Saudi Arabia building massive wall along border to keep out ISIS

posted at 10:41 am on January 15, 2015 by Noah Rothman

The joke’s on them. Don’t the Saudis know that massive border fences do nothing to enhance domestic security and are, in fact, counterproductive? Well, I guess they’ll find out soon enough.

According to reports, the Saudi Kingdom is fed up with defending against ISIS raiding parties that routinely cross over the Iraqi border. In order to stave off these assaults, the Saudis are going to build a massive, 600-mile long border fence across the length of the country’s border with Iraq.

But that’s not all. The fence will be double layered with a concertina wire barrier in no man’s land. It will be equipped with underground movement sensors and fiber optic cables which are connected directly to authorities in Riyadh. On the Saudi side of the fence, 240 rapid response vehicles will patrol the border along with helicopters that will support those manning the 38 communications towers and 32 military response stations strategically placed along the fence.

Saudi

Unfortunately for the Saudis, they seem unaware of the cultural baggage associated with erecting a border fence.

In Up Against the Wall: Re-imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border, authors Edward Casey and Mary Watkins unpack the social stigmas associated with constructing barriers.

Quoting the political scientist Wendy Brown, author of the 2010 book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty, Casey and Watkins make the intellectual argument against self-defense.

Brown also argues that walls function as “national psychic defenses, as prophylactics against confrontation with our own ills or as projections onto others” (ibid., II4-115). They apply a “political-economic logic that converts the “poor, the colonized, and the exploited” into aggressors. To place obsessive attention on to supposed dangers at its borders diverts attention from the dangers within a society. In addition, such walls act to undermine a sense of being at home in the world. For the migrant, anxieties arise from displacement, exclusion, and insecurity, from being seen as a criminal intruder; for the citizen, the mentality of walls feeds a sense of oneself as in need of protection from external and internal threats, fostering, “a subjectivity that is defensive, parochial, nationalistic and militarized.”

Only someone many hundreds of miles from a dangerous border could write these words, but they are resonant within the academic establishment. For the Saudis, all the lamentations of the professorial class don’t matter one bit when the alternative is an unsecured border with an army of unspeakable brutes on the other side.

Of course, these academicians were not talking about Saudi Arabia. They were talking about the United States, and would perhaps be loath to hold the Saudis to the same standard they hold Americans. Not due to chauvinism, of course, but the “othering” to which the Arab world has been subject by Orientalizing Westerners for generations. Or some other similar nonsense.

All the professorial ruminations in the world cannot undo the simple truth that walls work.


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Comments

In 2008, I was told all we need was electronic wall at our Southern Border to keep people out.

Oil Can on January 15, 2015 at 10:44 AM

“Build the damn wall!”

Dolce Far Niente on January 15, 2015 at 10:45 AM

How very raaaaaacist of them.

AZCoyote on January 15, 2015 at 10:45 AM

They will just go through Belgium to avoid the wall.

forest on January 15, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Jordan. I meant Jordan.

forest on January 15, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Let’s ask the Chinese if walls work.

tim c on January 15, 2015 at 10:48 AM

I’m thinking this will be like the Maginot line in France during WW2. ISIS will probably develop from within as opposed to invading through a border. The same is happening in the US.

Deano1952 on January 15, 2015 at 10:49 AM

LOL…it is most likely to keep Saudi slaves from escaping and joining ISIS.

albill on January 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM

But when Israel does it?

It’s bad, bad, bad.

Resist We Much on January 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM

The borders of the Middle East are being redrawn. It is past time we let it be.

Nomennovum on January 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Thank you, Emperor Hadrian

RedPepper on January 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

I think the wall is meant for Iran more so than ISIS terrorists… The Iranian terrorist regime now controls Iraq thanks to Obama who is the terrorist Iranian mullahs biggest useful idiot ever…

mnjg on January 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Micro aggression.

Little Boomer on January 15, 2015 at 11:02 AM

Build a wall? That’s impossible, the US democrat party told us so.

HumpBot Salvation on January 15, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Onward Christian Soldiers..oh wait, these are all Muslims..
F*ck Em.

