In March of last year, the Atlantic published a list of major security fences around the world. This is part of the trend that Colby Cosh called the New Muralism, inspired by Israel building a fence to keep out Palestinian terrorists.
Of course, outside North America, most land borders are guarded by some kind of fence. That's why, when Victor Davis Hanson was allowed to write recently against immigration in the Wall Street Journal, (a very rare occurrence) it was strange to see him refer to the "Great Wall Of America" as a "retrograde" and "seemingly absurd" solution, when obviously what it is is forward-looking and modern. [Mi Casa Es Su Casa | America's porous border enables Mexico's misrule, By Victor Davis Hanson, January 1, 2006]
Oh, and speaking of retrograde...is the WSJ, having engaged in "balance," going to come back with a smashing Open Borders counterattack, or are they going to reverse their previous course and say "There Shall Not Be Open Borders; We Were Wrong."
The list of fences is below, and it's amazing to consider all the third-world oligarchies that are doing a better job of protecting their countries from, say, Yemenis, than the Bush administration .
- 1. North Korea/South Korea:151 miles long, since 1953
- 2. Belfast, Northern Ireland: The Peace Line, divides citizens of Northern Ireland who don't like each other, since the 1970s.
- 3. Cyprus: 112-miles long, since 1974.
- 4. Morocco/Western Sahara: 1,500 miles long, with mines, since the 1980s.
- 5. India/Bangladesh: Started in 1986, 2,043-miles long.
- 6. India/Pakistan: 700 miles, but will be 1800 miles when completed.
- 7. Kuwait/Iraq: 120 miles. Built after Saddam invaded in 1991. "Last year Kuwait decided to install an additional 135-mile iron partition."
- 8. United States/Mexico: "In the mid-1990s President Clinton initiated two programs, Operation Gatekeeper and Operation Hold the Line, to crack down on illegal immigration from Mexico. They produced a system of high-tech barriers, including a fourteen-mile fence separating San Diego from Tijuana. All told, security barriers stretch along at least seventy miles of the border."
- 9. Botswana/Zimbabwe: The government of Botswana claims to have started building a ten-foot-high electric fence along its border with Zimbabwe to control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. However, most Zimbobweans believe that the fence—begun in 2003 and intended to stretch up to 300 miles—really aims to stanch the immigration flow from troubled Zimbabwe into calmer Botswana.
- 10. Saudi Arabia/Yemen: "In 2003 Saudi Arabia began building a ten-foot-high barrier along its border with Yemen to prevent terrorist infiltration (you read that correctly). Heeding Yemeni protests that the fence violated a border treaty, the Saudi government vowed last year to complete the project in cooperation with Yemen."
[ Security fences,Abigail Cutler. The Atlantic Monthly, March 2005 [also here]