Monday, October 02, 2006

Will the European Parliament condemn this?

One can but hope. After all, the European Parliament that has on various occasions condemned the Israelis for building a fence to protect their people from the suicide/homicide bombers of Palestine (and, incidentally, thus preventing Palestinian children from blowing themselves up).

Naturally, one expects them to condemn Saudi Arabia for deciding to build a fence along the Iraqi border, to prevent problems of security spreading into their country. One suspects that the Iraqis will not be too unhappy about the fence. After all, terrorists move in various directions and a surprising number of them come from Saudi Arabia.

There is the possibility that what Saudi Arabia does not like is the fact that Iraq has had a number of successful elections and is in the process of painfully constructing a relatively democratic system. But they wouldn’t put up a fence against that, would they?

As it happens, this is not the first time Saudi Arabia has decided to fence itself off. As UPI mentions in connection with the possibility of a fence going up between Mexico and the United States, the idea is becoming every more popular:
Even Saudi Arabia has followed the Israeli example by building a massive security fence along its southern border with Yemen. Interestingly, the strategic purpose of the Saudi fence has much more in common with the U.S.-Mexico fence than with the Israeli one. The Israeli fence was built to choke off a vicious suicide bomber offensive against civilians. The Saudi fence, like the U.S. one, was built primarily to keep out a flood of illegal immigrants from a far poorer neighboring country to the south, and to prevent terrorist groups like al-Qaida from being able to funnel agents and weapons at will across the frontier.
Surely, this deserves a condemnation or two, not to mention delegations, led by our own fragrant Glenys. No? What a pity.

Of course, as we know, good fences make good neighbours and the somewhat belated solution to the problems unleashed by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War may well be the criss-crossing of the whole of the Middle East, the Gulf Region and Araby in general by strong fences.


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