ToddPA on January 15, 2015 at 11:07 AM

Are they allowed to do side jobs….say in southern cal. and southern texas??..

elvis lives on January 15, 2015 at 11:07 AM

I thought that if you build a 10 foot wall, that just means people will be buying a lot of 11 foot ladders.

That’s what I heard, anyways.

But in all seriousness, this sounds like a massive project and ISIS has actual military weaponry (including American Humvees) which I think could breech a chain linked fence fairly easily. Even if it has barbed wire on top.

Saudi’s must be getting nervous. Mecca and Medina are two tempting targets for an Islamic caliphate.

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:09 AM

Only someone many hundreds of miles from a dangerous border could write these words, but they are resonant within the academic establishment.

They don’t need no stinkin’ fences.

They have their Ivory Towers, after all.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2015 at 11:09 AM

Brown also argues that walls function as “national psychic defenses, as prophylactics against confrontation with our own ills or as projections onto others” (ibid., II4-115).

Its this kind of intelligensia-psychobabble that will ruin us as a nation.

Defenestratus on January 15, 2015 at 11:09 AM

Fences don’t stop drones.

albill on January 15, 2015 at 11:10 AM

The borders of the Middle East are being redrawn. It is past time we let it be.

Nomennovum on January 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Reminds me of a waynes world skit from the early ’90s. Something like “top ten reasons the fall of the USSR sucks”

10. New maps
9. No huge blob in top corner of map anymore. Confusing.
8. More countries to have to remember
etc.

:)

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:12 AM

You can’t secure a border with a wall or a fence, ask any democrat.

Wallythedog on January 15, 2015 at 11:12 AM


…Mongorians!?!?

Capricio on January 15, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Hey…. when did Noah grow a conservative side? This is what, the third or forth day in a row that he’s posted something from a conservative point of view, instead of the usual squishiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I like it… but still, is this a conscious decision or did someone tell Noah to cut the RINOism down?

Vanceone on January 15, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Fences don’t stop drones.

albill on January 15, 2015 at 11:10 AM

I’d bet the farm that there are already AA battery emplacements to accomplish that.

And, no, I’m not talking Duracells.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Are they allowed to do side jobs….say in southern cal. and southern texas??..

elvis lives on January 15, 2015 at 11:07 AM

Biggest contractor in Saudi Arabia is the Saudi binLaden Group. I don’t think they’d be too popular here in the US.

Well, maybe if they came up with a good name for their American subsidiary and had some catchy tunes in their commercials…

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Although they almost certainly won’t publicize this part, the most cost effective (and physically effective) part of any border fencing system are the minefields.

They gotta be there. About the only guaranteed way to stop a dedicated suicide bomber. Give him what he wants right at the start.

Tom Servo on January 15, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Don’t get me wrong, I like it… but still, is this a conscious decision or did someone tell Noah to cut the RINOism down?

Vanceone on January 15, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Maybe they took Noah out back and got his head right.

If we’re lucky hopefully we’ll get a Corey Booker-esque hostage video apologizing for his heresy :)

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:16 AM

This whole ISIS thing kind of reminds me of the book series “The Sword of Truth” by Terry Goodkind. But I can truly say Obabma is no Richard Cypher…

roxer on January 15, 2015 at 11:17 AM

They gotta be there. About the only guaranteed way to stop a dedicated suicide bomber. Give him what he wants right at the start.

Tom Servo on January 15, 2015 at 11:15 AM

No, because the sainted Princess Diana taught us that minefields don’t work as military weapon, and just end up blowing little kids feet off.

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Racists.

KMC1 on January 15, 2015 at 11:20 AM

No, because the sainted Princess Diana taught us that minefields don’t work as military weapon, and just end up blowing little kids feet off.

Timin203 on January 15, 2015 at 11:17 AM

The irony that the little crowned strumpet didn’t get was that every other little kid grows up to be a suicide bomber…

LawfulGood on January 15, 2015 at 11:21 AM

I must say that it is ironic that the leading exporter of Wahhabism is now worried about radical Islam.

Resist We Much on January 15, 2015 at 11:22 AM

But, but, but, our Dear Leader told us walls can’t keep people who want to come to this country out…

I’m so confused now… The world turned upside down.

Kuffar on January 15, 2015 at 11:24 AM

So you can build a wall if you want to.

