Friday, February 10, 2012

Could we interest you in a slightly used 27-building, 104-acre embassy? (Condition: as is)


It's 104 acres with 27 buildings, and hardly used (okay, that last part is a wee exaggeration): How might we repurpose that intergalactic embassy we built in Baghdad?

by Ken

The Bush regime war criminals who brought us the iraq invasion and occupation undoubtedly thought they were settling into Baghdad for, well, forever. Otherwise it's hard to explain how this monstrosity of an embassy came to be built, at a total cost of -- well, I can't imagine that anyone can, or would dare to try to, estimate the total cost. But then, the Bush regimistas never had much trouble extracting money from Congress to throw down its proprietary Iraq sinkhole.

Now, as our "In the Loop" pal Al Kamen notes, "After the withdrawal of U.S. troops, the American diplomatic presence in Baghdad may be cut drastically, making the new $750 million embassy compound a monstrous white elephant." And he poses the obvious question: "What do we do with the 104-acre complex -- the largest embassy on Earth, with 27 blast-proof buildings and housing for more than 1,000 employees?"

If you sensed an "In the Loop" contest in the offing, you sensed right.
Loop Fans can help!

Yes, it's the Loop “Embassy for Sale” Contest, our first contest of 2012. Simply tell us what the United States should do with the compound and -- this is a two-parter -- name the new facility (or facilities, if that's the plan).

Just go to
baghdadembassycontest and leave your submission in a comment. The top 10 entries will receive one of those coveted In the Loop T-shirts and mentions in this column.

But hurry! Entries must be submitted by midnight Feb. 17. In case of duplicates, the first in will win. (You may want to double-check that there's an active e-mail address associated with your log-in. If we're unable to contact a winner within three days, the prize will go to a runner-up.) Winners will be determined by an independent, distinguished and un-bribe-able panel of judges.

Here's what you've got to work with: The ultra-secured complex, which opened in 2009, is on the banks of the Tigris River. It has swimming pools, basketball courts, tennis courts and other athletic facilities. The ambassador's residence is 16,000 square feet, and the deputy's cottage is a cozy 9,500 square feet.

The embassy, built when money was no object, has a 17,000-square-foot commissary and food-court building and its own water supply, power plant and waste-treatment facility, so it doesn't have to rely on the Iraqis for essential services.

Think of the possibilities!

If you need inspiration, here are some of the comments that have been posted:
from vallas576: Move the Bush Presidential Library there and include the papers of Dick Cheney and use a portion of the compound to build a memorial for all the brave American military that were killed there. Name the compound "Mission Accomplished."

from Geetaar: There is no need to find a new use for the embassy. Keep it in its present use, as a monument to stupidity.

from Econoblaster: Sell it to the Emir of Bahrain as a summer home.... and a place to go when the people of Bahrain finally succeed in throwing him out. Call it "Hijrah al Khalifa".

from jgmann: Turn it into a football stadium and see if you can get the Raiders to move again.

from petert45: Name the compound -- "The George W Bush--Richard Chaney Center" with a full dedication ceremony.
Then, in grand American-style, we Americans do best, make a spectacle of this white elephant with---
HUGEST IMPLOSION of the George W Bush-Richard Chaney Center. And do invite all the top world officials to be witness including Bush and Chaney pushing the button.

from DCsandiego : As for the Embassy in Baghdad, let's revisit who advocated this obviously stupid idea (George Bush, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Bremer, Petraeus, and Gates come to mind) and ask them to explain the short sightedness of this ridiculous waste and inefficiency. Then ask them to invite many of their former colleagues, including the Congress, to hold a press conference in the structural monstrosity to explain the whole Iraq debacle and attendant horrendous decision making. After the press conference, Obama can announce formally that the Embassy compound has been turned into a minimum correctional center where they must all stay locked up for at least one year. That should send a useful message just in time for Iran.

from jkersey1: The extra space in the embassy should be converted to a Retirement Home for the Neo Cons, Rush Limbaugh, and the Halliburton executives. They will be greeted as heroes with roses and parades I am sure.

As a special bonus, a number of these comments are grace by insightful responses from on cstrasburger along the lines of: "Ahhh, the blissful ignorance of the liberal mind......" (Nothing left out -- that's the entire comment.) This presumed life form even has its own suggestion:
I have a great idea!
Let's turn it into barracks, and send all the liberals there so they can "care" about the muslim brotherhood! They can talk about abortion rights, women's rights gay rights, minority rights........not that they really care about any of them; they wouldn't have to worry about our Constitution, which they hate, and could create their own mindless adaptation, to include the unicorns and fairies they so love and everyone could love each other! Oh, the bliss!!!
That ought to be fun to watch!
Hmm, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but if there was no mind to start with, I guess there's no waste.

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At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Jim Weigand said...

fiesAll the comments listed above sound mean and bitter. They are all about America and not about Iraq. I suggest that American citizens, not the American Government, donate funds to build
(1) a beautiful, calm and life-affirming monument to the Iraqi citizens who died under Saddam Hussein and Bush/Cheney - to be designed by Zaha Hadid and other Iraqi artists;
(2) an Iraqi cultural center and a national museum to replace the one that the US Government allowed to be ransacked;
(3) a restored wetland and nature reserve;
(4) an adjunct campus to an Iraqi university that is dedicated to the cultural and environmental restoration of the Middle East.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

This one's in good part on me, Jim. There actually were a number of comments of a reasonable nature along the lines you're suggesting, but I didn't bother with them. I was thinking there are other times and places for talking serious, especially considering that none of these things are going to happen, and it's all fantasy, I thought this was a time to fantasize funny and, yes, mean.

Of course your suggestions are much better, and I'm glad you tried to elevate the tone by sharing them. As long as we understand that they're not going to happen either.


At 11:53 PM, Anonymous joel hanes said...

it's hard to explain how this monstrosity of an embassy came to be built

At profiteer contract rates, with contracts awarded by the occupying American pashas?

Qui bono?

Everyone connected with the awarding of contracts and the actual construction made out like bandits. And that was the reason it was built -- to extract further millions from the largesse of wartime, to make the buddies of Rumsfeld and Feith and Cheney some increment more wealthy.

Me? Bitter?
No. Why do you ask.

At 5:08 AM, Blogger John said...

Warning: all who agree with Mr Weigand's comment will probably not want to read further.

I wouldn't give the WaPo the time of day much less my email address.

So, I'll make my submission here.

What to do with the embassy?

Shove it up Bush's ass ... sideways.

(Who actually believes that the cost of this massive boondoggle, within a monumental boondoggle, was "only" $750 million?)

John Puma

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Mr. Weigand, American citizens donated TOO MUCH to that embassy BIGGER than the Vatican.


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