Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Expert advice

Will this:


lead to this:


Actually it was a Saigon hotel, but the scene remains iconic.

The first image is of the U.S. Embassy under construction in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Al-Jezerra reports it is just about the only construction project proceeding on schedule in all of Iraq.

The compound will cost $592m and will cover 104 acres of land, about the size of the Vatican, making it the biggest and most expensive U.S. embassy on earth. It will include 27 separate buildings and house about 615 Americans behind bomb-proof walls. The U.S. ambassador will live in a high-security home on the compound reported to fill 16,000 square feet. His deputy will live in a more modest 9,500 sq ft. They will have a pool, gym and communal living areas, and the embassy will have its own power and water supplies.

... rebels [have] started attacking the multiple cranes surrounding the construction site of the new embassy. Last week, five contractors were injured in a rocket assault.

Despite the growing pressure, the Bush administration insists that the embassy will open in September, and be fully operational by the end of the year. ...

Toby Dodge, an expert on Iraq at Queen Mary, University of London, has just come back from a month spent in Iraq, largely in the Green Zone. ...

"A fortress-style embassy, with a huge staff, will remain in Baghdad until helicopters come to airlift the last man and woman from the roof," he said, adding his own advice to the architects of the building: "Include a large roof."



1 comment:

sfmike said...

I love the phrase, "Include a large roof," and will be linking to it when I get a chance. The sheer, staggering criminal waste of resources in Iraq couldn't be symbolized any better than this literal white elephant of an embassy.

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