each other than we already do. I’m reasonably utilitarian on this – the fewest people get killed, that’s good with me. I think their way [‘open border’ scholars] would get a lot more people killed than there already are, and there’s a lot. It’s a utopian idea that I like the idea of, but I’m not convinced it works.

These divisions appear to be endemic. This might be a bit trite -and an academic would find it trite- but go up to someone you know and like, and who knows and likes you, and put your nose closer and closer [to their face]. At a certain point, that person is uncomfortable with it, with you in their space. That to me is a starting point, extrapolate from that. We need space, and self-identifying groups require space. Religions have tried to make us one, but it hasn’t quite worked, maybe it’s impossible precisely because we’re human. I suppose I am [pro-borders]. I dislike borders, however I think the way humanity is, and always has been structured, they are inevitable. If you try to get rid of that you’re going to open up a horrible can of worms. This is very unfashionable: I think the nation-state is probably the best unit for organising peoples. Without nation-states, of course there wouldn’t be interstate wars, but we’d be back to fiefdoms before you know it.”

Have you got any particularly memorable border experiences?

TM: “Going through to Gaza is quite an intense experience. You go past a massive wall, and through two or threecheckpoints. You’re all by yourself in this empty echoing steel and concrete corridor, and there’s cameras everywhere. Suddenly you hear a click, and the door swings open. It’s like a dystopian sci-fi film. The door swings open and you’re now in Gaza. You walk down another 200 yards of corridor and then out into the open but its scrubland, no-mans-land. Another 600 yards and then you meet a Hamas checkpoint. It’s just this weird, cold experience.

Crossing from Tajikistan into Afghanistan, was pretty interesting. A Russian soldier aimed his rifle through our truck window because we were getting impatient to go through the border fence. Then, when we got across, there was a river. It was pitch-black and we went across on a raft with all our kit, with an exchange of mortars going on around us. Then the Northern Alliance were on the other side of the Tajikistan river to greet us. That was intense. Crossing borders is always fun.

Iraq – when we used to go during the Saddam years, they hit upon this great money-making thing at the border with Jordan. You had a choice. They [Iraqi border patrol] would get out this huge rusty knitting needle with a syringe on the end of it and say, “You can have your AIDS test”, and we would say, “Ah, maybe there’s a facility fee, a special tax we can pay?”. So you’d pay $50 and not get jabbed in the backside with this thing. It’s just a money-making thing. Another one, you can leave a bottle of whiskey on the dashboard while they check the car. Then when you come back it wasn’t there anymore. Ok, it’s corruption, but you weren’t getting into Iraq without it – and that was more important.”

What is your next book about?

TM: “Divided is coming out in March; it’s about walls and divisions and fences going up all over the place. There’s a chapter on the Indian subcontinent, the walls, barriers and internal divisions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Then a chapter on the USA, starting on walls and moving to racial divisions. Chapters on Europe, Israel, the Middle East, the UK – Brexit is part of it. That little strip of water called the Channel I think has a huge physical and psychological effect on the British. Without it, we wouldn’t have voted for Brexit, for two reasons. One, psychologically, we would feel less distinct, and secondly because of that our history would be very different: we might well have suffered the shock and trauma of the Second World War to the extent that continental Europe did. I read something just yesterday which struck a chord; the British experience of Hitler was such that we could make him a figure of fun, but the Russian experience was such that they don’t do that, it’s too traumatic.

I’m interested in something that I completely disagree with: the open borders movement, which in academia is a ‘thing’. I’ve got a problem with ‘no borders’. There’s a very nice guy who helped me on the book called Professor Reece Jones from the University of Hawaii (author of Violent Borders, 2016). He gave me a few quotes for the book and I really like him, but some of his colleagues in this spectrumargue completely to bring borders down, almost overnight. They don’t factor in what will happen to the politics of the countries. We’ve seen with the movement we’ve had already, what’s happening to the politics of Europe, Austria as an example, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Magnify that several times if you have no borders – it’s a utopian view.”

Prisoners of Geography and Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags are available here. Marshall’s next book, Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, is due to be published by Elliott & Thompson in March 2018. Check out Marshall’s foreign affairs website The What and the Why for more information and geopolitical analysis.

Voir par ailleurs:

It Was Always about the Wall
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
December 20, 2018

A high wall would end the border patrol’s reliance on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers throwing stones. There was likely never going to be “comprehensive immigration reform” or any deal amnestying the DACA recipients in exchange for building the wall. Democrats in the present political landscape will not consent to a wall. For them, a successful border wall is now considered bad politics in almost every manner imaginable.

Yet 12 years ago, Congress, with broad bipartisan support, passed the Secure Fence of Act of 2006. The bill was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush to overwhelming public applause. The stopgap legislation led to some 650 miles of a mostly inexpensive steel fence while still leaving about two-thirds of the 1,950-mile border unfenced.

In those days there were not, as now, nearly 50 million foreign-born immigrants living in the United States, perhaps nearly 15 million of them illegally.

Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office.

The solidly blue states of the American Southwest, including Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red as recently as 2004 for George W. Bush. Progressives understandably conclude that de facto open borders are good long-term politics.

Once upon a time, Democrats such as Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked tough about illegal immigration. They even ruled out amnesty while talking up a new border wall.

In those days, progressives saw illegal immigration as illiberal — or at least not as a winning proposition among union households and the working poor.

Democratic constituencies opposed importing inexpensive foreign labor for corporate bosses. Welfare rights groups believed that massive illegal immigration would swamp social services and curtail government help to American poor of the barrios and the inner city.

So, what happened? Again, numbers.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have flocked into the United States over the last decade. In addition, the Obama administration discouraged the melting-pot assimilationist model of integrating only legal immigrants.

Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run.

In contrast, a wall would likely reduce illegal immigration dramatically and with it future Democratic constituents. Legal, meritocratic, measured and diverse immigration in its place would likely end up being politically neutral. And without fresh waves of undocumented immigrants from south of the border, identity politics would wane.

A wall also would radically change the optics of illegal immigration. Currently, in unsecured border areas, armed border patrol guards sometimes stand behind barbed wire. Without a wall, they are forced to rely on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers. They are easy targets for stone-throwers on the Mexican side of the border.

A high wall would end that. Border guards would be mostly invisible from the Mexican side of the wall. Barbed wire, dogs and tear gas astride the border — the ingredients for media sensationalism — would be unnecessary. Instead, footage of would-be border crossers trying to climb 30-foot walls would emphasize the degree to which some are callously breaking the law.

Such imagery would remind the world that undocumented immigrants are not always noble victims but often selfish young adult males who have little regard for the millions of aspiring immigrants who wait patiently in line and follow the rules to enter the United State lawfully.

More importantly, thousands of undocumented immigrants cross miles of dangerous, unguarded borderlands each year to walk for days in the desert. Often, they fall prey to dangers ranging from cartel gangs to dehydration.

Usually, the United States is somehow blamed for their plight, even though a few years ago the Mexican government issued a comic book with instructions on how citizens could most effectively break U.S. law and cross the border.

The wall would make illegal crossings almost impossible, saving lives.

Latin American governments and Democratic operatives assume that lax border enforcement facilitates the outflow of billions of dollars in remittances sent south of the border and helps flip red states blue.

All prior efforts to ensure border security — sanctions against employers, threats to cut off foreign aid to Mexico and Central America, and talk of tamper-proof identity cards — have failed.

Instead, amnesties, expanded entitlements and hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions offer incentives for waves of undocumented immigrants.

The reason a secure border wall has not been — and may not be — built is not apprehension that it would not work, but rather real fear that it would work only too well.

Voir encore:

The Immorality of Illegal Immigration
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
December 31, 2018

New House majority leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly spent the holidays at the Fairmont Orchid on Kona, contemplating future climate-change legislation and still adamant in opposing the supposed vanity border wall.

But in a very different real world from the Fairmont Orchid or Pacific Heights, other people each day deal with the results of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions. The results are often nihilistic and horrific. Here in California’s Central Valley over the holidays we were reminded of the wages of illegal immigration in general — and of California’s sanctuary-city laws in particular, which restrict formal cooperation between local and state law enforcement with federal immigration authorities in matters of deporting illegal aliens under detention.

In the first case, one Gustavo Garcia, a previously deported 36-year-old illegal alien, murdered a 51-year-old Visalia resident on December 17, gratuitously shooting his random victim, Rocky Jones, at a gas station. He apparently had been arrested two days prior and released.

Garcia entered the U.S. illegally in 1998 and was deported for a second time in 2014. He has been charged with at least three immigration violations since illegally returning to the U.S., and has been a convicted felon since at least 2002 for assaults with a deadly weapon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, etc. In addition to the murder of Jones, Garcia shot a farmworker who was on a ladder working, and followed a woman to her car at a Motel 6 and shot her too. At the beginning of his violent spree, he seems also to have murdered Rolando Soto, 38, of nearby Lindsay.

Indeed, Garcia was a suspect in a number of prior shootings and thefts. During his final rampage, inter alia, Garcia tried to shoot his ex-girlfriend, then stole a truck from farmworkers and led police on a chase, deliberately veering into opposing traffic, and by intent injuring four more innocents, one critically. During the chase, he fired on police, who returned fire, before Garcia finally wrecked the stolen vehicle and perished in the crash.

The local sheriff of Tulare County, in understated fashion, labeled Garcia’s violent spasm of shootings and car wrecks a “reign of terror.” Garcia had an accomplice who is still at large.

Local law enforcement blamed state sanctuary restrictions on their inability to notify ICE that the felonious illegal alien Garcia was about to be released among the general public. Or as the sheriff put it, “Gustavo Garcia would have been turned over to ICE officials. That’s how we’ve always done it, day in and day out. But after SB 54, we no longer have the power to do that. Under the new state law, we must have a ‘federally signed warrant’ in order to do that. We didn’t honor the detainer because state law doesn’t allow us to.”

Less than two weeks later, there was yet another example of Central Valley illegal-immigration mayhem. To the north in Newman, another twice-deported illegal alien, Gustavo Perez Arriaga (he apparently had a number of aliases), stands accused of shooting and killing Newman policeman Ronil Singh, who pulled him over on suspicion of drunk driving (Arriaga also had two prior DUIs).

Arriaga fled after murdering Officer Singh and evaded law enforcement for a few days thanks to at least seven enablers (brothers, girlfriend, friends, etc.), some of them confirmed also to be illegal aliens.  They either gave police officials false information about Arriaga’s whereabouts or helped him on his planned flight to Mexico, finally aborted 200 miles to the south near Bakersfield.

The suspect’s brother, 25-year-old Adrian Virgen, and a co-worker, 32-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested on “accessory after the fact” charges for attempting to protect Arriaga. Authorities report both men are also in the country illegally. Arriaga was at large for five days, also in part because he had so many fake identities and aliases that no one knew really who he was.

Stanislaus County sheriff Adam Christianson noted that SB54 prevents departments “from sharing any information with ICE about this criminal gang member.” He added, “this is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE.” Christianson finished, “Law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh. I’m suggesting that the outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted, prohibited or had their hands tied because of political interference.”

