Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mr. Bush, tear down your wall.

It seems that now the Bush administration has a new plan for unifying Iraq: build a wall around Sunni neighborhoods, presumably at a cost of millions of our dollars, and with barbed wire, guarded gates and barriers.

The residents don't like it a bit, and feel that it will divide them from their relatives, friends and jobs which are on the other side of the wall, as well as dividing their city.

In 1960, the construction of the Berlin wall became a symbol of failure, in that case the failure of the system that the Soviets set up in East Germany to even satisfy the people there enough to prevent them from leaving their homes and fleeing into West Berlin. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan mocked it's mere existence as proof of the failure of the Soviet system.

And this will be a symbol of a failure as well.

Mr. Bush, tear down your wall.

1 comment:

Indy Voter said...

Eli, my first rection when I heard about the wall being built - which was before stories started coming out citing Adamiyah residents who opposed it - was to compare it with the walls the British built in the cities of Northern Ireland to separate Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods and reduce sectarian vioolence there. The residents (especially the Catholics, from what I remember) despised the walls, but it did seriously cut down on the sectarian violence in the neighborhoods.

Baghdad residents will be allowed to pass through the walls - in both directions. That's another reason for comparing it to Northern Ireland rather than Berlin, imo.

I'm willing to give the walls a chance. It's ugly, it's drastic, and it's expensive. But it makes some sense under the current conditions in Baghdad. And regardless of whether the US gets out of Iraq soon or stays there well into the next decade the passionate hatreds between Sunnis and Shias will remain. A wall will help keep those passions from turning to violence quite so often.