Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

'Tis a puzzle

This may seem a bit off topic for Stayin' Alive, but it's my blog and I can do what I want. Frankly, I never understood what the point was of the $750 million U.S. embassy building in Iraq and the 2,000 diplomats and 14,000 other staff who are supposed to be stationed there. The Iraqis never understood it either -- as one is quoted saying, "Perhaps they want to run the Middle East from Iraq, and their embassy will be a base for them here."

If so, it didn't work out. The State Department has suddenly figured out that the whole thing is utterly pointless and they're planning to scale it back. That's great! We'll save a few billion dollars a year. (BTW that also means we can maybe get by without the 10,000 member mercenary army. Thought we'd withdrawn all our troops? Not exactly. We hired civilian mercenaries to do the same job for three or four times as much money.)

It appears that it took even Barack and Hillary until right now to realize that invading and occupying Iraq and trying to run the country for a few years didn't actually get us anything. In fact they hate us. Iraq has recently signed a trade agreement with Syria intended to help Syria evade sanctions -- it allows free transit of goods intended for Syria through Iraq. They're making all their oil development agreements with European and Chinese companies. Iraq is best buddies with Iran. U.S. personnel in Iraq are still routinely attacked. But since nobody has the slightest idea why the U.S. invaded Iraq in the first place or what exactly the hell President Cheney was trying to accomplish, I suppose it doesn't really matter.

No comments: