The seal of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: While the seal is the
same, the embassy itself has been transformed into the largest
U.S. mission in the world.
Iraq's American Embassy is 'Suspicious' and 'Dangerous'!
"We must work on creating profiles for all of those who have
been co-opted by the embassy to differentiate them from everyone else in Iraqi
society, so we can ostracize them and socially exclude them. … It's as if the
U.S. Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the
entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad."
embassy in the world has aroused as much suspicion as that of the U.S. occupation
in Iraq. Its specifications are unlike those of any other U.S. embassy, with
such an overblown intelligence gathering operation that comprises so many
people that one cannot help but question the intentions of the White House
toward Iraq and the region.
questioning has been widespread. This is an embassy that can fairly be called
the largest spy center in the world. According to a Wikileaks' release, U.S.
diplomatic cables show that the work of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is for the
purpose of intelligence gathering on Iraqis rather than traditional diplomacy.
According to the documents, the U.S. Embassy is more like a giant photocopy
machine relaying to Washington every political, security and economic issue in
regard to Iraq.
Iraqi security sources have expressed suspicion that members of other foreign
intelligence services, especially Israeli intelligence (Mossad) are now in Iraq
operating under contract to American security firms that employ mercenaries
from Africa, Europe and the United States. These are the people responsible for
protecting the America's Baghdad embassy.
intelligence sources believe that the number of foreign mercenaries is the equivalent
of a good-sized army. They also point out that the Americans are not required
to inform the Iraqi side of their nationalities, precise security duties, their
locations, the types of weapons they carry or the security plans they are implementing.
Iraqi intelligence contends that the presence of such a mercenary army constitutes
a major threat to the security of Iraq and neighboring countries.
addition, U.S. Embassy spokesman David Ranz earlier revealed that the withdrawal of his nation's
forces from Iraq, pursuant to the schedule outlined in the Iraq-U.S. security
agreement, does not mean that America's security or military role have ended.
He made it clear that America will continue its presence in the form of joint
security offices, military cooperation and U.S. military officers working under
the U.S. ambassador. He added that the Americans will also maintain their own
security offices after occupying U.S. troops are supposedly gone from Iraqi
Michael Corbin, deputy
assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, asserted
before a conference for Arab and American policy makers in Washington that after
Congress approves its 2011 budget, the U.S. will assign 7,000 mercenaries from security
firms operating in Iraq.
Embassy Spokesman Michael McClellan said that the number of staff is close to
15,000, adding that this number, "is known and has been approved by the
Iraqi government.” The United States announced several months ago that between
diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the
pullout of U.S. forces - although there have been assurances that more Iraqis
would be hired.
Despite the State Department's best efforts, some images of the
new U.S. Embassy compound have appeared in the press. Above
is the Chancellery building inside the U.S. Embassy compound.
Ambassador to Iraq James
Jeffrey has stated that “Washington will spend $6 billion in Iraq in 2012 alone,
emphasizing that the amount will cover not only programs for security, but for
refugees and other matters.” According to Jeffrey, his budget request was for $6.2
Embassy in Baghdad, the world's largest, intends to double its number of staff
in 2012 - reaching the 16,000 mark. A high-ranking source tells Al-Iraq
that the Iraq-U.S. security agreement required large numbers of Americans to remain
in five provinces until 2016 - and that this period may be extended. The source
said that, “most politicians and members of the National Assembly issue
statements to suit their own individual interests and are often quite detached
from reality. But the agreement between the Iraqi Foreign Ministry and U.S. Embassy is water under the bridge for the Iraqi people.” He added that, “the agreement calls
for talks between the prime minister's office and U.S. Embassy, which must be
attended by a senior U.S. State Department official. Those
meetings occurred a month after the new government was formed.”
