January 5, 2009, Fox News
After much delay the United States opened its new $700 million embassy in Iraq on Monday, inaugurating the largest — and most expensive — embassy ever built. The compound is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the size of the National Mall in Washington. It has space for 1,000 employees with six apartment blocks and is 10 times larger than any other U.S. embassy.
Critics have said that the embassy’s fortress-like design and immense size show a fundamental disconnect between the U.S. and conditions on the ground in Iraq. “The presence of a massive U.S. embassy — by far the largest in the world — co-located in the Green Zone with the Iraqi government is seen by Iraqis as an indication of who actually exercises power in their country,” the International Crisis Group, a European-based research group, said in 2006. “The idea of an embassy this huge, this costly, and this isolated from events taking place outside its walls is not necessarily a cause for celebration,” architectural historian Jane Loeffler wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2007. “Although the U.S. Government regularly proclaims confidence in Iraq’s democratic future, the U.S. has designed an embassy that conveys no confidence in Iraqis and little hope for their future. Instead, the U.S. has built a fortress capable of sustaining a massive, long-term presence in the face of continued violence.”
Note: Why would the U.S. want Iraq (estimated population 28 million) to have an embassy 10 times or more larger than that of China (over a billion people), Canada, Japan, or for that matter many other countries? And why isn’t any major media besides Fox even raising this key question? Look at the AP article which has virtually nothing critical. Could this possibly have anything to do with control of oil and other precious resources there?