The Korean Wall shows the vast difference between two halves of the same (former) country that are in stark contrast to each other. The “purported” wall has done little more than to keep half of the country under a repressive dictatorship with a poor track record on human rights.
Similarly, the Berlin Wall showed a stark contrast between one half of the country, which was in substantially better shape economically (and many would say politically as well) than the other.
We could also discuss Israel’s “security fence”, but there are a few stickier items there, so I will just leave it at that. The bottom line is that the main accomplishment and track record of creating fences and walls is that, at best, one “side” is repressed socially and economically, and nothing gets “resolved”.
The “Baghdad” wall, regardless of whether it gets built or not, is a symbol of the colossal failure of the invasion and occupation. It is yet another example of the exact wrong approach to trying to quell the massive violence that is a daily occurrence. It shows, yet again, a complete lack of understanding of the situation on the ground, the negative short term and long term impact it will have on Baghdad and the country in general, that the administration thinks that the escalation is failing, and that they are throwing up their hands.
It is not a solution – not even a short term one. It is a symbol that this administration has given up. That they do not care at all. That nothing – not even the vaunted escalation is remotely working. This signifies a tremendous failure – just the latest in a long string of tremendous failures in Iraq.
From the NY Times article (linked above):
The American military said in a written statement that “the wall is one of the centerpieces of a new strategy by coalition and Iraqi forces to break the cycle of sectarian violence.”
- Wasn’t the “Baghdad offensive” last July supposed to break the cycle of sectarian violence?
- Wasn’t 20,000 additional troops this past January supposed to be enough security to break the cycle of sectarian violence?
- Wasn’t a heavily fortified “Green Zone” supposed to keep the violence out?
- Wasn’t firebombing Fallujah in 2004 supposed to break the cycle of sectarian violence?
- Weren’t the multiple raids on houses supposed to quell the sectarian violence?
- What about the hundreds of bodies found in the streets every single day
- What about the increased bombings since the escalation began?
- What about the US troops being killed at the highest rate over the past six months since the invasion began?
- What about the Sunnis kicking Shiites out of their houses and neighborhoods and vice versa? I guess that didn’t keep each of the sects from fighting.
- What about the curfews that were repeatedly imposed?
Nothing this administration has done has come even close to stopping the violence. And how do the Iraqis feel about this wall?
The wall has already drawn intense criticism from residents of the neighborhood, who say that it will increase sectarian tensions and that it is part of a plan by the Shiite-led Iraqi government to box in the minority Sunnis.
A doctor in Adhamiya, Abu Hassan, said the wall would transform the residents into caged animals.
“It’s unbelievable that they treat us in such an inhumane manner,” he said in a telephone interview. “They’re trying to isolate us from other parts of Baghdad. The hatred will be much greater between the two sects.”
“The Native Americans were treated better than us,” he added.
Do they NOT think that this will increase hatred towards our troops?
Do they NOT think that this will increase violence towards our troops?
Do they NOT think that our already overextended and underequipped troops DON’T know this?
This shows, yet again, that the Bush administration has no clue as to what they are doing. It shows that they don’t see the obvious ramifications of yet another tremendously stupid idea. It shows that, once again, they are not learning from history. It shows they have given up – that they are literally out of ideas and don’t even care enough to try and think of something original or with a remote chance of success.
It shows that they are doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. It shows they are insane.