Adventures along borders

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Mount, Graeme S.

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A look around the world that reveals the ‘freedom to travel’ is not a universal reality.

For decades as a History Professor at Laurentian University, Graeme Mount taught a course on global history during the 20th century. Lesson preparation and research took him to all continents except Antarctica, and he pursued a lifelong interest in international borders.

Most border crossings were uneventful, others highly memorable, as were the occasions when he approached, but did not actually cross, borders.

These pages recount his most noteworthy adventures at, and along, international borders.

Borders in question include the one between Canada and the United States; borders of the former Yugoslavia in 1989 with Albania and Romania; certain Latin American borders; the inter-German border three months before the opening of the Berlin Wall; the border between Austria and Hungary in August 1989, between the removal of the physical Iron Curtain between those two countries and the opening of the border so that East Germans could circumvent the Berlin Wall and drive to West Germany; the Inter-Irish border during the IRA campaign against British rule; Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique in 1990, after Zimbabwean forces intervened in Mozambique’s civil war; North Korea’s borders with South Korea (1999) and China (2006); and the maritime boundaries of Trinidad and Tobago (one country despite the double name) and both Venezuela and Barbados. The stories are timely.

Today, most European countries have eliminated border controls, and limited rail service between South Korea and North Korea has resumed for the first time since partition of the Korean peninsula in 1945.

By contrast, the United States is tightening its border controls, insisting on more and more documentation and identification, even from citizens of its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico. Borders, border controls, and the absence of border controls have repercussions on the lives of ordinary people. Some of these repercussions are discussed here in a lively, often humorous, manner.

Table of Contents

  • Prefatory Note on the History of the Suppression of the First Edition of this Work.
  • Introduction: Summary of Major Findings and Conclusions.

The Pentagon-CIA Archipelago.

  • Neo-Colonialism & the Washington Connection.
  • The Systematic Positive Relationship Between US Aid and Human Rights Violations.
  • US Military & Police Aid & Training and the Spread of Fascism.
  • The Scope & Variety of CIA Subversive Activities.
  • The Pre-Eminence of Favorable Investment Climate.
  • The Economic Role of Terror: Preserving and Enlarging Military, Comprador & Foreign Income Shares.
  • Counterrevolution & the Shakedown States. Brainwashing Under Freedom.
  • Sources & Processes.
  • The Case of the Lost Bloodbath: The Supply of & the Demand for Communist Atrocities.

Benign Terror.

  • The Semantics of Terror & Violence: Retail Violence as Terror Wholesale Violence as Maintaining Order & Security.
  • Benign & Constructive Terror.
  • Post-Colonial Rot & Permanent Counterrevolution. Benign Terror.
  • East Pakistan: Tilting Towards Massacre.
  • Burundi: The Limitations of US Power.
  • The Indians of Latin America: The Non-Civilized in the Way of Progress.
  • East Timor: Genocide on the Sly.

Constructive Terror.

  • Indonesia: Mass Extermination, Investors’ Paradise.
  • Thailand: A Corrupt Firm Base.
  • Repacification in the Philippines.
  • The Dominican Republic: US Model for Third World Development.
  • Latin America: Proliferating Subfascism.
  • The Nazi Parallel: The National Security State & the Churches.
  • Notes on Some Insecurity States in Latin America.

Bloodbaths in Indochina: Constructive, Nefarious and Mythical.

  • Constructive Bloodbaths in Vietnam.
  • French & Diemist Bloodbaths.
  • The Overall US Assault as the Primary Bloodbath.
  • Operation Speedy Express.
  • The 43-Plus My Lais of the South Korean Mercenaries.
  • Phoenix: A Case Study of Indiscriminate Selective Terror.
  • The Last Years of the Thieu Regime.
  • Nefarious & Mythical Bloodbaths.
  • Revolutionary Terror in Theory & Practice.
  • Land Reform in the Mid-Fifties.
  • The Hue Massacre of 1968.

Appendix: Indochina Quang Ngai Province Five Months after the Peace Agreement: Arrests, Tortures, Artillery Fire Continues as Before the Ceasefire.

GRAEME S. MOUNT, Ph.D., has taught at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario since 1969. Author of thirteen books, he has written extensively on U.S./Canada relations. Of those, Black Rose Books has published Chile and the Nazis (2002), The Diplomacy of War: The Case of Korea (2004), and 895 Days That Changed the World: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford (2005).