These incidents, and less violent ones like them, are not all that rare in rural California. The narratives are tragically similar and hinge on our society’s assumptions of tolerance and its belief that entering and residing illegally in the United States are not really crimes. Fraudulent identification and fake names are not really felonious behaviors. Driving under the influence is no reason for deportation — all crimes that can ruin careers and have expensive consequences for citizens. Statisticians argue that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born, but never quite calibrate illegal immigrants into the equation (in part because no one has any idea who, where, or how many they are, as estimates range from 11 to 20 million) or note that second-generation native-born children of immigrants have much higher violent-crime rates than do their immigrant parents, and in circular fashion add to the general pool of violent Americans who then are used to contrast immigrants as less violent.

We should redefine the entire morality of multifaceted illegal immigration.

Immorality is undermining, in Confederate fashion, federal law, and normalizing exemptions that allow felons such as Garcia and Arriaga to wreak havoc on the innocent and defenseless. Too often the architects of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions are not on the front lines where the vulnerable suffer the all-too-real consequences of distant others, who can rely on their own far greater safety nets when their grand abstractions become all too concrete.

And, finally, we forget that so often the victims of illegal aliens are (in California where one in four residents was not born in the U.S.) legal immigrants like officer Singh, and members of the Hispanic community like the late Mr. Soto. Polls show that support for open borders is not popular and most Americans want an end to illegal immigration and catch and release, as well as stricter enforcement of current federal immigration laws.

(I took a break from writing this on a Sunday afternoon to talk about the volatile Central Valley landscape with an immigrant from India, whose stolen and stripped spray rig I discovered last night in our orchard.)

Voir enfin:

Etats-Unis : pourquoi Donald Trump tient tant à son mur

Le président américain Donald Trump a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur.

  • Alexis Boisselier

Donald Trump n’en finit plus de s’agacer à propos de la construction de son mur à la frontière mexicaine. Ce vendredi, il a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur. « Nous allons être contraints de fermer la Frontière Sud complètement si les Démocrates Obstructionnistes ne nous donnent pas l’argent pour terminer le mur », a tweeté le président américain en leur demandant également de « changer les ridicules lois sur l’immigration dont notre pays est affublé ».

Le milliardaire a ensuite dit qu’il considérerait une telle fermeture comme une « opération rentable », arguant du fait que « les Etats-Unis perdent tellement d’argent en faisant du commerce avec le Mexique avec l’Aléna ». Poursuivant une série de tweets, il a réitéré sa menace plusieurs fois : « Nous construisons un mur ou fermons la Frontière Sud. »

« Shutdown » prolongé

Un sujet qui a déjà provoqué un « shutdown » depuis une semaine, soit la paralysie partielle des administrations fédérales et qui a mis des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires au chômage forcé. Tant que républicains et démocrates ne trouveront pas d’accord au Congrès, les financements de 25% des ministères et administrations fédérales resteront suspendus.

Jeudi, les négociations ont encore échoué. Le président républicain exige cinq milliards de dollars pour construire le mur tandis que les démocrates refusent de le financer, mais ont proposé une enveloppe de plus d’un milliard pour d’autres mesures de sécurité à la frontière. Les républicains sont majoritaires au Congrès, mais avec 51 sièges au Sénat, ils ont besoin de soutiens démocrates pour atteindre les 60 voix sur 100 nécessaires afin d’approuver le Budget.

Mesure symbolique

Mais si la question cristallise autant, c’est que la mesure est symbolique de la présidence de Donald Trump. Lors la campagne, le milliardaire a construit sa popularité à coup de propositions chocs et fait de la lutte contre l’immigration l’une de ses priorités. « Je vais construire un grand mur sur notre frontière sud, et le Mexique paiera pour le construire. Prenez-en bien note », avait-il alors promis.

Une promesse déjà bien entamée par le refus mexicain de financer la construction du mur. Le président américain a été contraint d’admettre que les Etats-Unis allaient lancer le projet avant même d’avoir l’assurance du financement mexicain. En août 2017, la publication d’une retranscription d’une conversation téléphonique entre les présidents américain et mexicain révélait que Donald Trump considérait le mur comme un coup politique. « C’est la chose la plus futile dont nous parlons, mais politiquement, c’est la plus importante », aurait-il dit à son homologue.

Selon un sondage de Politico, la base électorale du président américain est, en effet, très attachée à cette proposition. 78% des électeurs de Trump en 2016 considèrent qu’il s’agit d’un projet important (25%) voire prioritaire (53%) au cours de son mandat.

Le Mexique ne veut pas payer

Fin mai, le président de l’époque, Enrique Peña Nieto, a pourtant conclu le débat sur Twitter en promettant que « le Mexique ne paiera jamais pour un mur. Pas aujourd’hui, jamais ». Une position de laquelle n’a pas dévié son successeur Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador et qui a poussé Donald Trump à évoluer légèrement sur la question.

« Le Mexique devra payer pour cela, en remboursant ou de toute autre manière », a-t-il déclaré fin août. Par cette déclaration, Donald Trump mettait la pression sur le Mexique pour renégocier l’Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (Aléna) qui lie les Etats-Unis au Canada et au Mexique. Un traité que le président américain critique régulièrement. Si un nouvel accord a été signé en novembre, il n’a pas encore été ratifié.

Le temps court pour les démocrates

Mais en attendant, Donald Trump doit trouver des financements. En totalité, l’ouvrage devrait coûter entre 22 à 25 milliards de dollars. Faute d’accord de compromis et dans un hémicycle quasi désert, le Sénat a décidé jeudi à l’unanimité d’ajourner la séance jusqu’à lundi 10h et de ne reprendre l’examen d’une loi budgétaire que mercredi 2 janvier, à partir de 16h. Or, à chaque jour qui passe, la position des démocrates se renforce. Ils prendront le contrôle de la Chambre des représentants dès le 3 janvier, tandis que les républicains auront une majorité renforcée au Sénat (53).

