Monday, April 17, 2006

Fortress Baghdad

Well, not only is the U.S. building a new embassy in Baghdad (Can you say - permanent bases in Iraq?), described as a "fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River [that] will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq's turbulent future," but, apparently much of the contracting and construction details are "as cloaked in secrecy as the ministate in Rome," according to this article.
Surprise, surprise.

What we do know, Charles Hanley tells us, is that "The embassy complex — 21 buildings on 104 acres, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report — is taking shape on riverside parkland in the fortified "Green Zone," just east of al-Samoud, a former palace of Saddam Hussein's, and across the road from the building where the ex-dictator is now on trial."
(See all those cranes?).
"Embassy Baghdad" Hanley says, "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. Original cost estimates ranged over $1 billion."
6 construction contracts (that cannot be identified) are supposedly working on a classified portion of the embassy, and apparently 5 of them are American companies.
According to the same report, the compound "will have its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewaster-treatment facility, systems to allow 100 percent independence from city utilities." [...] "Security, overseen by U.S. Marines, will be extraordinary: setbacks and perimeter no-go areas that will be especially deep, structures reinforced to 2.5-times the standard, and five high-security entrances, plus an emergency entrance-exit."
And so, I wonder, what the Iraqi people are to think when they see all the work going into this thing, (or what they can see of it). (Or, what they will be able to see of it when it's done). Down with one ruling fortress and up with another. In fact, a new an improved one, right across the street from Saddam's courtroom itself. Who, in all of this, are they supposed to think is running their country?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

See excellent paper on Constantinos Doxiadis in Iraq. He was also heavily involved in Urban Renewal in the US...


11:08 AM  
Blogger Bryan Finoki said...

nice article, can't believe i hadn't come across that before. seems seminal. will definitely check out more in depthly.

thanks for all the comments and links kiddolizzie!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome.
Also seminal and referenced in this article is Who Paid The Piper, by Frances Stoner Saunders.
A must read...


6:23 AM  
Blogger Bryan Finoki said...


will definitely read that one, too. so much to read, so so much.

keep the comments and links coming kiddolizie!

good stuff.

thanks again.

2:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home