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Poll results: the Bagdad Bar & Grill, what do you think?

Voters
24. You may not vote on this poll
  • another good reason to impeach

    11 45.83%
  • in poor taste, consdiering what's happening, but i've given up on this administration

    8 33.33%
  • another example of bush's genius

    1 4.17%
  • great idea, but they should have made it sustainable and used local hires

    0 0%
  • who cares?

    3 12.50%
  • it's not that simple, LP, see my post below

    1 4.17%
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Thread: Mega - Embassy in Iraq

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Mega - Embassy in Iraq

    I looked at the other threads for Iraq and Bush and nothing seemed to fit for this story so it's its own thread/poll.

    to me, file this under WTF?

    I think this is outrageous, no?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...162249,00.html

    In the chaos of Iraq, one project is on target: a giant US embassy
    From Daniel McGrory in Baghdad

    THE question puzzles and enrages a city: how is it that the Americans cannot keep the electricity running in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a day, yet still manage to build themselves the biggest embassy on Earth?

    Irritation grows as residents deprived of air-conditioning and running water three years after the US-led invasion watch the massive US Embassy they call “George W’s palace” rising from the banks of the Tigris.

    In the pavement cafés, people moan that the structure is bigger than anything Saddam Hussein built. They are not impressed by the architects’ claims that the diplomatic outpost will be visible from space and cover an area that is larger than the Vatican city and big enough to accommodate four Millennium Domes. They are more interested in knowing whether the US State Department paid for the prime real estate or simply took it.

    While families in the capital suffer electricity cuts, queue all day to fuel their cars and wait for water pipes to be connected, the US mission due to open in June next year will have its own power and water plants to cater for a population the size of a small town.

    Officially, the design of the compound is supposed to be a secret, but you cannot hide the giant construction cranes and the concrete contours of the 21 buildings that are taking shape. Looming over the skyline, the embassy has the distinction of being the only big US building project in Iraq that is on time and within budget.

    In a week when Washington revealed a startling list of missed deadlines and overspending on building projects, Congress was told that the bill for the embassy was $592 million (£312 million).

    The heavily guarded 42-hectare (104-acre) site — which will have a 15ft thick perimeter wall — has hundreds of workers swarming on scaffolding. Local residents are bitter that the Kuwaiti contractor has employed only foreign staff and is busing them in from a temporary camp nearby.

    After roughing it in Saddam’s abandoned palaces, diplomats should have every comfort in their new home. There will be impressive residences for the Ambassador and his deputy, six apartments for senior officials, and two huge office blocks for 8,000 staff to work in. There will be what is rumoured to be the biggest swimming pool in Iraq, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a cinema, restaurants offering delicacies from favourite US food chains, tennis courts and a swish American Club for evening functions.

    The security measures being installed are described as extraordinary. US officials are preparing for the day when the so-called green zone, the fortified and sealed-off compound where international diplomats and Iraq’s leaders live and work, is reopened to the rest of the city’s residents, and American diplomats can retreat to their own secure area.

    Iraqi politicians opposed to the US presence protest that the scale of the project suggests that America retains long-term ambitions here. The International Crisis Group, a think-tank, said the embassy’s size “is seen by Iraqis as an indication of who actually exercises power in their country”.

    A State Department official said that the size reflected the “massive amount of work still facing the US and our commitment to see it through”.

    BEHIND SCHEDULE
    # A US Inspector General’s report into reconstruction found that although $22 billion had been spent, water, sewage and electricity, infrastructure still operated at prewar levels

    # Despite “significant progress” in recent months, less than half the water and electricity projects have been completed

    # Only six of the 150 planned health centres have been completed

    # US officials spent $70 million on medical equipment for health clinics that are unlikely ever to be built. More than 75 per cent of the funds for the 150 planned clinics have been allocated

    # Task Force Shield, the $147 million programme to train Iraqi security units to protect key oil and electrical sites failed to meet its goals. A fraud investigation is under way

