Good Fences

Mexico has found an ally in the European Union’s Javier Solana in their campaign to prevent the US from building a border fence. A remarkable coup, given that the EU has its own fence as part of a plan to maintain control over immigration from Africa.

Europe has certainly gained a lot of experience with fences over the millennia, not to mention walls like this one, which was of course built to keep people in. Granted it was built by the Soviets, who no longer exist in the same form and technically were never part of the EU, but still the Germans must have learned enough to claim expertise in when to build and not to build physical barriers to human movements.

France, Europe’s other great fence builder, certainly learned much from the Maginot Line. Hopefully one of the lessons is that the fence should go all the way to a natural barrier, not just some convenient point along the border with Belgium.

Of course, Britain is no stranger to border fences either. Hadrian’s famous wall kept Roman society free of tribal marauders for a couple of centuries. The wall’s effectiveness was diminished considerably after the Romans withdrew their 10,000 troops.

So, with all of this experience managing borders, walls, fences, invasions, and transborder foreign influence, perhaps we should consider their wise counsel. Then again, perhaps all of those Europeans who struck out on their own to be free of European politics and hypocrisy had good reason to do so after all.
Mexico has found an ally in the European Union’s Javier Solana in their campaign to prevent the US from building a border fence. A remarkable coup, given that the EU has its own fence as part of a plan to maintain control over immigration from Africa.

Europe has certainly gained a lot of experience with fences over the millennia, not to mention walls like this one, which was of course built to keep people in. Granted it was built by the Soviets, who no longer exist in the same form and technically were never part of the EU, but still the Germans must have learned enough to claim expertise in when to build and not to build physical barriers to human movements.

France, Europe’s other great fence builder, certainly learned much from the Maginot Line. Hopefully one of the lessons is that the fence should go all the way to a natural barrier, not just some convenient point along the border with Belgium.

Of course, Britain is no stranger to border fences either. Hadrian’s famous wall kept Roman society free of tribal marauders for a couple of centuries. The wall’s effectiveness was diminished considerably after the Romans withdrew their 10,000 troops.

So, with all of this experience managing borders, walls, fences, invasions, and transborder foreign influence, perhaps we should consider their wise counsel. Then again, perhaps all of those Europeans who struck out on their own to be free of European politics and hypocrisy had good reason to do so after all.