Il est donc fort probable que Donald Trump soit obligé de faire des concessions, ce que le président américain ne semble pour l’instant pas prêt à faire. Le gouvernement restera paralysé jusqu’à « ce que nous ayons un mur, une barrière, peu importe comment ils veulent l’appeler », avait ainsi déclaré Donald Trump le 25 décembre.

Voir par ailleurs:

« They voted for (a border wall) in 2006. Then-Senator Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. »

Mick Mulvaney on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 in a segment on « Fox News Sunday »

Fact-check: Did top Democrats vote for a border wall in 2006?

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said he doesn’t understand Democratic opposition to funding the border wall because top Democrats voted for it just over 10 years ago.

During an April 23 segment on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney talked down concerns about a government shutdown, but scolded Democrats for obstructing action on Trump’s border wall. Mulvaney pointed to the voting record of top Democrats in 2006 to explain his confusion.

« We want our priorities funded and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe, and part of that was a border wall, » he said.

« We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Sen. Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office. »

Mulvaney is referencing their votes on an act that authorized a fence, but as we’ve noted several times in the past, the 2006 fence was less ambitious than the wall Trump is proposing.

The Secure Fence Act of 2006

The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico.

The act also authorized the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, and the use of advanced technology such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles.

At the time the act was being considered, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer were all members of the Senate. (Schumer of New York is now the Senate minority leader.)

Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19.

Originally, the act called on the Department of Homeland Security to install at least two layers of reinforced fencing along some stretches of the border. That was amended later, however, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, which got rid of the double-layer requirement.

Currently, 702 miles of fencing separates the United States from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

So how does that compare to Trump’s wall?

Trump plans for the wall are vague, but here’s what we know.

He said the wall doesn’t need to run the nearly 2,000 miles of the border, but about 1,000 miles because of natural barriers. He said it could cost between $8 billion and $12 billion, be made of precast concrete, and rise 35 to 40 feet, or 50 feet, or higher.

Experts have repeatedly told PolitiFact that the differences in semantics between a wall and a fence are not too significant because both block people.

Still, there are obvious differences between the fence and Trump’s wall proposal.

A 2016 Associated Press report from the border described « rust-colored thick bars » that form « teeth-like slats » 18 feet high. « There are miles of gaps between segments and openings in the fence itself, » the report said.

Trump criticized the 2006 fence as too modest during the 2016 campaign.

« Now we got lucky because it was such a little wall, it was such a nothing wall, no, they couldn’t get their environmental — probably a snake was in the way or a toad, » Trump said. (Actually, the project didn’t face environmental hurdles; we rated that part of the claim Mostly False.)

It’s also worth noting that the political context surrounding the 2006 vote was different, too.

Democrats normally in favor of looser immigration laws saw the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the lesser of two evils, according to a Boston Globe report that detailed the legislative process. Around that same time, the House passed legislation that would make any undocumented immigrant a felon.

« It didn’t have anywhere near the gravity of harm, » Angela Kelley, who in 2006 was the legislative director for the National Immigration Forum, told the Boston Globe. « It was hard to vote against it because who is going to vote against a secure fence? And it was benign compared with what was out there. »

Democrats have described Trump’s wall proposal as overkill and too expensive. Recently, Democrats penned a letter to Senate GOP saying border funding should not be included in the latest budget agreement to keep the government open.

Our ruling

Mulvaney said that Obama, Schumer and Clinton voted for a border wall in 2006.

They did vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized building a fence along about 700 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico.

Still, the fence they voted for is not as substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump himself called the 2006 fence a « nothing wall. »

Mulvaney’s statement is partially accurate, but ignores important context. We rate it Half True.

7 Responses to Mur de Trump: Les bonnes clôtures font les bons voisins (Why can’t the misguided left see that building a wall makes Donald Trump the rule, not the exception, among world leaders ?)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    WALL OF SHAME (If the wall is immoral, why don’t Democrats demand the immediate destruction of the already-existing barrier ?)

    Trump has the better part of the argument, but his lurch into the shutdown with no discernible strategy and his scattershot pronouncements make it unlikely that his view will carry the day. Obviously, a 2,000-mile-long border wall rivaling the best work of the Ming Dynasty never made any sense and was never going to happen. Nor, short of Trump finding a latter-day Gen. Winfield Scott to go occupy Mexico City, was Mexico going to suffer the humiliation of funding a Yanqui border wall. This was all lurid fantasy, and Trump has conceded as much, although he will, at times, deny having conceded as much. His ambitions are now much more reasonable, involving the kind of up-to-date bollard or “steel slat” fencing that already exists in places. But he’s running into an opposition that is much less reasonable.

    Triggered as always by Trump, and growing more dovish on immigration almost by the hour, Democrats are treating the notion of a wall as practically a human-rights abuse. President Barack Obama routinely droned people without generating as much high dudgeon as Trump does asking for $5 billion to better fortify our southern border. Chuck Schumer calls the wall “medieval.” It’s true that the core idea — a physical barrier to impede the movement of people — isn’t a new technology. The basic concept proved out so long ago that there hasn’t been any need to revisit it. Nancy Pelosi deems the wall “immoral.” She sounds like West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt condemning the Berlin Wall as the “Wall of Shame” — when the East Germans built their border barrier to keep people in, whereas we only want to keep illegal entrants out.

