Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”
—Mending Wall by Robert Frost
Apparently, Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump haven’t read any Frost. More’s the pity. They could each save themselves billions to know that walls don’t keep invaders, infiltrators and criminals out.
Take China for example. An emperor built the Great Wall, spending the ancient equivalent of billions to keep out the northern barbarian Mongols. But it didn’t work. They simply went around the wall or through it when they could find a traitorous general to open the gates for them.
In military terms, nations built defensive “walls” to keep enemy nations out: France had the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line and the Israel had the Bar Lev Line. Neither worked. The Nazi blitzkrieg obliterated French defenses and Egyptian forces simply swept through the defensive fortifications Israel had built.
The Nazis walled Jews into the Warsaw ghetto. They built a wall to further their aims to gradually annihilate the Jews of the city. But that wall didn’t work either. In 1942, the resistance began an uprising which lasted for three weeks. At the end, the Nazis won a pyrrhic victory. Yes, they exterminated the Jews of Warsaw. But the uprising will live through history as a bold, courageous gesture of resistance. Those who revolted are still known by name and revered for their heroism. While those who built that wall, the Nazis, are reviled as monsters.
Even Holocaust survivors have denounced Trump’s Folly, the proposed wall with Mexico and his policy of turning our back on the world’s refugees.
Walls fail. They isolate you from the world around you. They prevent you from embracing it fully. They represent immobilizing fear and ignorance. Countries and policies that must rely on walls will be swept away by forces beyond their control.
When I read about Mexican Jewish communal leader Mony de Swann’s tweet below in response to Netanyahu’s fulsome praise for Trump’s wall, I had to feature it here.
So you like walls @netanyahu? Here you have a couple of nice designs. Choose your style moron pic.twitter.com/EJm77WuKz4
— Mony de Swaan (@Mony_de_Swaan) January 28, 2017
This is the sort of history-based ridicule their designs deserve. Both Israel and the U.S. are marching down a road toward a savage destiny.
On a related note: there is carnage in Quebec City as two terrorists assaulted a local mosque in the midst of prayers. At least 8 worshippers are dead and more are wounded. The killers have been apprehended. This same mosque was defiled last year when someone threw a pig’s head into it with the message: Bon appetit.
These are the rotten fruits harvested from the hate represented by Donald Trump. He has the nerve to claim that his sealing off of our borders to natives of seven Muslim countries has nothing to do with religion. This, after doing nothing but smearing Muslims during the entire presidential campaign. Does he take us for fools?
I’ve come to believe that like all sociopaths, he believes his own lies. Though Kellyanne Conway calls them “alternate facts,” to Trump they are real facts because they advance his interests.
He has no real sense of good or evil. What’s good for him is good, regardless of whether it is bad for anyone else. And anything is justified in securing his self-interest. Words are merely a means of attaining them. Truth in an objective sense is pointless. The only truth he knows is what gets him closer to his goal. If a lie will do it, then it becomes true. Because all that matters is him.
Other human beings aren’t independent entities. They don’t have any real existence to him. They are foils for his follies; a means to an end; extensions of himself. So too, Trump views entire nations as a means for securing America’s (i.e. his own) interest. Thus, we now have full-fledged sociopathy transformed into national policy. Woe betide us.
seems relevant as ever
Richard Silverstein says
@ Raviv: Greg Brown, one of my faves!! And as Hades, King of the Underworld, no less!
“this sealing off of our borders to natives of seven Muslim countries has nothing to do with religion.”
Most Muslim countries are not affected by the ban. Oddly, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, home to the 9/11 terrorists are not affected.
Richard. I don’t mean to be snarky, but does your home have a fence?
there is a saying/poem that i have heard many times the source being Robert Frost:
‘fences make good neighbors”
Richard Silverstein says
@marty: You didn’t bother to read the poem obviously. Nor understand that this is the view expressed by the narrator’s neighbor. Which Frosts narrator debunks with the ironic wistfulness of the verse I quoted. Try some real literary analysis next time. Or leave it to the professionals.