Stewart on Fox News This AM

By Too Conservative


  • Wolverine says:

    NoVA Scout is right. Many people did try to get through the Iron Curtain. Many made it. But, in essence, that barricade was pretty successful in keeping the inevitable flow from becoming a flood, especially in East Germany. A flow the Soviets and East Europeans could handle. A flood was muy bad. Which is exactly why, when the problems in Berlin began to multiply, the Wall itself was built. In East Berlin, at least, even the flow was turned into a trickle.

    Eric is also right. As I recall, it was a crime for an East European even to be seen approaching the border barricades on the Iron Curtain. I actually went through Checkpoint Charlie in East Berlin. The East German trooper in his watchtower above gave me a smirk and pointed his machine gun at my chest. I was sorely tempted to give him the finger but thought better of it because I was on the way in, not on the way out. In any case, once inside I found that any effort to make contact with an East Berliner outside the confines of official shops or establishments made these strange, somber looking characters appear out of the woodwork. They weren’t taking any chances.

    Edmund is also right in his inferences about manpower. If it was anything, it seems to me that the Iron Curtain was labor intensive from a military and border guard standpoint from one end to the other. That and the other deterent — the fact that death without trial could easily be the reward for
    any escape attempt. Perhaps you may not remember this, but I certainly recall the young East Berliner many years ago who tried to make it and was left to bleed to death hanging on the razor wire. Wire photos all over the
    world. A Soviet/East German teaching lesson.

    But, when all is said and done, I agree essentially with Cato. We may not be able to completely stem the flow, we need to make an effort to stop the flood. We need to make our domestic problem manageable. As Edmund implies, we do not have the numbers to replicate the manpower intensive operations of the old Iron Curtain unless we decided to put military troops on that border in great numbers. We need a combination of manpower and the best technological smarts we can muster to, at the least, cut the flood down to a flow or, hopefully, even a trickle. Just maybe by doing that we can make the domestic problem of millions of illegal immigrants already among us a more finite and perhaps more readily solveable one. You cannot do that very well if you are constantly being assaulted by fresh waves of newcomers. With the flow cut off, perhaps we can take a fresh look at such things as the Dream Act or a more solid guest worker program targeted to our specific labor needs or better ways to use local government and local law enforcement to force any of those first generation immigrants who refuse to assimilate or to, at the least, respect our standards of law and quality of life to either shape up or
    be shipped out.

  • FedUp says:

    “I’m fine with around $1B/year going to man our border…”
    Money well-spent! Comparing a tight border to the Berlin Wall, as the Dem trolls on this blog have, is completely idiotic.

  • Dan says:

    FedUp, if you had read more carefully you would know that no one compared a secure border to the Berlin Wall. The comparison was between the Berlin Wall not stopping people who were highly motivated to get past it and the fact that the moronic (and damned expensive) proposal to build a physical wall along the length of our border with Mexico would be ineffective at stopping people who are highly motivated to get past it.
    I presume that the nitwits who advocate for wasting billions on such a wall don’t think we should shoot to kill those attempting to enter, so it wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the border security of the Eastern European Communists during the Cold War. Even if the wall fetishists are homicidal maniacs who do want to shoot border crossers it still won’t stop the traffic.
    There are a slew of issues that must be resolved on both sides of the border in order for us to regain control of our immigration policy and stem the flow of illegals into this country. Building a wall addresses none of them.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    It’s smarter to control these movements than to try to stop them altogether. Make it easier to enter legally and you cut down considerable on the illegal movements. A policy that doesn’t attempt to channel economic migration to the benefit of the recipient country, but instead just tries to stop it, will be inherently futile and wasteful. This administration has been tougher on border security than any in my rather lengthy lifetime. But the other necessary pieces need tending to, also.

  • local gop says:

    Breaking News!!! United States constructs 14 foot wall along entire length of US/Mexico Border.
    And in other news…..15 foot ladders go on sale in Mexico.

