FRAMESHOP:FRAMESHOP: U.S. PUTS WALLS AROOUND BAGHDAD NEIGHBORHOODS

The Washington Post has a disturbing story about the latest U.S. tactic to control violence in Baghdad: build walls. Lots of walls. According to the article: The U.S. military is walling off at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods...

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Jeffrey Feldman, Editor-in-Chief
Frameshop, 04/23/2007

The Washington Post has a disturbing story about the latest U.S. tactic to control violence in Baghdad: build walls.  Lots of walls.

According to the article:

The U.S. military is walling off at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods and using biometric technology to track some of their residents, creating what officers call "gated communities" in an attempt to carve out oases of safety in this war-ravaged city.

The plan drew widespread condemnation in Iraq this past week. On Sunday night, Prime Minister Nouri-al Maliki told news services that he would work to halt construction of a wall around the Sunni district of Adhamiyah, which residents said would aggravate sectarian tensions by segregating them from Shiite neighbors. The U.S. military says the walls are meant to protect people, not further divide them in a city that is increasingly a patchwork of sectarian enclaves.

(full story here)

Here we see the U.S. army reverting to the logic that [security] is [a wall].  But are these new walls keeping the bad guys out or trapping good people in what amounts to a large prison?

What concerns people in Baghdad seems to be the radical constraint the new walls will place on their movement.  Moving a few hundred yards may become a day long affair.

I suspect these walls will quickly become a symbol of an American occupation gone horribly awry and cannot imagine very many Iraqis viewing these walls as anything but a U.S. act of domination and oppression.  Even if the goal of the military is noble--to find a way to stop the violence--the means will backfire, effectively turning Baghdad into an endless series of humiliating checkpoints. 

© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop

© Jeffrey Feldman 2007, Frameshop

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