Trump’s huffed and he’s puffed and seemingly blown the house down (and Shut the Government Down) over his incessant ranting about a wall at the Southern Border.
Maybe there’s a case some parts of the Border need to be hardened, but we’re not really talking about that. Trump wants a HUGE and extensive concrete barrier (most of the time) along the entire border. While he’s occasionally made allowances for natural barriers, mostly he wants a huge wall. The whole “Beautiful Steel Slat” thing seems a dicey compromise Trump simply wont be able to abide by. So let’s disregard it for now.
As usual we hear more from Trump’s Hype-Men about the terms he’ll accept to end the Trump Government Shutdown than we get from Trump. It’s become an exercise in Ideology just reading into his Tweet-stream, which is the Diary of a Madman.
He’s not going to get his border wall from sea to shining sea for a bunch of reasons. One reason, however, really jumps out.
No one ever mentions the huge problem that’s staring anyone who looks at a map of the US-Mexico border right in the face.
So what’s my beef with a Border Wall?
The Walls Unfixable Problem
So whats the issue? These visual aids start to get it across
Mexico is STILL a short Boat ride Away
Even assuming the Wall ends up being what Trump promised – A Giant Solar Panel Encrusted slab of ‘beautiful’ concrete in the middle of the desert extending deep underground to prevent tunneling; it won’t help. Why? Because that still leaves an ocean to sail up north on both coasts.
It’s two big problems, or if you want to think in the simplest terms; the same problem twice. Specifically it’s thousands of miles of coastline that simply can’t be secured. What’s the answer to that? Mines?
Just look at all that ocean, on both coasts, much of it being in the somewhat naturally ‘protected’ (from ‘open ocean’ conditions) Gulf of Mexico. Quadrupling the size of the Coast Guard would seem the first thing we’d need to do for any kind of control. That sounds expensive because it is!
Boats will be the new main way people will enter. What are we gonna do when that happens? Piracy charges? We’d need to actually catch them first (fat chance). Forget about deploying the army at the border. This would probably require a Carrier Task force off both coasts to have any effect on the influx from the sea! In other words its impractical and very, very expensive.
We have ENORMOUS coastlines on BOTH oceans with Mexico. So the problem with the wall is NOT LADDERS, but BOATS. Or even rafts if you will, especially on the Gulf of Mexico where sailing is generally easier.
Boats are Plentiful and Easy to Make
Boats are probably the first ever form of human conveyance. They were first created at least 8,000 years ago. So making one is no big deal. Just look at some of the pictures of the Boat Exodus from Cuba in 1980 to see how loose the definition of “Boat” is.
Typical 1980 Cuban Mariel Boatlift raft
Most any boat from the lowliest skiff on up can sail the Atlantic or Pacific seaboards ( Or meander in the Gulf for awhile) and dare the Coast Guard to catch them. The Gulf of Mexico will encourage even the leakiest of tubs with enticingly (and often deceptively) easy sailing conditions.
The simplicity of just sailing to a piece of secluded coastline and disgorging people will be obvious. Lots of people will do it. That will mean there will be a whole lot of boats of every kind making this desperate journey at any given moment. The cost of naval interdiction is obviously far beyond that of just catching people on land at the border’s edge. It’s also obviously harder and more dangerous for all involved.
So there’s a pragmatic argument to be made that a Wall is tactically useless. If we build it and people take to the sea it will be an ongoing Human Tragedy of untold proportion. A lot of people will simply go to sea and never return or be heard from again. Others will die and wash up on the shores of California, Louisiana, Florida, the Carolinas and everywhere else. And the media will be there.
Tragedy will Inevitably Ensue
You won’t be able to get away from the pictures of crowded boats, loaded to an unsafe manner, covered with women and children. Some of these WILL sink and we may not be able to rescue everyone every time. Sooner or later some terrible image, like the iconic pictures of a drowned Syrian child washed up on a Turkish shore, will surface and the whole Wall concept will be exposed as the fraud it is. It’s Strategically Unsound and Tactically Flawed.
So the pictures will be horrific. We’ve seen some of the awful images of the unfortunates fleeing places like Syria across the (relatively calm) Mediterranean. Drowned children, poorly maintained boats drifting powerless with no country wanting to rescue them.
So the Wall would absolutely raise the cost of Border Enforcement. We will need dozens more fully crewed Coast Guard Cutters on each coast to even make a dent in what will be a conveyor belt of boats.
Refugees Fleeing Syria via the Mediterranean
A Wall won’t cover the oceans. Even the Atlantic Wall in France’s Normandy, was breached in a single day. Because you can’t really build a Wall at the water’s edge from Mexico to Canada.
Even the goddamned Love Boat stopped in Mexico! It’s an Un-Overcome-able flaw in any plan for a Wall.
Look for a new word along the lines of “Sea-Coyotes” to describe the people who will set these boats loose.
The Southern Border Wall is simply an inherently flawed concept. You can choose from any number of negative analogies to describe it. It’s bad out of the gate. Its doesn’t pass Logical Muster. Its falls apart under any analysis.
The best way it say it is “That stupid idea won’t work and will cause more problems than it solves”
Repercussions with the United Nations?
Whether or not the Wall would be in fact an Apartheid Wall is a topic for a future post. So will the humanitarian crisis at sea that will begin to occur if this Wall madness continues to any kind of fruition.
At some point we could be looking at getting sanctioned for being Inhumane to Refugees. There’s plenty of countries out there (Russia, Iran, China) that would love to hang that on us.
It could happen.