Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Abu Ghraib Writ Large

The newest new plan for the Iraq War, according to the British newspaper the Independent, is to convert Baghdad into thirty prisons. This new plan involved turning one-third of Baghdad's communities into walled compounds where entry and egress will be strictly controlled.

It is not a new idea; it does not have a history of success. The Germans tried it with the Jewish communities of Warsaw during World War II (photo at right). Behind the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto Jewish resistance culminated in the bloodiest rebellion against Nazi occupation anywhere in Europe.

It was tried again during the French occupation of Algeria. The result was urban riots and a lost war. The Americans tried creating Strategic Hamlets during the Vietnam War. The creation of these walled compounds spurred the growth of the Viet Cong.

The Administration is so devoid of ideas for Iraq they are grasping for strategies that failed in Vietnam and even the Nazis couldn't make work.

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