Over at The Nation, Nicholas Von Hoffman discusses the Bushie Palace being built in Baghdad (see here). With the help of our friends at Halliburton and nearly $600 million of our tax dollars, the great liberators of Iraq are making sure that they will be comfortably tucked inside a fantastical enclave that will shield them from the misery and chaos they helped create with their unjust war. The Baghdad Palace--which sits on 104 acres and is surrounded by fifteen-foot-thick walls--will purportedly include "twenty-one buildings, 619 apartments with very fancy digs for the big shots, restaurants, shops, gym facilities, a swimming pool, a food court, a beauty salon, a movie theater (we can't say if it's a multiplex) and, as the Times of London reports, 'a swish club for evening functions'." Von Hoffman correctly points out that:
This gigantic complex does not square with the repeated assertions by the people who run the American government that the United States will not stay in the country after Iraq becomes a stand-alone, democratic entity. An "embassy" in which 8,000 people labor, along with the however many thousand military personnnel necessary to defend them, is not a diplomatic outpost. It is a base. A permanent base. So it turns out that the plan, if that is the right word for the haphazard, faith-based, fact-free and data-scarce decision-making that has been the one constant in this adventure, is to stay in Baghdad and run the country. This is beyond lunacy.
The sooner we can talk Bush and his cabal into taking up residence in the palace, the better off we'll be. Plus, it will put them within arm's reach of the oil they were after all along. Mission Accomplished indeed.