Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Baghdad wall

One of the bright lights managing the war in Iraq came up with the brilliant idea of building a wall around the Sunni area in Baghdad. Ostensibly, the wall would keep out Shi'ite militia and death squads and keep the Sunnis in the area safe, a "gated community" of sorts. In reality, it seems more like a way to get them all in one place and keep them there; where I come from, that's known as "prison". Add to that the fact that a wall might be symbolic in a very negative way, and it's not surprising that the Sunnis in the area are not impressed. So less than 2 weeks after the building of the wall got underway, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki called for a halt to it:

"'I am opposed to the building of the wall and its construction is going to stop,' the premier told a joint news conference in Cairo with Arab League chief Amr Mussa.

Since April 10, US paratroopers have been deploying at night around the Sunni enclave of Adhamiyah to erect a five-kilometre wall made of six-ton concrete sections.

The wall is designed to prevent Shi'ite death squads from launching attacks to drive out the Sunnis from the district, and to prevent Sunni insurgents from using the pocket as a base for raids into Shi'ite areas."

When the kids are fighting, send them to separate rooms; when there's lots of kids, build a wall between them. Well, why not: walling people in has been so successful in the past. D'oh! Back to the drawing board.