In the days of my youth I was lucky enough to have parents as teachers. No, they didn’t beat me for not doing my homework. What this meant is that the whole family had a three-month vacation during the summer. Rather different than today’s world where both parents have ten days personal leave per year and the kids must be tended to by strangers running mystery camps during the summer like… uh… law camp or thespian camp.
Since my dad was a high school science teacher and we were from the Mid-West we’d take long cross-country camping trips. I saw the Great American West up close and personal time and time again. To this day, I am not actually at peace unless I am driving and camping around this magnificent part of the world.
One year, we made the drive up to see Mt. Rushmore. You know the place. It’s that granite rock with the heads of four presidents hacked into it. What a lasting impression to American mentality it made on this lad.
I will ever forget the look on my parent’s faces. They kept their opinions to themselves but I know what they were thinking. Same thing as me: Mt. Rushmore must have been really nice when it was known as Six Grandfathers by the Lakota Sioux. Oh but in its infinite nincompoopery, the Federal Government saw fit to procure, rename and mutilate. Now Six Grandfathers is (vernacular relegated to the slag heap) up good as the Four POTUS.
No comment on Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Honest Abe but I can’t believe any of those four men would have approved of this abomination on nature. These monstrous busts and the giant slagheap of rubble below is quite the monument to arrogance. Well, there’s no returning it to nature now!
Mt. Rushmore is not art, nor does it honor anybody. At least Christo has the decency to remove his curtains and umbrellas after a couple of weeks. And Banksy only defaces man made ugly. Besides, those two actually have some artistic talent.
Well, monumental edifices to stupidity continue to pop up from time to time. And now America has a whopper to be proud of. What pray tell could this Syphilitic White Elephant be? Folks, it’s not a national attraction you can visit like the World’s Largest Ball of Dung (currently on display in the heart of Washington DC). It’s the United States Embassy in Iraq.
And it didn’t come cheap either. It only cost the taxpayers $740 million borrowed dollars… and the fire alarms still don’t work. Assuming that loan ever gets paid off… my little joke… I wonder how much the final tab will be after interest is calculated? Will China simply foreclose and convert it into the Chinese Embassy in Iraq? Or will future generations be paying out the butt trumpet until we’re all fossil fuels for the Mantis Monarchy and Roach Republic to fight over?
Sprawling over 104 acres of prime Baghdad real estate the US Embassy in Iraq is one stunning monument to stupidity. But at least unlike most US contracted "reconstruction" projects… I still don’t understand how you can reconstruct something when you’re not finished destroying it yet… the powers that be saw fit to stay the course in a new way forward towards actual completion. Overlooking the banks of the Tigris River in the Cradle of Civilization, the largest embassy in the world shines like a beacon to… uh, beacon to… freedom and democracy don’t seem to fit… a beacon to incoming mortar shells and home made rockets! It just makes one beam with pride doesn’t it?
So… what does Uncle Scam intend to do with it now?
Hm… good question. Well, despite all the publicity, Iraq has not developed into a tourist magnet… like the World’s Largest Ball of Dung. In fact Iraq hasn’t "developed" at all since the US so thoughtfully liberated it from stability. Ok, that rules out peering at the Monument to Stupidity through coin operated telescopes on the banks of the Tigris or taking narrated tram rides through it.
How does the US embassy in Iraq compare in size to the actual Iraqi government offices? Trick question. There are no actual Iraqi government offices. However if the Iraqis had a real government I’m sure they could take over the US Embassy and still have room for camel races in the halls.
And empty halls seem to be what the US has so proudly built.
Oddly, State Department employees seem reticent to move in. What gives? It’s new! It’s more fortified than a box of Wheaties! And… it has a food court! Are they afraid KBR is contracted to provide the food? Or is it possible that emergency escape helicopter pads are less plentiful than life rafts on the Titanic?
Not that it matters. Sending State Department lackeys to work in the US Embassy in Iraq would cost more money. The operational costs of the Baghdad Monument to Stupidity are guestimated to be $1.2 billion a year. Well, that seems a bit steep.
The State Department lackeys… uh I mean "diplomats" can do the same inept jobs here at home for half the cost… still to much. And frankly, what in the heck would they do in Iraq anyway? There’s nothing to administer. And so far I’ve seen no evidence of "diplomacy." Are they going to oversee the black hole as it sucks up US dollars, weapons and lives? I hate to say it but black holes operate according to their own laws of physics, not the delusions of bankrupt Empires. In this case, "reality" is not what White House spin-doctors create… but it never was.
So there sits another great American Monument to Stupidity in the heart of Baghdad in all it’s uh… glory… a permanent edifice to America’s Imperial Neocon Master Plan. I hope they at least sell postcards and bumper stickers.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.