Archive for April 21st, 2007

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Great Wall Of Baghdad

April 21, 2007

 Another Digg find.  A three-mile wall in Baghdad: US builds Baghdad wall to keep Sunnis and Shias apart

 The project, which began on April 10, is being worked on almost nightly, with cranes swinging enormous concrete barriers into place.

Although Baghdad is rife with barriers around marketplaces and areas such as the heavily fortified Green Zone, this is the first in the city to be set up on sectarian lines.

The concrete wall, which will be up to 12ft high, “is one of the centrepieces of a new strategy by coalition and Iraqi forces to break the cycle of sectarian violence,” US officials said.

| digg story

Note:  the story says the wall’s being dubbed “great wall of Adamiya” .  Built by night. Guarded by troops.  Right smack in the middle of sectarian warfare in Baghdad.  Think they’ll be done in a month as planned? 

Old tricks are the best tricks – build a wall. 

Update:  I think the wall is a testament to how colossally bad an idea this whole adventure was to begin with.  I know visitors will probably comment that I sound like a defeatist on this or something.  I don’t care.  I thought this Iraq thing was wrong from day one.  Now here we are in the 5th year of this, and we’re resorting to building a friggin wall.  It’s kinda hard to be optimistic.

Update:  I was looking all over the place for a map of the area and where the wall was going to be built, and I found one on Zeyad’s site, Healing Iraq:

click for full size

Zeyad has a lot of good maps up on his site.  As you can see from this one, Adhamiya is on the East bank of the Tigris and directly West of Sadr City. Between them lies an area of mixed Sunni/Shia neighborhoods where much of the sectarian conflict rages.

Update:  Look what showed up in the Think Progress RSS feed:  Iraqi PM Orders Halt to Baghdad Barrier

“I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop,” al-Maliki told reporters during a joint news conference with the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa in Cairo, Egypt. “There are other methods to protect neighborhoods.”

OK.  Is it safe to say that al-Maliki wasn’t consulted before they broke ground on this?  What the heck is going on over there?

Update:  The answer to the latter question above remains up in the air:  U.S. to ‘respect’ Iraqi wishes for wall

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman, indicated that there may have been a miscommunication.

“Discussions on a local level may not have been conveyed to the highest levels of the Iraqi government,” Garver said.

Al-Maliki is seeking to drum up support for his Shiite-led government among mostly Sunni Arab nations and his comments may have been aimed at appeasing them.

“Whether the prime minister saw this plan or not, I don’t know. With him in Cairo, it complicates things,” Garver said

To me, all this represents a snapshot of how messed up it really is over there.  Who is making these decisions anyway?  

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