  • Wolverine says:

    Just to make an historical point, I think some of you are underestimating the effectiveness of both the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. From the end of World War II to 1950, East Europeans escaped to the West in the millions after their home countries fell under communist control. From 1950 to 1989, however, the sum total of those migrating was only about 13 million, with about three-fourths of those coming under bilateral agreements for resettlement of ethnic groups. The Iron Curtain was, indeed, effective. So was the Berlin Wall. Prior to 1961, East Germany had more than 2.5 million citizens flee to the West. In Berlin, the figures I have seen say about 1500 per day made the escape trip prior to 1961. After the Wall was erected in 1961 and then improved over the years, the accepted figure for the number of
    successful escapes to West Berlin was about 5000 total for 1961-1989, with several hundred paying for the attempt with their lives. Those barriers did
    stop people from moving, that’s for sure. One of the problems the Soviets and East Europeans faced and something that cost them big bucks because they
    had to be constantly on their toes was that the rewards for making a successful escape never diminished. They, in fact, constantly improved.
    Going as early as 1965 from the sad and bleak streets of East Berlin, for example, to the glitz and wealth of West Berlin’s Kurfurstendamm was like
    going from Hell to Shangri La in a matter of just a couple of miles. If we
    try to build a barrier down south to keep illegals out, there is no way in
    crap that we are ever going to become imitations of those merciless East
    European border guard units. So, perhaps Dan is on to something here. Maybe
    we ought to examine a serious and simultaneous reduction of the rewards for crossing our border as a way to lessen the pressure on any kind of barrier we
    might build. If we don’t do that, and if we are not prepared to turn the
    border into a shooting gallery, our wall would be tested time and time again ad nauseum. Simultaneously reduce the rewards for the effort and risk and reduce the pressure on the wall. The reason why I do not say can the idea of a more effective barrier altogether is because we have more than just illegal immigrants seeking work who are coming across that border.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    On the history riff… anyone know of a nation state or civilization that built a wall that has fared well?
    The Berlin Wall was “effective” for only a brief time (if you think in terms of generations). Viewed from a wider perspective, it was ineffective, just like the ideology that lead to its construction.
    History is full of lessons. We ignore them at our peril.

  • Wolverine says:

    Edmund, I was looking at the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall purely from a technical sense with regard to effectiveness. As you aptly imply, what made those particular walls crumble was an internal collapse of the system which built and manned them. A whole different ball of wax. I raised the technical aspect because of the doubts expressed here that any kind of wall or barrier on our southern border could keep illegal immigrants out in sufficient numbers to make the expense and effort worthwhile. I tend to agree to some extent with that simply because we as a people do not have the will or desire to even come close to imitating the force that was necessary to make the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall as effective as they were during their brief life spans. If you want another example, try Hadrian’s Wall. That wall did keep
    the Picts and Scots out of Roman Britain for centuries if you are asking for a longer length of time. It only fell when the Roman Legions and mercenaries
    had to be withdrawn from Britain itself as the Roman Empire began to dissolve internally. From a technical angle, barriers can work; but you would be right again in pointing out that what defeated almost every wall in history was the internal crumbling of the society or civilization which built them.
    Which is exactly why I am suggesting that, if we build any kind of solid barrier in the south, we are going to have to do something almost unique in history: make it a barrier which is both physical and psychological. Take some of the pressure off the barrier by revamping internal policies to make the rewards for border crossing less inviting and by undertaking a serious
    revamping of our entire immigration system with regard to fairness, actual labor needs, and the way in which we deal with those illegal immigrants who are already here —- something which is largely our own fault because we let the politicians get away with doing nothing for decades. On some things for
    which we were ultimately responsible, we may have to admit guilt and bite a
    few bullets. But, quite frankly, I think you are going to have a mighty hard time doing all that if our populace is faced with wave after wave of new
    illegal immigrants because we made insufficient efforts to stem the flow and make our current domestic immigrant problem manageable. To me wave after wave of illegals promises only a deepening of ethnic antagonism, especially
    if our politicians of whatever party continue to engage in ethnic vote targeting as a means to gain or keep political power almost in perpetuity.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I agree Wolverine…

  • FedUp says:

    “…a physical wall along the length of our border with Mexico would be ineffective at stopping people who are highly motivated to get past it.”
    No kidding, Dan. Highly motivated people can accomplish lots of things, but a wall would cut down illegal crossings dramatically. For those who do make it over, we need laws like in PW County to make it hard for them to stay here. It will work and you won’t like it, which is great!
    The Berlin Wall was highly effective in keeping people IN. The wall fell only because communism was a failure.

  • Dean Settle says:

    “Of course, no one seems to want to talk about what would actually happen to the economy if 20 million illegals disappeared”

    What’s 17% of 300 Million? There’s your replacements right there.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Everyone is ignoring the costs we (as a society) ALREADY pay annually on illegals – 1 billion is mighty cheap.
    Dan, the invitation to illegals must be rescinded – open borders signify just that.

Leave Comment