Friday, September 5, 2008

Paging Mr. Trump

Driving through the "heavily fortified Green Zone", aka International Zone, today you can see where the Government of Iraq has begun clearing a massive lot near the British Embassy. The wooden sign at the entrance to the bulldozed lot depicts a picture of a palatial building, ostensibly the one to be constructed, and words stating that this is the future home of the Prime Minister's Guest House. Aren't there enough palaces here already? Why is anyone wasting money, (American tax payers' money?) on yet another palace?!

What Iraq needs is commercial not government infrastructure. Why an international hotel chain doesn't come in and build a Hyatt or Radisson within the Green Zone or the airport facility is beyond me. Even with the SOFA people are going to be coming in and out of Iraq for decades to come, and right now there's no place to house them aside from a handful of double-wides on a dusty lot near the airport.

The same could be said for Baghdad's international airport. Some bright investment company should purchase, and completely renovate it. Right now it's a dusty, dark shell that is being utilized at about 20% of it's full capacity. A renovation would be easy at this point. Again, there will be plenty of traffic through there in the next 20-30 years to make it well worth someone's effort and investment.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/05/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Don said...

Well, the CPA came in and tried to privatize the industries in Iraq. They were up against many decades of socialized and subsidized businesses that were restricted to getting supplies and materials from pro Saddam countries only. That and the fact that there was no demand for efficiency or quality as the Iraqis had to use whateve crap came out of these factories and industries. This and the sanctions of the 90s put the state of Iraqi industries in a deplorable and unprofitable state.
It seems that the basic mentality for a western style commercial minded government will take a long time to form.
In regard the Baghdad airport and renovating it, what corrupt and ineficient company would you suggest to do that? Who would pay for it and who would defend it? We, the American taxpayers, have pissed untold billions down a hole of no return for reconstruction and have little if anything to show for it. When we turn their country back over to them (as if!) let them handle their own reconstruction. I understand there's oil in them thar sands.