Monday, December 26, 2011

US Baghdad Embassy: CIA headquarters in Iraq

One of the 20 buildings of the US embassy in Baghdad
Barack Obama's post war (post slaughter is a more appropriate term) vision for Iraq is a "Self governing, inclusive" society that has "enormous potential."  The US Embassy staff in Baghdad will do its best to ensure such lofty goals will be met.  The Embassy is the largest in the world.  It cost $700 million to build and sits on 164 acres on the banks of the Tigris river.

To help the Iraq become self-governing and fulfill its potential, the Embassy will have a staff of 16,000 and some amenities like swimming pools, cafes, restaurants and its own water treatment plant. Of these 16,000, 5,500 will be security forces to protect US diplomats come CIA agents on the rare occasions they might have to step outside the heavily fortified embassy and mingle with the Iraqi people. CIA head David Petraeus, visited Baghdad to make sure this huge investment made by the US government on behalf of the US taxpayers for the benefit of the Iraqi people is going to produce results.  The 90 heavily armed vehicles the US state department is leasing from the Pentagon will hopefully ensure not only that US personnel but also any Iraqi that might be targeted for assassination by the CIA, er, I mean alleged al Qaeda operatives, does not fall victim to these evil doers.

Some Iraqi's, ungrateful as they are for the sacrifice folks like George Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Obama and others have made so they can enjoy a healthier and more productive life are not convinced that the embassy is a purely diplomatic mission: "We have no doubt that the task of the US embassy in Baghdad is an intelligence one.......that constitutes a major threat to the Iraqi political situation.", says Jawad al-Shayli, an Iraqi legislator. Some think that the US is after that precious fossil fuel underneath Iraqi soil but democracies like the US just don't do things that way.

It doesn't help when what are supposed to be "full blooded Americans" good Christian folk, publicly criticize our efforts to bring freedom to these people who haven't been around as long as us and have limited experience governing themselves. Peter Van Buren a state department official wrote a book revealing some of what the likes of him call massive waste that has occurred during our attempts to bring freedom to these people---the $2.5 million chicken processing plant for instance that sits idle and the Arabic translations of Moby Dick that just ended up being dumped.  That's not our fault for Christ's sake.  Those Iraqi kids were crying out for Moby Dick; they saw the movie when ordinary Iraqi's had electricity for televisions and said they wanted to read it. Obviously, alleged al Qaeda operatives got a hold of the books and dumped them for fear that they would encourage the Iraqi kids to forget about the 500,000 or so of their siblings that died as a result of US/UN sanctions and what Madeline Albright said about those deaths.  You gotta let things go man.

Sure these humanitarian ventures cost money and are a main reason for the lack of schools, public transportation, and cuts in public services at home, but that's what freedom is all about; the US taxpayer has no problem accepting these sacrifices I'm sure. It's not as if the Iraq occupation is in the interests of US corporations and making the 1% even richer is it?   Who would support that?

The US ambassador to Iraq, Jim Jeffrey isn't very optimistic either comparing the US embassy in Baghdad to the one in Saigon in the 1970's. Let's hope it has a roof.

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