Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Great White Wall: "This Great Wall of Capital, which separates a few dozen rich countries from the earth's poor majority, completely dwarfs the old Iron Curtain. It girds half the earth, cordons off at least 12,000 kilometers of terrestrial borderline, and is incomparably more deadly to desperate trespassers... His obvious model is Australia, where rightwing Prime Minister John Howard has declared open war on wretched Kurdish, Afghan and Timorese refugees. After last year's wave of riots and hunger strikes by immigrants indefinitely detained in desert hell-holes like Woomera in South Australia, Howard used the navy to intercept ships carrying refugees in international waters and intern them in even more nightmarish camps on Nauru or malarial Manus Island off Papua New Guinea."

"Meanwhile the human toll from the new world (b)order grows inexorably. According to human rights groups, nearly 4,000 immigrants and refugees have died at the gates of Europe since 1993: drowned at sea, blown up in minefields, or suffocated in freight containers. Hundreds, perhaps thousands more, have perished in desperate attempts to cross the Sahara desert simply to reach Europe's borders. The American Friends Service Committee, which monitors the carnage along the US-Mexican border, estimates that a similar number of immigrants (3,000-5,000) have died over the last decade in the furnace-hot deserts of the Southwest."

"Toilers without votes or permanent domicile, of course, represent a Republican utopia. The Bush plan would provide WalMart and MacDonalds with a stable, almost infinite supply of indentured labor."

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