Wondering what the photo above depicts? A palace of Saddam Hussein? A palace of one of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire? A great, gigantic hotel on Hawaii?
Nope, it is the new US embassy in Iraq.
Although surrounded by destroyed houses, burnt appartment buildings, etc., the (future) inhabitents of the US embassy in Iraq will live in a little paradise on earth. With 42 hectares, it is about the same size as Vatican City. It only cost some $600 million [oops - edited the 'b,' changed it into an 'm'] to build. It has “its own fresh water supply, electricity plant, sewage treatment facility, maintenance shops and warehouses.”
O, and did I mention that it also has “a school, shopping centre and food court; a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts; a gymnasium, cinema, beauty salon and social club” of its own?
And more; did you know that the embassy was not built by Iraqis by ‘imports’? Yes, the US imported some Filipino construction workers to build this tremendous building.
But that is not all, no, although embassies were historically meant to be in contact with locals (read: foreigners), the US embassy is a fortress. Nobody can come in, nobody can get out.
All in all, Iraqis are not too happy with this great new building on the west bank of the Tigris.
Sometimes I really wonder about the common sense of American leaders. How incredibly stupid does one have to be to decide that what Iraq needs is a majestic, luxurious, HUGE American embassy? Can you imagine people thinking about it, brainstorming: ‘that’ll show ‘em we think that Iraq will do quite well!’ ‘Yeah, lets built an even bigger one!’ ‘How about using gold for the bathrooms? That’ll really show ‘em we’re willing to invest in their destroyed country!’
I have a headache.