Friday, June 08, 2007

The Other Border Fence

Mark Schulman talks about a border fence. No, not the 'vicious inhuman border' which fascist America is thinking about building along the frontier with Mexico. We are talking about gentle Europe's border fence with its Third World.

The fence at Ceuta is not the only lethal element in Fortress Europe: most refugees attempt to cross the Mediterranean or to reach the Canary Islands via the Atlantic. According to estimates of the Interior Ministry, two million people are in Libya waiting for the crossing to Italy; in Mauretania the figure is 500,000, while in Morocco there are close to 50,000. The crossing is extremely hazardous: 40 refugees are herded into the small wooden boats, while as many as 120 are crammed into the larger Zodiacs. In Morocco I interviewed a people smuggler who operates such boats. “We have to put the people on the boat in chains as otherwise the risk of capsizing is too great”. The side effect of this is that the corpses are not found if the boat sinks. Even so, there are 10,000 documented fatalities on the route to Europe in the past ten years. Between November 2005 and February 2006, 1,300 people died en route to the Canary Islands alone.

Pajamas Media has some detail of what that can be like.

"For three days and three nights, these African migrants clung desperately to life. Their means of survival is a tuna net, being towed across the Mediterranean by a Maltese tug that refused to take them on board after their frail boat sank." (The Independent)

Illegal immigration is a symptom of one of the major failings of the greatest withdrawal in history. No not Iraq or Vietnam, but the European retreat from Empire which assumed that dysfunction in the Third World could be contained by diplomacy, foreign aid and multilateralism. That postwar system, if it ever worked, is breaking down. Corrupt and brutal Third World elites are exporting their human detritus to the boulevards of Paris and the streets of Los Angeles, not only in the form of desperate immigrants but in criminal gangs and terrorism. Against that flood, amnesties won't work. Even razor-wire fences may not avail against such desperation and hate.

I think we are witnessing, unremarked, the collapse of the post World War 2 institutional framework for handling the Third World. The UN, the international development banks and traditional diplomacy -- all need to be either be revamped or abolished. Rather than presiding over the End of History, Europe is now experiencing counter-colonization. All of the institutions premised on the End of History: the miniature clinical armies, cradle-to-grave welfare, waves of cheap immigrant labor who were expected to perform colorful folk-dances after sweeping the floors, the predominance of "soft power" are going to have to transform themselves or become outright liabilities.

Here's a populist version of that insight expressed rather crudely. But you get the point. However, Europe and America will have to do more than raise the shields. They have to find ways to empower the Third World to overthrow their corrupt elites and establish functioning civil societies. The Middle East, Latin America and Africa are too important to be left, unchallenged to gangs and radical Islam. But today's stand-off Western development institutions and tiny militaries are far too detached to effectively engage.

John Edwards, however, has got an idea. Captain Ed reports. "Senator Edwards is outlining a new national security strategy that hinges on the creation of a 10,000-person civilian peace corps to stem the tide of terrorism in weak and unstable countries ... The plan Mr. Edwards presented yesterday — which he dubbed "A Strategy to Shut Down Terrorists and Stop Terrorism Before It Starts" — calls for a 10,000-person "Marshall Corps" to deal with issues ranging from worldwide poverty and economic development to clean drinking water and micro-lending."

There's a place for these kinds of efforts, but the Marshall Corps is really just a souped-up NGO concept. It will be criminal to send these kids up against hardened gangs and the al-Qaeda. But then, John Edwards must know what he's doing. He's running for President.


Blogger Charles said...

Among the best SEO (search engine optimization) specialists in the world is a guy by the name of Andy Williams. He lives on the Canary Islands.

Anyone who would like to live like Richard -- but who lacks his hand for letters-should learn from Andy...

imho the big solution to the problem posted by Wretchard is to collapse the cost of water desalination & transport, turn the deserts green & double the size of the habitable planet. that won't cure despotism and corruption but it will keep people busy for the 50-100 years it will take to get a self sufficient space civilization up & running.

6/08/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger El Baboso said...

For some reason, I saw the reference to Edwards "Marshall Corps," and Stalin's 25-thousanders immediately came to mind. (See also Conquest's Harvest of Sorrow, pp. 146-149) It's so heartening to see young activists once marching off to the unruly parts of the realm and teaching the unenlightened peasants about the virtues of collectivization, er socialized medicine and state pensions.

