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The $592 million dollar Baghdad embassy built with Washington's approval

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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Much to my amazement the mainstream news finally woke up today and reported of the multi-million dollar American embassy being built in Baghdad.  Are some of you astonished to read where this embassy also known as ‘Bush’s Baghdad Palace’ by the Nation Magazine will cost you the tax-payer $592 million dollars?  Well don’t be.  The reason why should not be surprised is that the AP is only reporting of this now where other writers such as your’s truly have written of it before.

The AP reports that this embassy will contain, “secure apartments for about 615 people. The comfortable but not opulent one-bedrooms have offered hope for State Department staff now doubled up in tinny trailers.” Oh, don’t you feel sorry for these State Department officials having to live in tinny trailers considering how Katrina victims were treated?  Don’t you feel sorry for these State Department officials as our soldiers were denied a $6 dollar raise in pay?  Don’t you feel sorry for these State Department officials when the casualty rate of our soldiers presently stands at 3,395?  Don’t you feel sorry for these State Department officials when the town of Greenville, Kansas was wiped off the map by a devastating tornado?

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What the AP leaves out, reports that this palace will contain, “two major diplomatic office buildings, homes for the ambassador and his deputy, and the apartment buildings for staff, the compound will offer a swimming pool, gym, commissary, food court and American Club, all housed in a recreation building.” Now please remember what the living conditions are for most Iraqis since we invaded their country back in 2003.  As Iraqis and our soldiers continue to die and suffer from massive injuries, we must insure through our hard earned tax dollars that these State Department officials along with others will get to recreate.  I find that obscene. In fact no word can best describe this abomination.

Over the years numerous sites have reported of the squalid conditions that Iraqis are being forced to live without.  They are living without clean water, a lack of electricity, lack of proper sewage treatment systems and morgues overflowing.  Meanwhile as reports, our State Department officials and others will have “its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewater-treatment facility, "systems to allow 100 percent independence from city utilities," I do not think that the city of Baghdad has anything to give since we bombed their city to kingdom come.

Back in October of 2006, reported that this embassy is being built by Asian workers.  To my readers, it is not often that I ask you to read an entire article that I have hyperlinked within a piece written by me.  But, this one you MUST.

You will read where these workers were, “assaulted and beat the construction workers, demonstrated little regard for worker safety, and routinely breached security.”

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The bile rose in my throat as I read these workers suffered from, “poor sanitation, squalid living conditions and medical malpractice in the labor camps where several thousand low-paid migrant workers lived. Those workers, recruited on the global labor market from the Philippines, India, Pakistan and other poor south Asian countries, earned as little as $10 to $30 a day.” This is the most obscene case of outsourcing I have ever read in which State Department officials will reap the rewards.

I literally wanted to scream when I read, “State Department officials involved with the project also have ignored or rejected opportunities for comment.”  These are human beings our government is treating like yesterday’s garbage for them to live in opulence.  Where is any congressional investigation to look into this matter of human right’s abuse?

In a past piece I wrote of our crumbling infrastructure so you will be happy to hear that this massive embassy “will dwarf new U.S. embassies elsewhere, projects that typically cover 10 acres (4 hectares). The embassy's 104 acres (42 hectares) is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York.”

In reading in the past of this massive monstrosity a feeling came over me that we are not leaving Iraq nor will we be leaving for a long time to come.  We have too much invested as this embassy proves.  So as everyone pressures congress to do something like pulling our forces from that country; guess who they are most likely listening to?  Oh the companies that are building this embassy and yes, defense contractors.  It is not a war, but an occupation and a trigger for yet another blow-back such as 9/11.

I received an email from someone who said that Congressman Ron Paul’s opinion of this blow-back affect was “nutty”.  Now after reading of this embassy; does anyone who believed as that person who emailed me still see it as “nutty”?  We have been told through various news reports that the Iraqi people do not want us there, but through the building of this embassy, we are not listening.  This is the ignorant foreign policy that Ron Paul was speaking of at the Republican debates.  You tell me how long it will be before the next blow-back?  What terrorist organizations can exploit this anger towards us as we occupy Iraq?

Do you want to hear more of the embassy?  Back in November of 2006, I wrote this piece of how this embassy will look.  As reported in the Nation Magazine the, “American Embassy being built in Baghdad. Surrounded by fifteen-foot-thick walls, almost as large as the Vatican on a scale comparable to the Mall of America” The funding for this immense embassy was slipped through when the GOP led senate passed an $82 billion dollar war appropriations bill back in September of 2005.  Whatever the status is as it relates to its construction, our only moral choice at this point is to at some point hand it over to the Iraqi people so that they can use it as a crisis center in helping them deal with the chaos brought upon them all by the Bush administration.”  I bet you anything that this suggestion will be listened to when pigs can fly.

All of which leads me to speak of the current war supplemental bill in which President Bush is almost screaming poverty to fight his war in Iraq.  He says it is to support the troops, but if the past $82 billion dollar package was also for that reason; then how did the building of this monstrosity fail to get the attention of our congress members?  Even though the Democrats were in the minority; I did not hear one single congress member or senator bring this embassy up.  Did you?  Republicans say that they are for fiscal conservancy, yet they can approve $592 million dollars for what is equivalent to the Waldorf Astoria in Baghdad? Oh and built with slave labor.

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Oh but it gets so much better, folks as one reads this UK Guardian article in which the House voted for a $646 billion defense bill which contains, “an additional $142 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Is the current supplemental bill presently being worked an added bonus?  Does the president want an extra $120 billion on top of that $142 billion dollar figure?  By the way this expensive defense bill was approved by the House 397-27. 

In this runaway freight train known as the federal government you will read, “Lawmakers want to protect suppliers in their districts; the Bush administration typically has sided with industry in opposing tough new restrictions.” While these lawmakers wish to protect these suppliers; how about the rest of us?  What about bringing some of that money home for jobs training and education?  This past week, those in NY State went to the polls to vote for their school board budgets and it is becoming increasingly hard to make ends meet as one’s property taxes continue to rise.  To the members of both parties serving us in Washington, D.C., America is in need of your help.  Yet you continue to turn your backs on us. 

I think that others can commiserate with me as I stood at the check out line at my local grocery store today watching how the food bill was increasing as every item was scanned only to read, “The House voted to increase the president's request by $205 million for U.S.-Israeli anti-missile programs.” As I watched that dollar amount climb not only this week but week after week, I am blistered when I read that $205 million dollars coming from the American tax payer is going towards Israel’s defense. 

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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