Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Mr. Bush, Open this gate! Mr. Bush, Tear down this wall!

After the trillions of dollars wasted in slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, after failing in each and every one of his domestic and international policies, after insulting the noble precepts on which his country was built and after ensuring that he is the last Republican President for many years to come, George Bush prepares one last parting shot: a US-style Berlin Wall.

After two terms in office, it has become patently clear that George Bush neither respects international law, nor has any intention of pretending to abide by the fundamental precepts underlying international relations, having breached the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter and numerous UN Resolutions in wanton acts of mass murder outside the borders of the United States of America.

However, the parting shot of the murderous and criminal Bush regime is closer to home: the construction of an apartheid Berlin-style wall (the photograph by Jay Johnson-Castro shows the San Miguel Gate). As if this were not shocking enough, the wall is built on illegally occupied Tohono O’odham National Lands.

The construction of this border wall has already involved the dessecration of ancestral graves on the western side of Tohono O’odham Nation lands and is yet one more violation of human rights in a long list of outrages, including:

A marked increase in migrant deaths

Violation of women’s rights

Land encroachment

Storage of toxic waste on Native lands

Violation of traditional mobility and migrations rights for indigenous peoples

Moreover, and yet again, the Bush regime has violated a legally binding international agreement, namely the United Nations Convention on Migrants’ Rights, which entered into force on July 1st, 2003, shortly after US troops commenced the illegal invasion of Iraq, which saw civilian structures targeted with military hardware, a wholesale act of slaughter, war crimes and mass murder on a scale unseen in recent decades.

This Convention (binding under international law) grants the right of freedom of movement to and from country of origin (Article 8); the right to freedom from degrading treatment or punishment (Article 10); the right to a fair hearing with all guarantees of a due process (Articles 16-20); the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention (Article 16); Prohibition against collective expulsion (Article 22); the right to equality with nationals before courts of law (Article 18). Food for thought amidst the hundreds of cases in which these articles have been violated.

The Convention also stipulates that regular or irregular, all migrants are entitled to a minimal degree of protection, since fundamental human rights are a precept open and accessible to all as a birthright.

Therefore where does George Bush’s Berlin-style Apartheid Wall stand in the midst of such noble and universally recognised precepts? The same place as his murderous foreign policy which once and for all divorced Washington from the hearts and minds of the international community.

For one thing, however, one can be thankful to George W. Bush. A Republican, he has provided those of us who have been outraged with Cold War nonsense and crypto-Fascist propaganda, the chance to throw back each and every one of the diatribes levelled against the Soviet Union during the years of the Reagan/Bush Senior regime.

They complained about the invasion of Afghanistan which was in fact, as Brezhnev said, no more than a response to help the progressive Afghan government against the Mujaheddin terrorists, aided and abetted by Washington. The result? The USA not only invaded Afghanistan illegally and 7 years later, has achieved less than the USSR did 30 years ago, but went one better and invaded Iraq as well.

Ronald Reagan made the statement which serves as the title to this article (in the event, the Berlin Wall served to protect East Berlin from the decadence, filth, perversion and deviant activities which were rife in the west and which have since invaded the East like a gangrene; how absurd the notion that it served “to keep people in” since the signs and posters warned that trespassers would be shot and besides, there were far easier ways of emigrating, as thousands of people did, both from Eastern European countries and from Western European countries, including the UK, where up to 250.000 people a year were emigrating during these years).

George Bush provides us with the perfect opportunity to throw this statement back in the face of a Republican President. Mr. Bush, Open this Gate! Mr. Bush, Tear down this wall! And Mr. Bush, thank you for being sooooooooo predictable, for living up to each and every one of the predictions made in this column back in the year 2000.

Once again, Mr. Bush, Open this gate! Mr. Bush, Tear down this wall!