    If a wall is immoral, what standing does the current 350 miles of primary fencing have? Isn’t it just as hateful as what Trump proposes? The $5 billion the president wants wouldn’t even match what we already have — it would construct about 150 miles of new barriers where none currently exist. A wall or fencing is relatively mild as far as immigration enforcement goes. It doesn’t involve deporting anyone. It doesn’t separate families. It doesn’t prosecute and detain anyone. It doesn’t deny any illegal immigrant currently working in the United States a job. All it does is seek to avoid getting in a situation where these other things are necessary in the first place. A wall doesn’t close down the border, or close us off to the world. There are still ports of entry. People can still travel to and from Mexico. People can still, for that matter, fly to Paris. It just diminishes illegal entry at certain strategic points.

    Robust fencing made an enormous difference in stopping illegal crossings in Yuma, Arizona. The area had only about 5 miles of fencing in the mid-2000s, then saw the extent of its fencing increase tenfold. Illegal crossings plummeted. Yuma got that additional fencing thanks to the passage of the Secure Fence Act in 2006 on a bipartisan basis, prior to the Democratic Party becoming unsettled by the prospect of putting physical barriers in the way of illegal entrants. The wall isn’t the most important immigration enforcement measure. Requiring employers to verify the legal status of their employees would be much more consequential. But the wall has taken on great symbolic significance. What it denotes, perhaps more than anything else, is the growing irrationality of the Democrats on immigration.

    Rich Lowry

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/border-wall-democrats-oppose-immigration-enforcement

    J'aime

  2. jcdurbant dit :

    MAKE MEXICO PAY FOR THE WALL !

    Best of all, it would fulfill Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for it…

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/us/article/Experts-doubt-El-Chapo-has-14-billion-for-11113033.php

    J'aime

  3. jcdurbant dit :

    WHO YOU GONNA THANK ? (Guess who just might pitch in to help pay for the wall ?)

    “ Breaking: Trump’s ENTIRE wall just got paid for by ONE person & you won’t believe who!”

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/holmes-lybrand/fact-check-is-notorious-drug-lord-el-chapo-paying-for-the-wall

    J'aime

  4. Third, if you want your beliefs not to be based on faith, then don’t believe anything. Science is based on faith, as I’ve demonstrated above. Logic is based on faith. The very composure of your mind is based on faith. If you want to believe something, it can’t not be based on faith.

    J'aime

  5. jcdurbant dit :

    HOW RACIST CAN YOU GET ? (Guess who four years ago strongly objected to the open-borders policy many of his younger Democratic comrades now claim to support ?)

    « Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal. The idea is a right-wing scheme meant to flood the US with cheap labor and depress wages for native-born workers. I think from a moral responsibility, we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer. »

    Bernie Sanders

    I was disappointed, if not surprised, at the visceral horror with which Bernie Sanders reacted to the idea when interviewed by my colleague Ezra Klein. « Open borders? » he interjected. « No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal. » The idea, he argued, is a right-wing scheme meant to flood the US with cheap labor and depress wages for native-born workers. « I think from a moral responsibility, we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, » he conceded, « but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer. » There are two problems with Sanders’s view on this, one empirical and one moral. He’s wrong about what the effects of an open-border policy would be on American workers, and he’s wrong in treating Americans’ lives as more valuable and worthy of concern than the lives of foreigners.

    The existing economic literature suggests that eliminating all barriers on movement between nations would increase world GDP by 50 to 150 percent. The midpoint estimate is that the world economy would double. That’s because people are much more productive in rich countries. Because of better technology, more skilled co-workers, better institutions, and the like, a worker doing the same job will earn vastly more for it in the US than in, say, Haiti. And if everyone were able to take jobs where they’d earn the most, the cumulative effect on the economy would be massive. Even the biggest opponents of immigration will concede that much. Immigration obviously increases growth, just as tearing down trade barriers does. The question is whom that growth goes toward. A lot of it goes to migrants, who see their incomes grow dramatically for doing the same work. Even according to George Borjas, the single most-cited anti-immigration economist, immigration doesn’t make the existing workforce worse off on average. But it does, he claims, most likely reduce wages substantially for people lacking high school degrees.

    There are a few things to say in response to this. One is that even if there are losers from immigration, it should be possible to compensate them by redistributing money from the winners. The second is that Borjas is only looking at relative effects: how high school dropouts are affected compared with, say, college graduates. He actually assumes that the effect on native workers as a whole is neutral. If the effect on all workers is positive, it’s possible that the absolute effect on high school dropouts is positive, even if they gain less than other workers. It’s also worth noting that immigration appears to boost high school graduation rates — so even if high school dropouts are made worse off, there would be fewer people bearing that burden.

    The third point is that Borjas’s results are heavily contested — and most of the rest of the literature suggests that the effect on native workers’ wages is neutral or positive. In particular, high-quality studies that use « natural experiments » — cases where there was a big, unexpected spike in immigration — suggest that the absolute effect of immigration on native workers is neutral or positive. It’s much easier to isolate the effect on native workers in those cases than it is by trying to statistically weed out other potential causes of changes in wages. The Mariel boatlift, when Cuba unexpectedly sent 125,000 people to Florida, did not hurt employment or wages among native workers in Miami at all. A huge spike in Russian immigration to Israel in the early 1990s appeared to give existing workers a nearly 9 percent raise.

    Finally, the positive economic effects of immigration extend beyond just wages. Immigration increases property values, building wealth for many native-born workers (and, admittedly, raising rents for others). Increased immigration reduces the price of services provided by immigrants, such as gardening and housekeeping. There’s some evidence that immigration even gets more women into the workforce by making it cheaper to hire people to watch after children and elderly relatives, and perform other homemaking tasks.

