Friday, April 20, 2007

US builds Baghdad wall to keep Sunnis and Shias apart

"US soldiers are building a three-mile wall to separate one of Baghdad's Sunni enclaves from surrounding Shia neighbourhoods, it emerged today.
The move is part of a contentious security plan that has fuelled fears of the Iraqi capital's Balkanisation.

When the barrier is finished, the minority Sunni community of Adamiya, on the eastern side of the River Tigris, will be completely gated. Traffic control points manned by Iraqi soldiers will provide the only access, the US military said......

Although Baghdad is rife with barriers around marketplaces and areas such as the heavily fortified Green Zone, this is the first in the city to be set up on sectarian lines.

The concrete wall, which will be up to 12ft high, "is one of the centrepieces of a new strategy by coalition and Iraqi forces to break the cycle of sectarian violence," US officials said.

The officials said the barrier would allow authorities to screen people entering and leaving Adamiya "while keeping death squads and militia groups out".

The construction - which has been nicknamed the "great wall of Adamiya" - is not the first time US military planners have attempted to isolate hostile regions.

In 2005, attempts were made to surround the Sunni-dominated city of Samarra with raised earth barriers to prevent insurgents from entering and leaving. A similar strategy was also deployed in both Tal Afar and Falluja.

General David Petraeus, the new US commander in Iraq, said he believed the tactics in Tal Afar, close to the Syrian border, were successful - but the area has since fallen back under insurgent control.

Critics of the scheme said it had been tried in past counter-insurgency campaigns in Vietnam and Algeria, but found wanting......"


Who said there is no "reconstruction" in Iraq? The Israeli solution to every problem: put Arabs in ghettos.

As Pepe Escobar says (I am paraphrasing), "make no mistake about it, this is an experiment about locking up those who oppose the Empire, and it will be globalized."

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