TheMadHessian on January 15, 2015 at 11:25 AM

All the fences and walls in the world will not keep ISIS out. They are Salifists and Wahhabists that already exist inside Saudi Arabia. The Saudis helped build this Frankenstein and it’s only a matter of time before it rears it’s ugly head inside the Saudi Kingdom. If oil stays below the price the Saudis need it to be to support their social programs that pacify the masses and quell any uprising from within it will happen sooner than later.

iceman1960 on January 15, 2015 at 11:29 AM

Walls do work, but how about the exquisite irony? The Saudis have spent decades appeasing their internal Wahhabists and Salafists by exporting their peculiar brand of Islam to the rest of the world, and now it’s being pointed right back at them.

I love irony! Saudis, please greet the petard you are being hoist upon. It is of your making.

jclittlep on January 15, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Since this fence was the idea of the Saudis, known Muslims, perhaps our POTUS will consider the same idea for our borders.

J_Crater on January 15, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Don’t worry, McCain is running for re-election. He will be down on the border “Demanding” that the fence be built, (right up until the election results are in).

Alabama Infidel on January 15, 2015 at 12:00 PM

do walls work? sometimes yes. but as the Chinese quickly discovered they also can fail to stop invaders from coming in. and then you are left with an expensive wall.

coolrepublica on January 15, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Remarkably, banks which have left their doors open at night and promised not to prosecute anyone who comes in and helps themselves to a little green have not done well. Who knew?

IndieDogg on January 15, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Saudi Arabia is taking lessons from Israel, another country surrounded by enemies. When will Obama learn, and build OUR wall across the desert?

Steve Z on January 15, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Since this fence was the idea of the Saudis, known Muslims, perhaps our POTUS will consider the same idea for our borders.

J_Crater on January 15, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Excellent point. Saudi Arabia has a Sunni Muslim majority (as does northern Iraq where ISIS took over), but the Saudi Sunnis don’t want the ISIS brand of caliphate, which is effectively a Muslim form of Nazism.

Steve Z on January 15, 2015 at 12:46 PM

The joke is on Saudi Arabia. They spent decades and billions of dollars spreading radical Islam throughout the Western world. Now they need to build a wall to keep their own creation of the Boys from Brazil from turning on them.

You just gotta love the irony.

As the Reverend Wright would say, the chickens are coming home to roost in Saudi Arabia.

Also, I think the Saudis need to brush up on their history. Walls can work, but not when you leave your flanks wide open. It’s a lot easier to go around a wall than over it. It would have taken less than a second for General Guderian and Patton to notice that the wall ends at Jordan and Kuwait–neither of which could defend themselves against an understrength platoon of Boy Scouts on bicycles armed with Swiss Army Knives.

BMF on January 15, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Prefer they march their soldiers in and kill them all.

John the Libertarian on January 15, 2015 at 1:04 PM

Meanwhile, ISIS building tall ladders.

Tsar of Earth on January 15, 2015 at 2:15 PM

This could be the Saudi’s Maginot line.
They are building a line between Iraq & Saudi, but not between Kuwait/Saudi or Jordan/Saudi.
Do people not read & learn from history?
The French built the Maginot line between France & Germany, they never fortified it between Luxembourg & Belgium, so when WW2 came along, guess where Germany went, to get into France? Right through Luxemborg & Belgium.

Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity… General G.S. Patton

p51d007 on January 15, 2015 at 3:07 PM

To place obsessive attention on to supposed dangers at its borders diverts attention from the dangers within a society.

I agree; we should shoot them as they cross the border, and deport the ones already here.

p51d007 on January 15, 2015 at 3:07 PM

And if we built a wall on the Mexico border, the illegals would simply go around it, through the ocean… or something.

Midas on January 15, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Walls don’t work – that’s why they stopped building restricted access neighborhoods with walls and gates and security and such a long time ago, and why the WH security perimeter has been dissolved…

Midas on January 15, 2015 at 3:52 PM

When they’re done over there,
Hmmmm….

PonyBoy on January 15, 2015 at 6:14 PM

Trying to keep out the more honest competition.

I prefer terrorists who are open about their intentions.

Unlike the slimy Saudi scum.

Death to both.

profitsbeard on January 15, 2015 at 6:38 PM