Chuck Spinney Sends… America’s diplomatic recipe for winning the hearts and minds of “furriners” in the 21st Century:
Mix – Blind unreasoning fear with the
Domestic politics of privatizing embassy protection and the
Domestic politics of huge construction contracts
into neat grand-strategic soufflé, then bake it in the domestic political-economic oven of heated by the coals of the MICC’s Long War Against Terrorism and serve hot to a world that hungers for American values.
For those readers who question the political relevance of such a tasty dish, I offer the following op-ed by Simon Tisdall of the Guardian
America’s new crusader castles
Across the Middle East, the US is building heavily fortified embassies which cut off diplomats and create hostilities
Simon Tisdall Thursday 29 October 2009 16.09 GMT
….particular hostility was directed at US plans to spend over $800m on building a new, heavily fortified embassy in Islamabad, to be protected by the private security contractor, DynCorp. The activities of contractors in Iraq, notably Blackwater, have become notorious in the Muslim world. In addition, expanded US “bunker consulates” were announced for Lahore and Peshawar.
Shocked by the 1998 al-Qaida attacks on its Nairobi and Dar es Salaam embassies, the US has opened 68 new embassies and overseas facilities since 2001 and has 29 under design and construction, the state department’s bureau of overseas buildings operations says. Total worldwide spending on embassy replacement has been put at $17.5bn.
Historically speaking, these formidable outposts are the 21st century equivalent of crusader castles, rising out of the plain, projecting superior force, and grimly dominating all they behold.
Away from the frontline of America’s wars, the unveiling last year of the new US embassy in Berlin, close by the Brandenburg Gate, brought strong objections of an aesthetic nature. Architectural experts queued up to lambast the squat, custard-coloured but bomber-proof building, deriding it as a “klotz” (lump) built by barbarians.
One newspaper compared the offending edifice to a maximum security prison, another to a council house, while Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung fumed: “There is hardly a modern building in existence, with the exception of nuclear bunkers and pesticide-testing centres, that is so hysterically closed off from public spaces as this embassy.”
Phi Beta Iota: Brother Spinney’s original title included “Cowardice,” which we removed. There are no cowards on the front lines, only in Washington. There are no real idiots in Washington either, just smart people very ignorant about reality and doing what they have always done: government spec, unlimited cost “throw money at it make it bigger” planning and programming. No one now serving in the U.S. Government appears capable of articulating a strategic analytic matrix devoted to truth, understanding, shared information, and the achievement of reconciliation. Those outside that have done so, are not heard. Washington continues to do the wrong things righter, while ignoring the right things that costs less, mean more, and produce the desired outcome: a prosperous world at peace. The outsourcing of everything has destroyed what little integrity the US Government once possessed, and introduced an out of control contractor presence that is despicable, dishonorable, and abhorrent to all sensible foreigners that encounter it.