Archive for October 10th, 2007


That ¾Billion Dollar U.S. Embassy In Baghdad

October 10, 2007

I managed to catch a little CNN today at lunch, and I noticed that Cafferty was covering the story that the construction of the US embassy in Baghdad will be delayed indefinitely, and I thought it’d make a good thread.

Here’s the story, via ABC News: US Embassy Opening in Baghdad Delayed Indefinitely

The opening of the mammoth new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been delayed indefinitely while its Kuwaiti contractor fixes a punch list of problems, the State Department said Tuesday.

The sprawling complex, whose cost is edging toward $750 million, was set to open last month but U.S. lawmakers say shoddy work by the contractor and poor oversight by the State Department have delayed it.

$750 million?  For an embassy?  In Baghdad?  No wonder the Iraqis are resisting the occupation so passionately.  It’s hard to believe that Saddam had anything that extravagantly large. I mean, what the hell would you think if you were an Iraqi looking at this:


I would think that it would send quite a message. It looks like we’re building our own acropolis in their capital. 

Then there’s this:

Congress originally allocated nearly $600 million to build the biggest U.S. Embassy in the world but Waxman said the project was now $144 million over that budget.

Concerns about lack of oversight are certainly valid.  The Iraq misadventure has single-handedly made the phrase “lack of oversight” cliché. But the question I want to ask is…Why did Congress think we needed a $600 billion embassy in Iraq in the first place?

‘Cause it’s now a ¾billion dollar question.

Exit question:  Re: delayed indefinitely… Should they have waited until the fighting stopped at least?

BTW- Just to put things into a little perspective (because something like this probably begs for it), I thought I’d pick an example a little closer to home. Here in Minneapolis, debate has raged for a decade over the cost, funding, location, etc. of the new home for the Minnesota Twins. They finally broke ground on the project this year:


The cost?  $522 million.  What a steal.