Sunday, April 16, 2006

Baghdad's Newest Imperial Palace

It will constitute 21 buildings on 104 acres of prime riverfront land. It will have its own power supply, water system and security force. It will have the population of a small town. It will be, by far, the largest complex of its kind in the world.

It is the new US embassy in Iraq.

"Embassy Baghdad" will dwarf new U.S. embassies elsewhere, projects that typically cover 10 acres. The embassy's 104 acres is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the acreage of Washington's National Mall.
If there was any illusion as to who is actually going to run Iraq, despite all those purple fingers, this should put it to rest. The US is building a fortress large enough to house a complete imperial administration.

Something to keep in mind is that Iraqis are still suffering from a lack of electricity, contaminated water supplies and non-existent sanitation. Of the reconstruction projects which were supposed to improve the lives of Iraqis, only 14 of 300 medical clinics will be completed; only 300 of 425 electricity projects will become serviceable; and, less than one-third of the essential water and sanitation projects will be operational. Iraqi infants are dying from a lack of clean water and hospitals lack the necessary equipment to deal with minor medical issues.

The new embassy will have none of those problems.

It will have its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewaster-treatment facility, "systems to allow 100 percent independence from city utilities," says the report, the most authoritative open source on the embassy plans.

Besides two major diplomatic office buildings, homes for the ambassador and his deputy, and the apartment buildings for staff, the compound will offer a swimming pool, gym, commissary, food court and American Club, all housed in a recreation building.
The new US embassy is about the same size as Vatican city, although I suspect the Vatican doesn't have a Taco Bell®.

So, there we have it. The eastern capitol of the US empire. It goes well with the permanent bases that aren't being built.

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