6/08/2007 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Illegal immigration is a symptom of one of the major failings of the greatest withdrawal in history. No not Iraq or Vietnam, but the European retreat from Empire which assumed that dysfunction in the Third World could be contained by diplomacy, foreign aid and multilateralism.

But why limit it to Europe? If colonialism is an absolute good then surely it is good in all its shapes and forms.

There is massive illegal Chinese and Philipino immigration to places all over the world. One often hears of similar stories of Chinese immigrants being put into a container and dying en masse in the heat. There are sweat shops all over the world with the Chinese immigrant survivors of these raids. And look at the mess North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, in comparison to the obvioulsy superior society of Japan.

Now come on, let’s not be multi-culti about it, it is beyond dispute that Japanese culture is superior to all other Asian cultures. Surely if the simplistic formulation that all the problems in Africa and the Middle East are caused by the retreat of European colonialism then all problems in Asia can be just as well laid at the feet of the retreat of Japanese colonialism from Asia.

And it’s all that whack-job liberal Democrat FDR’s fault for destroying the fine institution of Japanese imperialism. If only he would have had the fortitude to make the hard decision that Japanese culture was superior and then to let that culture dominate all the lesser peoples of Asia. But alas, his multi-culti ideas about equality and self determination and his crazy idea about China being a world power blinded him to the obvious benefits that Japanese imperialism was bringing to the global community. And as a result of the decline of the imperial Japan we have masses of illegal Chinese laborers and Filipina maids across the world and corrupt authoritarian states all across Asia.

6/08/2007 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Illegal immigration puts off solving basic structural problems in Third World countries. Fully 11% of the entire Filipino population works overseas as seamen, contract workers in the Middle East, honky-tonk dancers in Japan, domestic helpers in Europe, etc. That is the largest percentage of any population in the world.

It is estimated that if migrant workers were treated as a nation, they would constitute one of the larger GNPs in the world. The effect on both the host society and the emigrant country are immense. It is estimated that approximately half the work force of Saudi Arabia is expatriate, and live for the most part in the shadows. The largest geographical unit of the Catholic Church is the Vicariate of Arabia, which contains an estimated 1 million Christians, many of these secretly practicing their faith in Saudi Arabia. In the 21st century, despite the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

This phenomenon has actually changed the society and demography of the Philippines, as it did that of Ireland much earlier. The Philippine government has acquired a license to corruption and theft. It needs to accomplish nothing. The overseas workers will pay the bills. The Amerikano will provide the wherewithal to fight the insurgency. The local politicos are free to party.

But despite the appearance of functionality, no one is really happy. Families are split up. Husbands and wives don't see each other for years. I keep receiving mail from a Mexican village complaining it has become depopulated of men, all of whom went North across the border.

Like the elites in Mexico, the big cheeses in the Philippines don't need to reform. They send their tired, poor and huddled masses into the USA and continue to live their corrupt lives, which they describe as "nationalism".

But can't work that way forever. September 11 showed the thugs want to come too.

6/08/2007 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

A guy by the name of hernando de soto who heads up the ild from peru asked a very good question 20 years or so ago. He asked. Why are some countries poor & some countries rich. the answer he came back with was that most property in poor countries is not formally recognized and and/or transferable and most of their economies are informal. He said the rich countries are surrounded by an invisible halo wealth which is their property mortgageable value. This wealth is not available in poor countries because they don't have formal & easily transferable property rights.

6/09/2007 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


To property and property transfer rights I'd add low barriers to starting and running and business, enforceable contracts, the rule of law, etc.

We know what works. We've simply lost the confidence to insist that places like Mexico, the middle east and Africa be run competently. That would be imperialism, after all.

Instead, the world and its poor bear enormous, unnecessary costs while hustlers and con artists running the developing world present their beggar's bowls as emblems of virtue to a guilty and naive West.

And Kevin, that today's Japan is a model global citizen owes in large measure to the kind of confidence I reference above.

I hope I live long enough to see the energy and creativity of hundreds of millions of people in the middle east unleased, much the way I've watched it happen thoughout Asia over the past few decades.

