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8 Walls that Continue to Divide

November 14, 2009

As you may know, unless you’ve missed the media extravaganza of the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall for reasons of, say, living in a war zone or absolute poverty, two decades have now passed since of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that eventually culminated in the end of the Soviet Union.

As wonderful as that event was, we, loveable and harsh social critics at ewz, do not buy that “end of history” nonsense that some have spewed about. Walls, between and within nations, still exist, some are torn down while others are reinforced. So in celebration of one wall coming down, we would like to highlight our list of other walls that divide us, and look forward to their end…especially if it incorporates some colorful explosives and perhaps dramatic classical music (Beethoven would fit the bill). This is not a complete list, and is placed in a totally arbitrary order, not one of importance (that would be way too complicated):

1) The Apartheid Wall: Israel-Palestine

Qalandiya graffiti
Graffiti:a weapon to gradually corrode the wall

It may be the most spotlighted and hotly debated structure; the wall built in 2002 by Israel continues to grow. Compared to other walls and barriers, the zany Zionists have taken it upon themselves to build this structure on crumb-like territories allocated for the Palestinians, encircling villages and towns, cutting through cities and farms, separating families, friends, businesses, and well…er…everything.  Justified, as usual, for Israel’s security, the Apartheid Wall was deemed illegal by the International Criminal Court (which lacks the power to enforce the ruling). Added to it are the hundreds of checkpoints, illegal (armed) colonies, Jew-only roads, control of land, water, and air and the occasional military battering of the Palestinian population, which makes the entire matrix of control the Zionist state has on the area more vicious than even that other Apartheid state (i.e. South Africa, this I might add being the view of Archbishop Tutu) and comparable to (other) colonial entities (I’m looking at you Belgian Congo, French Algeria, and others, you know who you are…stop hiding back there British India). The Aparthied Wall is larger in length and in height than the Berlin Wall; it is more than 730 km long, and can range up to 8 meters high.

clearly, this is all for the sake of peace.

Activists, both Palestinian, Israeli, and international have taken it upon themselves to fight this wall with a massive combo of legal tools, inventive demonstrations, graffiti, and other weapons. Recently, in honor of the fall of the Berlin Wall, activists have successfully collapsed two sections of the Apartheid Wall in two different demonstrations, days apart from each other, and have vowed not to rest until it all comes crashing down.

2) The Baghdad Wall(s)

Bringing democracy and stability to a country near you!

The burden and woes of an occupying and invading power. After the 2003 invasion and conquest of Iraq, the Americans faced the difficult challenge of fighting resistors, and dealing with inter-ethnic conflicts (not that the US did not play a hand in pushing ethnic conflict for their own interests…). Sunnis fighting Shia’as, Shia’as fighting Sunnis, Sunnis fighting Sunnis, Shia’as fighting Shia’as, everyone fighting everyone; what is an occupying power to do, and how can they control all that negative press that conflict brings with it?

A spark of genius ignited (or exploded) in the American political and military apparatus; in an attempt to ensure Iraqi national unity lets have the American military build a network of walls and checkpoints, totaling 5 km in length and rising 12 feet from the ground, enclosing sections of neighborhoods in the capital, and…oh…reinforcing sectarian divides. The Iraqi (puppet) government and the people were not supportive, but who cares about the wishes and sentiments of the natives.

The wall, still under construction, will consist of “sand barriers, trenches, barbed wire and concrete barriers constructed from moveable sections each weighing 7.1 tons (6.3 tons)”. Its all temporary though, so that makes it alright.

3) The US-Mexican Border “Fence”

Only seasonal workers accepted.

In the heydays of 2006 when American President GWB was in power, and political comedy was at its zenith, a glorious idea was conceived. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” part of a poem etched onto the Statue of Liberty, has never seemed more ironic than with the establishment of this barrier.

There are about 12 million “illegal” immigrants in the US, with about 1 million each year detained trying to cross into the US. A rarely mentioned fact is that most of the “illegals” are actually the native inhabitants of the southern parts of the US, which was part of Mexico before Manifest Destiny and other colonial and imperial considerations came along, playing into the invasion and conquest of parts of northern Mexico (a sticky point). However, this ingenious plan is aimed at stopping the flow of immigrants from the south seeking refugee from their economic, social, and political problems at home (argubaly more often than not caused in some form by US interventions), by building a 700 mile barrier, composed of fences, cameras, motion detectors, and the gun-toting MinuteMen (who bravely defend the border from desperate, exhausted, refugees)

Of course Obama has promised to reassess the construction of the barrier (already more than 600 miles have been completed), but as with most Obama Promises, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

4) Saudi Arabian Border

Death Laser Robots to be included soon.

