• Iraq Goes Medieval: Will Build Wall Around Baghdad to Stop ISIS

    February 8, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Military


    In medieval times, cities were walled. At night the gates were locked, the towers guarded, and thieves and brigands were kept outside. At least in theory, because walls could be scaled, or blown up, or tunnels dug, or guards bribed.

    And so in what may turn out to be the ultimate 21st century Renaissance Faire, the Iraqi government, no doubt with the support of, if not the checkbook of, the United States, is building a wall around the city of Baghdad in hopes that that will stop ISIS where nothing else has.

    An interior ministry’s spokesman explained that work began this week on a 65 mile stretch of a wall and trench on the northern and northwestern approaches of the capital. The wall will be 10 feet high and partially made up of concrete barriers already in use across much of the capital. The spokesman declined to specify the measurements of the trench, possibly out of embarrassment.

    While a wall is about the dumbest idea yet in a nation plagued by dumb ideas, something is needed. On Wednesday alone, roadside bombings in various parts of the capital and a drive-by shooting killed eight people and wounded 28. Last month, according to UN figures, 490 civilians were killed and 1,157 were wounded in Iraq. Baghdad was the worst affected, with 299 civilians killed and 785 wounded.

    Of course not all of those were killed by ISIS, and many of the killers, ISIS and not, are already living inside the city and thus will not be affected by the new wall, but meh.

    The thing is that since 2003 Baghdad has always been a city of walls. As one facet of its failed strategy to prevent sectarian violence in the city, the U.S. erected a labyrinth of blast walls, eventually walling off entire neighborhoods and nearly every government office, bank, police station, school, hospital, market, gas station, and university campus. The boundaries of the Green Zone itself are defined in places by blast walls.

    The fact that all of those walls having failed to stop ISIS does not appear to have been factored into the Iraqi government’s plans.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Yeah, The Donald had that stupid idea too. But walls are always undermined by tunnels, nicht?

      02/8/16 7:22 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      I think the oil companies might have found a needed new market in the current oil glut. The Iraqis are going to need lots of oil to boil and pour from atop those walls.

      02/8/16 10:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      WTF? ISIS is RUN out of the Green Zone U.S. Company (CIA) Station (the World’s LARGEST!).

      02/8/16 11:31 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      “While a wall is about the dumbest idea yet in a nation plagued by dumb ideas,….”

      While this wall idea is indeed dumb, at least they can’t claim this years award for the Most Incredulous Act of Legislation seen in 100 fucking years..no pun intended.


      Dumbest Country on the Planet is a massive understatement. I think it’s time to rename it. Any takers?

      But now I understand. And here I thought Michigan’s 10k miles of dirt roads was a living proof this state is the land that time forgot. In reality, the lawmakers come from the population. That confirms my suspicions. Always wondered why most people in my town look like they’ve been inbred for 100 yrs. Seriously. It’s time to move back to the 21st century. Oregon..here I come..even though there’s pockets of the same thing there. At least it’s not 90%.

      02/8/16 12:38 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Ya know, just when you think you’ve seen the epitome of the corrupt nature of collectivist Totalitarian wannabes who worship the State…along comes Michigan lawmakers. This makes Flint almost laughable.

      02/8/16 12:45 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Pitch I think you’re better off staying put. At least they don’t water down the booze wherever you are- I think. Every state will have cities and burgs bursting with cretins posing as informed citizens. Oregon would be OK but you’d better spray yourself with WD40 every morning after a shower. That much rain makes everything rust.

      02/8/16 1:02 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      John Poole said…

      “Pitch I think you’re better off staying put.”

      John, I moved to Michigan from the southern Oregon coast. I lived there 10 yrs and loved it. But yeah, the rain gets old, but it looks like weather patterns are changing. The only reason I moved is I was facing a foreclosure, as the recession killed the coast and any employment for me. However, after 4 years of hassle with 3 different mortgage holders, looks like we might get a reprieve. House is still there, empty. So if it goes through..I’m outta here. Even if it doesn’t..I’m still outta here. Worst place I ever lived, and I’ve lived all over the place. As for the government in Oregon, yeah, there’s some real scum sucking assholes there too. Mostly, it’s the winter here I can’t deal with anymore. Been snowed in for 3 months as it stands. Fuck that shit. I can deal with the rain. At least, along the coast, because of the ocean, the temps average 45-60 degrees. Later this week..supposed to be 19 degrees here…arrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      02/8/16 6:44 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Come on down to Bogota – 70 degrees F. most days and not so rainy anymore. Thank you global warming and El Nino.

      02/9/16 7:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Links 9/2/2016: Linux in Robotics, Hyperledger Project | Techrights said...


      […] Iraq Goes Medieval: Will Build Wall Around Baghdad to Stop ISIS […]

      02/9/16 8:16 PM | Comment Link

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