U.S.-Built Security Barriers a 'Deceit'

It’s not as though Aadhamiyah, al-Khadamiyah, al-Thura, Ashala or al-Hurriyah [Baghdad neighborhoods] are now areas that afford one great freedom … But the construction of walls between Baghdad’s neighborhoods is a step that will divide it on the ground and subject its people to a psychological division. Such a wall will force people to enter and leave through a small number of security checkpoints and subject them to inspection, much like the Palestinians who live beyond the apartheid wall being built by Israel.

It seems that Israeli security mechanisms have been adopted for the Baghdad security plan. We therefore confront a wall justified by various political and security considerations, and these explanations may even be well-meaning. But this geographic division will serve as the pillar of a new order based on the sectarian political outlook of just one side [Shiite].

Iraqis passing through these security checkpoints will be subject to questioning when they travel to their homes and workplaces. Trips between the “two Baghdads” will be a complicated undertaking and pose new security risks for Iraqis. For example, people necessarily will be arrested to confirm their identities [and sectarian affiliations] … cameras will film their comings and goings … All of these are procedures necessitated by the construction of the separation wall, and they all sound fair and reasonable, but it’s all a deceit.

Now … we can identify the new phase of the security plan. The first one failed, bogged down in the quagmire of the rape of Iraqi women and equally horrific violations by the [Shiite] militias and [insurgent] ambushers.

This new stage requires us to ask the following question: Can any party guarantee that the separation wall will not have gaps through which militia forces and ambushers could enter, disguised as or with the help of Interior Ministry or government forces? This is especially of concern, since there’s no evidence that the government has purged the agitators [those affiliated with one side of the sectarian divide] from the Ministry of the Interior. These forces number in the thousands and form the backbone of Baghdad’s security apparatus. They also receive various kinds of deferential treatment.

They [the Americans] intend to deal with the neighborhood of Aadhamiyah as they did Falluja, subjecting the population to precise statistical monitoring and treating them like suspects just for entering and leaving their own city – a city that is burned and destroyed, and leaving what remains without even the most basic human services.

The results on the ground clearly demonstrate that the government’s plan to restore peace to Baghdad is a failure. Despite all the billions that have been consumed, this failure is a green light to the militias and ambushers to slaughter those left in Baghdad’s remaining neighborhoods.

The mentality that deals with Iraqis as suspects who abhor democracy leaves little room for reconciliation and solutions that could lead to national unity. This way of thinking will not change until those who have this mentality are removed from their positions, and new alternatives for teaching the principles of democracy become compulsory, under the rubric of the reform programs that the American administration sets up around the world.

But these Iraqi politicians will not be removed from office because of the Pentagon’s operational need for them. While our politicians have outlived their political usefulness, the Americans insist that they continue in their posts.

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