New Times reporter Alissa Rubin issues another ideological piece from Baghdad, "Frustration Unites Sunni and Shiite in Opposition to Baghdad Wall."
Rubin's piece reads more likeone of the Times'liberally slanted "news analysis" piecesthen straight reporting, and sounds a lot like the Times' hand-wringing coverage of another protective "wall," the one separating Israelis from Palestinians who threaten suicide bombings. And Rubin brought some Steven Erlanger-style moral outrage to her story - the horror of waiting in line.
"The unexpected outcry about the proposed construction of a wall around a Sunni Arab neighborhood has revealed the depths of Iraqi frustration with the petty humiliations created by the new security plan intended to protect them.
"American and some Iraqi officials were clearly taken aback by the ferocity of the opposition to the wall, and on Monday the United States was showing signs of backing away from the plan. The strong reaction underscores the sense of powerlessness Iraqis feel in the face of the American military, whose presence is all the more pervasive as an increasing number of troops move on to the city's streets."
Rubin saw the wall as a metaphor for American insensitivity.
"But the Adhamiya wall, only partly built, has fast become a metaphor for the cumulative resentment that Iraqis feel about the violence and disruption of daily life that have brought so much misery to the country since the American invasion in 2003.
"The latest indignity is the new security plan, which has snarled traffic with checkpoints that turn even the shortest journeys into hourlong forays. And to the chagrin of many Iraqis, even after four years, the Americans still seem to be oblivious of the havoc they cause in Iraqis' daily lives by forcing traffic to stop, blocking roads and taking property for military outposts.
"Iraqis feel demeaned and infuriated when they find themselves sitting in traffic for hours as it trickles through checkpoints or standing in lines in the already blazing spring sun waiting to be frisked to get into government buildings."
Still, "demeaned and infuriated" is better than"dead," isn't it?