JIm Acosta, NY Times Take Swing At Border Fence, Strike Out
Here’s Excitable Jim Acosta, one of ABC News’ pundits, er, reporters, who parachuted down to the border
I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen TX area of the border where Trump will be today. pic.twitter.com/KRoLdszLUu
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2019
As people were quick to tell him, there’s no national emergency there because it is one of the most secure areas on the border. And one of the reasons for that is that there is, get this, fencing along the border. Sarah Sanders even thanked Jim for explaining why walls work, and President Trump gave him the Dear Diary treatment.
Then we have Bret Stephens at the NY Times, their resident “conservative”, who’s about as #NeverTrump uber #Resist as it comes
ON THE ISRAEL-LEBANON BORDER — Other than the Korean Peninsula’s DMZ, there’s probably no border in the world as fraught with the potential for sudden violence as this one, known locally as the Blue Line. Since President Trump thinks border security is the issue of our time, it’s worth considering how Israel — with tight borders, real threats, and a no-nonsense attitude toward its security needs — does it.
What I saw on Wednesday while traveling along the Blue Line was … a fence. A fence studded with sensors, to be sure, but by no means an imposing one. As the accompanying photos show, here is what a long stretch of the border between two sworn enemies looks like.
Does that look like Trump’s idea of a “big beautiful wall”? Does it even look like the “steel slats” the president now offers as his idea of an aesthetic concession to Democrats? Not quite. Yet for the last 19 years it was all the fencing Israelis thought was necessary to secure its side of the Blue Line.
No, but, it does look like it is electrified, as many sections of fencing are around Israel at certain points, including with Egypt and Gaza. Brett forgot to mention that part.
That started to change in December, after Israel announced that it was conducting an operation to destroy tunnels dug by Hezbollah under the border. The tunnel construction — secretly detected by Israel some four years ago — was intended to infiltrate hundreds of Hezbollah fighters into Israel in the event of war. As an additional precaution, Jerusalem is spending an estimated $600 million to replace about 20 kilometers of the fence with a concrete wall, mainly to provide greater peace of mind to the 162,000 Israelis who live near the Lebanese border.
Whoops! An actual wall. Much like other areas of the Israeli border.
So how does Israel maintain border security? Two ways: close cooperation with neighbors where it’s possible and the use of modern technology and effective deterrence where it’s not.
And that’s his real point, after just saying that the border fencing and walls mostly work except for some stragglers, as well as missiles (not a concern on our southern border) and tunnels. He says lots of monitoring 24/7 stops most of that. Well, Trump never said that we’d have a wall an nothing else.
None of this is to say that physical barriers are invariably pointless or evil. Israel’s fence along the Egyptian border all-but ended the flow of illegal African migrants, though most illegal immigrants in Israel arrive legally by plane and simply overstay their visas. The much-maligned wall (most of which is also a fence) that divides Palestinians from Israelis in Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank played a major role in ending the terrorism of the Second Intifada.
Yet the Israeli experience also suggests that the best way to protect a border is to rely on the tools of the 21st century, not the 12th. Walls only occasionally provide the most reliable security. They can be dangerous for providing the illusion of security. And there are vastly more effective means than concrete to defend even the most dangerous borders. Why can’t Democrats and Republicans simply agree to build additional smart fencing in places where it’s missing and call it, for political effect, an “Israeli-style barrier”?
He keeps making the point for a large physical barrier before trying to say that the wall he said was working doesn’t work. Put a fence up just like Jim Acosta showed, and have sensors. Which was the plan, to have overwatch.
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