    As economist Michael Clemens once told me, the effect of immigration on real wages for native workers is « definitely positive, without any doubt whatsoever. » A recent evidence review by researcher David Roodman confirms this: While low-skilled immigration can make the existing low-skilled immigrant population worse off (though almost certainly not worse off than in their country of origin), Americans born here have very little to worry about, and a lot to gain.

    It’s true that all of our empirical research pertains to increases in immigration that are milder than pure open borders. The best we have to go on in guessing the effects of a total open-border policy are simulations. But those simulations show an increase in world GDP massive enough that it’s fair to guess they’ll hold harmless or help US workers — just as the data suggests smaller-scale immigration does. « This isn’t just trickle-down economics. It’s Niagara Falls economics, » economist Bryan Caplan once told me. « If production in the world were to double, almost everyone is going to get enough of that doubling that they’re going to, in the end, be better off as a result. »

    If Bernie Sanders thinks we ought to give strict priority to the interests of immigrants already in the United States, even if doing so makes native-born workers and potential migrants worse off, then that’s a very interesting opinion that I’d love to hear him attempt to defend. But the claim that American-born workers would suffer from open borders and increased immigration is bogus, and he should stop making it.
    People are people, so why should it be that we treat potential immigrants so awfully?

    The second problem isn’t a matter of facts, but of values. As a US senator, Sanders believes he is obligated to put the interests of the United States — and of Vermont in particular — ahead of the interests of any other country. That means, for him, heavily discounting the interests of people in other countries.

    Even if you think this makes sense, it doesn’t make restricting immigration acceptable. Privileging the interests of Americans doesn’t mean that US policymakers have the right to needlessly hurt foreigners. Not even the most ardent nationalist would say that the US has a right to, say, massacre 10,000 foreign civilians to save a single American life. And make no mistake: Using force to restrict access to the United States hurts foreigners dramatically.

    « Taking the idea that all people are created equal seriously entails supporting open borders »

    The philosopher Michael Huemer has a great thought experiment making this point. Imagine a man, Marvin, is starving to death, and goes to a marketplace to buy bread. Another man, Sam, forcibly stops him and prevents him from buying bread. Marvin starves to death.

    That’s wrong, right? And it’s still wrong if the harm caused is less severe. Say Marvin isn’t going to the marketplace to buy bread, but instead to sell it. If he sells it at that particular marketplace, he will make 15 times more money than if he sold it at the other marketplace in town. But Sam stops him, by force, from selling at the lucrative marketplace, forcing him to settle for the other market, where he makes 15 times less.

    The analogy is not exactly subtle: Marvin is a potential immigrant (in this case from Nigeria; recall that moving from Nigeria to the US raises an average migrant’s earnings 15-fold), and Sam is a US border patrol agent. If you think Sam is hurting Marvin by barring him from selling bread from the good market, you’ve got to think that border agents are hurting immigrants by keeping them from coming to work in the US.

    « I’m sure Sanders believes that Nigerian lives and Bangladeshi lives and Haitian lives matter. But if he does, then his views on immigration must change. »

    Maybe such harm would be justified if it prevents a major harm from befalling native-born Americans. But immigration does not harm native-born Americans on average. It helps them. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion, then, that our border policy is causing major, unacceptable harm to immigrants. Even if you don’t think the US is obligated to help immigrants, restricting immigration is wrong, because it actively hurts them.

    Personally, I think the distinction between « not helping » and « hurting » isn’t that meaningful. I do think the US is obligated to help immigrants. I think Bernie Sanders is obligated to weigh the interests of a poor potential Nigerian immigrant equally to those of a much richer native-born American. I think if he saw an immigrant drowning in a pond, he has just as much of a duty to rescue her as he would if she were a native-born American, and the same duty applies when he’s voting in the US Senate. Taking that idea seriously — the idea that all people are created equal, and deserve to be treated as though their lives matter regardless of their place of birth — entails supporting open borders.

    I don’t doubt that Sanders thinks he takes equality seriously. I’m sure he thinks he’s an egalitarian. I’m sure he believes that Nigerian lives and Bangladeshi lives and Haitian lives matter. But if he does, then his views on immigration must change.

    https://www.vox.com/2015/7/29/9048401/bernie-sanders-open-borders

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  6. jcdurbant dit :

    WHAT NYT RIP VAN WINKLE ? (Guess who just discovered the crisis at the US border Trump identified years ago, but still manages to blame him for it ?)

    SAN DIEGO — On April 12, I toured the busiest border crossing between America and Mexico — the San Ysidro Port of Entry, in San Diego — and the walls being built around it. Guided by a U.S. Border Patrol team, I also traveled along the border right down to where the newest 18-foot-high slatted steel barrier ends and the wide-open hills and craggy valleys beckoning drug smugglers, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants begin.

    It’s a very troubling scene.

    According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, since October, along the whole southwest border, from California through Texas, there have been 190,000 apprehensions of “family units” (a child under 18 with a parent or legal guardian) who crossed illegally from Mexico, up from 40,000

    And roughly 30 percent of those apprehended sought asylum — up from 1 percent a couple of years ago. Asylum is a humanitarian status based on fear of persecution in one’s native land. Many of these requests are legitimate; some are economic migrants gaming the process. But once you’re in the U.S. and file for asylum, there’s a good chance for you to stay — legally or illegally.

    In addition to families, 135,000 adults and 36,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October after entering illegally. Most of these immigrants come from Guatemala and Honduras (where President Trump recently decided — insanely — to cut humanitarian aid), but migrants are also now flocking to open borders from as far away as Haiti and Africa.

