Floyd Low from Ottawa makes a salient point in a comment he posted in response to my August 18 column on civilians returning to the war zone in southern Lebanon.
I was poking the World Terrorist Media in the eye with a sharp stick, noting that we had been hearing for a month that the Israelis were preventing civilians from leaving the area, but one day after the Cease Farce was announced, tens of thousands were returning. Point being, if they hadn't been able to leave, how could they return? I also said it was obvious that Israel would have to build a wall to protect itself.
Floyd noted a similarity between the current situation on the border between Israel and Lebanon, and the borders between South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Throughout the American fighting in Vietnam, intercepting communist forces invading the south became a deadly form of cat and mouse.
We would catch them infiltrating, battle regimental and division sized forces of communist troops, annihilate them, destroy their supplies, and bomb their routes. They would shift their routes a few kilometers one way or another and start all over again.
More recently the United States has been dealing with a similar invasion, this time of illegal aliens coming across its border with Mexico. Some 11 million illegal aliens are said to be in the US on any given day, which, if they were a uniformed army would be considered an act of war. The US is supposed to start building a wall along some sections of the border to help stem the flow, much as Israel is building a wall to separate sections of its country from Palestinian areas, in hopes of keeping terrorist homicide bombers out.
I agree with Floyd, there is a distinct similarity, and the entire concept that we have to build walls concerns me. We have seen advances in all areas of human existence in the last century that should be bringing us together; yet again we are in a state where we have to wall ourselves off from the barbarians to hold out any hope of survival.
We have come so far in science, medicine, technology and human rights, yet some prefer that we return to the Dark Ages. In this, the age of communication, transportation and information, we can see and talk to people on the far side of the earth instantaneously, and visit any major population center within 24 hours.
In this age we find that most humans have far more similarities than differences and we have realized on one level that when we work together all things are possible. Yet, so many of us now are forced to build walls, shut others out, in effect renounce our advancements. We have been drawn back to the brink of the Dark Ages by barbarian forces that seek once again only to destroy and dominate, not to build, cooperate or advance.
We have leaders across the globe who stubbornly refuse to abandon their utopian beliefs that there is good inside all people and if we just offer the terrorists enough they will someday be satisfied and become peaceful. There is as much chance of that happening as there is of a rabid dog suddenly curing itself.
Terrorists are rabid and the only 'cure' for their disease is death. The only question is, whose death is it going to be, ours or theirs?
As far as walls are concerned, I don't think there is a better example anywhere in the world of cooperation between countries as the long term relationship between the US and Canada. Our borders are monitored, but travel between the countries is unrestricted.
We don't always agree on every single issue, but we are friends and allies. There is much that is desirable on both sides of the border and a plethora of reasons to visit each other. I would consider it the ultimate symbol of the collapse of Western Civilization if the day ever came when we had to build a wall between the US and Canada.
Monday, August 21, 2006