The Spectacle Blog

Bush’s French Proposal

By on 5.16.06 | 8:14AM

The setup to one of the best French jokes asks, “How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?” The answer, of course, is “Nobody knows because they’ve never tried.” That came to mind Monday night when President Bush said that, “The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop.” How do we know walls and border patrols won’t stop illegal immigration? We’ve never tried.


And he's still not trying. Six thousand National Guard troops can help, but they are not nearly enough to do the job of sealing the border. And the proposal to end the "catch and release" program? That's what he promised last year and hasn't accomplished.


Walls work. Ask the Israelis. (Or, if you could, the ancient Chinese). Significant troop deployments with enough people, ground vehicles and aircraft to do the job (and just who gives a rat's hind end if Vicente Fox doesn't like it?) are needed urgently while we take the time to build the barriers along both borders. Yes, it will put more strain on an already overburdened force. But the choice is to do something seriously or just fiddle. Last night, the president continued fiddling. It was a speech worthy of Dominique de Villepin or Jacques Chirac.

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