    The whole day left me more certain than ever that we have a real immigration crisis and that the solution is a high wall with a big gate — but a smart gate.

    Without a high wall, too many Americans will lack confidence that we can control our borders, and they therefore will oppose the steady immigration we need. But for this wall to have a big gate, it has to be a smart and compassionate one, one that says, “Besides legitimate asylum seekers, we’ll accept immigrants at a rate at which they can be properly absorbed into our society and work force, and we’ll favor visa seekers with energies and talents that enrich and advance our society.” That’s the opposite of the unstrategic, far-too random, chaotic immigration “system” we have now.

    That’s been a “system” in which millions of people could cross into our country illegally or overstay their visas. Or cross over and claim asylum and then melt into society while awaiting their hearings. Or bring in their family members through family reunification programs. And that’s no matter their possible impact on communities and social welfare resources or their ability to assimilate and contribute to society.

    It’s a crazy “system” that tells so many foreign students who come here legally — to learn computer science, medicine, design or engineering — to get out after they graduate, while offering myriad protections to people who arrive illegally or win entry through a lottery. We can’t afford this unthinking approach any longer, not if we want to sustain the safety nets and the health care and education promises we’ve made for the people already here.

    Indeed, if you are pro-immigration as I am, you have to acknowledge that this haphazard “system” has overwhelmed the Border Patrol and our immigration courts and contributed to Trump’s election. A May 2016 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic found that 48 percent of white working-class Americans agree that “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.”

    And in an era when more and more countries will fracture under environmental, population, criminal and technological stresses, we simply cannot take everyone who shows up at our border.

    There has to be a compromise. As David Frum put it in his smart essay on immigration this month in The Atlantic, “If liberals insist that only fascists will enforce borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals refuse to do.”

    And Trump fans need to realize that, yes, walls work — but only when paired with a strategy that says “we’re not only going to build walls.”

    We’re also going to invest in stabilizing the countries with so many people seeking asylum in America; mitigate the climate change, overpopulation and governance stresses fracturing these countries; celebrate the essential contribution that a steady flow of legal, high-energy and high-I.Q. immigrants make to America; embrace our historical role as a haven for those legitimately fleeing persecution — as much as we possibly can — because our country was founded by people doing the same; and expand our immigration court system to quickly welcome those who deserve asylum and repatriate those who don’t.

    Unfortunately, all those actions would require a president ready and able to forge a national immigration compromise. Instead, we’re stuck with a man who just exploits the border crisis and uses his “wall” to divide the nation and energize his base.

    Or, as Frum put it: “The gratuitous brutalities of the Trump administration shock the conscience, and fail even on their own terms. Intended as deterrents, they are not deterring. They are succeeding only in counter-radicalizing liberal opinion to stigmatize almost all immigration enforcement against nonfelons as cruel, racist and unacceptable.”

    What a terrible waste of a crisis.

    As the human tragedy here has been well covered, I wanted to understand how this wall system works. The Border Patrol took me out to the end of the newly built barrier that extends east from San Ysidro, about five miles along the California-Mexico border. The new wall consists of steel slats 18 feet tall, then a road observed by television cameras and other sensors, followed by 30-foot-high steel slats, most of which have not been completed.

    Where this largely impenetrable system ends, though, the Border Patrol explained, human smugglers begin. They will send a group of migrants in family units across the hardscrabble hills. That group will look to immediately surrender to a Border Patrol team and ask for asylum.

    By law, anyone asking for asylum has to be taken in for a “credible-fear hearing” to determine if the asylum claim has merit. The bar is low and leaflets circulating in Tijuana coach people on what exactly to say to pass that interview to qualify for a formal hearing before an immigration judge.

    If these noncriminal illegal entrants have a young child in their group, the Border Patrol is obligated to get a car seat to use in transporting them to the Customs and Border Protection facility in San Ysidro. If they are sick, the border agents are obligated to take them to a local hospital. This is straining all the local emergency rooms.

    While the border agents are tied up with this process of taking in families seeking asylum, the human smugglers send another batch of migrants to cross the border farther down the valley. These are people who don’t want to claim asylum, because they have criminal records, have been thrown out of the United States before, are carrying drugs or just want to enter illegally to find work.

    “We don’t have the resources to deal with large numbers of families with kids claiming asylum and” — at the same time — “catch those who just want to cross illegally. And the smugglers know it,” one Border Patrol agent explained to me.

    Once a family requesting asylum is in our legal system, and awaiting a hearing, if they have a minor with them, the child cannot be held in custody for longer than 20 days. And — thankfully — now that Trump has reversed his “zero tolerance” policy, parents and children cannot be separated unless the parent is deemed to pose a danger to a child. (Even this is controversial, though, as the standards of parental behavior are not sharply defined, and because thousands of children separated under Trump’s original policy still have not been accounted for.)

    In any event, today if a family can pass the credible-fear interview, the whole family has to be released inside America within 20 days while waiting to see an immigration judge, which can take two or three years because of the backlog. So they fade into America. Studies show that a majority show up for their hearings, but tens of thousands have not.

    As I said, many of these families do meet the standards for asylum; others are looking for work. One reason many asylum seekers enter illegally, though, is that at official entry points they are told by border agents that limited staffing precludes more than a small number of asylum applications from being processed each day, so the immigrants need to wait in Mexico. But as a result of this crush of applications, more and more people who really have had to flee persecution get pushed further and further back in line for a hearing.

    The Customs and Border Protection headquarters in San Ysidro has temporary holding rooms for 300 people, be they asylum seekers, illegal migrants caught somewhere on the border that we need to repatriate or drug smugglers destined for prosecution. Everyone gets a health check and an interview to determine what legal track to be put on.

    But this takes time. Members of rival gangs cannot be held in the same holding room; sick people cannot be put with healthy people; young men cannot be put with young children they might abuse; and gay or transgender detainees can’t be put in holding rooms with people who might harm them. Each restriction shrinks the number of rooms available to hold people — and that’s in the biggest, best facility we have. Others along the border are much more makeshift and overcrowded.

    On top of all that, policy mandates that every person in detention has to be checked every 15 minutes to make sure no one is being abused by someone else in the holding room — and the detainees’ status logged in the system computer. All of this requires a huge amount of personnel and time. The result is that C.B.P. officers are getting pulled off, say, truck inspections, to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants — so now it can take seven hours for a truck with just-in-time inventory or food to cross from Mexico, instead of 30 minutes.

    What happens to the tens of thousands of noncriminal migrants who are apprehended and for whom there is no space in the holding rooms? All kinds of things, depending on their status. If you are a single adult from Mexico, you might be quickly repatriated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (ICE currently has about 50,000 undocumented immigrants in custody, most for criminal offenses but some just for illegal entry.) If you are a single man or a family from Central America, with no criminal record or prior immigration violation record, and there is no room at the customs facility near where you were apprehended, most likely you will be released to a local social service organization or faith-based migrant shelter in a border town with a notice to appear in court on a certain date. You may stay there or move into the interior of the country.

    One thing you are reminded of here: Illegal immigration is a law-and-order issue for people in some border towns and not in others. In San Ysidro, the Border Patrol argues, when the border was wide open or had a weak fence, so many migrants were running across the freeway from Mexico and being hit by cars that authorities put up a highway sign — like “beware of deer crossing” — that showed a family on the run, so drivers would be careful not to hit them.

    The areas around San Ysidro that were most actively used by migrants, before a real border barrier was installed, were zones of disorder where residents had foreigners passing through their yards every night, some transporting drugs. Where there is now a proper fence, and crossing the border illegally is virtually impossible, you see shopping centers, schools and new housing.

    Indeed, when we went out to the end of the new wall, if you peeked around to the other side, you could see that the Mexican homeowner there had planted trees and created a patio, right next to the wall — because he knew his backyard would no longer be used as a launching pad for human smuggling gangs.

    In sum: we need new walls; we need a serious strategy for mitigating climate change and offering economic and governance assistance to countries to our south that are being destabilized by poverty and extreme weather; we need to rethink who is entitled to asylum, so people fleeing economic dislocation don’t overwhelm our borders and harden our hearts to people truly fleeing tyranny; we need to encourage legal immigration of people who can help our country thrive in the 21st century; and we need to partner with Mexico on a Mexican-American plan to manage the flow of migrants through Mexico to our border.

    None of these alone will work. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not been to the border.

    Trump Is Wasting Our Immigration Crisis
    The system needs to be fixed, but “the wall” is only part ofthe solution.
    Thomas L. Friedman
    NYT
    April 23, 2019

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  7. jcdurbant dit :

    NOW THEY TELL US

    Friedman did what many critics of Donald Trump’s border wall have not — actually traveled to the border and get a sense of the situation. “It’s a very troubling scene,” Friedman wrote, and concluded that Trump’s correct about the emergency unfolding on the southern border:

    The whole day left me more certain than ever that we have a real immigration crisis and that the solution is a high wall with a big gate — but a smart gate. Without a high wall, too many Americans will lack confidence that we can control our borders, and they therefore will oppose the steady immigration we need. But for this wall to have a big gate, it has to be a smart and compassionate one, one that says, “Besides legitimate asylum seekers, we’ll accept immigrants at a rate at which they can be properly absorbed into our society and work force, and we’ll favor visa seekers with energies and talents that enrich and advance our society.” That’s the opposite of the unstrategic, far-too random, chaotic immigration “system” we have now. … Indeed, if you are pro-immigration as I am, you have to acknowledge that this haphazard “system” has overwhelmed the Border Patrol and our immigration courts and contributed to Trump’s election. A May 2016 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic found that 48 percent of white working-class Americans agree that “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.” And in an era when more and more countries will fracture under environmental, population, criminal and technological stresses, we simply cannot take everyone who shows up at our border.

    The description of Friedman as a leading voice of reason isn’t intended to be flip — well, not entirely, anyway. Friedman espouses the obvious solution, which is to combine the border wall Trump wants with the programs to deal with the immigrants already here that Democrats want. Friedman muddies up the waters a bit by claiming that Democrats support “more border security” when they have adamantly opposed building any more barriers on the border, but that doesn’t mean Friedman’s solution is wrong.

    If this argument isn’t new — and it’s not, as many of us have been making it for years — its venue is at least notable. The New York Times has not exactly been a border-wall-friendly platform for the last few years. Its coverage of immigration and Trump’s agenda has been almost entirely hostile to the idea of a high wall, even with a big smart gate. Friedman’s not talking to the border-wall, MAGA choir with his missive from the crisis. He’s talking to a readership that mainly resists the idea that any such crisis actually exists, and one that is inclined to be part of La Résistance than attend a Trump rally.

    Unfortunately, the solution that Friedman seeks has long been obvious, although his recognition of that is a welcome development. It requires two items in short supply these days inside the Beltway: trust between the two parties and a willingness to part with a demagogic bonanza for both Republicans and Democrats to fundraise and turn out voters. Trump’s hardly the only person passing up opportunities on immigration, as this winter’s government shutdown made clear.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2019/04/25/youd-better-believe-need-high-border-wall-says-tom-friedman/

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