militarization of the border

The Khoja family’s arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday night marked the end of an odyssey they feared they would never complete.

Beginning three years ago in the Syrian city of Aleppo, it has taken them through streets patrolled by snipers and across a militarized border where guards shoot to kill.

It has taken them through three years eking out a living in Turkey as Syria’s war killed hundreds of thousands and turned their old street into piles of shattered stone.

And last week, just when they thought they were finally safe, it left them trapped in Istanbul after one of the Trump administration’s most contentious decisions to date.

Their bags had been packed for a flight when the White House announced on Jan. 27 a ban on Syrian refugees entering the United States. “At first I thought it was a joke, that she was joking with me,” said Mahmoud Khoja, 58, remembering the phone call telling them their flights had been canceled. “I just froze.”

Read more here: Trump’s executive order crushed a Syrian family’s dream. A judge gave them new hope.
Obama announces $90 million to clear Laos' unexploded bombs
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that US has an "obligation" to help Laos recover from a brutal secret bombing campaign that destroyed parts of the Southeast Asian nation.
By Elise Labott, CNN

What’s really satirical about this, that it’s not really just the U.S fault for dropping bombs in the country.

You see, Laos was a huge battleground in the Vietnam War.

When we think of the Vietnam War, we think, “Oh, it’s North Vietnam, going to war with South Vietnam”, when in reality they both shared a 34 miles border with each other.

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For the North Vietnamese to enter to South Vietnam, it was faster to cut across into Laos, then into Cambodia (Famously known as the Ho Chi Minh trail), and then reach into South Vietnam in a straight shot, instead of having to fight a heavy battle in that 34 mile heavily militarized border, and enter into South Vietnam in that little small space and march in a curved line to reach the capital. It wasn’t even a tug-of-war battle, it was crossing into Laos to shoot at each other.

Laos played an important role in the Vietnam War, because it was the gateway for the Communist to enter into South Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and even Burma for it’s landlocked location, and it’s pivotal spot for being borders with all those country. If Laos has fell first, then it was easy access to spread Communism in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand after that.

And while we say, “Thank you President Obama for giving money to clear up bombs”, it was actually the Royal Lao Government who gave permission to allow the bombs be dropped, because they feared that North Vietnam would go on a full invasion on Laos, after securing and capturing Saigon. They gave American forces permission to build Air Bases in the country.

It was also in part of the 20th century ignorance of Geography, like how we split Korea in half in a straight line without consideration of geography. Laos itself is rather a very mountainous country, and thus why the French colonialist decided the geopolitical shape of Laos it is today. West of Laos’s border is shaped by the Mekong River, and East of Laos’s borders are shaped by the mountains bordering Vietnam (Vietnam ended up having the lowlands).

It really isn’t a, “Omg, the U.S dropped bombs on us in Laos”, it was more like, “DROP THE FUCKING BOMBS ON THE VIETNAMESE SOLDIERS!!!”

We’ve given Laos $5 million in 1995, $15 million in 2005 and now $90 million in 2016, all of which the money somehow “disappear”, and they still continue using the same technology since the 2000’s, without much upgrades, but Bugatti and Ferrari cars have been more seen each time, in a country where locals make $1 a day, and government officials make $300 a month (As of 2011).

In my honest opinion, and I know the American government knows too, we’re really just bribing the Communist Government of Laos to ally itself with the U.S against China. Because you really can just do that in S.E Asia. Just give the government money to turn a blind eye, everyone is too poor, and have their own problems.

Most O.G’s don’t even care, because they gave permission for the U.S to bomb the borders of Vietnam, because the bombs were meant for the Viet Congs to step on them and blow up from it. However, because of 20th century ignorance and bad war planning, the Viet Congs actually invaded South of Laos with very little to no mountains, and pretty much had flat land to invade the rest of the country into the Communist country it is.

And this is why I find it kind of “iffy”, fucked up and ironic.

closing of Colombian-Venezuelan border (personal) updates
  • it went from being closed for 72 hours to being closed indefinitely
  • the government, in all their political hypocrisy, is blaming Colombian immigrants for the rise of crime rates and for the “unbalanced situation” we are living now
  • the border is becoming heavily militarized and curfew will be applied to nearby municipalities 
  • Venezuelans who work in Colombia, as well as thousands of Venezuelan students who go to school in Colombia haven’t been able to cross either
  • my mom is still stuck in Colombia
  • i’m realizing how citizens are powerless against the whims of a government, i’m realizing how many families, here and all around the world, can be torn apart in mere seconds because of a fucking border. i feel for them.  
  • i’m feeling extremely anxious right now
  • i want to cry but of course that won’t solve shit