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29 March 2018


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As a former Soldier I also think the change is long overdue, and do not regard it as an odd statement. I have always slightly cringed at the word 'warrior'.
I never went into battle riding a horse, swinging a sword and wearing chain mail shorts, and I believe that the use of the word came from some very neatly attired public relations guru.
Perhaps it would put your mind at ease if you read more of the archival material on this site.

Lee A. Arnold

Illegal southern border crossings have been declining in number for almost 20 years.

A "big beautiful" wall is fear-based politics, not a necessity.

Wait until Trump's NAFTA shenanigans prompt Mexico to join the Chinese trade pact. Then after that, the Mexicans will get faster and cheaper internet & cable than there is in the US.

Then, Mexico will build the wall and pay for it, to keep the northern gringoes OUT.

Sasha S

blockquote><"....but I find his open appreciation for Assad in saving the Christian communities in Syria reasonable..."

Indeed, that was the only thing I found reasonable from him, although I wonder whether his support for Assad comes only out of the latter´s effort in protecting Christians, amongst a largest effort in protecting the whole Syrian mosaic of confessions....

For instance, I found his ideas on raping quite weird, for not to say questionable, be it at the army, be it at a married couple´s home....

Eric Newhill

Lee A Arnold,

The economic cost of 9/11 is estimated at over $3 trillion. That includes the resulting wars, but hey, when some group(s) attacks your homeland and kill 3,000 citizens and destroys some big highly symbolic buildings and attempts to wipe out your government in a single blow, you kind of need to do some kind of major response.

All sorts of foreign nationals, from far away as Pakistan, come across the southern border. It's not just Mexicans and MS 13 types from Central America. Some of the governments down there are now partnered with terrorist groups in the MENA in the drug trade. It's not so difficult to imagine them assisting terrorists to come up into the US.

There are other significant costs - tangible, intangible and shadow - associated with illegal immigrants. The cost of the wall is nothing compared to the cost/risk of not having one.

Just about every other country in the world has a wall and the walls are usually under the purview of the military because the walls are, correctly, deemed to be an important aspect of national defense and security.

By all means, order the military to build the wall. They're on Uncle Sam's payroll already and they work cheap; probably as cheap or less so than even illegal immigrants.

Eric Newhill

Vicente Fox's macho posturing aside, Mexico is paying for the wall one way or another. Even if that means reduced illegals in the US sending American $s back to Mexico - about $23 billion/yr.

Mexico very much relies on that infusion of US greenbacks into their crumby economy.

Bill H

Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I know you know it. Only those who had completed a tour of national service entitled to vote. The professor asks why the system is used and answers himself, "Because it works." He then mocks the insanity of "an earlier age" when everyone alive was entitled to vote. "Can you imaging anything so silly?"

I don't know about his point, but the system we are currently using certainly does not seem to be working all that well.

Bill H

and wisedupearly CEO

Maybe the Navy CB's (SeaBees). Are they still around?

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

If you want to prevent attacks like 9/11 from foreigners, you must shut down all air and sea ports of entry. We would have to implement our own form of Sakoku policy and make America for Americans only. Become a closed country. I think most Americans would tire of that very quickly.

The big, beautiful border wall serves as a symbol for controlling our borders, including our air and sea ports of entry. A wall on the envisioned scale is wasteful and mostly ineffective, but it is a powerful and tangible symbol. A more effective way of controlling illegal immigration including visa overstays is to prosecute employers who employ illegal workers and shut down their businesses. If that enforcement policy was fully implemented, I think most Americans would also tire of that very quickly.

Shutting down those industries would also deprive the illegals of money to send back to their families. It's a pure cut off your nose to spite your face move, but it would give the deplorables a warm feeling in their hearts... until they go to the grocery store.

Lee A. Arnold

You think a wall can prevent another 9/11? If you erect a wall, wouldn't terrorists find another way in?Did any of the 9/11 attackers come over the southern border? What are the other significant costs - tangible, intangible and shadow - associated with illegal immigrants? Presidents Bush & Obama beefed-up border security and sought a citizenship deal for the illegals already here. Why not just make the ones who are here legal, so they can pay taxes when they work hard, they are not afraid of their own status when they want to notify police of MS 13 activity? Republicans in Congress do not want a border-security-for-path-to-citizenship deal, because they want the campaign issue. They want fear of terrorism and anger at job-loss to whoop up their voters. This is a big waste of time and money.

The Twisted Genius


A big, beautiful, 30 foot tall wall from sea to shining sea is an impractical and wasteful idea. However, I do think using the military to improve the barrier system along that border is a good idea. This system can take into account the realities of the terrain and ecological factors such as animal migrations. Another point to remember is that any barrier or obstacle needs to be kept under observation to be effective. An unwatched wall, no matter how big and beautiful it is, will not be effective. And Bill H, of course the SeaBees should be involved in this.

Eric Newhill

TTG and Lee Arnold,
Sorry, but I find some of your arguments to be spurious. Just because the 9/11 jihadis didn't come across the Southern border doesn't mean that next time they won't. I say again that foreign nationals from all over the world are being picked up crossing the border.

Visa overstays are a problem. We can stop that and have a wall. At least with the visa problem we have some idea who is in the country. With the illegal border crossings, we have no idea.

I am one of the few people offering commentary on the problem at the Southern border that has actually witnessed and lived the situation. I have seen all kinds of people sneaking across - some within 100 yards of official crossing, through big holes in the broken cheap fence. I have found the packs of drugs, found the dead bodies in varying states of decomposition, been shot at by narco-trafficantes.

