'Fortress America' screams Loeffler's headline in the current issue of Foreign Policy Magazine (see the article as part of Daniel Pipes' excellent roundup on the topic HERE) Unfortunately the accompanying graphics are not available online, but it is indeed a vast, self-contained complex in the heart of Baghdad. Most Iraqis will only ever see the blast walls behind which US staff - from the Ambassador to the cleaner - work, live and 'play'. We already had the 'imperial life in the emerald city' book. My friends from 'Shinedown', a band whom I know personally (courtesy to my old friend at LiveNation) and who have sold 600000 copies of their album in the states, recently played for the soldiers in Iraq. And of course there are imperial aspects to the US presence, not least the strange phenomenon that is the Green Zone. But here is a pause for thought. When exactly do you think the US will be able to handover Iraq and live inside its vast 'vatican like' compound? Not soon. Not at all. if they moved in tomorrow, they'd never emerge alive. No last helicopters from the rooftop either, they'd be shot down by rpg's. The US MUST stay in Iraq for a considerable time yet.
Just as well, since CNN reports today of the delays to the building work.