From the February 2007 Idaho Observer:

One project going well in Iraq

Almost four years after the U.S. invaded Iraq, the country is still a shambles: Power and utilities delivery systems are at one-fourth to one-half of pre-invasion capacity; bombing and violence are daily occurrences; unemployment among Iraqi people is rampant and the region is engulfed in sectarian civil war.

But, the new $592 million U.S. embassy is being built and is expected to be completed on schedule. The grand opening is scheduled for June, 2007.

The Bush administration’s prioritizing the construction of this facility is an indication of its intentions for Iraq: It is sparing no expense to maintain a long-term authoritarian presence in the region and does not consider the restoration of peacetime normalcy in Iraq a priority.

State Department officials claim that the reason such projects as power plants, water treatment facilities and health clinics for the Iraqi people are so far behind schedule, or have been halted indefinitely, is that increasing violence is making worksite security and the delivery of construction materials difficult and cost prohibitive. Bush administration officials claim that 467 contractors in Iraq have been killed.

The embassy site, on the other hand, is well-secured and construction materials have been stockpiled to make sure the project stays on schedule.

According to the Associated Press, "The massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won’t be dependent on Iraq’s unreliable public utilities.

"The 104-acre complex — the size of about 80 football fields — 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 current U.S. Embassy in Iraq has nearly 1,000 Americans working there, more than at any other U.S. embassy.

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