Iraq: Newest outpost of the corporate empire

I almost thought it came from the Onion until I saw it came from ABC.  There is a plan to gentrify Baghdad’s Green Zone into a downtown shopping mall.  (I love the artist’s rendering.)

I’m curious, though, whether there weren’t stores and shops before the US invaded Baghdad?  If so, were those store owners invited back into their spots?  Or what about the original property owners.  Will they be fairly compensated for this?

Their argument is that it will create a “buffer zone” around the new US embassy.  I call BS on this rhetoric.

According to the article, they are working on a zoo and have already completed a skate park.  (‘Cause I’m sure Iraqi kids love skateboarding!)  I don’t see how Iraqis will benefit in any way from this development.  My educated guess is that it will be used almost entirely by the families of US diplomats and corporate representatives, to lessen the culture shock.  As such, it will likely receive the most military protection in the city.

The article says this is their five-year goal, but it’s been more than five years and our military still hasn’t beaten a rag-tag insurgency.  It seems like the US should have other things on its mind besides building shopping malls.  Maybe universal healthcare, or better veterans’ benefits, or investing in alternative energy sources.  (But that’s just me …)

As always, your comments are welcome.

~ by Daniel on 18 August, 2008.

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