Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sadr City, Baghdad's newest gated community


According to Reuters here, the third wall surrounding Sadr City went up over the weekend.

Sadr City is roughly a 70 block, suburb in the North Eastern section of Baghdad housing 2 million, predominantly Shiite, Iraqis.

Up until May the city was controlled by the Mehdi Army militiamen loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, but after some firece fighting the Mehdi moved on.
"There is no Mehdi Army here. There is only the Iraqi Army," said Lieutenant Colonel Yahya Rasoul Abdullah, who heads an Iraqi army unit in southern Sadr City.
"There is only one language -- the language of the law."
Earlier this week a spokesperson for Moqtada al-Sadr, said he would dissolve the Mehdi Army if the US agrees to a timetable to withdraw from Iraq. However the Bush administration still refuses to set a firm timetable.

Meanwhile the US will using the Gaza like strategy will wall off one of the poorest neighborhoods in Baghdad installing check points to control movement to and from the ghetto.
One resident, who sells used cars in southern Sadr City, says there is a desperate need for jobs and basic services. Many residents only have an hour or two of grid power each day.
As a member of Sadr's bloc in parliament and a Sadr City resident said:
"People can't see their neighbors because of these walls. The walls have disrupted this city. The money spent for the walls would of been better spent on providing basic services."
Which seems to be the main point that the Americans have missed since they invaded the country.

They certainly don't handle this empire building as well as the Brits did.


Reference: Reuters here.

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