Yesterday, I linked to Thursday’s LAT article reporting on the construction of a 3-mile-long, 12-foot-high partition wall being build by the the U.S. military in a Baghdad neighborhood to separate Sunnis and Shiites. (Yes, I said miles.)
Today, the NYT pokes at the story (“U.S. Erects Baghdad Wall to Keep Sects Apart”) with their own piece about George Bush’s Iraq Wall. …But still, no pictures.
The BAG finds it inexcusable the MSM would report on this thing — but NOT show it.
As such, there are at least two explanations for the absence. One, it is too difficult or dangerous to get a photographer to the spot in Adhamiya where this potentially-visually explosive structure is going up. Two, the media is punting on the visual side of the story to avoid heat from (and therefore, colluding with, and running interference for) the Administration.
As fuel for possibility two, we know that the LAT had a photographer in Adhamiya with the U.S. military because yesterday’s Times article featured his photo of American soldiers searching a house in the district. Beyond that, even the photo caption refers to the wall. If the reporter and photographer are embedded in the neighborhood with the U.S. military, it’s the military building the wall, and the wall is the subject of the story, I’ll just ask again…
Where’s the picture?
More: A wire story posted yesterday on YahooNews Singapore (and, as I search further, a million other places) refers to a WSJ report earlier this month on another wall started near Doura in southern Baghdad. If that’s the case, then the media has known for weeks about these barriers.
This Reuters story notes that the Adhamiya wall was begun April 10th. The LAT story states that wall should be finished by the end of the month. Given the 20 day project, that means it’s at least half-way done by now.
One more nugget: In a slightly different version of the original LAT piece, dated yesterday, U.S. soldiers are referring to the structure as: “The Great Wall of Adhamiya.”
Update 5/22. 6:47 am EST
I have it from a very reliable source that a third wall exists, this one at Al-Khadra, a Sunni area west of Baghdad. It has reportedly been up for four weeks now.
Update 6:57 pm EST
With all the chatter — both in the ‘sphere and the MSM — regarding the wall(s), the first images (of the Adhamiya wall) appeared today. Still can’t say, however, what kind of exposure they will get in the MSM. The top image appeared in an article on the English Aljazeera site. The second one was on the YahooNews wire. Captions below.
(image 1& 2: Wisam Sami/AFP. April 21, 2007 and undated. caption 1: A picture shows a wall made of concrete blocks, which separates Baghdad’s al-Adhamiyah district from a neighbouring Shiite area in east Baghdad. Two car bomb explosions at a Baghdad police station have killed 16 people and wounded scores of others, as the US military moved to wall in the Iraqi capital’s warring factions behind concrete barriers. caption 2: A concrete wall separates Baghdad’s al-Adhamiyah district. Residents of the dangerous Baghdad district have accused US forces walling them in behind a five-kilometre (three-mile) security barrier of hardening the city’s already bitter sectarian divisions.)
Update 4/23 2:15 am EST
And this morning, we have this from the NYT. The structure is softened by boys playing soccer, the image is contextualized by the initiative for removal (“Iraqi Premier Orders Work Stopped on Wall”), but its there.