Those wily Wahhabis are at it again. Dripping in oil profits, the royal family decided to wisely spend it on the world’s largest and most high tech barriers around it’s borders to either: a) keep violence from spilling into the country; b) to keep the people in. The project is estimated to cost over $3 Billion, covering its border with Iraq (800 km) and Yemen (1,500 km), and plans are extended to cover the rest of its border (approximately 9,000 km in total). This involves actual physical walls, with the high-tech characteristics of “satellite monitoring, cameras, radar, electronic sensors, coastal detection centers and reconnaissance airships to detect intruders and send patrols.”

Here’s hoping that they incorporate the security bots from Robocop to make it extra special and uber-cool.

5)  The DMZ, Koreas

Staring contest – Korean style

Ah the Cold War. When times where simpler as non-state actors were ignored and the world seemed to be divided between the

“Free World” and the “Communists” (except for everyone outside of Europe and North America, for whom things were a bit more complex).

The de-militarized zone is a strip of about 4 km wide by 250 km long area, separating the two Koreas since the stalemate of the Korean War in 1953. Another brilliant idea by the powers-that-be, in order to maintain their perspective status-quos and spheres of influences, this separation at the 38th Parallel, continues to vary from hot to cold, playing out the conflict in the form incursions, propaganda games,a Korean Wall, and an accidentally created park that is “recognized as one of the most well-preserved areas of temperate habitats in the world” (to the joy of naturalists and environmentalists).

6) The Wall of Sand, Western Sahara-Morroco

Divide and conquer; it never gets old.

Built by the Moroccan state in 1980 and completed in 1987, this massive wall of sand in the desert of southeastern Morocco aims to reinforce Moroccan conquest and colonization of the Western Sahara since the Spanish left in 1976. Under the guise of “security” (justified numerously over time and space), the Moroccan state aims to ensure the dominance of the area and ensuring that the Sahrawi people, the indigenous people of the land, the Polisario, do not attempt any foul play in regaining their rights…by actually living on the land.

The Wall of Sand, also known as the Berm  (Sand) of Western Sahara is approximately 2,700 kms in length, composed of six defensive walls, complemented with sand, stone, barbed wire, ditches, and a friendly minefield (to emphasize a friendly notion of ownership).    It truly earns its title of “the Wall of Shame.”

7) The Wagah Border Crossing between India-Pakistan:

National ritualistic confrontations can be very riveting.

The Wagah Border Crossing lies on the Grand Trunk Road, the only road that connects India and Pakistan, and symbolizes the separation and tension between these volatile nuclear states. Since partition in 1947 (a Great British specialty), these two countries have been a hair-breath from all out nuclear war more than once; facing obstacles from Kashmir to home-grown extremisms on both sides. The town, originally named, Wagah is separated between West and East, each lying in these respective countries paralleling Berlin, and thereby allowing the separation to earn the title of the “Berlin Wall of Asia”.

What is commendable is the creative nature in which both sides confront each other at the crossing:

Each respectable military personal has a flag daily ritual, in which they address each other through the art, of, erm…well…macho dancing, concluding by carefully raising their flags at the same time and at equal heights. It has become a public and entertaining spectacle, with an underlining tension of potential armed conflict.

8 ) Gated Communities

Love thy neighbor. Only if they are in the same income level.

Not constrained by space or time,“gated communities” have been found in many nations and continues to grow. These communities symbolizes the seperation between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

The ultimate manifestation of seperation and division, these communities are modern day fortresses to protect from the filthy poor hordes that threathen the peace and tranquility of those with hard-earned (well, sometimes hard earned) cash.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2009 3:30 am

    Fantastic affair, didn’t thought reading this would be so interesting when I saw your title.

  2. theflithyviewer permalink
    December 8, 2009 1:43 pm

    why thank you, sir. That is quite a fine compliment, indeed.

    we aim to please(well…sometimes.)

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