The United States has constructed a palace (or compound) in Baghdad to rival any ever built for Saddam Hussein. The U.S. calls it the Embassy. The local Iraqis supposedly call it the George W. Bush Palace. It cost over $600 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars, is built on 104 acres of land stolen from the Iraqi people, and has the largest swimming pool in Iraq. The contract for construction was originally given to an affiliate of Kellogg Brown and Root (itself a subsidiary of Halliburton) as another way to steal money from American taxpayers and funnel it into Republican-owned businesses. Does the corruption ever end? I wonder if people have to remove their shoes before they enter.
I can't find any photos of the new embassy except one of a bunch of people standing in a small area saluting the flag. I assume there is a no-photos policy in effect. But you can see the original drawings on several sites on-line. The architectural firm that designed the compound posted their drawings on their web-site but supposedly were ordered by the State Department to remove the drawings. Some enterprising webbies got copies and have maintained them. The original drawings look like one large prison project. Buildings completely encased in thick concrete walls, no windows, steel barriers surrounding them. I guess that's what they call "blast-proof" living.
Like everything else done by the Bush regime, the Embassy represents just another disgraceful and corrupt looting of taxpayer money by Republican-affiliated corporations. See http://www.fas.org/sgp/ors/mideast/RS21867.pdf the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Report for Congress updated October 10, 2007, by Susan B. Epstein discussing rising cost of building the compound, delays, concerns about the "quality" of the construction, the contractor using imported slave labor to do the work. Originally budged at $592 million, additional costs have apparently been hidden in other appropriations requests so nobody knows exactly how much money was stolen from American taxpayers in the construction of Fort Bush, Baghdad.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad is one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world, with over 1000 American employees plus local staff. Among the American government departments which maintain offices in Baghdad are the Department of State, Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, and the Agency for International Development. Give me a freaking break.
Does it really require a billion dollar compound to steal Iraq's oil? Doesn't this sound more like a permanent occupying force than a military that will be leaving soon? Shouldn't we expect somebody to be planning the farewell party instead of building permanent bunkers for what apparently will be a satellite location for the United States government?
Reportedly, the U.S. government plans to take $1.2 billion dollars per year of American taxpayer money as yearly operating costs for this embassy in Iraq. http://thinkprogress.org/2007/05/29/photos-embassy-iraq/
The U.S. Ambassador's home was designed to have 16,000 square feet. The living space for most of the U.S. employees was to be constructed as "blast-proof" apartments on the assumption that the Iraqis would continue trying to blow up all the Americans until we finally leave and stop occupying Iraq. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051502027.html
The compound just opened. The U.S. Ambassador Crocker spoke at the opening of the compound and, with a straight face, condemned anyone in Iraq using bombs other than the U.S. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7811088.stm
I wonder if Bush was thinking of Waco when they did the design for this Baghdad compound.
Why does the U.S. set up a department of agriculture and commerce in Baghdad? Order 81. Paul Bremer was sent to Iraq by the U.S. after we seized control of Baghdad, and we "pretended" he was the interim king of Iraq, with legal authority to sign any laws the U.S. wanted. Remember that the U.S. Bush regime was solely dedicated to turning more of the world over to the control of the few elite and their multinational corporations.
Among the laws Bremer signed was Order 81 which obligated all Iraqi farmers to agree to abide by ridiculous patent laws passed in the U.S. to favor U.S. agribusiness. Here's how it works: Monstanto, and other chemical companies, genetically change the seeds which form the basis for the entire world's diet, notably wheat, corn, and rice. Whoever owns the legal right, whoever can successfully claim they "own" all rice, wheat, and corn in the entire world, can demand that everyone pay them money anytime they want to grow or eat any rice, wheat, and corn.
So the chemical companies genetically alter the basic seeds which feed the world and they imprint the DNA of the seeds with, essentially, a bar-code that can be read that will say the name of the chemical company that did the genetic alteration. Then they go into countries and almost give away the new seeds to the farmers. Once the farmers use the seeds, some remanents of the genetically modified seed will appear in future crops, even if the farmer never again used that particular seed. The patent laws passed in favor of U.S. agribusiness say that if even one seed is found in a farmer's crop, even though he claims he did not put it there, the U.S. chemical companies can come in and take the entire crop as "payment" or "royalties" for their seed.
What the chemical companies actually plan to do is to destroy all the seed that God created so that nobody in the world will be able to grow or eat any food without paying a yearly royalty to the U.S. agribusiness. That's Order 81 signed by Bremer. We have the same laws inside the U.S. This isn't a joke. The chemical companies are trying to genetically alter seeds to make them "Terminator" seeds that will self-destruct at the end of season. Of course if the termination device goes off early, or spreads through the land, they could destroy the entire seed crop, and ability of the world to feed itself. These monsters may destroy all the foodstuff in the world in their quest to increase their control of everything. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/62273/?page=entire
Remember that in addition to wanting to steal Iraq's oil, the neocons also wanted to use Iraq as a petrie dish, a showplace for experimentation to implement neocon policies, corporate control and ownership of everything. Backed up, of course, by the U.S. military and the 1200-person embassy inside the Billion Dollar Compound. That's why we're staying there. Even when the killing ends, the looting will continue.
I wonder if they used Hitler's bunker design as a starting position. Isn't there something wrong with stealing land from another country, building a compound of blast-proof structures, and planning to continue occupying the country despite the fact that they clearly understand the Iraqis want them to leave. Talk about people who don't know when it's time to go home. When it gets to the point that the leadership has to hide in bunkers and compounds, doesn't that tell you that it's all over?
In the fall of 1944, with Hitler's military on the run and on the edge of collapse, Hitler found a new compound hiding place for himself and his top people. I'm not saying Bush is Hitler or the U.S. is Nazi Germany, but decent countries don't invade others, destroy everything, murder the people, steal the resources, kidnap, torture, murder people, then build compounds to hide in while they continue looting the remains:
"It was against this unpromising backdrop [the collapse of the German military] that Hitler stepped off his special train in Giessen on a blustery December 11, 1944 for the short drive to Ziegenberg. To the casual observer, the only thing distinguishing this farm village from dozens like it in the Wetterau region of central Germany was its 1740s-era castle. Unknown to the villagers and to Allied Military Intelligence as well, behind the castle there was a compound made up of seven buildings giving the appearance of an innocent grouping of wooden country cottages with second-story dormers. Many even had wooden porches decorated with flower baskets. Actually, they were bunkers and had 3-foot thick walls and ceilings of reinforced concrete. Nevertheless, they were commodiously furnished in the bourgeois German style of the time—turned oak floor lamps with fringed shades, the obligatory deer antlers, wall hangings depicting hunting scenes or Teutonic battle scenes, knotty-pine wall paneling and upholstered furniture designed more for appearance than for comfort. The name Hitler gave to this compound was Adlerhorst (Eagle's eyrie). "http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/adlerhorst.aspx
Here's the conclusion: when your people need to hide in bunkers to prevent the locals from running you out of town, it's time to go.