Saturday, July 01, 2006

Remembrances Of Green Zones Past

No Pasaran! posts a letter from a U.S. State Department official who recently concluded two years of work in the Iraqi Green Zone. It is a fascinating view into the experiences and attitudes of embassy officials and a first-hand and fair-minded critique of our policies in Iraq.

The official is not entirely optimistic about Iraq's future. One of his worries seems to be that so many of the major events in post-war Iraq -- the transfer of sovereignty, the Saddam Hussein trial -- had been improvised. The official is young -- he notes that this was his formative professional and personal experience -- and I wonder if this particular worry is indicative of inexperience. I don't know precisely what sort of plans could have been expected. In fact, "improvisation" is probably the norm in historical events.

He also worries about Iran, saying a conflict with Iran may actually turn Iraq into a sideshow, which would be similar to what happened to Afghanistan after the invasion of Iraq.

The official takes pride in his positive achievements, but also notes a strain of decadence amongst his colleagues in the Green Zone. He writes:

It is my theory that some people have settled in for the long haul. They will stay in Iraq, especially in the Green Zone, because life has become so easy and predictable and the money is good.

Read it all.

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