America's Great Wall: Where Will the Workers Go When They Finish It?
By JOHN ROSS
SAN FRANCISCO - We are being walled in. Every second that we stay here, they are adding another inch to the wall they are building along the southern border of this country and the northern one of the next country down. The border wall will eventually extend 1964 miles between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, roughly six times the length of the wall the Israelis are throwing up inside Palestine and 20 times that of the Berlin Wall, which once separated the totalitarians from the so-called free world.
The Wall is a project of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard, and a gaggle of corporate predators. It is only congruent that Israeli security planners were brought in for consultations and a sort of perverse poetic justice that a San Diego subcontractor has been indicted for exploiting the labor of the very undocumented workers the Wall is being built to keep out.
Those who build this Wall tell us that it will keep illegal people out of the United States of North America but no person is illegal. It is not yet against the law to be alive except maybe in Bush's Iraq. Although the Border Wall is designed to keep workers on the other side, the goods they produce and the services they provide are perfectly free to pass through the barrier from one corporate predator to another.
Homeland Security, a wholly owned subsidiary of the globalizers of greed, argues that they are building this Wall for our own protection. That the illegal people on the other side are all potential terrorists. This is the same reason that Israel builds the notorious "security barrier" which prevents Palestinian farmers from tending their fields and the olive trees they have nurtured since biblical times. This is the same reason that the Army Corps of Engineers throws up blast walls between neighborhoods in Baghdad and between those neighborhoods and the increasingly vulnerable Green Zone. Indeed, we all live in the Green Zone now.
The Army Corps of Engineers is in the wall business. Perhaps the only wall the corps does not build is between the lower ninth ward of New Orleans and the sea which engulfed that vibrant black neighborhood two years ago this past August 29. The Army Corps of Engineers has its priorities.
We watch them as they wall us in, as if it is not happening to us. We watch them as they pour the concrete, string up the razor wire, install the searchlights and the electronic sensors, the surveillance cameras, the armed patrols and snarling dogs and unmanned drones. We do not understand yet that they are trying to keep us from breaking out of the compound.
They need to keep us walled in here so that we will know no other reality. So that we will always keep buying their useless junk and pledging allegiance to corporate vampires. There is a reason why they call it Wall Street.
We are allowing them to wall us in into their war. Bush lays it on trowel by trowel. It's just like building fences down on the ranch. That's what he calls the Border Wall. A fence. You thought there was a way out of here? That the Democrats would throw up ladders to get across this Wall of War? The fix has been in since last November's elections.
Now Bush flies at night to a photo op in Anbar, evading the press corps in the underground passages beneath the White House. Now General BetrayUs, a ventriloquist's dummy of Goebbelian dimensions, oozes to a willingly bamboozled Congress that Iraq is all better now. Now Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee roll over at their Master's Voice and vote to tag a few hundred more miles on to this Wall of lies. We will never be able to leave now. We have walled ourselves into Iraq.
I am a writer. I build my walls out of words but the only word for our times is arrrggghhh!
We are the builders of our own walls. We have walled ourselves into our own fears, bolted the doors and windows and hunkered down deep in the compartmentalized bunkers they force us to rent each month with our blood and our sweat. We do not even know who lives on the other side of the six inches of sheet rock that separates us from our next-door neighbors. All we can think is that they want our stuff. Bush said that. They want what we have. According to the newest numbers, there are nine guns for every 10 red-blooded citizens of the United Snakes (note - undocumented workers are not included in this sampling.)
Fear is a big item in the wall business. You can't build one without it. The bigger the fear the taller the Wall and the taller the Wall, the greater the profits. The Blackwaters and the Dynecorps have made their fortunes keeping the looters at bay. How many folks on your block or in your building are employed to guard someone else's property or person?
Why do they hate us so much, Bush wailed as the towers were tumbling six 9/11s ago now? No one ever quite answered that extremely crucial question. Ignorance requires active participation and we are walling ourselves into the mind-numbing ignorance of the eternally lobotomized.
We choose to avoid what is on the other side of the Wall. We do not know what it looks like over there or how it smells. The garbage pits of Tijuana where our own offal is dumped every day to the delight of emaciated Indian scavengers. The bloated bellies of the starvation army stretching from TJ to Tierra del Fuego. The stench of shit and blood hanging heavily over Baghdad this morning.
We don't care. We are so scared by it all that we can't allow ourselves to care. We punch up the remote and the screen hides us from the rest of the world. We bust up a joint and forget that we live in the shadow of the Wall and we cannot get out of here.
We are stuck inside the intestinal Walls of the beast's belly. There isn't much light in here and we cannot see out. We cannot see how we look to others. We cannot see what is in their eyes. We will never learn the answer to Bush's question after 9/11 took his mind away. Why do they hate us so much?
I have a dream. It is their nightmare. I dream that we are locked up in some maximum security prison, maybe old Folsom or Abu Ghraib or the T. Don Hutto detention center, and the word on the grapevine is "jailbreak!" We listen up for the signal and when it comes, we let each other out of our cages, overwhelm the guards, and scale the Wall on ropes fashioned from our bed sheets. At the top we stop to catch our collective breath and take a look at what the world really looks like on the other side. For once, we cannot see the Wall.
John Ross’s left eye was taken from his head last week. He is recuperating in San Francisco. If you have further information about the final resting place of his eye write email@example.com.
18 September 2007
America's Great Wall: Where Will the Workers Go When They Finish It?
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