To those critics who keep yammering that the Bushites have spent billions of our tax dollars for the reconstruction of Iraq, yet built practically nothing – I say “ha!”
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If you went to Iraq today, you’d see a marvelous new complex rising right in the heart of Baghdad. This 104-acre shining oasis will include more than 600 apartments, two major office buildings, its own electricity plant and water system, air-conditioning, a swimming pool, gym, movie theater, food court, beauty salon, car repair shop, and even a night club. And, while critics harp that practically no project in Iraq gets completed on time and on budget, this one will meet both standards.
This sprawling new town, which will have 8,000 people working in it when completed next year, must be a welcome sign of progress and a symbol of democratic pride for the long suffering people of Iraq – right? Well… not exactly. You see, this palace is not for them. This is to be the new U.S. embassy.
Being built by an affiliate of – guess who? – Halliburton, this half-billion-dollar, self-contained complex will be by far the largest embassy in the world. But this is no mere house of diplomacy – it’s a mini-state inside Iraq’s capitol establishing a permanent American base that literally ripples with negative symbolism. Surrounded by 15-foot-walls, guarded by Marines, and overlooking the chambers housing the Iraqi government – this fortress is viewed by the people as a palace of occupation, an infuriating symbol of who really holds the strings of power.
"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower
This is Jim Hightower saying… The 1,000 Americans to be headquartered in this sealed-off citadel will be isolated from the Iraqi people and be immune from the water shortages, daily power outages, joblessness, and other harsh realities of life in Baghdad. Maybe that’s why the designers of the complex added one other special feature: a secret emergency exit.
“Massive Embassy in Iraq Flaunts US Power, Critics Say,” www.commondreams.org, April 15, 2006.
“Giant U.S. Embassy project dismays Iraqis,” Chicago Tribune, May 29, 2006.
“Massive Embassy Rising In Iraq,” Mercury News, May 22, 2006.
“Bush’s Baghdad Palace,” The Middle East Online, May 26, 2006.