About a month ago, the NYT reported that reconstruction programs in Iraq were an abject disaster.
Now, contrast this record with news today that we’re in the midst of building the biggest, most expensive embassy on earth, right there in Baghdad.
The Bush administration designed the 104-acre compound — set to open in September in what today is a war zone — to be an ultra-secure enclave. Yet it also hoped that downtown Baghdad would cease being a battleground when diplomats moved in. […]
The $592 million embassy occupies a chunk of prime real estate two-thirds the size of Washington’s National Mall, with desk space for about 1,000 people behind high, blast-resistant walls. The compound is a symbol both of how much the United States has invested in Iraq and how the circumstances of its involvement are changing.
The embassy is one of the few major projects the administration has undertaken in Iraq that is on schedule and within budget.
That’s bound to make the Iraqis happy, isn’t it? Most of the buildings we’ve built for the country are crumbling, but look at the enormous embassy we’ve built for ourselves — within budget! — on prime real estate in downtown Baghdad.
Hears and minds, people. Hearts and minds.