Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Opinion (Pepe Escobar): We build walls, not nations

DAMASCUS - No British soccer players, Czech supermodels or Chinese infotainment moguls have been lining up to get a piece of the new exclusive gated territory in the global market - courtesy of Pentagon real-estate developers and lavishly promoted as The Great Wall of Adhamiyah.

But then, who wants to live behind a 5-kilometer-long, 3.7-meter-high concrete wall, being erected in haste by the 407th Brigade support battalion of the famed 82nd Airborne Division, currently based in sprawling Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.

It's being built, Dubai-style, by semi-slave labor - underpaid Iraqi crews, although the engineers and the cranes are all-American. And when it's ready, by the end of April, what's inside - the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyah - will look exactly its same sorry self: no cappuccino al fresco Starbucks style, no Versace outlets, no fit blondes on in-line skates...

Call it the first instalment of The Baghdad gulag, apartheid in Mesopotamia, or Balkanization with Arabic subtitles.

Read the rest at Asia Times