Mr. Bush, Tear Down These Walls!
by Scott Ritter
The ongoing policy of building walls in Baghdad designed to segregate Sunni neighborhoods from Shiite neighborhoods is as morally despicable as it is ineffective. The Soviets built walls; the Nazis walled off entire communities, often as a precursor to rounding up the segregated population and shipping it off to concentration camps. History has rightly condemned both practices. The only modern nation that actively incorporates the construction of walls as an aspect of domestic and foreign policy is Israel, and its policy of apartheid regarding the Palestinians is morally indefensible. That the party of Ronald Reagan would willingly ally itself with those who embrace policies so rightly and strongly condemned by America’s 40th president speaks volumes to the moral vacuum it is operating in today. What is the next step these erstwhile “Reaganites” propose to undertake in Baghdad when the construction of walls fails to impede those who fight for the liberation of their nation from the tyranny of a brutal occupier? Concentration camps?
Irish Peace Laureate Shot By Israeli Troops at Non-Violent Protest - Why Isn’t This News?
April 25, 2007
by Robert Naiman
If you listened to Democracy Now on Monday, you already know the following:
Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire was among a number of people shot Friday by Israeli troops at a nonviolent protest of the “apartheid wall” in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, near Ramallah.
But if you didn’t listen to Democracy Now Monday, you probably didn’t know that.
Maguire was shot with what the Israeli military - and some press reports - misleading refer to as a “rubber bullet” - that is, a rubber-coated steel bullet.Why isn’t this “news” in the United States? There’s nothing on the web sites of the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times, not even a wire story.
THE GREAT WALL OF SEGREGATION...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
…Which is the wall the current Iraqi government is building (with the support and guidance of the Americans). It's a wall that is intended to separate and isolate what is now considered the largest 'Sunni' area in Baghdad- let no one say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqi puppets and Americans cooked up, it will 'protect' A'adhamiya, a residential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their death squads couldn't empty of Sunnis.
The wall, of course, will protect no one. I sometimes wonder if this is how the concentration camps began in Europe. The Nazi government probably said, "Oh look- we're just going to protect the Jews with this little wall here- it will be difficult for people to get into their special area to hurt them!" And yet, it will also be difficult to get out.
The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart. Promoting and supporting civil war isn't enough, apparently- Iraqis have generally proven to be more tenacious and tolerant than their mullahs, ayatollahs, and Vichy leaders. It's time for America to physically divide and conquer- like Berlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they can continue chasing Sunnis out of "Shia areas" and Shia out of "Sunni areas".
I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq). They refuse to believe that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled this whole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is a direct result of the war and occupation.
They go on and on about Iraq's history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven't been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there.I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.
America turns Baghdad into Belfast
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
By Eugene Robinson
Meanwhile, back in Baghdad, we're building a wall. Actually, quite a few walls.
While we were absorbed with the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech -- and before that the Don Imus affair and the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tragicomedy -- the war in Iraq was pushed below the fold. While we weren't looking, the U.S. military started building high walls in parts of the Iraqi capital to separate Sunnis from Shiites.
Basically, we're turning Baghdad into Belfast.
This is supposed to be a temporary expedient, a way to tamp down Iraq's sectarian civil war -- in the capital, at least, which is the ostensible goal of George W. Bush's fraudulent "surge" policy -- by making it harder for the antagonists to get at each other's throats.
The so-called "peace lines" in Belfast, separating Protestants from Catholics, were supposed to be temporary, too. That network of walls was begun in the 1970s.
The construction of barriers and checkpoints that turn Baghdad neighborhoods into what U.S. officers sardonically call "gated communities" is another sign -- as if more evidence were needed -- that Bush's "surge" is nothing more than a maneuver intended to buy time.