It’s a world of walls, go into the brick business

It’s a world of walls, go into the brick business

Bikram Vohra
Go into the brick business. That’s where the money is. Building walls is the new industry and it will need millions of bricks.
Until it was limited to Donald Trump and the Mexican border it stayed in the realm of a tasteless joke. But now that the UK has decided, in its fenced in wisdom, to build a 13-ft wall in Calais to keep the immigrants out this could well become the fashion. With walls come guns; with walls come ‘them’ and ‘us’; and with walls come the horsemen of a modern apocalypse; suspicion, hatred, rage and hostility.
It’s not new, it is just now becoming respectable.
You may not remember the soul-stirring speech by John F. Kennedy delivered in Germany in 1963 when he said Ich bin ein Berliner (I am a Berliner) and then went on to record for history the dramatic words: We have never had to build a wall to keep our people in.
Few of you might recall the iron curtain was swept aside when on Nov, 10, 1989 the wall came down and the two halves were reunited.
Wonder what JFK would feel about the return of the trend.
If you look at the way we are, constructing walls has already begun in right earnest. We have mental walls like never before between each other, parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. We have financial walls, legal walls, hey,don’t come near me ,we are different walls so with that sort of mindset using brick and mortar is the obvious next step. Out with the wiring let’s go opaque.
Syria has one with Turkey but it isn’t keeping all its people in. Israel has had it for over half a century to keep all the Palestinians out. The China-Hong Kong fencing still perseveres. The Nicosia wall splits Cyprus like a lemon. There is a Korean wall, a Moroccan wall, even a Belfast peace line.
Walled cities to walled nations in one easy step for mankind.
Call it electric fencing, barbed wire coils, a line in the sand, who cares, there are already in play. The current fencing on the US-Mexico border is 3,000 km. Thirteen years ago Botswana launched a project to build a 500 km fence between itself and Zimbabwe. They are still building.
In the world of walls there are already 65 members (nations) and India has a 2,500 mile fencing with Bangladesh and now a satellite monitored laser wall with Pakistan. The conventional wiring is running for over 2,000 kms. The collective fencing is seen as the most dangerous border in the world because both sides have nuclear capability.
The cost could have built a thousand and one hospitals and schools and the 50,000 spotlights could have lit up hundreds of villages.
Homeland security experts fall off their armchairs with ill concealed mirth over these shabby defenses. These fences are laughably porous and easy to cross. Total waste of money and manpower. Their take is that these wall are porous as a sponge and utterly pointless except to give the public a false sense of comfort.
Ironically the more we talk about Marshal Maclughan’s global village concept the more insular we are becoming.
There is just too much dislike.
Think of it. Do you really believe that a 13-ft wall in Calais will prevent someone from getting into the UK illegally. Will it really stop people who risk their lives in boats packed like sardines knowing the odds favor their capsizing or take the chance of being crammed like boxes into vehicles to cross border checkpoints.
Human trafficking is today such a lucrative business that crossing a border on payment is a given. In all parts of the globe the smuggling of human beings is a lucrative cargo and has never been as high as it is today. From Bangladesh into India it is almost a jam. Daily. Worldwide as high as 3 million people are being trafficked at any given point of time.
The obvious victim is globalization. It is a myth. Never have we been so ready to be isolated as we are now.
Go into the brick business, fire those kilns, the demand is massive.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view