6/09/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Let me get this straight, at the same time that our wealthy political elite are doing their best to third worldify America with their amnesty bills for illegal immigrants so that they profit from cheap and powerless labor, they are simultaneously going to empower third world labor to earn an honest wage for their travails?

Yeah right and we are making progress in Iraq too.

Correct me if I am wrong but I strongly suspect that elite wealthy Americans who run multinational companies are very happy to have cheap and powerless labor throughout the globe and they would much rather expand that pool than contract it. It is the interests of these people that our government puts first so I find it somewhat quixotic to think that our government would act against their interests by raising their wage bills and cutting their profits.

Yes in post WW2 Japan and Europe our leaders were wise enough to help build successful societies. But the third world was and is a different story. Just in case you don’t want to take my word for it why not look back in the history books to see who our wealthy elites supported throughout the third world in the post-colonial period:

The Shah of Iran
Pinochet in Chile
Suharto in Indonesia
Marcos in the Philippines
Somoza Jr. and Sr. in Nicaragua
Garrastaz Médici in Brazil
Videla in Argentina
P.W. Botha in South Africa
Bautista in Cuba
Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti
Noriega in Panama
Trujillo in the Dominican Republic
Cerezo in Guatemala
Cordova in Hondoras
Stroessner in Paraguay
Diem in Vietnam
Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan
Park Chung Hee in South Korea
Abacha in Nigeria
Franco in Spain
Mobutu in Zaire
Ozal in Turkey
Papadopoulos in Greece
Pol Pot in Cambodia
Salazar in Portugal
Smith in Rhodesia

Our political elite want more poverty, not less. All the the above mentioned leaders did everything in their power to make sure labor was cheap and plentiful for their foreign masters. Why else would they allow in the current third world influx that is destroying the wage structure of the American worker while at the same time lining the pockets of our wealthy elite.

6/09/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


The policy of supporting the bastards because they are "our bastards" is called realism. Take Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. He was toppled from power in 1986 through the efforts of the Filipino people with the support of Ronald Reagan, specifically Paul Wolfowitz. It's a matter of record that Carter did nothing to stop him. Reagan too, for a time, accepted the idea that the West had to accept whatever strongman was set up in the Third World, but thankfully, he began to understand that Freedom is something for everyone, not just Eastern Europeans. When Reagan said "let Poland be Poland" you could have heard the snickers in the halls of academia talking about that demented cowboy.

I am certainly glad you have posted that list of Cold-War strongmen because is perfect proof that the times has come to change away from the policy of maintaining the post-colonial world in the "stable world" of elitist control and take the leadership in bringing freedom to the Third World.

Logically you should support the project to bring Freedom to the Arab world. Follow your data and support it.

6/09/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

This is why many, including myself, cannot understand the betrayal -- there is no other word for it -- by the Left of its supposed principles. They should be taking the lead toward exporting democracy to the Third World. Instead they line up behind the so-called Realists and snigger at the notion that totalitarian countries are reformable. What did Edward Said use to say? "You can't shake up the Middle East like a bag of peanuts." No, they had their own ways.

So the liberal line was that the best thing was to deal through a Saddam Hussein. That it was a mistake to topple him. Better that we had left him there. Like Carter would have left Marcos. You could practically hear the sobs when Saddam went through that trap door. That's the word: betrayal.

6/09/2007 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Uncanny isn’t it how “realism” in supporting dictators almost always lines up with the economic interests of the wealthy elites of the US and the countries involved.

Surely the loneliest job on the planet is to be a democracy advocate in the Middle East right now. Tyrants in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Syria are more secure than ever as all they have to do is point to the chaos in Iraq as Exhibit-A of what their autocratic rule is saving their discontented publics from. As the road to hell is paved with good intentions it takes more feel-good heart-warming rhetorical ear candy about spreading democracy to actually achieve the goal of the global masses breaking free from the squalor their wealthy elites are keeping them in and achieving self-rule. After all in 1981 then newly elected vice President George Bush told Ferdinand Marcos "We love your adherence to democratic principles and to democratic processes." I suppose someone at the time could of pointed to that statement and asked why the Left had betrayed its principles by not supporting Marcos and democracy.

