Thursday, April 26, 2007

Observations About "The Wall" in "Sadr City"

Recently construction on a wall was begun and then quickly halted in the Adhamiyah section of Baghdad. Why? You might be interested to find out.

My first reaction to the cessation of the most recent wall being built in Baghdad was that if President al Maliki asks the Iraqi and US militaries to stop building the wall, then we should stop building it.

But then I found out that other walls have been built in other sections of Baghdad with no similar outcry. In fact, they have been welcomed. These walls are not just solid slabs of concrete, but rather have at regular intervals gates through which access can be granted in a more controlled way. Terrorist acts can thus be severely diminished. The citizens of Amiriyah and Ghazaliyah had no problem with greater safety.

So why did the citizens of Adhamiyah? Well, it's not actually clear that they did. Leaflets passed around the area in the days leading up to the wall construction begin date threatened death to those who cooperate with Americans.

Iraq the Model sheds some interesting light
on the issue of "The Wall":

Yesterday leaflets were distributed in the streets of Adhamiya (or Azamiya, English doesn’t have the exact sound anyway). The leaflets — printed and distributed by persons unknown — called on residents to protest the building of the wall. Knowing that the only organized entity capable of such quick response to events in Adhamiya are either the insurgents or al-Qaeda strongly indicates that they were behind the planned protest. More important still is that it indicates they see the wall as a threat to their movement and ability to carry out their actions.

Interestingly as well: Iraq the Model points out that Adhamiyah is not Sadr City, as the media reported...


Anonymous said...

Why Walls Don't Work in Baghdad,8599,1614328,00.html?xid=site-cnn-partner

Frank Staheli said...

The Time story brings up some interesting points about Adhamiyah being choked off, but it doesn't even talk about the other walls that the people supported, and that appear to have been successful.

Anonymous said...

You need to stop relying on ITM for news. From the Time article:

"Several months ago, in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliya, a series of smaller concrete barriers was supposed to separate Shi'ite militiamen in the north from Sunni insurgents in the south. But the access points were manned by unreliable members of the Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi security forces. They allowed militiamen to pass through, attack Sunnis, and then flee north again. The checkpoints were mostly useful as a way to slow the pursuit of Sunni gunmen and guarantee Shi'ite killers a safe exit."

Dan Gubler said...

After serving in Iraq and seeing first hand the security benifits of walls, barriers, and controlled security checkpoints; I can see how they can benifit the populace. Are they the "end-all" answer to the seculare violence in Iraq? I think not, but it is an attempt to control the hate that is currently eating up the region. Something has to be done. Certainly the things that have been tried in the past have not worked. Is trying to do something pro active better than doing nothing? When referee's have two oponents locked up, they separate them. Maybe that's not a great analogy for the situation in Iraq. Rather than condem every effort or idea that is being tried, maybe we should be coming up with other alternatives. It really gets tiring to hear the constant "bitching and complaning" about every idea or attempt to try and curb the violence in Iraq. I think the liberals hurt this country and themselves with there continued negativity with everything associated to Iraq. They need to come up with ideas instead of placing blame. Have you heard any liberal politician come forward with any ideas period? No, all we hear about is the mistakes and pointing fingers. Lets let the military leaders fight this war, and do the job they are trained to do. If they think a wall is going to help, Have at it !

Frank Staheli said...

Anonymous (Richard?),

I apologize for only reading the top of the article and skimming the rest. I missed the essential paragraph.

However, how to you thing I should not rely on ITM for news, but instead that I should rely on a reporter from Time Magazine?


I have to say I agree with you. It really seems to me like the liberals are so bent on bringing the troops home that they get excited every time something goes wrong.

It is a pile of crap in Iraq right now for a lot of reasons (generally--Bush mistakes and liberal cheerleading against democracy). But we're there, and we need to consider the ramifications of just packing up and leaving. It's not nearly as simple as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are trying to make it.

Anonymous said...

Frank, ya found me out! Blogger doesn't like my password anymore, so I started posting as Anonymous.

I never self-identified as a "liberal" however many of us, including quite a few liberals, could see ahead of time that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would be the worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. history.

President George H.W. Bush decided against it in 1991:

"Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

Anyone familiar with Arab culture could tell that an occupation of Iraq would be a total failure. It has already failed. In 2003 people tried to warn the Bush administration, not just "liberals."

Changing tactics will have no effect. The additional units we are deploying to Iraq are not enough to secure the country, and more than we can afford to send. Withdrawal is the only option, being "liberal" has nothing to do with it. It's reality.

As for ITM, do you find nothing suspicious in the fact that they consistently parrot Bush talking points? They are not a news organization, any more than Michelle Malkin's website is.

Frank Staheli said...

I guess I haven't compared ITM with Bush's talking points.

Even though I didn't support the invasion in the first place, the fact that we're there means that we own it. Bush has made so many mistakes that it's hard to believe he made them out of ignorance.

The torture post I just put up has got me really thinking--thanks to you, Deanna, and others on OneUtah.

It'll be interesting once the truth comes out to go back and look at my vacillating attitude based on the substance of my blog posts.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) just got back from a fact-finding trip to Baghdad. She says that even if it could be made to work short-term, interposing US soldiers and American walls between warring factions just postpones the inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Reading the various blogs, some have noted the ironic symbolism of this stupid wall idea.

Ronald Reagan demanded: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Now the USA is building a wall, and our enemies are tearing it down.

Frank Staheli said...

The one version of this that I read was that we're contemplating building a wall on our border with Mexico.

Which I support, by the way. Those issues are opposite--the Berlin Wall was to keep people in, the US Border wall is to keep people out.

But I see your main point with regard to walls in Iraq. It is interesting that in so many instances people say that during Saddam's reign no one really cared whether you were Shia or Sunni. Now it's often a case of life and death.