|2010 photo US Embassy in Iraq|
Construction of the U.S. embassy in Iraq, set to open in September, is projected to cost $592 million, with a staff of 1,000 people and operating costs totaling $1.2 billion a year. It will be a 104-acre complex, which is the size of approximately 80 football fields. On May 10, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) criticized the ballooning size and cost of the embassy in a hearing with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
Now, having said over and over again that we don’t want to be seen as an occupying force in Iraq, we’re building the largest embassy that we have — probably the largest in the world — in Baghdad. And it just seems to grow and grow and grow. … We agree that we should focus our aid locally not in Baghdad, but we have 1,000 Americans at the embassy in Baghdad. You add the contractors and the local staff it comes to 4,000.The architectural firm designing the embassy, Berger Define Yaeger, has posted the designs for the colossus on its website. Some previews of the compound’s planned swimming pool and tennis courts:
The complex “will include two office buildings, one of them designed for future use as a school, six apartment buildings, a gym, a pool, a food court and its own power generation and water-treatment plants.”
The U.S. embassy is likely to create even greater Iraqi resentment toward the U.S. occupation. While Americans will be living in posh quarters, the citizens of Baghdad are forced to survive with just 5.6 hours of electricity a day. Baghdad was also recently rated the world’s worst city in which to live.
UPDATE: The residence of the U.S. ambassador to Iraq will be 16,000 square feet. The deputy chief of mission in Iraq will have a “cozy cottage” measuring 9,500 square feet.
US Embassy in Amman, Jordan
This photo doesn't do justice to the full expanse of this facility, of which all photography within 50 feet is forbidden, and which is guarded by tanks. While in Amman in the 1990's I drove out to the location, found a quiet, seemingly inconspicuous neighborhood some distance away situated up on a hill with a spectacular view of the Embassy. I took note that there was no one around. No sooner did I pull out my camera I was surrounded by security guards out of thin air, like a swat team, who told me I was not allowed to photograph the embassy. I never even had a chance. I wanted that photo! The photo here looks like a side view while I had a complete full frontal shot. And go figure, I can't find a shot like I had online! Plenty of shady collaboration with Zionist imperialists in Jordan. Personally I would not want to get too nosy there! Furthermore I don't believe that I was in a "normal" neighborhood! If it was just another neighborhood I would find beautiful photos of that Embassy! Anyone could have taken photos at some time or another. But it seems no one has.