Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Projection of Power

There's something very unsettling about the new US embassy taking form in Iraq. It's been veiled in secrecy, subject to 2 ongoing criminal investigations, and awarded, without competitive bidding, to a shadowy Kuwaiti firm. In the senate hearings yesterday, Ambassador Crocker stated explicitly that "The agreement will not establish permanent bases in Iraq and we anticipate that it will expressly foreswear them." I think it's at the very least disingenuous that the man who is denouncing bases in the region will soon be inhabiting the keep in the fortress that is the Green Zone.

I think it's also telling that the website for US Embassy in Iraq does not feature any photos or even mention that it is under construction. It is also worth mentioning that there have been accusations that the company who is constructing it, First Kuwaiti, paid kickbacks to a government official and also of using forced labor to construct the embassy. It's easy to see how under those conditions it was able to meet a fixed price contract, something which none of it's competitors could provide.

Even with the relatively large security presence that is supposed to be stationed there, it seems to me to be inviting terrorist attack and hostage taking. It could be a Saigon or Iran on a grand scale. Not only would this lower morale on a spectacular scale not seen since 9/11, it would be a tremendous publicity coup for the Jihadists, who all too often have shown complete and utter disrespect for human rights. This time it's unlikely anyone is going to be able to escape by pretending to be Canadian, nor is it likely that the hostage takers can be bought off.

With respect for America in other parts of the world is at an all time low it is important for us to project the best face that is possible. I do not think that barricading our embassy far away from the ordinary Iraqi will not help us win hearts and minds. In their eyes at least we will still be the victimizers in stead of the victims. We, as the American people, must cease to be victims and stand up once again to a pointless war in Iraq. True, today there is no South Vietnam, but the blood that would have been shed to maintain it would have been utterly pointless. It would never have been more than a puppet regime. The country that appeared did not spread communism to it's neighbors and, in a rather humanitarian move, used it's armed forces to drive Pol Pot into the jungle. It has normalized relations with the US, and is not a threat to itself or it's neighbors and has embraced capitalism with the gusto of the Chinese. Let us hope that a similar detente can be reached today.

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