Iraq PM Says: “We Don’t Want Baghdad Wall”
How long would the US administration be able to present a facade to the world that the Iraqi affairs are being run by the democratically-elected government?
The “democratically-elected” members of the Iraqi government have many a times indicated that the present mess in Iraq is largely owing to the continued presence of the US troops and their excesses.
To add to the continued embarrassment of the US administration, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday he had urged the U.S. military to halt work on a wall separating a Baghdad Sunni enclave from nearby Shi’ite areas after sharp criticism from some residents, reports Reuters.
So what’s going on in Iraq? It seems the Iraqi government is not even being consulted while taking a major decision such as turning the capital city of Baghdad into a virtual fortress dotted by walls.
Well, one can understand the building of the wall if the US wishes to stay on for another 10 or 20 years to safeguard its oil interests.
But if the argument is that it would bring peace and end violence, then the Prime Minister’s opposition to the wall should prove a dampener.
Speaking in Cairo at the start of an Arab tour to drum up support for Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Islamist, said he objected to the 5-km (3-mile) wall, which residents said would isolate them from other communities and sharpen sectarian tensions.
Some may argue that President Bush should be spending the tax-payers money strengthening the internal security in his own country rather than building walls in foreign capitals.
The Times reports: “The US military had started to build concrete walls around five Baghdad neighbourhoods, most of them Sunni, in an attempt to stop car bombers leaving them and death squads infiltrating them.
“Mr al-Maliki, who has often been at odds with his US backers over security policy in the capital, said that ‘this wall reminds us of other walls’, in an apparent reference to the Israeli wall running through the Palestinian West Bank.
“The wall-building has confirmed fears among Iraqis that their country is being carved up along sectarian lines. Ali Naim, an Adhamiya engineer, said: ‘The Government had a hand in the sectarian conflict from the start. I used to think the US was stupid, but now I see that it was a plan to divide first Baghdad, then Iraq’.”
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(For my earlier post “Iraq Civilian Killings: Who Is Responsible?” please click here…)