Progress... no? Of course it is. And as Ann Gearan reports:
The 21-building complex on the Tigris River was envisioned three years ago partly as a headquarters for the democratic expansion in the Middle East that President Bush identified as the organizing principle for foreign policy in his second term.The Bush administration did something without thinking ahead?! Go figure.
The complex quickly could become a white elephant if the U.S. scales back its presence and ambitions in Iraq. Although the U.S. probably will have forces in Iraq for years to come, it is not clear how much of the traditional work of diplomacy can proceed amid the violence and what the future holds for Iraq's government.
"What you have is a situation in which they are building an embassy without really thinking about what its functions are," said Edward Peck, a former top U.S. diplomat in Iraq.
"What kind of embassy is it when everybody lives inside and it's blast-proof, and people are running around with helmets and crouching behind sandbags?"
This was to be the centerpiece of US presence in the Middle-East. A place where the business of collapsing Sultanates and disappearing dictatorships could be observed. This was to be the place where control of a huge amount of the world's oil could be administered.
Now... it's a target.