Winning Hearts & Minds – The U.S. Way

Berlin had one. The Israeli’s are building one. Even the Northern Irish had one of sorts.

Now, it seems Baghdad is to have one- at least if Ryan Crocker, the latest US ambassador to Iraq, gets his way. A BBC report today states that Mister Crocker has announced the next few months will be critical to reconciling the warring factions in the country.

Someone should tell him it’s been said before. Over and over again, since – 2003?

Nouri el-Maliki, Irag’s prime minister, has told the Americans to stop building the wall around Adhamiya, a Sunni enclave of Baghdad surrounded by Shia districts, but the Americans want to press ahead.

That’s the trouble with America. It never bothers to learn from history. It just plows on with what seems like “a good idea at the time”, only to find out too late it wasn’t such a great plan after all.

Walls don’t work. They segregate, when what’s needed is integration.

The Berlin wall devastated that city. Years later, Germany is still recovering from the economic plight left after the wall came down. The “barriers” in Northern Ireland kept neither faction apart for very long. Thankfully, they too have now disappeared. One day, Israel’s wall – built ostensibly to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers, but in practice simply self-defining Israel’s national boundaries – will have to go too. That is, if they ever want to live in peace with their neighbors.

Meanwhile, the American military is hard at work surrounding Sunni Adhamiya with a ring of concrete.

A great way to win hearts and minds.

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4 Replies to “Winning Hearts & Minds – The U.S. Way”

  1. The Bush wall building fetish leaves no border untouched – Mexico. They love those walls. Not too fond of openness or trust – guess it’s because the entire Bush administration is closed, secret and untrustworthy.

  2. I think the military is just tossing everything up and trying to get something to stick. The wall idea has to be one of the worst. Putting people in concrete cages is insane and that’s just what they’re trying to do.

  3. Such apparent ineptitude, against all the principles of a “peace-keeping” force (which, we’re told, is what the US military now is – there solely to keep the factions apart until the Iraqi army is strong enough to control the country) appears inexplainable. Unless, of course, the real reason they are there is to subdue Baghdad sufficient for the oil companies to go in and begin getting the oil out in quantity, as per their corrupt agreement with Maliki. Then, walling in the defiant Sunnis would make a lot of sense. Bush is between a rock and a hard place. His backers – fronted by Cheney – won’t allow him to withdraw, yet Congress and the American people are crucifying him for staying. One could almost feel sorry for him. But, not quite!

  4. Iraq has traditionally been a sunni state. In fact, the total worldwide census of shi’a (all factions) is about 3% of the global Muslim population, so most Muslim countries are sunni.

    Shi’a means division and that is precisely what they have historically done in both Iraq, Iran and Africa. They create rifts in any society and even among themselves. Their leaders now tell them that they have the right to kill, rape, and steal property from any sunni.

    Giving this tiny minority sway in a country already compromised by the chaos of war is tantamount to waving ahead genocide. There will no doubt be outrage from every sunni Muslim worldwide at the atrocities. And then…

    How much more baiting can Muslims take?

    That said, i have to tell you a little joke that this situation reminds me of.

    It seems that an englishman and a scot were walking along the road when they came across a strange green bottle. They rubbed it, and out popped a jinni. He granted them each one wish for setting him free.

    The englishman instantly said, “I would like a wall around Britain a hundred feet high and fifty feet thick.” So wham, shazam, there it stood.

    The scot scrutinized it carefully and said to the jinni, “Tell me about this wall, jinni.” The ifrit promptly obliged by saying, “It is a hundred feet high and fifty feet thick, and nothing can go out and nothing can go in, master.”

    “Nothing can get out?” repeated the scot.
    “Yes, master,” said the jinni.

    “Then fill it with water,” the scot said.

    All by way of saying… that when you put up a wall, both sides can be ghettoized.

    Another excellent post.

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