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Embassy of the United States - Baghdad Iraq


Sattelite view of the new "Embassy"

 

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Ambassador John Negroponte 10/15/04 in the "Green Zone"


Largest Embassy in the world opens in "Bling Bling" palace

The largest, and fanciest embassy in the world, has opened in Baghdad. "Freedom" for Iraq means "free" for the U.S. since no compensation has yet paid to the Iraqi people for the confiscation of this historic building.

The Republican Presidential Palace - with it's marble columns, gold plating, and swimming pools - has been home to U.S. commanders since the capture of Baghdad.

This 2-square-mile was the hub of Saddam Hussein's government and housed offices overlooking the Tigris River. Renovation to the Palace in the late 1990s tripled the size of the complex.

This "bling, bling" palace is supplied by electricity, clean water, and airconditioning 24x7 and is a relative oasis behind the high concrete walls of the "Green Zone". The grounds include pools, exercise facilities, gardens, and even a mock Baghdad bazaar complete with tourist t-shirts (i.e. "I went all the way to Iraq and al I got was this lousyt t-shirt") for soldiers and other personnel

But, it's not all fun and games. Embassy personnel work long hours. As they surf the web on their new HP computers with LCD screens, they can hear the rumble of mortars and machines guns outside.

Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar and Prime Minister Iyad Allawi are expected to spend much time at the new Embassy meeting with Embassy officials and getting directions from U.S. Ambassador John Dimitri Negroponte and his staff.

At the recent swearing-in ceremony for Negroponte, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared, ""By sending one of our most accomplished, skilled and effective diplomats to Iraq, we're telling the world that there's nothing we hope for more than an Iraq that is at peace."

Ambassador Negroponte has a long career of service to the U.S. In the early 1970s, Negroponte, at the Paris peace talks, shuttled between the US and North Vietnamese delegations. From 1981-85, During Negroponte's tenure in Honduras, U.S. military aid increased from $5 to $100 million. This enabled the construction of Al Aguacate air base — an air base where the US-trained Nicaraguan Contras and which was used as a secret detention and torture center.

As the Embassy personnel settle into their new digs. they will need to counter the continuing perception that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was not about money, strategic resources or geographic position in the Middle East but rather that the war was about "freedom, security, and prosperity of the Iraq people," in the words of the new Ambassador. posted 29 june 2004