Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is Baghdad The New Warsaw?


Riverbend, the young Sunni woman who has long been a bright light of what remains of the in-country blogosphere in Baghdad is, apparently, getting ready to flee.

And she and her family are leaving for a myriad of reasons, many of them just having to do with life's basics as well as the fear, almost all of which would have driven most any of us out a long, long time ago.

But one of the thing she hates the most is 'The Wall':

…Which is the wall the current Iraqi government is building (with the support and guidance of the Americans). It's a wall that is intended to separate and isolate what is now considered the largest 'Sunni' area in Baghdad- let no one say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqi puppets and Americans cooked up, it will 'protect' A'adhamiya, a residential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their death squads couldn't empty of Sunnis.

The wall, of course, will protect no one. I sometimes wonder if this is how the concentration camps began in Europe. The Nazi government probably said, "Oh look- we're just going to protect the Jews with this little wall here- it will be difficult for people to get into their special area to hurt them!" And yet, it will also be difficult to get out.


In fact, 'protection' was one of the ways this type of thing was sold to the folks who were walled into the Warsaw Ghetto by the Nazis in 1940:

In mid-November 1940 the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw was sealed off by a high wall, its construction took many months to complete. The ghetto wall was 3.5 meters high topped with glass and barbed wire. The construction firm responsible for building the wall was the German firm Schmidt & Munstermann, who were paid by the Jewish Community to build the wall. This same firm helped to build the Treblinka death camp two years later.

And everyone knows how that one turned out.

And, clearly, everyone who is paying any attention at all understands that today's evil is just as banal as yesterday's, although there is at least one difference.

Which is the fact that folks like Albert Speer, unlike, say, Roger Ailes, had to make do without plastic-haired anchormodels, wingnut welfare-driven group (anti)think, and the 24 hr propaganda cycle.

And, unlike Schmidt and Munstermann from days gone by, we're not exactly sure who's making the money off the misery this time around.

But we do know who has the naming rights.

Because it's none other than the man who made Moqtada Al Sadr a household name, Ol' Suits-In-Boots himself, L. Paul Bremmer.

....An American military spokesman admitted that an entire district of Baghdad, five kilometres (3.5 miles) in circumference, was being walled in with a series of concrete rectangles, each four metres high and weighing seven tonnes and known as “Bremer walls”, after Iraq's former American proconsul.

Clearly, Hunter Thompson wasn't joking when he said the following, not long before his death:

We're the Nazis in this game, and I don't like it. I'm embarrassed and I'm pissed off. Yeah. I mean to say something and I think a lot of people in this country agree with me.'
Hunter S. Thompson, January 2003


And just in case you were wondering, history appears to be repeating itself for those who are trying to flee the Iraqi holocaust as well. Again, from Riverbend: "And if you're wondering why Syria or Jordan, because they are the only two countries that will let Iraqis in without a visa. Following up visa issues with the few functioning embassies or consulates in Baghdad is next to impossible."


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