20 June 2006

new digs in baghdad

Some quick facts about the new United States Embassy currently under construction in Baghdad:

  • 104 acre site
  • $592 million (more than the price tag for the WTC memorial complex)
  • intended to house, feed, and entertain 8,000 employees
  • construction is contracted out to a Kuwaiti firm known for questionable labor practices
The Nation has a characteristically over-the-top piece on the embassy that nonetheless gets the point across. My favorite excerpt:
Democrats demanding an exit strategy from Iraq are routinely derided by the Bush Administration as cowards who "cut and run." But if this Embassy plan is not a form of cut and run, what is it? Instead of cutting and making a run for Kuwait, they intend to cut and run into what amounts to the world's largest bunker, a capacious rat hole where they can wait in safety until all the Iraqis have killed one another or all factions unite, march on this air-conditioned citadel and slit the throats of its irrelevant inhabitants.
link: "Bush's Baghdad Palace" by Nicholas von Hoffman, in the Nation
link: "Giant U.S. Embassy Rising in Baghdad" by Barbara Slavin, in USA TODAY

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