Iraqis call it Assur, the Fence. In English everyone calls it the Wall, and in the past two years it has grown and grown until it has become an almost continuous rampart, at least 10 miles in circumference, around the seat of American power in Baghdad.
The wall is not a small factor in the lives of ordinary Iraqis outside it. Khalid Daoud, an employee at the Culture Ministry, still looks in disbelief at the barrier of 12-foot-high, five-ton slabs that cuts through his garden.
A few months ago, he said, the American military arrived with a crane and tore up the trees in his garden, smashed the low wall surrounding it, swung the slabs into place and topped them with concertina wire.
Good lord, people. What supergenius thought this one up? As if the U.S. didn't have enough trouble with Islamists pointing to the presence of U.S. soldiers in Iraq as evidence of a Crusader-Israel conspiracy, now the U.S has built it's very own "separation barrier," similar, in both its appearance and its ruinous effect upon the lives, property, and livelihoods of the local population, to Israel's apartheid wall.
Do you think any Iraqis see this comparison?
"We are the new Palestine," said Saman Abdel Aziz Rahman, owner of the Serawan kebab restaurant, by the northern reaches of the wall.
Way to win the hearts and minds, guys.