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By Michael Dirda

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Ear to the Ground

Walling ‘Em In (and Out)

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Posted on Apr 20, 2007

Apparently hoping that good fences make good neighbors, American forces in Baghdad are erecting a concrete wall in Baghdad’s turbulent Adhamiya district to separate Sunnis from Shiites—the first barrier specifically built along sectarian lines.  The wall, which will be three miles long and 12 feet high when it is finished later this month, is not a popular project among Iraqis from either side.


L.A. Times:

Shiite and Sunni Arabs living in the shadow of the barrier were united in their contempt for the imposing new structure.

“Are they trying to divide us into different sectarian cantons?” said a Sunni drugstore owner in Adhamiya, who would identify himself only as Abu Ahmed, 44. “This will deepen the sectarian strife and only serve to abort efforts aimed at reconciliation.”

Some of Ahmed’s customers come from Shiite or mixed neighborhoods that are now cut off by large barriers along a main highway. Customers and others seeking to cross into the Sunni district must park their cars outside Adhamiya, walk through a narrow passage in the wall and take taxis on the other side.

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By JNagarya, April 23, 2007 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”

“Mr. Bush, tear down that wall!”

“Mr. Olmert, tear down that wall!”

Oops!

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 22, 2007 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

“...Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has asked for construction to end on a concrete wall around a Sunni enclave in the capital, Baghdad….” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6582225.stm

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By James Yell, April 22, 2007 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the ghettos of the middle east to the South American cities south of the Inca, divided up into distinct, and in the case of the South American cities without interconnecting access, societies lived, but did not co-exist. The governments spent most of their times trying to mediate and maintain civil peace.

You largely see this still in the middle east and Iraq, oddly enough had made some progress away from it, under the less than balanced government of Saddam. Now we see with the failed policy of the Bush Administration and the arrogance that peace can only be found by our control of Iraq that WE have decided to physically divide a city.

We don’t need to be out in 12 months, 18 months or at a date to be named. We need to get out of Iraq now. We can help perhaps with aide, teachers and engineers, but only at the invitation of the Iraqi’s. We can only help ourselves by punishing the American Officials who have wrought this mess in the first place. Impeach Bush/Cheney! Bring Rumsfield to justice.

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By dp, April 21, 2007 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe the wall needs to be built so Bush can stage a grand photo op later when he swoops in and dismantles it….like his hero Reagan and the Berlin wall.

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By James Yell, April 21, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If our military leaders in Iraq would just ask themselves “how would they feel about outsiders coming into this country and deciding matters of security without any reference to what WE would like, how would we feel and react?”

This is why we have already stayed too long in a country we should not have invaded in the first place and certainly should not have invaded using suspect and ultimately proved False information. We are not liberators, but occupiers and our presence has only enlarged the participation of radicals in opposing us and given them increasing support amongst average Iraqi people. Bush at this point is only hanging on in hope the ultimate collapse can be blamed upon the administration unlucky enough to inherit the results and blame of his foolish behavior. Impeach Bush/Cheney, start investigation of Blackwater.

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By ShockandAwe, April 21, 2007 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Being a member of one of the organizations involved, this is a perfect example of how the military tries to quantify results. Build a wall around a Sunni neighborhood, and maybe you’ll be able to say that crime has gone down. Turn a blind eye to one sect force moving another out of a neighborhood, and you can say that the area is now “peaceful.” Claim that the security on Route Irish is improving by comparing it to a Route Tampa (but leave out that Irish is 5 miles long and Tampa is 60). Claim that retention is over 100% but leave out that everyone who is under stop loss is considered “retained.”

This wall is just another effort in tried and true tactics.

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By Ken Mitchell, April 21, 2007 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To rephrase Ronald Reagan, “Mr. Bush, tear down that wall.”.

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By John F. Butterfield, April 21, 2007 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

The Great Wall of Cheney

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By johnny hempseed, April 20, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is part of the plan.Divide and subjugate.Shia ,Sunni, Kurd.Keep them in Civil War while the multinational oil cartel manipulates Iraqs’ oil reserves for thier own uses. See the hydrocarbon benchmarks in the current emergency funding measure.Why isn’t Bush putting the war funding in the regular budget?Who is funding the 100k plus mersenaries, Haliburton? who else,does the private funding of war fall under congressional over sight why not?Who does Blackwater answer to?
  Impeach for peace! jh

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By DennisD, April 20, 2007 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A gated, guarded community - every Iraqi’s dream . More opportunities in real estate for some real quick house flipping. So what if the “for sale” signs are full of bullet holes. Your tax dollars at work courtesy of Bu$h Inc. - number one, in the very exclusive Iraqi real estate market.

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By Dale Headley, April 20, 2007 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

12 feet?  Hmmm, that sounds familiar.  Could it be that the people who are trying to create the illusion of a “peaceful” Iraq are the same ones who have been building a wall to keep the little brown people who speak an unintelligible language out of our pure white land?

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By Tom Doff, April 20, 2007 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sometime in the future (hopefully, the very near future) the world will celebrate as the free-at-last Iraqis tear down the hated Baghdad Wall and the ‘Green Zone’, the symbols of US oppression during the War of Occupation, and the despised invaders are sent scurrying back to their zionist-dominated homeland.

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By Kol Klink, April 20, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saddam Hussein had a plan for a subway system for Baghdad. I have not found any solid evidence that any construction of the system was started but it would certainly be worth investigating. It seems to me that a great deal of explosives, rockets, ammo, and weapons are getting past a hell of a lot of checkpoints. Have any of our brilliant military minds thought back to the havoc caused by the Viet Namese insurgents using tunnels?

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

As for Cho incidents: NPR just reported a shooting at NASA.

NRA and its stooges must be cheering.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 20, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

The US is just practising it’s wall building skills - they’ve got a long one to erect between themselves and Mexico and and even longer one between themselves and Canada.

And then what?

Then they learn, after spending billions, that both Mexicans and Canadians can TUNNEL UNDERNEATH, FLY OVER or simply SWIM AROUND THE ENDS.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Will they never learn that the more walls they erect to keep others OUT, the more they keep themselves IN. The insanity escalates!

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By GW=MCHammered, April 20, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Balkanize: Divide a territory into small, hostile states.

Doesn’t sound very democratic. Does sound quite BūshRōvŏnic however. The wall had best be 12-feet thick. ‘Cause one IED!?!

The media can now title the war as history will: The Great American-Iraqi Tragedy.

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By Tom Doff, April 20, 2007 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WTF!

What arrogance, to stage an illegal invasion, and then start walling off sections of a major international, historic, millenia-old ancient city. We should demand to know the name of the individual responsible for this desecration, this insanity. 

Do you suppose our USA zionists got the idea from the Israeli zionists and the way they’re dealing with Palestinian land?

What’s next, are we going to strafe and stage rocket-attacks by F-16’s on fleeing columns of Iraqi refugees? Continue to kidnap Iraqi civilians from their homes and incarcerate them without recourse in prisons, so we can torture them into submission, because they are so ‘terroristic’ they oppose our illegal, amoral, murderous invasion of their homeland?

It seems amazing we don’t have more Cho ‘incidents’.

But we do. It’s just that they’re happening in a land far, far, away. Called Iraq.

Out of sight, out of mind.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 20, 2007 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

The Great Wall to keep out TRUTH!!!

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By QuyTran, April 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Ha, ha ! the new Berlin Walls erects with Halliburton contracts.

Congratulations to your, Mr. excellent vice-pres. Cheney.

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