Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Your Next Vacation In Baghdad!

It is easy to understand the frustration Iraqis have with the opening of a 5-star hotel in Baghdad’s Green Zone, when ordinary citizens still lack electrical power, running water, hospitals, security, and all of the other comforts we take for granted here in America.

Writes one Iraqi journalist:
I wish I have the magical stick. I would bring all the Iraqi and American officials and force them all to live one full week in Shoula neighborhood, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Baghdad. I wish they try for seven days managing their life with ten Amperes power for only five hours a day, without clean bottled water and of course with the ration food cards. Do you think they would ever think about building a five star hotel?

Of course not. It’s clear that this 5-star hotel is purely for visiting dignitaries, businessmen, and Western officials who anticipate doing business in Iraq as things settle down on the security front. Surely no one expects top officials with ExxonMobil, Chevron or BP to stay in any old, war-battered hotel, do they? Perish the thought.

This is our priority. It has always been our priority. We don’t care if the citizens of Baghdad have reliable power or fresh running water or garbage pick-up. But come hell or high water, Rex Tillerson, Ray Hunt, Jeroen van der Veer, David O'Reilly and their minions must have luxurious accommodations when they visit Iraq to work on their contracts.

Free hand of the market. Huzzah!