    # Oil production was 2.18 million barrels per day in the last week of March. Before the war it was 2.6 million

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that it’s all messed up that it is that big. But I don’t think that Bush himself is to blame. I don’t think that Bush had the plans sitting on his desk waiting for the all mighty approve stamp.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I think that it’s all messed up that it is that big. But I don’t think that Bush himself is to blame. I don’t think that Bush had the plans sitting on his desk waiting for the all mighty approve stamp.
    I agree. It would be unreal if Bush himself was waiting with a stamp to approve it. Obviously there is a big communication and prioritization problem that needs to be repaired within the Bush administration.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    The planning is being done by the current administration. Given that the number of bad decisions have outweighed the number of good decisions by a huge margin, it's probably safe to say this is another bad decision.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Looks like a headquarters fit for a substantial imperial bureaucracy. I'd be surprised if they weren't building something like that.

    Has anyone heard that the Green Zone is becoming a veritable walled-city, with all of the tents and **** being replaced by permanent buildings? I mean, they're not even doing that in New Orleans yet!

    Anyway, why the hell did they have to make it look like commie blocks though?
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb

    Anyway, why the hell did they have to make it look like commie blocks though?
    Look at the Ameircan economy. Everything "real" is imported. The business of America is now empire and war in the service of unquenchable, almost religious ideology. Who does that sound like?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Look at the Ameircan economy. Everything "real" is imported. The business of America is now empire and war in the service of unquenchable, almost religious ideology. Who does that sound like?
    The Romans?





    Er, who did you have in mind?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    The Romans?





    Er, who did you have in mind?
    I'm thinking if not the romans, much of that could correspond to the former USSR.

  9. #9
    The contractor probably had a cost-plus deal so he threw as much into it as he could.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    The contractor probably had a cost-plus deal so he threw as much into it as he could.
    Cost plus assumes that there is at least some kind of ACCOUNTING going on. In our newest SSR, the "Decider's" friends and allies LOSE $9 billion

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Since it's appearently the ONLY project in Iraq that's being built on-time and on-budget I think it's probably not an example of contractor excess but rather, something that the administration is very interested in having built.

    Supposedly most of the Green Zone is going to move into it when it's finished... I hope that doesn't include the "Iraqi Government."
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  12. #12

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    So: your point, jordan, is that the Administration can get things accomplished when it really wants to? Hmmmm. That's a stretch, but I'll grant it. Wonder why certain other things are falling apart? More suspicious folks than I speculate the "sectraian violence" is being mightily stoked by black ops. Negroponte being in charge makes that accusation less wacky than some?

  13. #13
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Since it's appearently the ONLY project in Iraq that's being built on-time and on-budget I think it's probably not an example of contractor excess but rather, something that the administration is very interested in having built.

    It's also possible that "on time and on budget" is as much a fiction as mission accomplished.

    We will find out later how far off budget and off time this was.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    It's also possible that "on time and on budget" is as much a fiction as mission accomplished.

    We will find out later how far off budget and off time this was.
    With you saying that, I am reminded of the Watergate Hotel, which I think was full of bugs (listening devices) and some embassy (I think) that was being built in Russia or some such by THEM and was also rife with bugs and so forth.

  15. #15

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    What do you mean that Bush isn't responsible for this sort of thing? It's his administration making the decisions, even if he doesn't personally sign off on everything. Anyway, this is part of a larger trend of building fortress America for ostensibly security reasons. Many embassies are being removed from urban areas to more secure, less accessible locations. A while back, Tom Friedman in the Times wrote about the negative effect this trend is having on this country's reputation -- the specific example that he discussed was in Turkey, I think. We can also point to the Defense Dept. moving out of urbanized DC (especially Arlington) to sprawl areas of northern Virginia to sites that are more removed from the public sphere.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    With you saying that, I am reminded of the Watergate Hotel, which I think was full of bugs (listening devices) and some embassy (I think) that was being built in Russia or some such by THEM and was also rife with bugs and so forth.
    AFAIK watergate wasn't an incident of active survellience, but just a break in. It was, however, discovered that COINTELPRO used illegal espionage to infiltrate various politically active groups under Hoover.

    You're thinking of the American Chancery building in Moscow, where bugs were imbeded in the structural columns so that they couldn't be removed. Eventually they tore down the top set of floors and replaced them with American made ones seperated by couplers from the Soviet made floors below, so they could have an area where classified things could be discussed.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

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