What is striking Wetchard is your insistence on holding to a Left/Right dichotomy when the immigration and Iraq “debates” shows more clearly than ever that America is ruled by a wealthy elite that looks after its interests first and plays the game of exaggerating differences over trivia to convince their less fortunate compatriots that there actually is discussion going on. But OK, let’s play the game and examine the Right’s approach to democracy building in Iraq as opposed to the Left’s success in forcing democracy in South Africa (which at the time was roundly denounced by St. Ronald and others on the Right). From this comparison one clearly sees that economic pressure is a key element in pushing totalitarian regimes towards democracy. Of course the ideological dogma of free trade, where moral judgements are strictly disallowed on the economic output of tyrannous regimes, allows our elites to escape this obvious reality.

As the example (among many others) of Iraq shows, the other way to promote democracy is to not meddle in the internal affairs of other countries by putting tyrants in power in the first place (1963 and 68 US supported coups that placed Saddam and his clan in power) not to mention sending them chemical weapons (and training) and anthrax as the great democracy advocate /realist St. Ronald did in the 80’s.

But neither of the two steps away from tyrants and towards democracy (economic pressure and not meddling in the internal affairs of other countries) will happen until the American people wake up from the slumber their celebrity obsessed media has put them in. The failure of the US political elite (both parties) in the dual crises of Iraq and Immigration will hopefully lead average Americans to stop foolishly looking to the wealthy for leadership and to instead take the reigns of power into their own hands. Only when there is a political force in power in the US that is an advocate for democracy and economic justice internally will the US be able to export these values.

6/10/2007 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

Kevin is focused on a strawman argument, that wealthy Americans are trying to keep the poor poor so that they can use them as cheap labor in their evil schemes of global domination.

What can the global poor produce? Mudbricks? Polished stones? Straw baskets? Candles? Hand-beaten metal plates? This is the Pier One model of global commerce.

What about customers? Production is cheaper to expand with automation than with adding more cheap, untrained, desperately poor labor. Wouldn't corporations do much better if they could sell to larger markets?

How can the market be expanded? Does the answer involve taking things away from the poor? Does it require keeping dictatorial governments in power? Or does it require increasing levels of individual wealth among the poorest citizens of poor countries?

The evil corporation is a toxic leftover meme that was seeded by Soviet agitprop. It should be put out of its, and our, misery as soon as possible.

6/10/2007 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pangloss -

No, automation is not sought after because the wealthy in America know that greater riches and power must follow the Jewish, Mafia, and Latin American model.
It rests on exploiting an underclass, the larger the better with a "little bite" of each transaction they make, while the social costs of expanding the underclass can be adeptly fobbed off on an overtaxed and marginalized middle class that pays for their healthcare, schooling.
And power gathers to the wealthy away from the growing underclass and shrinking middle class as long as the underclass is taught and trained by the schools and unions and political Parties the wealthy run - to pit the middleclass against the underclass now heavily dependent on government largess (both native and unskilled immigrants).

That is the reason why fatcats from the Left and Right join with Open Borders ideologues that see financial and political advantage to destroying the "Old America".

6/10/2007 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

Great one, good pics too. Maybe things would be different if Muslim immigrants really did perform 'colorful folk-dances' for their hosts.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't improve your country

send excess population
to rich Western countries

6/10/2007 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

"That is the largest percentage of any population in the world."

Jeez, I must have read some bad info. I read that one in three Mexicans was in the U.S.

Of course, they might have been including those that are on their way.

I'm thinking we could save a lot of lives, money and time if we just annex Mexico and imprison all the corrupt politicians (ours too) in Cuba and let Castro's brother feed and re-educate them.

Then we could use Mexico's vast resources and hard working population (with our help of course) and make our newest state worth staying in.

I know we sure are running out of places to put them in Texas.

Papa Ray
West Texas

6/10/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger kilmer4 said...

A year or two ago I learned that the biggest diseases in Saudi Arabia today are hereditary because more than
50% of their population is sired from inbreeding.

Not only that, as a moslem you can't participate in the religion seriously unless you read the Koran in Arabic.

What are the chances that an inbred tribal moslem only arabic only country would ever accept outsiders by blood & faith as citizens.

the saudi population is not growing as fast as its neighbors in the gulf. Still Saudi population growth rates rank that country in the top 25% growth rates of countries world wide.

6/10/2007 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Kilmer4, what's the trend line on Saudi fertility, though.

I understand that the trend is downward for Muslims generally.

6/11/2007 08:00:00 AM  

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