Tuesday, August 5, 2008

City of Walls, Nation of Shame

The U.S. counterinsurgency plan, godfathered by Gen. David Petraeus, to divide up Baghdad neighborhoods into barricaded ghettos has proceeded apace since its inception over a year ago. As a journalist who posted his recent video stories at YouTube notes:
US claims that the military surge is bringing stability to Iraq. By travelling through the heart of Baghdad its easy to see by enclosing the Sunni and Shia populations behind 12ft walls, the surge has left the city more divided and desperate than ever.
The traditional media has convinced the American people that the Bush/Petraeus "surge" has "worked." Democratic Party presidential presumptive nominee Barack Obama, while remaining critical of the Iraq War as a whole, maintains that the "surge" has resulted in an "improved security situation," thanks to "improved counterinsurgency tactics."

But the so-called surge has only acted to cement in place the transformation of Baghdad into a city of prisons, fortified by over twenty miles of walls, and defended by powerful militias. Below is a three part video shot by an Iraqi journalist recently returned to his home in Baghdad. (Parts Two and Three are displayed only via URL.)

Part One: City of Walls

Part Two: Baghdad Killing Fields

Part Three: Iraq's Lost Generation

One cannot watch these clips and not feel a tremendous shame at what evil the country we live in has visited upon the Iraqi people. In their petulant and impulsive aim at imperial glory, aided by the backing of oil, energy, armaments, and national security corporate interests, Bush, Cheney and their cohorts have created a tragedy of epic proportions, one for which this country will be paying, both financially, and in moral capital for decades to come.

The Democratic Party opposition is proving itself once again similarly in thrall to the same interests as their more overtly warlike GOP opponents. As the gleam begins to fade off the newness of the Obama persona, we are left with promises of more war -- this time in Afghanistan -- and minimal accountability for the crimes of lying us into the Iraq War, or engaging in barbaric torture countenanced at the highest levels of government. (See Mark Benjamin's new article over at Salon.com about what Obama will and will not do about holding Bush administration officials accountable in any Obama administration -- should there be such.)

That shadow falling from the walls of Baghdad neighborhoods is the shade of murderous greed in league with sectarian fury. Its darkness is spreading like a cloud of shame over this land, plunging all the inhabitants in a blindness of impotent fear and shame.

Thanks to panicbean over at Daily Kos for the links on this story

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