Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why imperial embassies?

"The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital. The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million."

For now, ignore the waste of money.

And, ignore the further evidence that our new "anti war" president is obviously planning on a "long term commitment to", i.e., occupation of, Iraq, Pakistan and Afganistan.

Focus on the fact that these massive imperialist-style building projects make us look like just another in a long line of colonial occupiers. This will not win hearts and minds.

Why not built small, modest embassies, and then use the left over money to fund the construction of hospitals in every major city? That's how you make friends in the third world.

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