Thursday, February 9, 2012

And Another Thing About That Baghdad Salad Bar ...

Consumer Notice: This post is certified 100% free of Matters of Official Concern that are not referenced from publicly available sources of information.

There is something that bugs me about that New York Times story - the one with the entertaining tidbits about wilted lettuce and rationed chicken wings - and it has to do with the photo that accompanied the story. That's it, above.

The story also had a slideshow consisting of photos taken in the nicely appointed chancery, staff apartments, dining hall, pool, gym, and tennis courts, all of which give the impression of an up-scale resort.

But nowhere did the Times comment on those big shades that cover the tops and sides of the compound's buildings. What are those things? Over-sized sunscreens?

You can get a better view in this official photo:

There is no reason to be coy about them, since they have been mentioned rather extensively in official documents that are publicly available. They are 'overhead cover' structures, and they are there to protect building occupants from indirect fire weapons such as mortars and rockets. Those weapons have been impacting on the embassy compound all along, ever since it was being constructed. You could Google it.

This official source of information describes them succinctly:

"Overhead cover is a necessity to protect against the threat of indirect fire at vulnerable office, housing, recreational and dining facilities."

So on the one hand, we have the NYT's photos of embassy staffers in the pool and the tennis courts, and turning up their noses at unsatisfactory salad in the dining hall. But on the other hand, you have to use your imagination to appreciate that those U.S. government employees are living the good diplomatic life in a place where every now and then an anti-personnel weapon detonates outside.

I would call that a lifestyle trade-off.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pics! And good post! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: This is an informative story on a day when the US is announcing the biggest travel warning ever for Mexico. They don't mention the numerous murders of his police officers in recent months. The guy said he would get results and he has. The objections of the civil rights guys are a farce.

Anonymous said...

TSB: The 9/11 conspiracy pieces are all starting to fit. I'd like to know what yout think of this one. 9/11 REVISITED
Was Saudi Arabia involved?
By Paul Church

Aside: I am still waiting for an explanation of how Trade Center 7 was imploded on 9/11. gwb

TSB said...

GWB: I don't think the Saudis [i.e., the ruling family] sponsored or supported or condoned 9/11. I agree with the theory that Bin Laden chose Saudi citizens for the plot partly because they could get U.S. visas and partly to further his already-in-existence war against the ruling family.

As for WTC 7 and the other WTC buildings that were destroyed, I'd trust the NIST report:

Anonymous said...

TSB: Tom Engelhardt offers a retrospective on the Baghdad Embassy I enjoyed since I remember the piece he wrote in 2007. (I haven't read the Chomsky story it introduces) Evidently there are big cuts in the works at Fortress Baghdad!? gwb