Barack Obama justifies the presence of such large numbers of embassy staff by
saying that the lion's share of U.S. Embassy staff in Baghdad is for protecting
U.S. diplomats who, according to him, "could be subject to attack after U.S.
an expert on embassy architecture, compares America's Baghdad embassy to a Crusader
fortress of the kind that in a previous age was widespread in the Middle East. Anyone
that looks at it can see that it is a "fortress within a fortress.” The
world's largest, the embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by
three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and
a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than U.N.
headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is
building in Beijing - which is just 10 acres [picture right].
Note: The ten
acre U.S. Embassy in Beijing is the second largest overseas construction
project in the history of the Department of State - and the 104 acre U.S.
Embassy in Iraq is the largest.]
America's largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted
in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment - and has been built in an area that once included presidential palaces and a public park opened
to all Iraqis. So far, embassy construction has cost $592 million, but recent estimates
are that the number will rise significantly. Managing the embassy after
construction is expected to cost another $1 billion a year. That includes 20
buildings, six of which that are apartment complexes containing 619 apartments
and two that are for "administrative purposes" and which will contain
about 1,000 staff - plus private residences for senior diplomats.
staff will find everything they need, so they won't have to venture off embassy
grounds. There is a shopping mall, a movie theater, a beauty parlor, a sports
stadium, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a school and a club for social events.
It is equipped with its own power plant, water purification system, sewers and sewage
treatment system, as well as its own storage and maintenance facilities. The U.S.
State Department even went as far as to reject a request by the architectural firm
that designed the complex [Berger Define Yaeger] to post a photo of the embassy on its Web site.
The outer wall is nine feet tall and surrounds the complex like a bracelet
around a wrist. As if that weren't enough, the wall will be patrolled by a special
Marine unit armed and deployed behind concrete bunkers.
has been a tremendous reaction to the suspicious nature of the U.S. Embassy.
Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr,
leader of the Sadrist Movement,
believes that if staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad remains as big as it is
now after 2011, they will be considered occupiers and must be resisted.
Maha Al Duri, a Sadrist Movement member of the Council of
Representatives [parliament] asserts that, "the maintenance of the U.S.
Embassy in Iraq after 2011 is another face of the occupation, since it will
include large numbers of staff and security staff thought to be in the many thousands.
The U.S. Embassy will inject itself into every detail - small and large - of
Iraqi domestic affairs, whether they relate to politics, economics or anything
Talal al-Zawbaii didn't conceal
his agitation when he said, “We have serious concerns about the continuing
presence of 15,000 embassy staff after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq,
because a good number of them will be employed for intelligence purposes.” He
demanded the Iraqi government reveal the true purpose of maintaining such a
large number of staff member and to pressure the American side to cut the
number, given their effect on the future of the country and particularly the
influence they will have on Iraqi government decision-making.
Representative Jawad Al Shuheyli of the liberal Group of the Free
bloc, who considers the work of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to be that of intelligence
gathering rather than diplomacy, stressed that America's ambassador to
Baghdad is able to exercise considerable pressure on Iraqi politicians to pass
laws that serve the interests of the U.S. administration. Shuheyli
insists that the huge number of embassy staff represent a significant risk to
the political situation in the country.
Speaker Ussama Al Nujayfi said
to talk of 15,000 U.S. Embassy staff after the pullout makes no sense,
stressing that an explanation from both the White House and Iraqi government is
Meanwhile, Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, the only Iraqi religious leader to completely forbid
cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, said in his fatwa, “We must work on
creating profiles for all of those who have been co-opted by the embassy to
differentiate them from everyone else in Iraqi society, so we can ostracize
them and socially exclude them. Everyone should boycott them and reject their
work and collaboration with the U.S. Embassy.” The sheikh warned against complacency
in regard to the embassy, and called on the Council of Representatives and
government to reexamine the situation with great seriousness, and develop appropriate
solutions to what he called, “that joke of an embassy” where the "ambassador
looks down on the Iraqi people and government.”
expressed surprise at the silence of, “influential political forces and the
government about the size of the U.S. Embassy - the largest in the world in
terms of area, staff and materiel. It's as if it is there not only to protect
American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the