Monday, October 08, 2007

the Wall around Adhamiya

[Image: An In-Depth Look at the Wall in Adhamiya (Video)- 09.24.2007, via Alive in Baghdad.]

Via Alive in Baghdad, here is a short but excellent video on the impact of the ‘surge walls’ that have been erected in and around the neighborhood of Adhamiya in Baghdad. As you all know by now, under the guise of protecting the local residents from sectarian violence the Americans – despite Iraqi leaders’ wishes – have built a massive security barrier around this neighborhood essentially isolating it within an urban prison that is in effect not much different from the security barrier surrounding Bethlehem or other parts in the West Bank.
And, not to anyone’s surprise, people here are suffering from the same paralyzing ghettoization. Enclosed entirely behind a chain of concrete slabs with just a single checkpoint to enter and exit the neighborhood (cars are forbidden passage), the local economy has nearly dried up, while basic infrastructure like electricity is rarely ever on, not to mention that all goods, foot traffic, and inter-neighborhood commerce must pass through this single choke point, which has made it virtually impossible for a number of residents to go about their livelihoods there.
In the end, a man in the video perhaps boils it down to its purest essence by saying, these walls are not about protecting the local population as much as they are about protecting the American bases; worse off, there is a feeling that locals here are almost being starved and deprived their basic rights and necessities as a means of forcing them to ‘rat out’ the extremists in their neighborhood – turn in the insurgents or be prepared to watch your neighborhood dwindle into oblivion, being the unspoken sentiment. When you hear the phrase the Palestinization of Iraq this video makes the meaning of this pretty damned clear.

(Thanks Sara!)


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