Tuesday, April 17, 2018

ESSAY--The Contiguous Mexico-US Border Dispute--A DMZ BUFFER ZONE PROPOSAL

ENGLISH 102-1105//UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO//SPRING 2018// JC LANGELLE


"...except possibly where a demilitarized zone exists such as the DMZ separating North and South Korea."



     (Coco's, Ensenada)--The Mexico-US border has been accurately calculated to be 1954 miles from ocean to gulf. According to the CIA World Factbook records, all the world's borders combined make up about 151,000 miles. Consider that the nations' borders have probably been determined relative to each country so that overlapping miles exist throughout the data set. In other words, 151k miles includes the overlap. One could argue in all fairness that the border is delineated according to the nation and might be considered its domain, except possibly where a demilitarized zone exists such as the DMZ separating North and South Korea. The ratio  (below) is but a figurative way to get a perspective on just exactly how much "border" land is being disputed, contested, by the two parties involved; Mexico and the United States.

Mexico-US border = 1954 miles
World land borders = 151,000 miles
(In km at CIA World Factbook:
 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2096.html)

Percentage of miles that the contiguous Mexico-US border represents with respect to world borders  (approx.):

            (1954/151,000) = 0.01252564102

      Just 4 states border the border with Mexico, or 8 percent of the Union. The Federal Government has no business telling the states adjacent to the border how to police the border. It's a borderline issue that needs to be addressed to the 92 percent. The reciprocal is also true. There is only one party on the other side of the border, that being Mexico. A great number of the refugees from the south do not come from Mexico although it is expected to pick up the tab for the itinerant traffic northbound. The problem isn't just a dual concern of Mexico and the United States but one of South America and North America. It is not, under any stretch of diplomacy, being addressed that way.  There has not been any form of summit to address immigration in the Western Hemisphere as an overall concern, at least not directly related to the border dispute, for many years.
     Understand that this is no longer a mere difference on refugees crossing a border without consent of the two governments involved where the border exists, but has become a bona fide dispute over the border itself. One cannot accurately define a border between two nations in terms of its territorial dimensions, except for length. If the border between Mexico and the United States is partially represented by the Rio Grande River, just where exactly does the "borderline" fall? In the middle, on the north and south banks? Who owns the territory that is considered the river itself?
     The last presidential election in the United States has brought into focus like never before the border issue, creating a stigma for the nations below it, making pariahs and outcasts out of them in the eyes of those north of it. Politicians have a very keen understanding of the propaganda currency of the border issue, but are totally ignorant of what to do about it, other than use it to fuel racial and bigoted nationalist sentiment. Because of the tendency to alienate America's neighbors for political expedience, the border controversy cannot be resolved by the nations directly affected by it, that being Mexico and the United States.
     We have seen the most bizarre solution yet in the form of some sort of all-pervasive wall that will theoretically halt the flow of immigrants from the south to the north. This solution exists only in the minds of political aspirations and has no place at all in practical application, and politicians care very little for that side of the equation. The next attempt for resolving the escalating conflict is deployment of military forces, the national guard, along the border. This is yet more political grandstanding without diplomatic regard for neighboring nations, a shameful, desperate act on the part of the United States. Leadership in the White House has taken a giant leap backwards in foreign policy by this brash gesture.
     Where, then, lies the solution? It is twofold. It begins with a substantive summit of all the nations of the Western Hemisphere, no matter how big, or how small. Each delegate has a vote, each has his, or her, say in the dispute. The proposition for a wall will not even be considered. What will be considered, however, is a demilitarized zone (DMZ), on both sides of the border. It will be patrolled not by components of the armed forces of the two nations involved, Mexico and the United States, but by foreign intervention forces from the Western Hemisphere alliance. The buffer zone will be funded by the alliance, all nations in the party agree to monitor its own nation for refugees on the move without consent and proper documentation.
     In brief, the wall has gone the way of the one in Berlin even before it is built. The adjacent nations insistence on alienation has created a stalemate to diplomacy that cannot be tolerated in the formative years of the Twenty-First century. The proxy Twitter war being fought by the Oval Office indicates a total lack of  consideration for the feelings of the people south of the border who are our "amigos." All of the above may well be within reach, and it may also be true that those in power are keenly aware of it.