Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Berlinization of Baghdad

Well, this certainly didn't work the first time it was tried in Berlin, Germany during the cold war... but then the Bush administration's failed Iraqi invasion has often ignored the lessons of history, the advice of the miltary and public opinion in the occupied country and here at home.

How in the world could constructing a wall around the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya in Baghdad do anything but increase polarization and violence in the city? It shuts workers off from their jobs, separates family-members, and becomes a living symbol of imperialist dominance of an occupied nation.

The BBC quotes a Baghdad resident:

"The Americans will provoke more trouble with this," one resident, Arkan Saeed, told the BBC. "They're telling us the wall is to protect us from the Shia militia and they're telling the Shia they're protecting them from us.

"But it's the Americans who started all the sectarian violence in the first place."

Isn't this what we saw with the Berlin wall? Aren't we seeing this with the Israeli security fence? Who's bright idea was it to repeat another strategy that has been proven wrong in the past?

One failure after another. When will Congress stop this madness and end this senseless imperial occupation??

Update from AP courtesy of Huffington Post:

Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the U.S. military construction of a barrier separating a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shiite areas in Baghdad after fierce criticism over the project at home.

The challenge to the U.S. initiative came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began a regional tour to shore up support from mostly Sunni Arab nations for his Shiite-dominated government as sectarian violence persists despite a nearly 10-week-old security crackdown.

"I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop," al-Maliki said during a joint news conference with the secretary-general of the Arab League. "There are other methods to protect neighborhoods, but I should point out that the goal was not to separate, but to protect."

U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver declined to comment on whether construction of the wall would stop, saying only that all security measures were constantly under discussion.

"We will coordinate with the Iraqi government and Iraqi commanders in order to establish effective, appropriate security measures," he said.


Blogger Paul Hue said...

The Berlin wall seems to offer no lessons here: it was built by tyrants to keep inhabitants from escaping.

The Israeli wall seems to offer only half a lesson: It keeps people on one side ruled by tyrants from sneaking to the other side where they implement mass murder and destruction on people living otherwise orderly lives ruled by a democracy.

The wall in Baghdad was designed to keep people from each side going to the other and implementing mass murder and destruction for a variety of reasons, one of which is to prevent anybody from establishing a civilization based on modern concepts such as self-ownership, personal liberties, and consent of the governed.

As for this wall representing "imperialism", this article contradicts that conclusion: the Iraqi president, who certainly was not favored by Bush in his election, has decreed an end to the wall, and his decree has manifested.

April 24, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger Nadir said...

"As for this wall representing "imperialism", this article contradicts that conclusion: the Iraqi president, who certainly was not favored by Bush in his election, has decreed an end to the wall, and his decree has manifested."

The Iraqi president is standing up to the US because his own survival (both political and physical) require it. The US, however, has not confirmed that they will halt construction.

April 24, 2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Paul Hue said...

Let me get this straight: This supposedly US-controlled act of imperialism places the Iraqi president in a situation where his physical and political survival depends on standing up to the US.

Some "empire".

April 24, 2007 11:41 AM  
Blogger Nadir said...

"Some "empire"."

And because of the president you voted for, it's growing weaker by the minute.

April 25, 2007 8:51 AM  

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