A couple odds and ends that didn’t quite inspire me to write a whole post about them.
The US embassy in Baghdad is finally open for business.
BAGHDAD – The United States inaugurated its largest embassy ever on Monday, a fortress-like compound in the heart of the Green Zone — and the most visible sign of what U.S. officials call a new chapter in relations between America and a more sovereign Iraq.
U.S. Marines raised the American flag over the adobe-colored buildings, which sit on a 104-acre site and has space for 1,000 employees — more than 10 times the size of any other American Embassy in the world.
You may not remember that this behemoth was supposed to open in September of 2007. I was kind of hoping they’d take Mr Shamoo’s advice and donate it to Iraq as a university, instead, but no dice. Instead the US is going to monopolize 104 acres (> 80 football fields) of prime riverfront property, no matter how much the Iraqis resent it.
No word on how many of the 1,000 employees speak Arabic. At last check, it was either six or ten.
Raed Jarrar settled for $240,000 in his lawsuit against Jet Blue and the TSA, who still claim they did nothing wrong and they just didn’t want to keep paying legal fees. If you don’t remember, airline and TSA employees flew into a tizzy because Jarrar terroristically wore a t-shirt with *gasp* Arabic writing on it. One federal employee told him that was like walking into a bank wearing a shirt saying, “I’m going to rob you.”
This is Raed Jarrar.
Incidentally, if you want a tee shirt with Arabic on it, try Calligraphize, over in my blog roll over on the right side of the screen. You can even custom order.
And here’s an interactive guide to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. On day 16 there are 846 Palestinians dead and 3200 injured.