The Maginot Line
At times in discussion of border walls, various rhetorical points are sometimes brought up, e.g. “what about prisons don’t they have walls” or “what about Israel wall…”
I am not convinced that beyond rhetorical flourishes these are particularly convincing. As long as a wall is more of a symbolic idea than a practical one, the arguments seem attractive. However, they often fall apart taking into the specific situations and circumstances (e.g. how long would a prison wall last the prison were unstaffed…exactly how much staffing is needed in some pretty remote border places).
So in that regard, I am cautious about bringing up a counter-example of the Maginot Line as a practical example. As one remembers after the horrors of an invasion across the German/French border in WWI and subsequent trench warfare for four years across northern France – the French decided to build an impregnable series of barriers on the France/Germany border. However, when World War Two broke out, the Germans didn’t attack directly across the border but instead mostly went around via Belgium.
So in that regard, the Maginot Line is perhaps a rhetorical example the other direction that something that appears impregnable might be ignored in favor of an easier way of achieving the same goal.
As we enter the longest shutdown of the U.S. government in our country’s history over the building of a wall spanning the US-Mexico border one wonders how shutting down the government and cau…
On the topic of the Israel wall, it should be noted that while the concrete wall portions receive the most press photos, they comprise less than 3% of that border zone. The rest is mostly chain link fence with goals “its object is less to stop infiltrators than to deter, detect and track them.”
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