Say Hello To My Little Friend

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.

Strange huh?

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.

Author: michaelvdg

5 Comments

  1. $600 billion? I think that figure is a bit off, its more than the cost of the entire war so far. I do share your disgust with the project however.

  2. Sam, the article says that it costs 300 million dollars, which sounds much more reasonable (meaning it’s only obscene, instead of requiring solid gold bricks). The feeling is a lot more like a moon colony than an embassy. What damn good is an embassy that doesn’t interact with the country it is in? The article is a gem, not only did the embassy get built on time and on budget (unlike less important things, like water sanitation plants and hospitals for the Iraqis) but the Filipino workers who made it were lied to, told they were going to Dubai to build hotels, and only told the truth while in the air, effectively forcing them to Iraq.

    Hearts and minds indeed….

  3. sorry that’s 600 million dollars, not 300.

  4. $600 billion? I think that figure is a bit off, its more than the cost of the entire war so far. I do share your disgust with the project however.

    The cost of the war is hard to quantify and depends on what accounting system is used, but I’ve seen some estimates that it is currently in the order of 2 trillion dollars.

    On the subject of the embassy, at least those big roofs and wide open spaces will leave plenty of room when everyone needs to be evacuated by helicopter :)

  5. oops. Sorry ’bout that ‘b’ in there. That should have been an ‘m.’

    Heh.

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