I recall when surveillance blimps were put up over the AZ/Mexico border - saw them myself) and the narcos shot them down within a few weeks (rumored with assistance from the Mexican govt).

Are people aware that there are large swaths of land - federal land/our country - where civilians are not allowed to go because it's too dangerous due to illegal crossings? Think about that for a minute.

I guess for some SJW sitting in Boston or somewhere similar, this all just an abstraction.

Obviously "the wall" is a symbol. Build an actual wall - using the military - along those sectors where crossings are viable. I'm sure the military has all kinds of surveillance gizmos that will help monitor activity. Other sectors don't need a wall because the terrain and climate will kill anyone trying to get across, but some military surveillance along likely exit routes from those sectors should be established.



Another anti-American rant. If it is such a cess-pit of evil "White culture" why are all those immigrants coming here rather than staying home? The socialist paradise of Venezuala isn't attracting too many immigrants these days, can't be the "White culture". I wonder what it might be? BTW how are things in the land of open borders and equal opportunity: Taiwan?

Eric Newhill

I actually think the correct solution, involving the military, is to invade Mexico, kill all the narcos (no ROIs) and replace the government (a bit of redundancy). Make Mexico a US protectorate, but rule it like Romans.

Eric Newhill

meant to say "No ROEs"

Lee A. Arnold

I'm not arguing for no security. There are lots of ways to increase border security that allows capture of foreign nationals, and which may allow exploitation of them for counter-terror purposes. This is better than not knowing about them behind a wall. The problem I see with Trump's "big beautiful wall" is that there will always be more attacks anyway, so the wall is always going to get longer without 100% results. Anyone who's been following the terrorist news since the late 1990's knows that efforts and resources must be deployed much closer to the source of these problems. Retracting into ourselves until the rest of the world gets its act together will never, ever work. I don't think that means invading another country. We can manage imperfect agreements like the JCPOA while keeping allies on board to deal with the inevitable breaches later. It's a long and subtle and frustrating game and that's why the likes of Trump can't do it. His disgusting "Mexican rapists and murderers" rhetoric was as insulting as the wall. The Mexicans are a great and friendly people, we should be helping each other and creating a spirit of neighborliness. That will have security payoffs too.

P.S. "Just because the 9/11 jihadis didn't come across the Southern border doesn't mean that next time they won't," is ITSELF a spurious argument.

Babak Makkinejad

Killing all narcos while doing nothing against North Americans's voracious apetite for drugs is just plain nuts.

Eric Newhill

Lee Arnold, "The Mexicans are a great and friendly people, we should be helping each other and creating a spirit of neighborliness. That will have security payoffs too."

Yeah. Sure. Go spend a week in Jaurez. Come back and tell me how wonderful it is (if you're still alive). For that matter, go hang out in Compton or South Tucson for a week. You're indulging in a Pollyannaish construction of reality.

You're right. We should just throw up our hands and surrender to violent gangs that are committing atrocities at a rate, and with a grotesque creativity, that would make ISIS proud. Meanwhile, people in Colorado are getting high and there are no chopped heads with cartel neckties.


So you would also advocate for a northern wall since you view this as a security issue? Walls on the coasts also?


Eric Newhill

You do the best you can. The Coast Guard and Customs watches entries from the sea. Canada is allegedly a more stable, less corrupt, country than Mexico.

Some people here are in serious denial about what a s---hole Mexico really is.

Babak Makkinejad

I am suggesting that it is manly to admit one's own responsibility before indulging in acts of violence against foreigners. It certainly did not work very well in Afghanistan, this killing of the Manichean bad actors, dit it now?

Lee A. Arnold

I worked alongside lots of Mexicans in Los Angeles. A great people. I don't even speak Spanish. I had the best burrito I've ever had in Compton.


Eric @42

In November of 2011 my husband and I went to Cabo San Lucas for 5 days as part of a company thank you to sales people and the technical engineers that supported them, such as my huband. I remember standing in a security line at the local airport and chatting with people. While talking with a young prosperous Mexican couple I mentioned that I had gone a road trip in Mexico in 1983 with my then boyfriend. We flew into Mexico City, rented a car and stayed there for a few days before driving through the countryside staying at various small charming cities. My favorite was Pátzcuaro in Michoacán but I also enjoyed Playa Azul.

We ended our trip in Acapulco and it was on the stretch from Playa Azul to Acapulco that we had our only scary experience. There was a road block with many young soldiers with machine guns which pulled over the occasional car, our guess was looking for drugs. We were waived through.

That young and friendly Mexican couple that I spoke with looked at me wide-eyed in a bit of shock and said "you can't do that any more in our country."

Back when I subscribed to STARTFOR they had numerous article about how the gangs and warlords basically owned many large swaths of land outside the urban and developed areas (esp. in northern Mexico). The government was not able to do much about it, despite help from the US.

While I am not in favor of a full length Hadrian's Wall or Great Wall of China approach, I do see a role for drones and selective electrified fencing as well as walled or fenced areas where that makes the most sense. In other words, some type of hybrid approach to managing the border. Any porous border is dangerous in the times we live in today.

Philippe T.

Call it Maginot Line...

Eric Newhill

I spent some time here and there in Mexico back in the 80s. The country has changed very much for the worse in the past 30 years. And it's getting worse.

But I'm sure Lee Arnold could travel freely there, eating delicious burritos all the while and, according to Babak, it's America's fault because we're all drug addicts. So we should just allow chaos to prevail all over the US.

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