The rightwing media is so focused on the building of schools in Iraq that they have neglected a triumph of free enterprise: the building of concrete barriers. The NYT story, today, is enough to warm the cockles of Christopher Hitchens� heart. His buds among the occupiers � oops, liberators � are, of course, in intimate touch with the silent majority of Iraqis. But intimate touch doesn�t mean having the nasty things around you all the time, does it? Far better to seal yourself in with, say, a 9,000 pound concrete structure, �12 feet tall, is 9 feet wide, 4 feet thick at the base and 8 inches thick at the top.� Good fences make good neighbors, Frost wrote. In that spirit, the Occupation authority has been following the motto: �good concrete walls make good conquerors.� As things get better and better in Iraq, as we are making good progress, as many a hawk has to pinch himself not to move there, lock stock and barrel, so good are the circs (the affection of the people, the joy of being in the company of giants like Chalabi � it amazes me that Brit expats like Sullivan and Hitchens are still living in D.C. when they could be where the action is), the barrier has become a kind of status symbol.
�Miles of the barriers circle Baghdad's "green zone," the quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods were American occupation authorities live. But in recent weeks, as bombers have broadened their target list, the hulking walls have been installed around hotels, police stations, government ministries and private organizations. Every day, it seems, another facility is hidden behind a towering concrete wall.�
This is an entirely new take on the old Vietnam era idea of declaring victory and going home. We are going to create an enclave in Iraq that is so entirely bombproof and impenetrable by Iraqis that it will be a new, triumphant Iraq within Iraq. An Iraq we can rule. An Iraq that we have reformed. An Iraq that is entirely English speaking, and composed of men and women who are wholly on the Defense department contractor dole. Is this a great country, or what? No wonder Bush is practicing saying, �it�s morning in America.