Friday, August 18, 2006

When in Doubt, Build a Wall...

...the All-American answer.

It really wasn't that long ago that President Reagan called upon the leader of the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin Wall. But that was then. Now, building walls appears to be the solution du jour for just about everything. Israel was given the green light by the United States to wall off the Palestinians from the Israelis (and from Palestinian work places). The US House of Representatives voted last December to build a state of the art wall along the Mexican border to keep out those pesky illegal immigrants. Now, the US is walling off portions of Baghdad in attempt to separate the warring factions from each other. From France's Le Monde:

The American and Iraqi armies on Tuesday, August 15, started building a wall around Al-Dora, a neighborhood in southern Baghdad. Soldiers have erected prefabricated concrete walls in order to "prevent terrorists from entering," according to the American army.

Though Al-Dora is a vast, mixed neighborhood, the operation consists in this case of isolating the majority Sunni area to protect them from incursions by Shiite militias. Since Baghdad fell prey to civil war and the transfers of Shiite and Sunni populations began, Al-Dora has been one of the neighborhoods most affected by inter-communal violence.

Acknowledging the failure of the security plan launched in June called "Forward Together," on August 11 the American army and Iraqi security forces unveiled a new strategy that consists of separating the neighborhoods of Baghdad along sectarian lines. "We will concentrate on sectarian borders, go into these areas, to clean them, ensconce the security forces, bring in economic assistance and work with local leaders so that the people feel secure," explained American general George Casey, the commander of the multinational force. The objective is to "clean Baghdad before Ramadan" at the end of September.
[Emphasis added]

Security by ghettoization: that's certainly a novel approach! And it makes clear that no matter which euphemism the US regime chooses to use, the proper term for what is going in Iraq is civil war, as Le Monde has properly called it.

How odd that I haven't come across this latest security plan in the US press. I must not be paying attention.


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