Thanks to The Strategist for this shot of the American fortress "embassy" under construction in Baghdad. He claims it's a sign of weakness: "isolated, under seige, and fated to fall." Yet sometimes forts do work--depending on the technology of the times and the political goals of the combatants. Another way to view a complex with 104 acres, bunkers, independent water and sewage treatment facilites, etc., is that it's a commitment to stay no matter who is formally in charge of the country. It's a base (one of many, I suspect) in which to sit out the worst of what the Iraqis will do to one another. It says our political goal is not "liberal democracy" but "permanant presence." It's a potential thorn in the side--a new Guantanamo in downtown Baghdad. I'd very much like to see the details of the agreement between the current government and the Americans. Legally, will any future government have the legal right to kick the U.S. out?
This is not a cheery analysis, I admit, but it's not hopeless--unless we assume the U.S. can't resupply it. This raises the possibility of a mini-Berlin airlift. Is that in the plan?