To paraphrase a famous quote, those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it.
About a century ago, the French weren’t too happy with how World War I ended and developments in Germany. The decades between World Wars I and II were dominated by military minds who were obsessed with the Maginot Line. The series of blockades and armed fortifications along the French border were named for the Minister of War, Andre Maginot.
The defense mechanism would protect the country from tank attacks and would allow the country to hold off would-be German intruders long enough to mobilize French forces.
They spent billions of francs to build the structures along the wall and untold millions more for the thousands of soldiers deployed to patrol the line.
Foreign dignitaries even came to see the impressive nature of France’s new “impenetrable” defense system.
Then the Germans attacked and easily defeated the French in 1940.
The Germans' "blitzkrieg" attack went around the line. A huge German attack force came around the wall and devastated the French armed forces and occupied the country. Believe it or not, the Germans also used the line to defend the area and in 1944, Allied forces also went around the Maginot line in the battle to defeat the Germans and restore France.
Of course, now many people are wildly in favor of spending billions on a wall to protect the United States from people who want to enter our country illegally. The idea to spend billions to defend an already well-defended border and put extra personnel along the border to stop illegal immigration sounds pretty familiar.
Obviously, anyone who wants to enter the country illegally could just as easily board a boat and enter the country through other states. There is also no way to secure every mile of our southern border and its wild and varied landscape.
Any dollar spent on a wall to stop illegal immigration might as well be set on fire and used to toast marshmallows. At least then we would have toasted marshmallows to enjoy.
But President Donald Trump and his anti-immigration supporters continue to build their modern Maginot Line. Letters went to Texan landowners along the border this week.
When the line of defense is breeched to defeat their plan, I’m sure there will be a collective shoulder shrug and quotes telling those duped by the carnival games that there was no way to predict that the huge expense would be wasteful and ineffective.
Maybe after the wall plan fails, we can add the Hindenburg to the Air Force and make the Titanic the Navy’s new flagship.
What’s the worst that could happen?