Early in the Occupation, Ken MacLeod propagated a quote from David Ramsay Steele, about the bases being built for US soldiers in Kosovo:
These brave soldiers will be maintained in self-contained biospheres, like giant lizards from another star, which given the moral status of their behavior, they might as well be.
It's something that sprang to mind when reading Tom Engelhardt's Salon piece about the US's new "embassy" in Baghdad. While officially a diplomatic facility, it is in reality a small city, larger than the Vatican, complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, cinemas, restaurants, schools, a mall - and of course surface to air missiles, "blast-resistant housing", and bomb shelters in case the natives get restless. The food - "including a full range of Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavors" - is all shipped in from Kuwait, the construction is done by a Kuwaiti company using
slave "guest worker" labour, and of course once complete Iraqis will not be allowed in, except to perform ritual obesiance to their new American overlords. Engelhardt goes on to say
whatever its specific functions, it might best be described as the imperial Mother Ship dropping into Baghdad.
Fortunately it will also have rooftop helicopter pads for when the inevitable happens.